We all know that New York City has a lot to offer. Manhattan alone is home to big-name attractions, such as Central Park, the Empire State Building, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the High Line and One World Observatory; world-class museums, restaurants and concert halls; and the bright lights of Times Square and Broadway. With the help of our volunteers and staff, we've pulled together a list of some of our top picks for you to explore while attending SEED 2019. We'll be updating this page often, so be sure to check back for updates.
Discover Manhattan from Battery Park City to Upper East Side
Click on the pictures below for recommendations of activities and restaurants near the conference venue by Midtown, Central Park, Chelsea, Lower Manhattan, Battery Park City,and Upper East Side, to name a few.
Battery Park City
Upper East Side
What to do:
- Broadway is the bright beating heart of the NYC’s performing arts scene. No visit to the City is complete without experiencing the rousing entertainment available in Midtown Manhattan’s Theatre District, where dozens of historic venues stage bold new musicals, long-running hits and fascinating dramas every night of the week.
- Carnegie Hall* This world-famous concert venue is a New York City landmark and must-see music attraction. Carnegie Hall presents classical, jazz, folk, world and popular music with breakthrough and veteran performers.
- Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)* Forever at the forefront, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is not only devoted to presenting the best in contemporary art, but also to promoting the understanding of modern art and expanding the definition of what is considered art in the first place.
- Museum of Art and Design (MAD)* An artist-centered institution, its wide-ranging rotating exhibitions share a focus on process and materials and its broad programming features options for all ages.
- Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Walk the decks of the legendary aircraft carrier Intrepid, a National Historic Landmark, and see 28 aircraft, including the world’s fastest military jet.
- Times Square* Nothing can prepare you for the sensory overload the first time you step into Times Square. It's the place to catch the famous New Year's Eve ball drop, the glittery shows on Broadway and an array of other attractions.
- Rockefeller Center A visit to New York City wouldn't be complete without a trip to Rockefeller Plaza. The three observation decks at Top of the Rock showcase the City's spectacular skyline.
- '21' Club* Ranked among the top 20 most popular restaurants in New York City, '21' welcomes you with superb American cuisine, a Wine Spectator Grand Award–winning wine list and truly incomparable service in a convenient location just steps from Fifth Avenue.
- Le Bernardin Restaurant* Helmed by silver fox Eric Ripert, the kitchen turns out pristine plates of the sea’s finest creatures in a French style that acknowledges the classics but looks around the world for inspiration.
- The Russian Tea Room* For more than 80 years, the Russian Tea Room has been a second home for boldface names and intellectual elite, an enclave where actors, artists, writers, politicians and businesspeople plan deals and fete their Carnegie Hall performer friends.
- Sardi's It’s the perfect spot for a pre- or post-Broadway meal, featuring reliable fare like cannelloni au gratin, steak tartare and crabcakes; expertly prepared classic cocktails; dozens of autographed caricatures of celebrities lining the walls; and the palpable buzz of a place that’s seen its share of Big Apple history.
- Toloache With made-to-order guacamole, brick-oven-roasted seafood and an eager and knowledgeable waitstaff, the cozy Toloache is a charming little slice of Mexico off Times Square.
*Walking distance from hotel
What to do:
- Bethesda Terrace/Fountain Known as the heart of Central Park, this two-story terrace was built by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted and includes intricate carvings that showcase both the times of the day and the four seasons of the year.
- Strawberry Fields/Imagine Mosaic Named after the John Lennon and Paul McCartney song "Strawberry Fields Forever"The stunning black-and-white tile mosaic in the center of Strawberry Fields includes the word "Imagine" in the middle, a tribute to the singer-songwriter-peacemaker.
- Central Park Zoo* Animal lovers of all ages won’t want to miss the Central Park Zoo. A pioneer in re-creating natural habitats in urban environments, the zoo houses polar bears, sea lions, monkeys and more, including red pandas and other endangered species.
- Victorian Gardens Amusement Park* A traditional family amusement park featuring one-of-a-kind, handcrafted rides, games of chance, classic concessions, face painting, clowns and entertainment.
- Conservatory Water Originally planned as a reflecting pool for a conservatory that was never built, Conservatory Water became an attraction in its own right and is now best known as a spot to race and sail model boats.
- Delacorte Theater The summer home of the City's Public Theater and its celebrated annual summer event, Shakespeare in the Park, this 1,800-capacity, open-air theater was founded in 1962, and it has presented a repertory production of Shakespeare every summer since.
