Things to Do in NYC in One Night


You have one night left to see the city in all its glittering diversity. With so many directions to choose and types of nights to have, it’s easy to get distracted, or redirected, to other parts of the city. When you have one night to spend in New York City, make a plan of what places you would like to see and experience. If you get sidetracked and want to explore another area of New York, venture that way instead, but a list of interesting locations makes a helpful guide.

Brooklyn Bridge

This storied bridge–one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States and the muse for Walt Whitman’s famous poem–is as good as the stories that surround it. Take a walk or ride your bike over this bridge at night for a view of Manhattan like no other. Ideally, walk or ride from Brooklyn into Manhattan, but either way the view over the water is breathtaking. As of 2010, the bridge has six lanes for motor vehicles and a separate walkway, along the center line, for pedestrians and bicyclists. Take your camera, and a light jacket for the breeze.


There is nowhere in the world more like China than Chinatown New York. Teeming with locals, tourists, vendors, cars and bicyclists by day, Chinatown crowds thin in the evening. Walk through the neighborhood around 6 or 7, just as the crowds disperse and restaurants and small cafes swing open their doors to passersby. Stop in for a bite to eat at a Chinese bistro or pick up a sweet bun and a tea to go at a Chinese bakery as you stroll.


See New York City from the water. All year round, ferries and boats depart from Manhattan’s Chelsea Piers–Piers 59 through 62–on the island’s west side. One cruise provider, Classic Harbor Line, offers a sunset cruise with champagne, beer and wine included. As of 2010, prices start from $50 per person. If you would rather take the cruise as the last event of the night, consider taking the Full Moon Sail, also $50 per person, which lets guests absorb the Manhattan skyline aboard an old-fashioned schooner.

Free Outdoor Concerts

If you’re visiting New York City in the summer, check out free evening concerts. As of 2010, you can plan to catch performances in Stuyvesant Town, Prospect Park, Brooklyn–the Celebrate Brooklyn series–Central Park, Madison Square Garden and more locations throughout the city and Long Island. FreeConcertsNYC, a concert resource website, provides start and end dates for summer shows.

The High Line

One of New York City’s newest healthy lifestyle attractions is the High Line. Stretching along Manhattan’s west side, the park runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District all the way up to midtown, on 34th Street. Locals and tourists enjoy biking, jogging and rollerblading the paved trails throughout the day and into the evening.

The High Line was constructed in the 1930s to lift freight trains off the Manhattan streets below. A section of it opened as a park in 2009. Catch views of the Hudson River, the floral landscaping and the city life from the High Line early–the park closes to the public at 10 p.m.

About this Author

Mollye Miller is a freelance writer and photographer who began writing professionally in 2009. Miller’s poems and stories have been published in “Stop Sharpening Your Knives” magazine (London) and “elimae.” With a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing poetry from The New School in New York City, she now lives in Massachusetts.