Take in the city skyline from a rooftop bar at a trendy downtown hotel, dine on Nordic cuisine at a cutting-edge NoHo restaurant or see previews of a soon-to-be hit Broadway show.
There's a lot more to New York City than the Top of the Rock and Madison Square Garden. Sometimes, it's hard to keep up with what's cool in a city that seems to change on a daily basis, so we've provided you with some buzzworthy spots around town.
To keep up with current events, such as Restaurant Week and other timely happenings, check out New York City's tourism site, nycgo.com.
Staying overnight is the best way to see the city at all hours, and these hotels offer more than just rooms. Some have lobbies that double as art galleries, or poolside restaurants. If you don't want to spend the night, enjoy a meal or have a drink at one of these new hotels.
In the Meatpacking District, the Dream Hotel (355 W. 16th St., 212-229-2559, dreamdowntown.com; doubles from $365, promotional rates vary) has a rooftop bar, steak joint and Romera (romeranewyork.com), which serves up haute holistic cuisine. Go for a swim or relax with a drink poolside before setting out to explore The High Line, Chelsea galleries and other funky places on the West Side.
A new Times Square hotel, Yotel (570 10th Ave., 646-449-7700, yotel.com/hotels/new-york-city; rooms from $99), has an upscale appeal and a futuristic vibe -- the hotel is home to Yobot, the luggage robot. At the Yotel, you can choose from one of 669 "cabins," ranging from Premium, First Class and VIP Cabin Suites (with billiard tables). You don't have to spend the night to enjoy an evening at Four, its large terrace bar and restaurant.
Just a short walk from Penn Station is the ultimate in trendy, Ace Hotel (20 W. 29th St., 212-679-2222, acehotel.com/newyork, "medium" rooms from $359). The Ace is a hip alternative to chain hotels, with a graffiti-filled lobby with couches that seem perpetually filled with MacBook-carrying hipsters sipping Stumptown Coffee. The hotel also is home to two restaurants from English chef April Bloomfield: the meat lover's The Breslin Bar and Dining Room (thebreslin.com) and fish lover's The John Dory (thejohndory.com).
For a night of luxury, stay at the Setai New York (400 Fifth Ave., 212-695-4005, capellahotels.com/newyork; standard rooms from $545). With espresso makers in every room, the Setai was recently ranked No. 1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of top hotels in New York City. The hotel houses the restaurant Ai Fiori (aifiorinyc.com) and the Auriga Spa (auriga-spa.com).
Located in Chelsea's London Terrace Gardens, La Promenade des Anglais (461 W. 23rd St., 212-255-7400, lapromenadenyc.com) has French entrees with an Italian twist from chef Alain Allegrett. Indulge in a dinner of wild boar or stick with a pasta dish, but you won't be disappointed at this restaurant, which is open for lunch, brunch and dinner.
Or head to the always swanky Upper East Side for chef John DeLucie's continental cuisine at the newly opened Crown (24 E. 81st St., 646-559-4880, crown81.com), housed in a 1930s mansion. Sip on a Tom Collins and share some foie gras at this new restaurant that feels like a venerable classic, conveniently located steps from Manhattan's museum mile.
Those who prefer a downtown atmosphere must check out the hot NoHo restaurant of the moment. Acme (9 Great Jones St., 212-203-2121, acmenyc.com), a onetime NYC staple, has recently reopened and reinvented itself with an innovative Danish chef, Mads Refslund. Dine on Arctic char from this Nordic-inspired menu -- and don't forget to save room for some Danish doughnuts.
You can also enjoy a cozy meal at the neighboring Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria (53 Great Jones St., 212-837- 2622, ilbucovineria.com), a market, bakery, wine bar and restaurant, where you can dine on Italian cuisine in an intimate atmosphere featuring many house-made products, such as cured meats.
Instead of venturing into one of those old-school Italian restaurants on Little Italy's Mulberry Street, get a table at Parm (248 Mulberry St., 212- 993-7189, parmnyc.com), a new spot run by the guys behind the buzzed-about Torrisi Specialties next door. With a menu of pizza knots and standard Parm sandwiches and platters, this Italian comfort food will satisfy any foodie. They don't take reservations, so get there early.
