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Going local in New York

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New York is no monolith. Think of the city instead as a collection of neighbourhoods – each one more individual and vibrant than the last. Whether it’s culture, local eats, or outdoor pleasures that you’re after, travel from Manhattan to the outer boroughs and back again, and prepare to dive into some of the city’s most exciting and individual enclaves.

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Eating and exploring in Harlem

Few neighbourhoods in New York are packed with as much history, culture, and life as Harlem – and in the present-day, the Manhattan neighbourhood is as vibrant as ever. Harlem residents and more distant New Yorkers alike travel here for the longstanding soul food restaurants, where staples like fried chicken and candied yams are as good as they come. And beyond the food, no trip to Harlem would be complete without a visit to the National Jazz Museum or a night at the Apollo.

The best soul food in Harlem

What to do in the Meatpacking District

Shopping, dining, and clubbing: whatever you plan to do in the Meatpacking District, come prepared for high levels of glitz. A stylish competitor of the more crowded Fifth Avenue and SoHo shopping districts, Meatpacking’s boutiques are among the city’s most exclusive. As are its nightlife spots: come dressed to the nines to make it past the door.

Things to do in the Meatpacking District

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Visit the Bronx

Criminally underrated, New York’s northernmost borough offers up a wealth of opportunities to discover a different side of the Big Apple. There are the banner sights, like Yankee Stadium and the Bronx Zoo. But venture to the New York Botanical Garden, go on a hip hop walking tour, or explore the Bronx’s answer to Little Italy to see more of this eclectic borough.

Five reasons to visit the Bronx

Discovering Coney Island

Coney Island is everything you dreamed it would be: busy beachfronts, historic boardwalks, throwback theme parks and famous hot dog stands included. But this South Brooklyn neighbourhood is more than that, too. It’s also host to quirky parades and festivals, al fresco art museums, and minor league sports teams – and adjacent to the exceptional Russian eateries in Brighton Beach.

The ultimate Coney Island guide

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Brooklyn’s must-visit restaurants

Though Brooklyn’s many neighbourhoods each offer up their own charms, the borough is united by one thing: its exceptional culinary culture. Brooklyn pizza is, of course, one of the highlights. Dating back to the days of old New York’s coal-burning pizza ovens, the thin-crust, char-spotted specimens of today are worth crossing bridges and tunnels for. As are Brooklyn’s hipster restaurants, which also do their part to draw in the cool crowds.

The best pizza in Brooklyn

The Financial District

Name aside, there’s more to Wall Street and its surrounding environs than banking and bulls. Like celebrity chef-run restaurants, compelling museums, exceptional cocktail bars and stylish hotels. Enjoy a freewheeling tour of the Financial District, but don’t leave before paying tribute to 9/11 victims at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

A guide to the Financial District

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Image credits:

125th Street Subway Station, in Harlem © Osmany Torres Martín

Melba's © iStock: Thinkstock

The High Line © iStock: Lya_Cattel

Coney Island © Association for Coney Island Inc.

Roberta's - Millenium Falco © Roberta's

Wall Street at sunset © Maciej Bledowski

Yankee Stadium Subway Station © Wilson Valentin