Non-Touristy NYC: Active Edition

Advisor - Lauren Goldstein
Curated By

Lauren Goldstein

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  • New York City

  • City Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • New York

  • Active Travel

  • Downtown

  • Greatest Hits

  • Guided Tours

park and skyscraper
Curator’s statement

Having lived in and around NYC for most of my life, few things rile me up more than those who think it's a tourist trap! When I read blogs/groups for tourists lamenting healthy and active options, I chime in with a local perspective. Many of us are sporty and active. These are our stories (DUN DUN).

The Fora Difference

Book with Lauren to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.

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Killer perks

Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you

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Personalized recs

Customized travel planning for your style

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay in NYC

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Freehand New York

Just north of Gramercy Park, this fun-loving stay is a go-to for budget-friendly, stylish digs, with original artwork in most rooms and a local’s scene in the bars and restaurants.

The New York EDITION

This 1909 clocktower, near Madison Square park and with 360 views of NYC, was reinvented into a sleek and modern boutique hotel that blends seamlessly into its iconic Progressive Era identity.

Fora Perks
  • $100 resort / hotel credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

The Ned

In the heart of London, this 1920s glamor-inspired property comes equipped with a rooftop pool, terraces, late-night bar and spa.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

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Advisor - Lauren Goldstein

Unlock perks by contacting Lauren to book your trip.

Things to do in NYC

new york city park at sunrise


Hudson River Park, Battery Park, Riverside Park and most of the West Side is phenomenal! Plus up if you plan a fitness class or align with a show at Little Island. East River Park is under construction (flood planning) and closed for a bit longer


Paragon Sports, NY Road Runners, Jackrabbit/Fleet Feet and local running groups have guided runs each week. Some are in the city. Others across bridges and more on the track.


The Ravine and Ramble in Central Park are close and wonderful, but day trips to Storm King, Bear Mountain and more are easily accessible

Day Trips

In addition to the above, the Catskills, Hudson Valley, Long Beach and Rockaway are a few of many spots that feel a world away from the concrete jungle

Pop-in classes

Everyone has opinions here! I recommend St Mark's Yoga and Pilates for drop-ins ($10). For HIIT and other modalities, check out free outdoor options at Brookfield Place, Hudson River Park and Madison Sq Park, Simon Lawson in Riverside Park and Dr Metzl's pop ups.

Racquet sports

Tennis is permit-based, but you can get day passes for $15. Pickleball is emerging and more of a pop-up thing so far.


Not my area of expertise, but there are quite a few options - Brooklyn Boulders, Vital, etc.

Places to eat & drink in NYC

Outdoor cafe in NYC

Please know that I have a nutrition certification, love local/seasonal food and am very wary of fake meat/meat substitutes (ruling out a few veg/vegan spots). This is not by any means a complete list!

NYC as marketed to tourists is very different than the lived experience for those of us who live here. You can do both!

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspo? Check out my guide, Long Weekend in Santa Barbara.

Advisor - Lauren Goldstein

Travel Advisor

Lauren Goldstein

Get in touch with Lauren

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to New York City.