The 2019 edition of the US Open is not far away and if you are one of those tennis fans who has already bought the US Open tickets and planning to visit the Big Apple, here’s our exhaustive guide on the things to do in New York during the US Open.
Take the Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour
One of the best, healthy – and economical – things to do while visiting New York during the US Open is to walk the Brooklyn Bridge. Of course, if you aren’t up for a walk, then you can drive and bike it, other than viewing it from different places in the city and capture gorgeous pictures.
The Brooklyn Bridge connects the New York boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn and such is the charm associated with it, even the locals find themselves appreciating and using it throughout the year. You can start your journey on either side of the bridge, i.e. from Manhattan to Brooklyn or vice-versa and once you have decided on that, choose your mode of transport.
If you have decided to walk, ensure you do that in the designated area marked for it to avoid collisions with bikers. It is a mile (1.6 km) long and takes about 30 minutes to walk from one end to another if done quickly enough. Of course, if you are looking to take pictures, then it might take way longer.
You can walk on the Brooklyn Bridge at any time of the day you want but the best time to do it at sunset. Sunsets are gorgeous. And other than in summers, things could get a cold on the bridge, so do get adequate jumpers, overcoats or sweaters for the visit.
If you are looking at guided tours of the Brooklyn Bridge, that’s an option too, and you can that option here.
Visit Central Park & Do the Many Things!
One of the most famous landmarks of New York, Central Park is a the most visited park in the USA – according to the latest census, the number of visitors that have visited the Central Park is about 37.5 million annually. Visiting the Central Park is one of the things to do in New York irrespective of whether you are watching the US Open or no, but more so during that time because it’s superb, warm weather to be in a coolish place like the park.
If you are looking to understand what exactly you can do at Central Park, you could visit its official website here, but to give you a gist of it here, there are quite a few visitor attractions at this place including Lasker Rink, Delacrote Theater, a zoo, Pug Hill, Belvedere Castle among others.
There are various sculptures, including the Cleopatra’s Needle, and geographic features like Cedar Hill, Cherry Hill, Conservatory Water and Harlem Meer, and there are seven lakes in Central Park you could sit by as well. If you are into wildlife, Central Park has over 20,000 trees, 1,700 American elms, various birds and mammals, anthropods and beetles.
Leisure tours, sports like biking, inline skaters and running/jogging can be undertaken regularly, and there are about 20 playgrounds for children as well. Central Park also has two very famous restaurants, Tavern on the Green and the Loeb Boathouse restaurant.
There’s a lot more one can do at Central Park and you might need more than just one full day to cover it all. Our tip is to go through the calendar of events at Central Park here and decide on what you want to do in one day at this grand New York places.
Watch New York Yankees at the Yankee Stadium in Major League Baseball (MLB)
The assumption here is that you are a sports fan given you are watching the US Open. Even if you are not, the New York Yankees are one of the biggest franchises in the world of sport and they are worth a watch. According to Forbes, the New York Yankees have a net value of $3.7 billion, ranking them second in the world in that list.
First things first, and the NY Yankees, or the Yankees are they popularly called, is a baseball team based out of the borough of Bronx in New York. The team was established in 1901 and is one of the most successful sports clubs in the world with 18 division titles, 40 American League pennants winners and as many as 27 World Series Championships. No other team comes close to them in MLB.
And the must-visit stadium where you can watch the Yankees play in the MLB is the iconic Yankee Stadium which replaced the old Yankee Stadium in 2008.
It is the most expensive stadium ever built in the world and you could buy your tickets for the New York Yankees’ MLB games from there official website here. Typically the MLB season runs between March and October, so you would have the opportunity to watch one of the final few games of the regular season before the playoffs begin.
Every team plays anywhere upward of 60-80 matches in the season (the Yankees played 91 in 2017), so you don’t have to worry about missing it out and scheduling your calendar around it.
See New York from the top of the Empire State Building
One of the best ways to see the entire New York city from a grand height of 1050 feet above the streets. This 102-floor architecture and is called so as a nickname given to the city of New York, and at the time of writing this, it’s the fifth-tallest building in the USA. The 86th and the 102nd floor have observatories, and a total of 4 million tourists visit these two floors combined.
This is open between 8 am and 2 am daily, with the final elevator leaving for the upper floor, about 45 minutes before the close. And it’s not just an observatory but also consists of one of the best American restaurants in the form of the State Bar and Grill & Tacombi. If you are heading to the Empire State Building between Thursday and Saturday, you can also enjoy live music after 9 pm while there’s free wi-fi available inside the building too.
