Teeming with life, art, and vivacious energy, New York City isn’t only for the young and trendy. In the Big Apple, there are, in fact, many amazing sites for retirees with plenty of time or cash to spare. If you’re one of them, here’s a bucket list of must-see attractions and things to do in NYC.
A monument to the true grit and determination of New Yorkers, this 1930s architectural beauty has been a part of NYC folklore and countless Hollywood films for a reason. The Empire State Building is arguably the building that makes New York feel like New York. Just head to the area between 33rd and 34th Streets in mid-town Manhattan. The observatory is open late, so there’s plenty of time to stop at one of many little jazz bars nearby (like Winnie’s). Finally – go up to the observatory of the Empire State and see the skyline in all of its beauty. The last elevators depart at 1:15 am.
Featuring flora and foliage from around the world, these elegant gardens are a site not to be missed (and perhaps visited much more than just once!). The New York Botanical Gardens are open Tuesday through Sunday and New York residents can visit every Wednesday for free! The gardens feature workshops on everything from pruning basics to beekeeping and there’s a celebration for just about every season. Visit during the holidays to experience the grounds lit with charming winter decor; or, in April for the cherry blossom festival!
She’s been a familiar salutation for millions of immigrants entering the country for the first time, ever since she was erected in 1886. Take an NYC water taxi to Liberty Island and visit the Lady Liberty up close. The statue houses a museum, and one of the guided tours allows you to go to the top and enjoy unparalleled views.
The South Street Seaport Museum is open Wednesday through Sunday and is free to visit! There are indoor and outdoor attractions, including the museum’s main gallery, exhibitions, and fleet. The 1908 lightship Ambrose can be toured for free, or, set sail on the New York Harbor aboard the historic 1885 schooner Pioneer for $50 (senior discounts are available!).
New York has countless museums. The grand-daddy of them all is the Guggenheim on 5th Avenue. The mecca of modern art with Kandinsky, Miro, and Picasso within its walls, it has a lot to offer for all art connoisseurs. Elsewhere, the MoMa on W 53rd street is more than just a museum; films and live performances are part of the splendid mix of this modern haven for the arts.
Every public space is a declaration of enormity in New York City. With this in mind, visit Central Park, also fondly known as NYC’s lungs. This green space is where locals and visitors can go to unwind and revive themselves away from the smoggy traffic elsewhere. Here you’ll find sporting facilities, nature reserves, and plenty more (although the most common pursuit might be people-watching).
Just a short walk away from Central Park, you’ll find the famous Times Square. Busy, colorful, and full of restaurants, arts, and public entertainment, it boasts a special kind of controlled chaos that is for the young at heart.
If you’re a senior or a caregiver living near New York City, then we have you covered. Whether you’re looking for housing, support, or other services, you can find them all here! For our exclusive comprehensive list of the best retirement and senior living resources near NYC, start here: Top 99 Best Retirement and Senior Living Resources Near New York City
Originally published January 30, 2024