New York is one of the tourist capitals of the world. Hundreds of thousands of people visit the city every year. Some come to shop, some come to watch sports, while many come to discover the amazing sites they have only seen in movies and TV shows. The city is constantly “awake” and there are always cool things to check out and do. But in a city that holds millions of people and is always under the world’s radar, there still manages to be some secrets and hidden gems about the city that many people don’t know. We found 15 secrets and hidden locations around NYC that you probably never knew about. Number 8 is definitely the coolest…
#15 Secret Trains Tracks Under the Waldort Astoria
While you probably know about the various underground railway systems like the one in Washington, there is also one in NYC as well which not many people know about. This train was likely used for the rich and famous to arrive at the hotel in back in the day; without having to come through the front doors.
#14 The Morbid Anatomy Museum
New York City is famous for its world-renowned museums, but there is one that has a fraction of the popularity of most but is actually one of the coolest to visit. While it is a very gross place, it is a place where you will see things you couldn’t see anywhere else such as skeletons, memorials, and various jarred specimens.
#13 Submarine in the Coney Island Creek
This old and rusty submarine is often overlooked by people but actually has a very cool history. This was supposed to be the submarine that would expand sea travel, but it, unfortunately, got stuck on the sticky floor of the bottom of the creek. While it has been vandalized over the years, it is still a landmark for the city.
#12 Berlin Wall in NYC
That’s right, there is an actual piece of the Berlin Wall in NYC. This was once a symbol of all that was wrong in the world but now serves as a piece of public art in a plaza where people can relax and each lunch. It is amazing that a piece of history like this is just sitting in a plaza in NYC.
#11 Hidden Movie Theater
While the outside of this building looks fairly unassuming, inside, it used to be an amazingly cool movie theater, hidden right in plain sight. Currently, the interior is pretty beaten up and not looking its best, but it is still a great place to visit for the sake of nostalgia and look at the beautiful work.
#10 Tabernacle of Prayer Church Queens
This gorgeous church in Queens used to be a movie theater, and you can see that as soon as you walk in. The colors and amazing architecture make this place one of the most beautiful in the city for locals and tourists alike. Even if you aren’t religious, this is a place you should definitely visit.
#9 Orchard Beach & Boardwalk
I bet you didn’t think that you could relax on a gorgeous beach, right in NYC. This one-mile long beachfront property is located in Queens and has a good mix of tourists and locals. While this is a gorgeous beach, it is not natural and was actually made by urban planner Robert Moses.
#8 The Secret Garden in Rockefeller Center
Between the skating rink and the giant skating rink, the Rockefeller Center is among the most notable and famous places in NYC. However, there is one part about it that not many people know about. On one of the rooftops, there is a secret garden that most people aren’t allowed to even visit.
#7 Smallpox Hospital
This is one of those places to visit for those who have a morbid curiosity. While this building might just look like a crumbling mess, it actually has quite the history behind it. This building used to be a smallpox hospital, which eventually got abandoned. Why you can’t walk around it, but you can get a few amazing pictures.
In a city full of great places to get some drinks, this is one of the coolest. This elegant little gastropub has amazing food and drinks and is not known about by many people. This is because it is literally behind an unmarked door behind a different eatery, called Walter’s.
#5 The Bohemian
The Bohemian is a covert little Japanese-themed restaurant that is located in an unmarked building. This restaurant doesn’t even have a published phone number and the only place to get a spot in this 25 seat restaurant. You really have to either just show up and see what happens or get the number from a previous diner.
This is an overnight camping trip on steroids. This is an urban encampment experience will take adventurous New Yorkers to the rooftops to camp out. This is a truly off the grid experience with no technology allowed. This only occurs in one week on an undisclosed rooftop in NYC and thus, is truly quite the secret.
#3 Cobble Hill Tunnel
This is an abandoned tunnel in the Long Island Rail Road system and has the distinction of being known as the oldest underground tunnel in the entire nation. There are rampant rumors that the tunnel was used for contraband such as whiskey and was actually used as an escape by terrorists.
#2 Evolution Nature Store
This is a place full of natural history and collectibles but is unlike any museum in New York City. There is framed insects on the wall, things in jars and more. You could spend a whole day here looking at all the different specimens, and you can actually purchase some of them if you want.
#1 Dream House
This is a truly one of a kind experience that everyone should experience at one point or another. This is the culmination of 40+ years old work and the fluctuating sound waves and colors you will experience inside is truly unique. The experience here literally can’t be put into words and is something that you have to experience.
And there you have it. You now know about 15 of the best-kept secrets in New York City, that some of the locals don’t even know about. It really is pretty shocking that so many cool and large things could be kept out of the public eye in a city that holds so many people. Visiting some of these hidden places and things in New York can be a great way to see things and experience things that not many people have in a city where everything seems to be constantly overrun by people and tourists at all hours of the day.