- Great Lawn Occupying 55 acres in Central Park, this Kentucky bluegrass–covered meadow is among the most famous urban green spaces in the world. It's also the site of many performing arts events throughout the summer months, including concerts by the New York Philharmonic.
- Lunch Box* The compact mom-and-pop joint has just a few counter stools, but patrons have the happy option of grabbing them to munch in Central Park, two blocks away.
- Cafe Fiorello* Thin-crust pizza and an antipasto bar arrayed with appealing vegetable, mushroom and mozzarella medleys have helped maintain its popularity over the decades.
- Barney Greengrass Since 1908, this institution's fish specialties have also made it beloved to locals, and it is often voted the City's number one deli. Soak up the old-school character of the place rated highly for shtick as well as Nova salmon on a bagel.
- Table d’Hôte This sweet bistro near Central Park is convenient to the Guggenheim, Cooper Hewitt and the Jewish Museum. At lunch, get a cheesy croque monsieur or a crab cake sandwich, generous on the crab. Brunch offers filling eggs Benedict and lighter items like seared salmon. At dinner, the Gallic menu expands to include country-style terrine, foie gras and roast chicken.
- Yura on Madison Tycoons, housewives, schoolchildren, nannies and the general proletariat are regulars at Yura—a welcoming, well-lit deli with prepared savory dishes, sandwiches, salads, boxed lunches, pies and pastries at not-outrageous prices.
- Pascalou This petite Carnegie Hill bistro feels plucked from southwestern France. The menu honors French classics (onion soup, duck confit), strays to Italy (seafood risotto) and ventures beyond (lovely tagines, Malaysian curry shrimp and scallops).
- Earl’s Beer and Cheese Squeeze through the young crowd to order from the bartender—craft beers as well as beer-cheese spread and grilled sandwiches bursting with cheddar cheese and pork belly.
*Walking distance from hotel
What to do:
- Gallery Hop Wandering leisurely through the art district (largely concentrated between West 18th and West 27th Streets, and 10th and 11th Avenues) is a quintessential part of the New York art experience, one that's defined by browsing exhibitions by both world-renowned artists and exciting unknowns in cool, pristine spaces.
- Explore the High Line Since the opening in 2009, the High Line has become a destination for sunbathing, sightseeing, snacking and viewing innovative art.
- Highline Ballroom This performance space is inspired by High Line Park and located in the trendy Meatpacking District.
- Story A “permanent pop-up shop”—a 2,000 square-foot space that changes its design, fixtures and complete inventory of merchandise each month, to go along with a new theme.
- Chelsea Piers Sports & Entertainment Complex Located on three historic Hudson River piers, Chelsea Piers is a 28-acre sports village with enough excitement for the whole family.
What to eat:
- Doughnut Plant The 35-seat space is decked out in doughnut-themed decor, including handmade pillows and tiles depicting the round fritters, plus an intricate ironwork counter molded from the hotel's original balcony railings.
Billy's Bakery The decor’s as sweet as the goodies at this quaint pastry shop, which sells a large array of cakes, cookies and bars.
- Del Posto Ristorante With high ceilings, a striking central staircase and opulent columns, Del Posto’s distinctive coolness seems equally at home on the edge of the Meatpacking District or in Vegas. The menu caters to lovers of experimental Italian cuisine and those in search of a destination for a romantic rendezvous.
- Chelsea Market Housed in the former National Biscuit Company factory building (where the Oreo cookie was created), Chelsea Market has been functioning as a hybrid urban public square/ high-end food court since 1997.
What to do:
- Trinity Wall Street The historic Gothic Revival Episcopal church (1846) offers daily worship services, and features original stained glass, sculpted bronze doors and marble reredos.
- One World Observatory There are a million things to experience in New York City and only one way to truly see them all. Start by ascending to the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere in less than 60 seconds; look toward the horizon and feel the City’s invincible spirit.
- The China Institute & Gallery is a cultural institution that hosts diverse programming including art exhibitions, performing arts, film, lectures, culinary circle, corporate programs, school of Chinese language and culture.
- Philip Williams Posters Vintage, new, art, photography—it’s all here for the perusing and purchasing, curated by Philip Williams’ staff.
- The 9/11 Memorial Museum tells the story of the events of 9/11 through monumental and authentic artifacts, first-person accounts and multimedia displays.
- St. Paul’s Chapel was founded in 1766 and celebrates its 250th anniversary in October. George Washington prayed in the chapel following his inauguration as the President of the United States.
