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Exploring NYC’s Outer Boroughs: Going Beyond Manhattan This Winter

You may have chosen to make Manhattan your home base for your Nice Stay, but traveling to the four other boroughs of New York City will unveil a whole new set of cool experiences you’d otherwise miss out on. 

Here’s a curated selection of great places to visit from The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. We even included how to get their easily from each of our Nice Stay locations. 

The Bronx: Winter Garden Walk & Italian Comfort Food 

  • From Columbus Circle – Take the D Train from to Bedford Park Blvd 
  • From the UES – Take the BxM11 Bus 

Nature enthusiasts will find solace in the NY Botanical Garden’s conifer collection during winter—a delightful escape from the urban hustle. Although the greenery may not be as abundant as in spring or summer, the conservatory boasts a vibrant display of tropical palms and desert flora. And don’t miss the holiday train show, running until mid-January, showcasing over 200 miniature replicas of iconic landmarks. 

Close by to the Botanical Gardens lies the “authentic” Little Italy on Arthur Avenue. Here, the streets are filled with fine Italian restaurants, cozy pizza parlors, and inviting bakeries. The Arthur Avenue Retail Market is bustling with diverse vendors, offering a genuine taste of Italy in the heart of the Bronx. 

Brooklyn: Explore a Creative Hub on the Harbor 

  • From Columbus Circle – Take the D Train to Coney Island – Stillwell Ave 
  • From the UES – Take the 6 to Canal and the N to 36th Street 

In Sunset Park, Brooklyn, lies the expansive Industry City complex, a great destination for a full day of activities. The complex, once a major industrial hub for shipping and manufacturing, has been reborn as a major mixed-use development housing great shopping, office space, and more.  

The venue boasts a busy calendar of activities including food tours, concerts, craft classes, and more. Don’t miss Japan Village, a bustling marketplace that features a large food hall, supermarket, and rotating vendors.  

Queens: Artful Encounters in Long Island City  

The view from Gantry STate Park in Long Island City, Queens.
  • From Columbus Circle – Take the 1 or A/C to the 7 Train at Vernon-Jackson Blvd 
  • From the UES – Take the 6 Train to the 7 Train t Vernon-Jackson Blvd 

Gantry Plaza State Park and the neighboring Hunter’s Point Park South provide stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, making it one of the most beautiful spots near Manhattan. Consider scheduling a photography session during golden hour to capture these captivating views with your family or friends. You won’t regret it and will have fun striking a pose against the city’s iconic skyline. 

Afterwards, art enthusiasts can visit MoMa Ps1, a contemporary art space housed in a former 1892 New York City school. And don’t miss the food – the neighborhood offers a variety of well-regarded restaurants with Zagat ratings and Michelin stars, such as M. Wells, Casa Enrique, and Meju for those seeking a delightful dining experience. 

Staten Island: Ride the Waters and Explore Some Maritime-Military History  

The historic Fort Wadsowrth in Staten Island.

  • From Columbus Circle – Take the 1 to the ferry stop at South Ferry  
  • From the UES – Take the 6 Train to 4/5 to Bowling Green 

While Staten Island might seem a bit challenging to reach, the Staten Island Ferry offers a convenient and iconic mode of transportation to this borough with a more suburban vibe. Simply hop on the FREE ferry near Battery Park, and you’ll be on your way aboard the iconic orange vessel. 

History enthusiasts will appreciate a short drive from the ferry stop to Fort Wadsworth, that’s within the expansive Gateway National Recreation Area. Dating back to 1665 and constructed by the Dutch, this military stronghold remained in use for over three centuries, offering a fascinating glimpse into New York’s rich historical tapestry. The Visitor’s Center offers a look into the site’s complex history.  

On the way back stop at the Empire Outlets next to the ferry stop, which offer some great discount outlet shopping from popular stores to smaller boutiques.  

Photos courtesy of