Whether you’re a New York local or a first-time visitor to our fair city, there is so much to do and see in New York! Although it’s anything but comprehensive, this curated list of must-see sites will take you to some of the best hidden (and not-so-hidden) history spots in New York City. If you’re new to On the Ground History, this might be a good place to start.

Have a day in New York?

Here are the two places you need to go (quickly!) to experience a little slice of New York history:

  • New-York Historical Society, for some “big picture” New York City history
  • The Brooklyn Bridge, for a taste of 19th-century New York (& some pretty photos!)

Have a week in New York?

Here are five places you need to go to experience a tiny bit of New York history:

  • Central Park, for some fresh air & lovely landscape architecture
  • Brooklyn Bridge & Brooklyn Historical Society, because there is way more to NYC than Manhattan
  • The financial district & Fraunces Tavern Museum, for a colonial perspective (& good tavern food!)
  • American Museum of Natural History, because natural history is history too!
  • Tenement Museum & immigrant New York, for perspective on immigrant life in the 19th century

Are you a New York local?

Here are five off-the-beaten path places & experiences to check out:

  • Hamilton Grange, because Alex is New York’s favorite Founding Father
  • Merchant’s House Museum, for a peek into the 19th-century home of a wealthy merchant family
  • Brooklyn Navy Yard, for some excellent World War II and maritime history
  • Harlem, for its rich history (back to the 17th century!) and especially the Harlem Renaissance
  • The historic Marble Collegiate Church, for a walk down 19th-century 5th Avenue