If you are looking for a short wait time, then the 8-10 am time slot or the post 10 pm slot is the best one to opt for but if you want really gorgeous sunset photographs, it’s during the evening after 4-5 pm and before 6.30 pm that you must aim to go.
It costs little over $20 to get a ticket for the 102nd Floor Observatory at the Empire State Building depending on where you buy that pass from while an Express Pass can be purchased at the ticket office on the day you arrive to move to the front of each line too, for a price of $33. Do not buy those tickets from street sales agents outside of the building because they are not employed by the Empire State Building Observatory and do not have the authorization to sell the tickets either.
Visit the Liberty Island for the Statue of Liberty:
One of the most prominent sights that New York is associated with is the Statue of Liberty and no trip to the city, even if it’s during the US Open, can be complete without a visit to this sculpture that’s located on the Liberty Island. It was a gift from France to the USA way back in the late 19th century, and is a statue of a robed woman representing the Roman goddess Libertas.
It doesn’t cost anything to enter this monument but fee must be paid to use a ferry to get to this island. An adult can visit the Statue of Liberty for a ticket price of $18.5; it includes the price of a return ferry ticket that takes you to the Liberty Island.
Of course there are other, slightly more expensive cruises as well that leave for tourists to have a look at the Statue of Liberty, some of which include options to see the Manhattan Skyline, Brooklyn Bridge, Ellis Island and the Governor’s Island.
For instance, according to the Liberty Cruise here, there are multiple options including the Liberty Cruise Saver for $17 which is a 75-minute trip that leaves at 10.15 am. For $25 and $29.75, there are other options like the Cruise Express and Cruise Select respectively. This is just one of the many options available and we can send across more of such options if you are planning on going for it.
Eat at Smorgasburg
According to the official Smorgasburg website, it’s the largest, weekly, open-air food market in the USA, and every weekend, close to around 30,000 people visit the site in Brooklyn to eat from 100 local vendors. So if you are a sports fan who loves to try out new cuisines wherever you watch your sport, a combination of the US Open and visiting Smorgasburg would be an excellent way to spend your New York trip.
In its eighth year now, Smorgasburg is held every Saturday between April and October in Williamsburg (address: East River State Park, 90 Kent Ave. (at N. 7 St.) Brooklyn) and every Sunday in Prospect Park (address: Prospect Park – Breeze Hill, East Drive at Lincoln Rd. Brooklyn). It’s open between 11 am and 6 pm and has been described as the Woodstock of Eating.
It’s free to enter and according to the official website, the only thing they recommend bringing along is a “sunscreen when it’s sunny, an umbrella if there’s rain in the forecast, a picnic blanket, cash, and some friends. However, pets are only allowed at the Sunday market and not on Saturday because of the city regulations.
Public transportation is strongly recommended, while it’s also beneficial to bring cash because not all vendors would accept credit or debit cards. Transaction fee of $2.5 is charged on cards as well. There’s a bar at Smorgasburg, and if you are 21+, you can purchase and consume alcohol there. Options to have gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian and kosher among other types of meals will be available too but it’s beneficial if you ask the particular vendor beforehand.
Some of our recommendations at Smorgasburg are:
- Wowfulls: Famous for its egg waffles
- BYGGYZ: A wild, sandwich stall
- Himalayan Horizon: An amalgamation of South American and Central Asian flavours.
- Bona Bona: Ice-creams
- Bolivian Llama Party
Feel the Art at MoMA
MoMA stands for Museum of Modern Art. Yep, it might not be on everyone’s bucket list of things to do in New York during the US Open but for those with a bend towards art, this is a must-visit. Earlier located on the 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenue, MoMA is often recognised as one of the biggest museums of modern art and now also has another one in the Long Island City.
It has collections of modern and contemporary art, and that also includes architecture and design books, prints, drawing & painting, photography, sculpture, illustrated books and artist’s books, film, and electronic media. It was established way back in 1929 and has as many as 150,000 pieces of modern art to go with 22k films. It has also over four million film stills.
The MoMA located in Manhattan is open on all seven days a week while the one in Long Island is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. There are various events that are held throughout the year at both locations and you can find the latest MoMA calendar here.
Plan a Helicopter Ride!
One of the coolest things to do in New York is to take a helicopter ride over the city. There are many helicopter operators in New York and there are thousands of tourists who take this option as a way for sightseeing in the city.
