Top 5 Hidden Gems in New York

24 January 2023

New York City may well be the most easily recognisable city in the world and at times it can feel as if you’re on a film set when simply walking down the street. The air is filled with sweet sugary smells, smoke and the sound of sirens along with thousands of footsteps rushing from street to street creating a palpable energy that should feel chaotic but instead invokes excitement.  The juxtaposition of a serene, luscious Central Park bang in the middle of all this hustle and bustle sums up New York perfectly; it has something for everyone.

A destination on the bucket list of most people, we think a particularly memorable and influential time to visit is during college and University years. As young people blossom into adulthood, excited for the next chapter of their lives, a visit to New York not only enhances their education but inspires their confidence and perhaps even their dreams.

Whilst there are many subject specific experiences to be had, none of these are subject exclusive; anyone can enjoy a Broadway show or appreciate the wonders contained inside the American Museum of Natural History.

There’s no doubt that most study groups would want to experience the iconic landmarks they have seen on the silver screen but let’s have a look at some of the other lesser-known experiences to be had and the subjects we think they would benefit.

  1. Music students might want to take a tour of the Steinway Piano Factory where 80% of piano production is done by hand
  2. Green-Wood Cemetery is home to over 500,000 burials including many famous names and some incredible architecture making it appealing to history or humanities students, to name but a few.
  3. Ellis Island is a popular choice for history and psychology students and is an historic immigration station. But what happened to the migrants once they left Ellis Island and moved into the city? The Tenement Museum gives 3 fantastic immersive tours, each one focusing on a different ethnic group (Irish, Italian or Jewish) and time period. Students can really imagine what life was like for migrants working in NYC as the tenement buildings have been dressed to reflect each time period.
  4. Roosevelt Island is only 2 miles long and aside from offering amazing views of Manhattan, it offers visitors the chance to tour the ruins of the smallpox hospital which was completed in 1856 to keep victims of the pandemic away from the population. The island also has one of the oldest houses in New York and the Octagon which was a lunatic asylum, making the island a great half day trip for history students.
  5. The only museum dedicated to the art and architecture of the Middle Ages, the Cloisters are part of the MET Museum and act almost like a time capsule, having been constructed from portions of 5 different medieval cloisters in France. A peaceful place full of wonders and a lovely way to spend a few hours.

New York has creative spirit, culinary wonders, rich history and cross-cultural experiences aplenty. Study groups the world over have visited in droves and those living in the city will tell you it’s almost impossible to experience everything, even in a lifetime. There is no shortage of things to see and do; tell us how you want your students to benefit and choose your own adventure. We will bring it to fruition.