5 Places to Explore Solo in New York City

Today is the first day of March, marking almost a full year since we shut our doors, created our pods, and adapted a mask into our everyday wardrobe. Long gone are the days of house parties, clubbing, and the occasional Sunday afternoon movie theatre trip. So how can we keep ourselves occupied while still adhering to CDC guidelines? Fear not! Your weekly trip to the grocery store and your daily walk around the block can soon be replaced by these fun “day trip” ideas! Here are four safe and socially distant places to explore solo.

  1. 1. Pier 35, South Street 

    If you’re by the Lower East Side/East Village area, you might want to visit the swings on Pier 35. This collaboration by SHoP and Ken Smith Workshop is part of their redevelopment of the East River Waterfront Esplanade. The swings offer a really lovely and peaceful view of both the Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge, as well as the Brooklyn Skyline. Also in the area is a habitat for restoring ribbed and blue mussels, aptly named “mussel beach”, visible through a cutout in the pier.

  2. 2. South Street Seaport

    My absolute favorite place to visit in lower Manhattan is South Street Seaport. This historic landmark was first established in 1625 by the Dutch West India Company. Now, it’s home to a bookstore, a farmer’s market, and multiple boats, including the W.O. Decker from 1930 and the Wavertree, a Freighter from 1885. Make sure to check out Schermerhorn Row, early 19th century mercantile buildings that now hold multiple stores, restaurants, and the south street seaport museum. Also, if you find the right door, there’s a secret hidden storefront, preserved almost exactly how it was in the 1800’s.

  3. 3. North End Ave and Vesey St

    Right down the block from the One World Trade, you’ll find the Irish Hunger Memorial. It’s a little manmade park right by the water. Everything you find here, from the stones to the soil to the plants were all transported from Ireland to be used in this park. The purpose of it is to serve as a tribute to all those effected by The Great Hunger, both those who died and those who fled Ireland to try to make a better life in America.

  4. 4. 250 Vesey St

    Behind the Brookfield Mall, you’ll encounter the North Cove Yacht harbor. Here, you’ll get to see a really beautiful view of Brooklyn, Ellis Island, and The Statue of Liberty. In the spring and summertime, this is the place where people will park their boats. You’ll see all kinds, from little dinghy boats to yachts. At night, lamposts light the concreate walkway and create a romantic atmosphere.

  5. 5. Belvedere Castle

    My favorite part of Central Park is Belvedere Castle. Before quarantine, you could actually go inside, but you can still see the view over the lake from the courtyard and see a bit of the Delacorte, the famed theatre where Shakespeare in the Park usually takes place. This castle was envisioned by Calvert Vaux in 1869 as a viewing platform. Also worth a visit in Central Park is the mall and literary walk, the Loeb boathouse, and the gorgeous Conservatory Garden.

New York is a vibrant and historical community with an abundance of outdoor spaces for you to explore. Winter is ending, the weather is getting nicer, and soon it will be nearly impossible to stay indoors. Pack a lunch, wear your mask, and find your favorite quiet place in the City.