Nestled between Central Park and the Hudson River, the Upper West Side is a quiet, residential respite from the buzzing energy of downtown Manhattan. Highlights include Lincoln Center, home to the Metropolitan Opera, and kid-friendly museums such as the Children’s Museum of Manhattan.The Basics
Whether you’re visiting the Upper West Side to enjoy its museums, for a stroll in Central Park, or to shop on Amsterdam Avenue, there are several options for exploring the area. Neighborhood walking tours provide historical context and single out hidden spots, while broader city sightseeing tours and hop-on hop-off bus tours typically highlight top Upper West Side attractions and are a good option if you’re pressed for time. Walking and pedicab tours of Central Park can help you navigate the 843-acre (341-hectare) green space, and themed tours—such as gospel tours and entertainment industry tours—offer a deep dive into NYC culture. Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Opera, theater, and ballet lovers shouldn’t miss a show at Lincoln Center, New York’s premier performing arts space.
- Central Park’s five visitor centers are a good place to ask directions or learn about general park information.
- Music fans gather by Central Park’s Strawberry Fields mosaic, honoring famed Beatles’ musician John Lennon.
The Upper West Side covers a large swath of Manhattan, from West 59th to West 110th streets, bounded by Central Park and the Hudson River. The neighborhood is easiest to access by subway. To explore Amsterdam Avenue and the Museum of Natural History, take the 1, 2, or 3 train to 72nd or 86th Streets. You also can ride the A, B, or C train and hop out on Central Park West (8th Avenue).When to Get There
With so much to do on the Upper West Side, how you plan to spend your time is the best way to determine when to arrive. To visit the museums and shop, plan to arrive during the day, on a weekday, to avoid Saturday crowds. Visiting at night is a great choice for dinner and an evening stroll in Central Park.
Visiting the American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History is a standout New York museum. Its numerous family-friendly exhibits celebrate biodiversity and the natural world. Find historic dioramas, taxidermied animals, and world-famous dinosaur exhibits. Aspiring astronauts should stop by the Rose Center for Earth and Space. The museum is open seven days a week, from 10am to 5:45pm.