So you’ve already been to the Top of the Rock, sailed to the Statue of Liberty, and moseyed around the Met. Wondering what’s left to do in New York? Instead of turning to the typical guide book that will recommend the same ol’ tourist traps, why not crack open a more unusual guide? Below, we’ve listed some of our favorite offbeat NYC guide books that will turn your trip from typical to unique.
Secret New York: An Unusual Guide by T.M. Rives
If you’re looking for unusual activities to do around the city, Secret New York may be the guide book for you. Odds are you haven’t yet deciphered ancient riddles off of tombstones or tried to visit some of New York’s forbidden islands. These are only two of the many quirky activities to choose from within Secret New York’s 400 pages. With this guide, you’ll never be bored.
Off the Beaten (Subway) Track by Suzanne Reisman
It’s hard to find a NYC guide book that isn’t Manhattan-centric. Often, if they do mention attractions in the outer boroughs, they always list the same one or two things to see. Although Off the Beaten (Subway) Track, does have a hefty section of less-visited Manhattan attractions, it also supplements it with a few decently stocked lists of cool sites to see in Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and even Staten Island. We can bet that you haven’t yet been to the Poppenhusen Institute or the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument. See those sites and more with Off the Beaten (Subway) Track as your guide.
NYC Bouldering by Gaz Leah
New York City probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think of extreme sports; however, reading NYC Bouldering by Gaz Leah will change your mind. Not only does this guide point out the city’s nearly hidden rock climbing boulders, it also explains the history tied to these sites. After rock climbing in Central Park, Fort Tryon, and Inwood Park, you’ll view New York City as more than a concrete jungle.
Quiet New York by Siobhan Wall
Keeping with the theme of breaking NYC stereotypes, Quiet New York will reveal a calmer side of NYC that you didn’t know existed. Discover a mix of gardens, cafes, museums, and cultural centers that will allow you to escape from the bustle of city life. The Mount Vernon Hotel Museum in Upper Manhattan, Dred Scott Bird Sanctuary in the Bronx, and Green-wood Cemetery in Brooklyn are among the places featured in this surprisingly dense book of quiet spots. Be sure to check it out if Times Square has got your head spinning.
Silver-Wheeled City: New York by Bicycle & Camera by Kevin Dann
Our list of unique NYC guide books would be incomplete without mentioning Silver-Wheeled City: New York by Bicycle & Camera. Written by our very own tour guide, Dr. Kevin Dann, Silver-Wheeled City leads readers through nine highly descriptive, guided explorations through New York that all can be done by bike. By the end of your trip, you’ll have a deeper appreciation of both New York City and your bicycle.
Experience all that New York City has to offer, and make it easier on yourself by stopping in to rent a bike with Unlimited Biking.