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New York City is one of the top tourist destinations for Americans year after year, and it’s no surprise why. The thriving art, entertainment and cultural scenes, the endless variety of international foods and a beautiful skyline make New York City an iconic and one-of-a-kind destination. Whether you're there for a day or a week, you’ll never be bored in the City That Never Sleeps.
However, major cities like NYC have felt the brunt of the pandemic's dampening effect on travel and tourism over the past year. Fortunately, as vaccinations continue to roll out, traveling to New York City, or anywhere for that matter, is once again within reach for travelers eager to get back out there. And as it turns out, there are a lot of great reasons to put NYC back at the top of your list for a trip this summer.
1. There are fewer tourists out and about
When the pandemic hit and travel came to a halt, New Yorkers experienced their city without tourists for the first time in recent history. While travel within the U.S. is bouncing back, NYC is typically filled with tourists from all over the globe. With travel restrictions still in place in many countries where vaccine rollout hasn't been as fast, the city will still be somewhat quiet this summer. Enjoy the museums, Times Square, shopping, restaurants, the Statue of Liberty, with few crowds — a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
2. It’s one of the most diverse cities on the planet
Did you spend your days in quarantine daydreaming about a trip to Italy, China, Australia or Peru? Until borders are fully open again, NYC is the perfect domestic destination to satisfy all of your international culture desires. With close to 800 languages spoken, New York is one of the most diverse cities in the United States.
3. There are countless opportunities for outdoor dining
New Yorkers took to the streets quite literally when the pandemic hit. The city launched its "Open Restaurant Program" to maintain social distancing while keeping its beloved restaurants afloat. This program allows many restaurants to add seating to the sidewalk or curb lane adjacent to the restaurant. The program was so successful that Mayor de Blasio made the program permanent — here to stay beyond the pandemic. With added seating in typically small NYC restaurant spaces, this means even more opportunity for that hard-to-get dinner reservation during your trip.
4. There are a ton of cool museums
MoMA, The Museum of Natural History, the 9/11 Memorial, the Brooklyn Museum — the list goes on. Come to NYC to explore the museums, and while you're here, don't miss the best views of Central Park from the rooftop at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (aka the Met). Each summer the museum curates a rooftop exhibition and this year's is aesthetically pleasing for the whole family: the Alex Da Corte installation features Sesame Street’s Big Bird.
5. Central Park (Need we say more?)
Parks across all five boroughs became a gathering point for New Yorkers craving open space. This makes them not only great for experiencing nature in the heart of America's largest metro but great for people watching as well. Most people tend to think of Central Park, which is a must-see. But make sure to visit Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, Prospect Park in Brooklyn for its botanical gardens and McCarren Park in Williamsburg to get even more of a glimpse of life as a New Yorker.
6. Brooklyn has a lot to offer
Either stay at one of Brooklyn's cool hotels, or walk the Brooklyn Bridge, take the subway or ferry over for a day trip while you're in Manhattan. With some of the city's best restaurants, bars and waterfront parks, it's well worth it. Fun fact: Many of the brownstones you see in T.V. and film based in NYC are located in Brooklyn! Stroll some of the most picturesque neighborhoods NYC offers, such as Fort Greene, Park Slope and Dumbo.
7. Chinatown is a hidden gem
NYC’s Chinatown is home to one of the largest Chinese communities in the western hemisphere. Chinatown has something for everyone, and now more than ever, make sure you show your support while you’re here! Get some dim sum, head to a tea parlor or get a treat at Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.
8. There are great places for shopping
It's time to get out of those sweatpants and level up your wardrobe for post-pandemic living. Hit Fifth Avenue for every shopping option you can imagine or the boutiques in Brooklyn for something uniquely New York while you're here.
Book your trip to NYC today!
If you've ever had an urge to check out NYC, now is the time to go. Many people worry about how expensive the flights are when they're planning their trips. Fortunately, you can save a lot on round-trip flights to NYC and other destinations when you book with Expedia. Check out their website for more information on flight details and more.