I have lazily put the together I'll keep updating as time goes on :)
In no particular order!
#1 Times Square - The Center of the Musical Theater Universe & crazy people dressed up as Disney/Marvel characters! Times Square is such a magical place. Times Square is also the worst. Every tourist from every place in the world combined with every crazy person in New York City (& a few normal people) makes for a very unique experience. My advice is to only go there if you need to. It's not somewhere you want to just hang out. But it is so cool & you have to see it! It's more than you pictured in your head or saw on TV. There are great places to eat at a variety of price points. My top pick for a reasonably priced option is Juniors (there are two locations so if the one on 45th is busy go to the other one on 49th) Sardi's is always a great choice if you have the budget for it.
(Forget regret or life is yours to miss! )
Broadway show tip:
Great seats at a great price:
1. Standing Room Seats- Almost all of the major shows have standing room tickets available. (I have seen sold out Hamilton shows 3 times this way) You can get these tickets right before the show for around $40. It is a risky option because it's never guaranteed you're going to get a seat.
2. TKTS - TKTS has great discounted tickets. You can avoid the crowds if you avoid the Times Square location.
3. TDF - Check out TDF.org
#2 Central Park - I'm not sure there is a park more beautiful than Central Park! It is amazing at all times of the year & hosts a ton of great events. Avoid the tourist traps! Don't pay $3.99 a minute to have a guy bicycle you around! &&& I wouldn't ride in a horse drawn carriage if you paid me. The horses look so sad & I wish they could go to the countryside and relax. Explore the park by foot or rent a Citibike.
#3 The Whitney Museum - The Whitney not only has great exhibits, it is also located in a spot that has amazing views from it's rooftop bar. I can't decide if I like the art or the location & views better. It is also close to Chelsea Market & all the fun things in the meatpacking district to the North & West Village to the Eastish. I love walking the highland from the Whitney all the way up to Hudson yards. I think it's one of the must sees for any visitor and resident alike! It's always changing too! Go Check it out!
#4 The High line - The High Line is such a fun place to go and walk or just relax. It is always changing and growing and getting more beautiful. The Whitney Museum is at the south end and Hudson Yards is on the north end. If you walk the whole thing you'll see pretty much every iconic sight New York City has to offer, from the Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, beautiful street Murals to the Chrysler building if you have a keen eye.
#5 The MET - The MET is amazing to visit any time of year. There are always new exhibits going on and you don't have to pay anything extra to see them. I love to grab a coffee in the shop near the American wing and then head over to the impressionist art and see what the new exhibits are. Every time I visit the MET I feel like I discover a wing that I didn't know existed.
#6 Washington Square Park - I love to people watch in Washington sure park! You never know what you are going to see. It is a literal melting pot of crazy and awesome. There are people playing chess in a couple of corners and a couple of dog parks which are really fun to watch.
#7 Lincoln Center -
#8 New York Public Library - There are branches all over Manhattan. The one that everyone knows from Ghostbusters is but its' fun to visit other ones. the one near Lincoln Center has exhibits which are fun to visit. and they have an archive of musical theater shows.
#9 The Rubin Museum - I stumbled into this place once on a rainy day. they have a meditation room that is soo cool they were changing one of the floors and had another floor with water that you had to step on rocks. you feel like you've visited nature and you haven't left Manhattan a real gem and they have the tastiest food in their cafe. I really recommend this place it's relaxing and fun
#10 St John's the Divine - you can feel like you're visiting Europe it looks like Notre dam. forget the other charch in Times Square love the place. Up above 110th street right near the Seinfeld restaurant
#11 Top of the Rock
#12 Governor's Island
#13 The Cloisters