These New York helicopter rides last anywhere between 10 minutes to 60 minutes (more if that’s what you want obviously) and could cost upwards of $200 but if money isn’t a very big deal for you, then this is a must-do. The best part about these rides is the best time of the year to take them is around August-September, which fits nicely in with your US Open trip!
Photography is an obvious desire during such a ride and it would make a lot more sense to take the trip around 2 pm to avoid shooting into the sun. There are private tours also available in case you want to be seated next to the window at all times but they are costlier while a normal tour might not always provide for that option but you could still click some good pictures.
One of the most famous helicopter tours in New York is the Manhattan Sky Tour, operated by Zip Aviation and you can catch a bird’s eye view of the city, including the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, Ellis Island, the financial district and the Empire State Building during the ride. Depending on the day of the year, this could cost as low as $209 for a ride that lasts for about 15 minutes.
Some of the other companies that offer similar helicopter rides over New York include Viator.com and HeliNY.com, but there’s not a lot of difference in terms of their offerings.
If we haven’t said it earlier, this is a must-do and you can book from the various available options for a helicopter ride over New York here.
New York Botanical Gardens
It’s also called the NYBG, a botanical garden which is also a National Historic Landmark.The NYBG can be found in the borough of Bronx and measures a whopping 250 acres, consists of over one million living plants in extensive collections.
What makes it so special is its diversity, what with plants of all kinds, right from tropical, temperate, and desert flora, and more than a million visitors come to visit it for its programmes that consist of exhibitions in the Haupt Conservatory and Daffodil Hill festivals.
Events like evenings and celebrations, exhibitions, lectures in classes, music and poetry among others can be selected on their official website but even more vitally, if you are going to be visiting the New York Botanical Gardens during the US Open, then you can click here for the events during the tournament.
With more than 600 employees on their staff, it’s one of the world’s largest plant research and conservation programmes and if you are a nature lover, this should be right up your alley on the things to do in New York during the US Open!
You can email in to email email@example.com to book your tickets or visit this link to book the NYBG tickets online.
The NYBG Address:
2900 Southern Boulevard
Bronx, NY 10458-5126
Shopping on 5th Avenue
This one is for the fashionista. Love your shopping, know your Abercrombie & Fitch from Zara, and ready to spend that something extra for these brands, then Shopping on the Fifth Avenue is where you need to be. It’s not apparel fashion though; technology and jewellery go hand in hand too with a flagship Apple store and New York’s most old jeweller, Tiffany and co. being a part of this as well.
Located between the Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village to West 143rd Street in Harlem, it is one of the costliest streets in the world, so a fair warning about that before you head out.
Now, we do understand that if you have come to visit the city on a US Open agenda, then you might not have the time to scour through the entire street, it could get a tad tough to do that. So here’s our recommended stores you could look to visit but it comes with a caveat – you will need to give it at least one full day.
Here’s our list in no particular order: Bergdorf Goodman for all luxury goods, Mikimoto for its high-end pearls, Louis Vitton for its handbags, Prada for, well, everything(!), Harry Winston for its diamond rings, Wempe for its jewellery and watches, Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa for facials and massages, Gap for budget-friendly denims and t-shirts and NBA Store for all things NBA if you are a basketball fan.
Of course, the Empire State Building mentioned above and the Rockfeller Centre and Guggenheim are all located on the 5th Avenue too, so if you want to couple any of these up with your shopping it might be a good option too.
Check all the attractions, fashion options, places to visit, dining places and travel options at the 5th Avenue by going to their official website here.
Watch New York FC in Major League Soccer (MLS)
We have already mentioned that as a tennis fan, the most obvious assumption is you might have that sports fan bone in you, and that brings us to our next thing to do in New York and that’s to watch the New York FC play in the MLS. Football in the rest of the world is called soccer in the US and the reason is simple – the football that Americans play is a different sport, one that constitutes the NFL or the National Football League. But we digress.
The New York FC play all their home games at the Yankee Stadium, the same one that plays host to the New York Yankees in the MLB. The MLS, or the Major League Soccer, is a soccer competition played in the USA since 1993 and New York FC is one of the 23 teams featuring in it.
Now while the New York FC hasn’t got the same history as the Yankees in MLB, it’s a team that signed up for the pair of Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo in the past and has the kind of support from its fans that not too many sides in the MLS can boast of.
To be able to watch the New York FC you can buy the tickets of their matches from the official website here. There are different types of tickets that are available including going for the New York FC membership but you could go for single match tickets by choosing your game for that season during or close to the US Open fortnight. The New York FC schedule for the season can be checked here.