Fall is a special time when New Yorkers gather to embrace the changing of seasons at many great spots. Here are my top five picks for fall tourist attractions in Brooklyn and New York City:
1. The Highline
If you’ve never been west of 8th Avenue in Manhattan, you’re missing out on a beautiful green space above the bustling city streets. The elevated railroad was built in the 1930s to address the many deaths that were occurring along 10th Avenue (as trains had been running street level next to pedestrians, horses and automobiles) and operated until 1980. In 1999, the “park in the sky” was created as a tourist attraction. I recommend entering from the southern entrance at Gansevoort and Washington streets next to the new Whitney Museum. The A/C/E/L stop at 14th Street and 8th Avenue is the closest subway station. It is best to buy your drinks and snacks before you get on the Highline to avoid the tourist upcharge, but you can’t go wrong stopping at L’Arte del Gelato for a tasty treat.
2. Coney Island
Whether you’re there for the food, the beach or the amusement park, you can’t go wrong in Coney Island. You also have amazing events like the Mermaid Parade and Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. Luna Park is as classic as an amusement park gets. The Cyclone, one of the most famous roller coasters in the country, was built in 1927 and is registered as a National Historical Landmark. Walking the boardwalk is also fun and you can’t beat the food. You may not find the healthiest items, but that’s not why you go there. You’ll find comfort in the french fries and hot dogs at the original Nathan’s. The best access is taking the D/F/N/Q subway to the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue stop.
Built in 1913, this amazing structure started out as a hub for train travel and exhibitions. As train travel gave way to air travel, the traffic reduced and the building was not well kept. It got so bad that it was almost torn down in the 1970s, but a committee, led by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, saved the terminal and today, the gorgeous monument sees more than 750,000 people passing through each day. Grand Central Terminal is easily accessed using the 4/5/6/7/S subway to Lexington Avenue and 42nd Street. Joe Coffee is a nice spot to get something in transit.
Founded in 1838, this 478-acre final resting place is an amazing cross-section of NYC history. The cemetery, perfect for picnics and bird watching, is home to more than 560,000 permanent residents, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, William ‘Boss’ Tweed, Leonard Bernstein, DeWitt Clinton and Samuel F.B. Morse (yes, the morse code inventor). Not only is it a national historic landmark, but it is also a Revolutionary War historic site. The closest subway is D/N/R at 25th Street, but I prefer to walk along Prospect Avenue and grab an iced mocha and matcha pastry from Bread & Joe before entering the cemetery.
If you have never been, this park is an oasis in the middle of New York City that is less passive than Central Park or Prospect Park. On any given day there are several activities available for the public. Weekdays you can play ping-pong, Pétanque, golf and chess. There are also outdoor movies, yoga on the lawn and concerts. Little would you know that this was a former potter’s field, the city’s reservoir and eventually a park. Onsite there are plenty of things to eat and drink, but I would recommend a waffle from Waffles & Dinges. The 7/B/D/F/M stop at Bryant Park and 42nd Street is your best subway access.