- Explores some of New York's most historic sights Plenty of history remains, evident in evocative street names like Exchange Alley and Liberty Street, as well in the buildings and sights that will help you trace the area’s evolution.
- African Burial Ground National Monument Most New Yorkers have no idea that in the 17th and 18th centuries, hundreds of Africans were buried in a 6.6-acre burial ground in Lower Manhattan.
- The Rink at Brookfield Place This 7,150-square-foot rink, the premier outdoor ice skating destination in Lower Manhattan, hosts a lineup of festive activities suitable for all ages and skill levels.
What to eat:
- Eataly NYC Downtown A hub for all things Italian, Eataly is the largest Italian food retail market in the nation.
- Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place The 30,000-square-foot space provides seating for up to 600 guests with expansive views of the Hudson River.
- Pisillo Italian Panini Pisillo’s paninis are not of the hot-pressed variety. Because they get their bread delivered fresh daily from some of Bensonhurst’s finest bakeries, there is no need to crush it under a hot iron to make it taste good. The result is an authentically Italian, fresh sandwich that is not flattened into a hard, crunchy mess from a press.
What to do:
- The Skyscraper Museum is committed to the study of the past, present and future of high-rise building.
- Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust By providing the story of the Holocaust through the experiences of those who lived and died, the museum serves as a memorial and tribute to their heritage, and a lesson to be learned from the tragedy.
- Brookfield Place is the height of luxury shopping, dining and cultural arts in downtown Manhattan. The complex is positioned just south of Tribeca along the Hudson River waterfront and home to international fashion houses.
- The American Family Immigration History Center at Ellis Island, an archive of more than 65 million Port of New York passenger arrival records and 900 ship pictures circa 1820–1957, allows you to explore your family’s arrival in America.
What to eat:
- Parm Battery Park Parm specializes in sandwiches but also has a large selection of Italian-American dishes.
- 2West This Wall Street area restaurant features floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Robert Wagner Park, along with a bistro-style menu focused on straightforward preparations of American classics.
- Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar Perhaps the venue's biggest claim to fame—aside from the gorgeous views—is the Prosecco and Icepop, a beverage which pairs an alcoholic popsicle with a glass of the aforementioned bubbly.
- The Battery Downtown Manhattan’s largest public open space, this 25-acre waterfront park is a hub of outdoor activity.
- Museum Mile The cultural institutions that make their home along Museum Mile offer some of the City's finest collections of art, history, design and culture from around the globe.
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art Not only is the institution impossibly large, it has one of the most well-curated collections of art and artifacts anywhere in the world, showcasing paintings, sculptures, architecture, armor, instruments and costumes from every century and culture.
- The Frick Collection, a beautiful mansion-turned-art museum, is the home of many traditional paintings, including works by a number of famous artists like Monet and Renoir.
- Neue Galerie New York Founded by two friends with a shared passion, the Neue Galerie New York pays homage to German and Austrian art from the early 20th century.
- 92nd Street Y is a world-class nonprofit community and cultural center that connects people to the worlds of education, the arts, health and wellness.
- Barneys set the standard for the cool, upscale department store, and it lives up to its reputation. Each floor feels like its own boutique, offering cutting-edge fashion, jewelry, cosmetics and home furnishings.
What to eat:
- JoJo A lavishly gorgeous and perfectly refined townhouse is home to one of Jean-Georges Vongeritchen’s greatest dining accomplishments. It has a Michelin star, for those who are paying attention, and the artful cuisine is beautiful from concept to execution.
- Rôtisserie Georgette features rotisserie cooking plus micro-seasonal ingredients focusing on affordable luxuries such as white asparagus in spring, wild salmon in summer, fall game birds and black Perigord winter truffles.
- Felice 64 This cozy Manhattan restaurant showcases a relaxed ambience, with subdued lighting, exposed brick walls lined with linear shelves filled with wine, as well as rich, tufted leather seats.
- Cafe Carlyle A lasting favorite of socialites, politicians and business moguls, this intimate Upper East Side cabaret venue hosted Bobby Short for 36 years. Today, Steve Tyrell, Woody Allen and other celebrity guests perform regularly.
- Lexington Candy Shop Take a trip back in time at this original NYC soda fountain luncheonette, located 3 blocks from Museum Mile and The Met on the Upper East Side. Lexington Candy Shop, has been serving locals and tourists since 1925, and has been featured on Travel Channel's Food Paradise.