Nestled in the lower-west side of Manhattan, you'll find a neighborhood that may not be what you'd typically expect from New York City. Here you will find historic brownstone houses and tree-lined streets. This is Greenwich Village, an eclectic, bohemian, counter-cultural enclave that has been shaking up the cultural, artistic, and political worlds since the early 20th century.
There are endless things to do in Greenwich Village, and taking a stroll with a sense of adventure may be the best way to discover for yourself all of the surprises that are in store. So, put on your most comfortable walking shoes, and get ready to discover the top things to do in this gorgeous area.
1. Take a tour
If it's your first time visiting, you may want to begin with a guided tour. There are plenty of options for curated tours for every interest
, whether you want to experience famous sites from TV shows or movies, love history, art, and architecture, or want to enjoy some of the tastiest authentic New York cuisine. If you've got your own ideas about what makes a great tour in Greenwich Village, consider hiring a private guide who will tailor a unique tour to your specifications of preferred points of interest and length of duration.
2. Enjoy a museum
Art lovers must pay a visit to the Whitney Museum of Art
. The Whitney, as it is nicknamed by locals, contains 25,000 pieces of media in their permanent collection, including drawings, paintings, sculptures, film, and more. Their focal point is 20th and 21st-century art, and they celebrate living artists. The Whitney currently features new pieces by 3,500 artists.
For a different type of Museum experience, stop by the Museum of Illusions
, where nothing is ever what it seems. Will your mind be fooled by the distorted realities of the optical illusions you’ll experience? Enjoy holograms, life-sized exhibits, and tomfoolery for all ages. Occasionally, magicians offer live performances as well, so check the website to see if one is available during your visit.
3. Step into history
Greenwich Village was once considered a rural retreat to the north of tiny New Amsterdam, the forerunner to New York City. As the city grew, Greenwich developed northward. Every street and building tells the story of days gone by, of former tenants and businesses, and strenuous efforts have been made to protect and preserve the historical legacy
. As you stroll through New York’s most walkable neighborhood, enjoy the architecture that creates a historical era timeline for the city’s development. Beautiful staples, such as the Church of the Ascension
and The Church of St. Luke in the Field
, have withstood the test of time. Observe repurposed businesses, such as Westbeth Artist Housing
Greenwich Village has more recently gained worldwide recognition through the many filming sites
utilized in both television and movies. Film enthusiasts can visit many of these locations for themselves – at least from the outside.
4. Enjoy green spaces
One of the locals’ favorite things to do in Greenwich Village is simply hanging out in one of the many parks located here. The largest and most famous is Washington Square Park
. The unmistakable Washington's Arch was built in 1891 to memorialize our nation’s first president and the park’s namesake, and it is the defining landmark here. In the summertime, the fountain makes a refreshing place to beat the summer heat. Any day of the year, you can drop by to let the kids enjoy the playground, watch artists and musicians at work, or relax while taking in all of the local sights and sounds!The James J Walker Park
is also a popular park for soccer, bocce, and other field sports. Sprinkled throughout Greenwich Village are several pocket parks. These shaded and beautifully landscaped oases in the middle of town make it easy to escape all of the noise and congestion of the city. Take a good book or a picnic lunch and enjoy tranquil Abingdon Square Park
or The Secret Gardens at St Luke's in the Fields
5. Unique shopping experiences
Greenwich Village offers two vastly different experiences for those who love to shop. If you are looking for famous designers and high-end boutiques, head north from Washington Square Park and up 5th Avenue. Here you will find some of the most exclusive, and expensive, designer retail shopping experiences in the world. Iconic names such as Versace, Dior, Armani, Prada, Gucci, and a host of others all have boutiques on 5th Avenue.
If you are looking for something more eclectic, head down Bleecker Street, where you are sure to find the unexpected. Local artists, vintage wear, and unique finds characterize Bleecker Street shopping, and if you need to refuel after all of that shopping, plenty of truly New York eateries can satisfy your hunger.
6. Greenwich Village after dark
New York Is known as the city that never sleeps, and that is certainly true in Greenwich Village! If you are looking for things to do in Greenwich Village in the evening, your biggest challenge will be deciding where to go among all of the entertaining options.
Theater lovers enjoy the dozens of off-Broadway theaters
, which offer a mixed lineup of live performances. If you are looking for a night on the town, there are restaurants for every style of cuisine and a lively nightlife scene on Bleecker Street. For live music, pay a visit to the Blue Note Jazz Club
. They offer early and late shows daily, and on weekends, the late-night Groove Series provides an opportunity for up-and-coming artists in R&B, soul, hip hop, and more to showcase their talents. Need to decompress with a good laugh? Pay a visit to the Comedy Cellar
. Typically, they offer showcase-style events with 5-7 performers each night. You never know who might show up on stage, and with 3-6 shows nightly, you're sure to find a show to fit your schedule.
There’s nowhere like Greenwich Village
You’ll always find plenty of things to do in Greenwich Village, whether you are a tourist on vacation or considering moving to the area. While you’re enjoying the neighborhood, if you find yourself wanting to learn more about Greenwich Village real estate, reach out to Kelly Robinson, a national award-winning local real estate agent. She will gladly answer all of your questions and help you find your home in this highly-desired community. Browse homes and condos for sale in Greenwich Village with Kelly, and give her a call today to learn more, or schedule a showing at (646) 808-5794.