Student Travel Destinations: New York, NY

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When it comes to traveling on summer vacation for students, one of the first images that come to mind is that of traveling to exotic places abroad. In doing so, one can easily overlook the many places in United States that can offer a great deal of learning combined with fun unforgettable experiences.

One of those destinations is New York City. For the college student who has never been there, New York offers a variety of unique experiences and can even be like a mini vacation abroad while one can experience the multitude of cultures and languages of many countries all in one place.

So as you are getting ready to make a list of places on your travel destinations this summer, please consider these aspects of the city with welcoming arms to those who are still in school.

Top reasons to visit New York this summer vacation:

  1. Cultural parades, holidays and outdoor festivities– New York offers more than x number of parades annually that celebrate the culture and diversity of the city from different ethnicity and backgrounds. In the summer in particular as the weather is nice, there are parades almost every weekend including the Puerto Rican Day, the Mermaid , and the Gay Pride parades in June, the Fourth of July fireworks, Jamaican festival, Harlem week in July, and India parade, SummerStage, and the U.S. Open Tennis in August. Along with these, there are numerous street fairs and exhibits in various neigborhoods and parks. Check out the schedule at https://www.events12.com/newyork/.
  2. Museums – Some of the best museums in the world can be found in New York City and students can take in history, art, design, science and fashion among many topics to learn more about. These include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, the American Museum of Natural History, Museum of the City of New York, Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, the Frick Collection, Museum of the Moving Image, National September 11 Memorial, Brooklyn Museum, and the Museum of Mathematics, among many others. One can even take a class about a topic of interest at these venues. Be sure to inquire about student discounts as most offer this to college students.
  3. Parks and concerts – New York is famous for some of the most iconic parks in the country (an amazing 1,700 parks in total). Central Park stands in the center of NYC and offers endless acres for sunning, strolling and wandering, in addition to a zoo, a winter ice rink and the Met and natural history museum on either side of the park. Bronx’s Van Cortland Park holds the Bronz Zoo as well as the Bronx Botanical Gardens.  Smaller parks like Bryant park behind the New York Library offer popular picnic spots.  For a list of events and offerings for central park, go the Central Park Conservancy (http://www.centralpark.com/).
  4. Shopping – New York has some of the diverse shopping in the country. From the hyper chic stores of Madison avenue to Macy’s flagship, New York has it all.  The West and East villages along with Soho are full of everything from designer boutiques and second hand clothing stores.
  5. Culinary venues and cuisine – NYC has an astonishing 24,000 restaurants and eating establishments. Walking down the street, you almost can’t go wrong finding a restaurant as long as you are outside of the most touristy areas like Times Square.  From budget pizza for a dollar a slice to 5 Star restaurants, NYC has something for everyone.  Or just take a meal to go and enjoy it in the park.  In addition to standard restaurant websites like Yelp, Menupages.com offers detailed reviews and menus for virtually every restaurant in the city.
  6. Consulates and the UN – New York is one of the most diverse cities in the world where one can hear a multitude of languages spoken just walking down Fifth Avenue. It is home to many consulates and embassies as well as the United Nations (UN). A visit to the UN to tour the compound and its history can provide an interesting insights on international relations while offering stunning views of the East river.
  7. Architecture – There are numerous architectural styles across the city and in the five boroughs that go back to the founding of the city in 1624. From Baroque to Art Deco to Modern Skyscrapers, the city offers every type of style and innovation in construction and development. Just grab one of the architectural guides to the city and walk through the areas of interest. You can pick up a guide book at any bookstore or online such as: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/aia-guide-to-new-york-city-norval-white/1111610971?ean=9780812931075 
  8. New York’s neighborhoods – You can make a list of different neighborhoods you would like to visit that you are interested in learning more about. Given the sheer size and diversity of NYC, it is a good idea to plan your visits in advance. The city is home to many prominent ethnic neighborhoods such as Chinatown (and an ever shrinking little Italy next to it), a Jewish Williamsburg and a Greek Astoria. Harlem is undergoing a new renaissance as a center of African American culture and history. Midtown remains a center of business along with Wall Street.  Meatpacking and the Lower East Side offer shopping by day and hip nightlife by night.  The upper east and west sides are residential bastions each with their own character.  Greenwich village is a warren of street offering shops and restaurants with the East Village serving as its edgier cousin.
  9. The Arts – New York is home to Broadway and off Broadway theatres where one can find virtually a play about anything. There is a Shakespeare theatre downtown as well as Shakespeare in the park performed during the summer months. The city boasts world famous performing arts stages such as the Joyce theatre, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Skirball Center at New York University, and the New York City Ballet. Live jazz performances are available almost every night at the many jazz clubs around the five boroughs as New York continues its legacy of jazz culture and music. And as for other types of music well one can include Carnegie Hall, The Radio City Music hall, and the Barclay’s Center and Arena.
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