New York State boasts the world’s second largest urban area, the Tri-State area. NYC is one of the world’s most culturally and commercially important cities.
Many are aware of the many world-class attractions that make New York famous. For residents, this is all old news.
As a local, you’ve probably visited the top destinations in the state more than once because, well, it’s home ground.
But there’s so much more to New York State that even locals may not be aware of. We’re talking about the hidden gems, out-of-the-way attractions that fly under the radar.
For residents, something besides the usual may just be what you need to keep your adventurous side alive.
Stick around to discover some of the top hidden gems of New York.
1. Little Red Lighthouse
In 1880, a lighthouse known as the Little Red Lighthouse was built on a rocky elevation along the Hudson River. This old lighthouse, now tucked away in Fort Washington Park, is one of the few left in New York City and certainly one of a kind.
The quaint lighthouse would look like something out of a storybook to visitors, and the best part is that it’s not well known. When you get to the top, the panoramic view of the Hudson River is stunning, especially at sunset.
A trip to the lighthouse is rewarding, partly due to the history but also the beautiful scenery and the peaceful atmosphere.
2. Grand Central’s Whispering Gallery
The Grand Central Terminal in NYC is one of the nation’s most popular historic sites. The massive structure has magnificent architecture and a rich history. It sure is a top attraction most people know about, but it comes with some hidden spots like the Whispering Gallery and Kissing Gallery.
The Whispering Gallery is a tucked-away treasure that attracts people with its unique ability. Sound travels through the walls and the domed ceiling oddly, allowing two people at opposite arches to hear each other’s whispers.
You may have visited the Grand Central before, but if you didn’t know about the gallery that keeps no secrets, it’s time to head back.
3. Renwick Hospital
If you love tramping or exploring ruins for the mystery and appeal of the long-gone past, you will love Renwick Hospital. It used to be a hospital on Roosevelt Island that quarantined patients with smallpox in the 1800s.
The imposing structure still stands today, severely worn, but an undying echo of the pain and suffering of time gone.
The place is creepy, for sure, and visiting it can be an unnerving experience. But for thrill seekers, Renwick Hospital is not the place to miss out on.
4. Please Don’t Tell (PDT)
When you open a shop, the last thing you want is to make it hard for customers to access it. But that’s what the Please Don’t Tell speakeasy in NYC’s East Village does.
It’s the sort of place you won’t find if you’re not in the know. There’s no stumbling on it.
The cocktail is quite a secret but pretty popular among those who know it. Therefore it’s best to make a reservation, which you can do days in advance. It’s located northwest of Tompkins Square Park at 113 Saint Mark’s Place.
What makes the bar unique and inaccessible is that you’d have to use a payphone next door to get in.
5. Underground Weed Lounges
While on the subject of secret bars, have you heard of underground weed lounges?
They might as well be a myth for many residents, but they are real.
Patients with a New York medical marijuana card can access cannabis. But the drug is also legal for adults, so there’s no need to hide.
Still, cannabis connoisseurs would love the thrill of hunting down underground lounges as they’re known for top-shelf buds.
6. Red Hook Trolley
If you’re ever in Red Hook, Brooklyn, you will find one of the city’s most picturesque hidden gems near the waterfront. The secret attraction is an abandoned 1950s trolley beside an equally old warehouse.
Red Hook used to be popular with trolleys. This particular trolley is what’s left of that part of the neighborhood’s history.
Now that you know where this beautiful relic is, you may hunt it down and take Instagram-worthy photos.
As a local, the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty don’t excite you as they would a tourist. That doesn’t mean there aren’t hidden gems around the state for you to discover.