Step back in time with a visit to the newly expanded Lower East Side Tenement Museum (103 Orchard St., 212-982-8420, tenement.org). The museum is housed in a restored historic tenement and invites guests to explore the building through a series of guided tours of apartments depicting different immigrant homes. Last fall, the museum opened the Sadie Samuelson Levy Visitor and Education Center across from the museum. The new 10,000-square-foot space has a kitchen for food demonstrations, a theater and a new learning gallery.
Continue the New York City history theme on the Upper West Side at the New-York Historical Society Museum and Library (170 Central Park W., 212-873-3400, nyhistory.org). One of New York City's oldest museums recently reopened after an extensive three-year renovation, the Historical Society has added many interactive exhibits and a theater. Focusing on New York history through an extensive collection of art and artifacts, the museum now features an exhibit on the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery. The "Urban Views" exhibit features views of American cities through a collection of maps, prints and photographs from the 18th century to the present day. If you have kids in tow, see the new children's gallery and library.
For a lesson in American art history, explore the new American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1000 Fifth Ave., 212-535-7710, metmuseum .org). Closed for the past four years for renovation, the wing has 26 stunning new galleries focused on American art of the 18th through the early 20th century. Check out classics such as Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze's 1851 painting "Washington Crossing the Delaware."
For American art of a more recent vintage, head to the Museum of Modern Art (11 W. 53rd St., 212-708-9400, moma.org) for the buzzed-about exhibit of work by NYC photographer Cindy Sherman, opening Feb. 26. The 170-photo retrospective covers Sherman's career from the 1970s to the present, showcasing her self-portraits inspired by old films and newspaper images, where Sherman poses as the model and transforms herself into various characters, taking on the role of both photographer and subject.
Skip the sports bar and head to Birreria, the rooftop beer garden at Eataly (200 Fifth Ave., 212-229-2560, eatalyny.com/eat/birreria), open year-round. Have freshly brewed cask ales from Dogfish Head, Baladin and Del Borgo (they also brew beer on the premises), and dine on house-made sausage and other tasty treats, including a menu of meats and cheeses at this festive brewery and restaurant above the city's famed Eataly market.
Wine lovers can expand their knowledge of wine at Corkbuzz (13 E. 13th St., 646-873-6071, corkbuzz.com), which pegs itself as a wine studio and includes a bar and education center, where you can learn wine basics or get a lesson in French, American and various regional vintages, as well as good food pairings. With more than 35 wines by the glass and some 200 bottles, you can sip a Burgundy or Champagne while browsing through the wine books at Corkbuzz's library.
Want tickets to the hot seats in town? These are new shows that everyone's talking about.
"Once" (oncemusical.com) is based on the Academy Award-winning 2006 musical film about an Irish street musician and a Czech immigrant and their love of music. Begins previews Feb. 28.
The Arthur Miller classic "Death of a Salesman" (deathofasalesmanbroadway.com) is in previews and opens March 15 for a 16-week run; the cast includes Philip Seymour Hoffman as Willy Loman in the revival of this timeless family drama.
See Stockard Channing in the hot new play of the season, "Other Desert Cities" (lct.org), Jon Robin Baitz's drama about a family reconnecting during the Christmas holidays in Palm Springs. The cast also includes Judith Light.
For a trip to Neverland, book preview tickets to "Peter and the Starcatcher" (peterandthestarcatcher.com), which tells the story of how Peter Pan became the boy who refused to grow up. Previews begin March 28.
Fashion favorite NYC-based label Haute Hippie from designer Westcoat Pound has opened its first retail store (9 Prince St., 212-431-0101, hautehippiestore.com,) showcasing a collection of posh, elegant and chic clothes with a bohemian edge. Filled with high-end dresses, bags and jewelry, this Soho shop will make any fashionista drool. For your weekend wardrobe, the store also houses Haute Hoodie, casual wear for men and women.
In need of housewares, stationery or pocketbooks in bright prints? London designer Orla Kiely, known for her fun patterned wallpaper and bags, has finally opened her first New York City shop, located in Soho (5 Mercer St., 212-755-8340, orlakiely.com/usa).