4 New York City Attractions You Won’t Find in Your Guidebook

New York City, NYC, Ford Foundation, Attractions
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New York City might have more world-famous attractions than anywhere else on the planet. It has the Statue of Liberty. It has Times Square. It has the Empire State Building. It has the One World Trade Center. It has Central Park. The list goes on, and on, and on.

While these are the attractions that helped make New York City famous, however, they are certainly not all the city has to offer.

Within NYC’s five boroughs, you’ll find dozens upon dozens of smaller, lesser-known attractions.

A great many of those offbeat and quirky attractions are both easy and worthwhile to find. Without further ado, here are four we recommend!

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New York’s Hidden Tropical Forest

New York City probably isn’t the first place you’d expect to find a tropical rain forest, but the truth is that there’s almost nothing you can’t find in “The Big Apple.” That includes rainforests.

If you’re keen for a break of all the hustle and bustle of the city, and you’ve already had your fill of places like Central and Prospect Park, head over to 320 East 43rd Street. What looks like an ordinary office building, you’ll come to realize, is anything but.

Inside the building, which was built as a home for Henry and Edsel Ford’s Ford Foundation, you’ll find a massive, indoor forest, complete with a tangle of gorgeous tropical plants, several beautiful ponds, and a veil of steam created from real rainwater.

Best of all, this well-disguised greenhouse is open to the public year-round.

Panorama of the City of New York

New York City is one of the biggest cities in the world. In fact, it’s so big that it can sometimes be difficult to comprehend where you are in the city.

If you’re struggling to get your bearings, head over the Queens Museum to take in a 9,335 square foot of the entire city called Panorama of the City of New York, which should definitely help you get situated.

This incredibly ornate model of NYC was built for the World’s Fair in 1964. It took almost three years and over 100 people to create. Over the years, its been updated to reflect the various changes to the city, and all-told, now features 895,000 individual structures, including every building in the city as of 1992.

Explorers Club Headquarters

If you’re traveling to New York City—or anywhere, for that matter—you probably consider yourself a bit of an explorer. If that’s the case, you’ll fit in well at the Explorer’s Club Headquarters.

Founded by seven intrepid explorers in 1904, and now located inside a beautiful Jacobean revival mansion at 46 E. 70th Street, the Explorers Club promotes the scientific exploration of land, sea, air and space.

Today, the fruits of over a century of exploration can still be found inside the building, from various adventuring tools, to polar artifacts, to taxidermied animals from half a world away. The building also holds the club’s expansive collection of 13,000 books, 1,000 museum objects, 5,000 maps and 500 films. Adventure awaits!

Mmuseumm

New York City is home to hundreds of museums of all shapes, sizes and descriptions. Few are as unique as Mmuseumm.

Mmuseumm—pronounced like the word “museum”—is located inside a tiny freight elevator at 4 Cortlandt Alley. It doesn’t have a distinct theme, but specializes in the “overlooked, dismissed, or ignored.” In the past, thats resulted in exhibits like Personal Possessions found in the Pacific, Paper Works found in Copying Machines, and Homemade Weapons of Defense. At one time, it even displayed the shoe thrown at George W. Bush at the Minister’s Palace in Baghdad.

This tiny museum, which fits a maximum of three people at a time, is open on Saturdays and Sundays in the spring, summer and fall.

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