Top Hidden Gems in NYC, According to Fora Advisors

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Fora Author Fora Travel

The Modern Travel Agency

Fora Travel

  • New York

  • New York City

If you’re planning a trip to New York City, you may be familiar with the onslaught of research it takes to plan even a weekend in the Big Apple. For NYC, it’s not about a lack of things to do. Rather, it’s about the hundreds – thousands – of Top 10 lists, restaurant reviews, museum pamphlets and more to sort through.

There are the familiar go-tos like Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Broadway and the Statue of Liberty, of course. Or famous skyscrapers like the Empire State Building, and stunning architectural wonders like Grand Central Terminal or the gothic revival St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

There are jaunts to Manhattan’s popular neighborhoods like the Lower East Side, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Chinatown, Soho, Roosevelt Island, Hudson River Park and Battery Park. Or, you can take a quick subway ride to explore any of New York’s other boroughs like Staten Island, the Bronx, Queens or Brooklyn, which is filled with stunning murals, secret gardens, rooftop bars and trendy speakeasies.

A trip to NYC could go in infinite directions, and as you can see, sifting through it can be exhausting, especially if it’s your first time planning.

That’s why we tapped a few of our savvy Fora Advisors (who also happen to be New Yorkers) and asked them one question: if you could pick one thing to recommend people do in New York City, what would it be?

From Fallon: Visit Cafe Cluny for brunch, people-watching, and to feel like you’re in Paris for just a moment 

Cafe Cluny is a quaint French bistro consistently rated one of the best brunch spots in the West Village. Some love it because it feels like a moment of sitting at a cozy cafe in Paris, from the cobblestones outside to the understated elegance inside. Others appreciate it for the celebrity people-watching, as everyone (from West Village families to fashion industry icons) make it a regular spot for a really, really good omelet. For Fora Advisor Fallon Alexandria, this simple elegance paired with excellent service and really good food puts Cafe Cluny at the top of her list of recommendations for visitors coming to NYC.

Chat with Fora Advisor Fallon Alexandria to plan your next trip.

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Advisor - Fallon Alexandria
Fallon Alexandria
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From Brit: Catch a show at the Comedy Cellar

The Comedy Cellar isn’t just any comedy club: It’s where some of the nation’s top comedians perform regularly, from Kevin Hart to Dave Chapelle. Aziz Ansari and Ray Romano both recorded their Netflix specials at Comedy Cellar, as did Jerry Seinfeld for his 2002 documentary, Comedian. Catching a show here is a not-to-miss, and you can even grab a bite to eat at the Olive Tree Cafe upstairs, which is where many comedians hang out after performing.

Chat with Fora Advisor Brit Healey to plan your next trip.

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Brit Healey
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From Rabia: Get a drink at the William Vale at sunset

Rabia’s favorite place in NYC sparkles at sunset, as the sun creeps below the Manhattan skyline. Westlight is a 22nd floor rooftop bar of the William Vale where you can watch it all happen while sipping some of the best cocktails in the city. There’s even a view of the Brooklyn Bridge and Financial District.

The William Vale hotel is a luxury hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that has topped the list for numerous Fora Advisors. “I would definitely recommend spending some time in Williamsburg,” says Fora Advisor Rabia Malik. “It's a little less frenetic than being in Manhattan, but you still get the New York vibe.”

Rabia also recommends complementing your sunset sip with a walk along Domino Park, a five-acre public park along Williamsburg’s waterfront named after the former Domino Sugar Refinery with another breathtaking view of Manhattan.

Chat with Fora Advisor Rabia Malik to plan your next trip.

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Rabia Malik
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From Henley: Take a walk on the High Line and visit the Fotografiska museum

To Fora co-founder Henley, some of the traditional Top 10 New York activities, like going to Times Square or visiting Midtown, are “one and done” activities – any New York newbie should definitely do them, but don’t make them a part of every trip to the city. Instead, slow down and take a walk along the High Line, a nearly 1.5-mile-long elevated park built on an old railroad spur on Manhattan’s west side. “Go and see things on foot,” she says, suggesting you grab a slice of pizza to eat during your walk.

Henley feels the same way about New York’s extensive museum list. Rather than visiting the MoMA or the Metropolitan Museum of Art multiple times, she recommends that visitors check out the Fotografiska museum, the NYC location of a famous Swedish photography museum, a hidden gem located in the Gramercy Park neighborhood. 

From Swaylah: Ride a city bike to Central Park

Exploring New York by bike is a whole other experience that’s not to be missed. Fora advisor Swaylah Faroqi recommends taking a city bike up the West Side Highway into Central Park. If less of an active adventurer, there are also numerous places where you can rent an e-bike to ease the strain on your legs. Or after drinks at the William Vale, take a city bike over the Williamsburg Bridge at sunset for an incredible view.

Chat with Fora Advisor Swaylah Faroqi to plan your next trip.

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Ready for your New York adventure?

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Or find our best places to stay in NYC to collect more information on your city getaway.


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