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Top Things To Do and See On The Upper East Side

Top Things To Do and See On The Upper East Side

Picture of Olga Belykh
Updated: 9 February 2017
The Upper East Side of Manhattan is a neighborhood filled with plenty of affordable and fun things to do on any given day. From sightseeing in Central Park to visiting various galleries and cafés, the Upper East Side has something for everyone.

Bethesda Terrace and Fountain

Overlooking the lake in Central Park, the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain is a beautiful sight to take in on a warm day. You can sit by the fountain or on the nearby steps to relax and people watch. The area also draws many talented street performers who entertain and charm nearby audiences. Also, be sure to look out for the Angel of Waters statue on top of the Bethesda Fountain.

Bethesda Terrace, Terrace Drive, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 310-6600

Museum Mile

Spanning across Fifth Avenue, Museum Mile begins on 82nd Street at the Goethe House German Cultural Center and goes up to El Museo del Barrio at 104th St. Comprised of 10 different museums, the Mile offers plenty of diverse exhibits and historical artifacts. During the Museum Mile Festival (which takes place annually on June 2nd), the museums are open free of admission costs to the public.

Museum Mile, New York, NY, USA

Steep Rock Bouldering / ©Steep Rock Bouldering
Steep Rock Bouldering / ©Steep Rock Bouldering

Steep Rock Bouldering

Steep Rock Bouldering is a great place to go if you’re looking for more adventurous activities. The venue allows its guests plenty of room to climb, and the routes are switched every month, providing some variety if you take advantage of their membership offers. The staff is friendly and helpful, letting newcomers feel at ease. Check the rates and hours on their website, here.

Steep Rock Bouldering, LLC, 1506 Lexington Ave., New York, NY, USA + 1 212 410-7070

Lexington Candy Shop /©Lexington Candy Shop
Lexington Candy Shop /©Lexington Candy Shop

Lexington Candy Shop

This luncheonette is a great place to visit if you’re in the area. Everything is made the old-fashioned way from scratch— from the soda to the malted milkshakes. Some of the house favorites include their sweet lemonade and strawberry pancakes. The retro restaurant captures a New York of the past, with original menus from 1925 framed on the wall next to vintage posters and photos.

Lexington Candy Shop, 1226 Lexington Ave., New York, NY, USA + 1 212 288-0057

The Frick Collection

The Frick Collection is an art museum named after Henry Frick, an American industrialist. The museum includes works by significant European artists such as Rembrandt, Botticelli and others. There are numerous permanent pieces, but, the Frick Museum will also often organize temporary exhibitions that rotate throughout the year. In the warmer months, it is also pleasant to sit outside in the courtyard and enjoy the space.

The Frick Collection, 1 E. 70th St., New York, NY, USA + 1 212 288-0700

The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden

Offering panoramic views of Manhattan, this roof garden is a must-see for anyone visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In addition to its scenery, you can enjoy small plates and cocktails. The roof garden also offers a different exhibition every year, allowing the guests to look at sculptures from new artists.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 5th Ave., New York, NY, USA + 1 212 535-7710

Café Sabarsky

Café Sabarsky is a great stop for anyone with a serious sweet tooth. The desserts are delicious, and though there sometimes is a line, it is worth in. The décor is also worthy of a stop alone, as there are numerous period pieces as well as a grand piano in the Café to look at. The menu gets its inspiration from old-world Vienna.

Cafe Sabarsky, 1048 5th Ave., New York, NY, USA + 1 212 288-0665

East River Greenway

The East River Greenway is a great place to take a walk or bike ride and enjoy the views. Despite being under construction in several places, it’s still a good place to unwind in the city. You can bring a book and park yourself on a bench for a few hours or just take in the views. This area is also less crowded compared to other portions of the greenway.

East River Greenway, New York, NY, USA

Gracie Mansion

As most New Yorkers know, Gracie Mansion, an old colonial house, has long been the home of the City’s mayor. With surrounding views of the East River, stop by to take a quiet stroll around the grounds. The mansion has undergone renovations throughout the years, but still holds a feel from the past. The mansion is also filled with various art pieces, and offers tours around the grounds of this historical landmark,

Gracie Mansion Conservancy, 88th St. and E. End Ave., New York, NY, USA + 212 570-4751


Sotheby’s is the perfect place to stop by and check out exclusive art before it goes up for sale at their auctions. In addition to auction pieces, Sotheby’s features multiple public exhibitions. The lobby is filled with gorgeous sculptures, which also continues on the 3rd and 10th floor. You can also grab a coffee on the 10th floor terrace café and take in the beautiful city views.

Sotheby’s, 1334 York Ave., New York, NY, USA + 1 212 606-7000