22 Reasons to visit NYC in 2022
There’s always something going on in NYC, and this year more than ever there’s a reason to visit. Here are 22 experiences for visitors to enjoy in the five boroughs this year. This includes new and upcoming developments and openings as well as New York City classics, with hotels, attractions, arts and culture, infrastructure, dining, Broadway and more.
30th Anniversary of NYC Restaurant Week:
NYC & Company will celebrate the dining industry with the 30th anniversary of NYC Restaurant Week, kicking off in July. The biannual event began in 1992 as a weeklong, lunch-only promotional event during the Democratic National Convention, and since then has grown beyond a one-week event to a four-week program taking place at a variety of restaurants from neighborhood eateries to high-end dining across all five boroughs.
More Places to Stay:
More than 9,000 new hotel rooms will be coming online in the City this year, including the highly anticipated Aman New York, Fifth Avenue, the new urban sanctuary located on Fifth Avenue; the Ritz-Carlton, NoMad, a new experience inspired by the essence of the new Madison Square Park; and the Hard Rock Hotel New York, a new property offering a backstage pass to the best of Midtown Manhattan, all expected to open this spring. Additionally, the Renaissance Hotels brand will open properties in Harlem and Flushing in the coming months; the Virgin Hotel New York City and Hotel Barrière Le Fouquet’s New York are expected to open this summer; Moxy Hotels will open properties on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and in Williamsburg, Brooklyn later this year; and The Fifth Avenue Hotel is expected to open this fall. For more, visit nycgo.com/hotels.
The Return of New York City Classics:
From world-renowned attractions such as the Statue of Liberty, to iconic skyscrapers and venues, NYC is home to many historic locations for visitors to enjoy. For over 90 years, socialites, politicians, movie stars and moguls have flocked to Bemelmans Bar, located on the Upper East Side at the Carlyle Hotel. The bar is best known for its extensive cocktail menu, nightly live entertainment and art deco decor. New Yorkers and visitors alike can also enjoy another neighborhood mainstay, The Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel, popular for its Afternoon Tea. Since relaunching in 2014, the timeless location has completely renovated the space with lush greenery and introduced a new American fare–inspired menu and grand bar serving craft cocktails. In Midtown Manhattan, visitors can find the original (and iconic) home of New York City glamour and entertainment, the Rainbow Room. Since 1934, the event space has hosted and served classic and contemporary American cuisine to presidents and some of the brightest stars in entertainment.
See New York City from Above:
Observatories have always been a part of the City’s DNA with classics like the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock. A few years after the opening of the remarkable One World Observatory, the City’s skyline welcomed Edge at Hudson Yards in 2020, which also recently unveiled a new, breathtaking way to take in the skyline with City Climb, the ultimate skyscraper adventure for thrill seekers looking to take in a view of the City from 1,200 feet above the ground. Last fall, Summit One Vanderbilt opened as the City’s fifth observatory, offering spectacular views. This year, a new virtual attraction debuted offering a unique bird’s-eye view of the skyline: RiseNY is an immersive, interactive experience, giving visitors a chance to view New York City virtually while suspended 30 feet in the air.
Go International Throughout the Boroughs:
Globally, New York City is known as one of the most culturally rich and diverse cities and is the home for many international citizens. Throughout the five boroughs, visitors can explore and taste the different cultures that exist within the City. From Little Caribbean located in Flatbush, Brooklyn, and Little Sri Lanka in Tompkinsville, Staten Island, to Manhattan’s Chinatown and Washington Heights, visitors can get a worldly experience in the unique, vibrant neighborhoods throughout the boroughs. Recently named as one of the “52 Places to Go in 2022” by The New York Times, the borough of Queens is home to a variety of international cuisines. Visitors can dine along the 7 train to expand their palate with an array of ethnic cuisines from Eastern European to Japanese. For those looking for authentic Italian cuisine, the Bronx’s Arthur Avenue is home to some of the best dishes in the City. For more, visit nycgo.com/neighborhoods.
A New Era of Air Travel:
The gateways to New York City have undergone exciting transformations including brand-new terminals at LaGuardia Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport. The new Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport features 35 gates plus new retail and dining offerings, including Shake Shack and FAO Schwarz. The new Terminal C will open at LaGuardia in the coming months. And later this year, Newark Liberty International Airport will debut an updated Terminal A, offering 33 new gates directly connected to a multilevel parking facility. Newark will break ground on a new 2.5-mile elevated guideway train system later this year, which will reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and ease traffic congestion. Terminal 8 at JFK International Airport will debut in December with 130,000 square feet of new and renovated space, serving American Airlines and British Airways. Construction will also begin this year on the New Terminal One at JFK, expected to open in 2026.
A Greener New York City:
Sustainability remains at the forefront for the City, with the newly renovated and expanded Javits Center debuting its state-of-the-art 7-acre green roof. The rooftop has become a sanctuary for area wildlife, including 29 bird species, five bat species and thousands of honeybees. Meeting delegates and visitors can schedule a tour to learn more about the facility’s effort in reducing energy consumption. Meanwhile, New York City’s newest public park, Little Island, located near the Meatpacking District, provides serene spaces for locals and visitors to explore, venues for live cultural performances and events, and views of the river. And Central Park, one of the world’s most iconic green spaces, has created a Central Park Climate Lab in partnership with the Yale School of the Environment and the Natural Areas Conservancy to develop new research and tools to help urban parks manage the severe impacts of climate change. For more, visit nycgo.com/green.
Brand-New Culinary Experiences:
Across the boroughs, visitors and locals can expect a slate of new restaurant openings and the return of New York City favorites. Washington Heights recently welcomed a new spot in the neighborhood, Dutch Baby Bakery, a woman-owned shop serving fresh seasonal breakfast pastries, tarts, cakes and artisanal bread, that has quickly become a local favorite. Rowdy Rooster, an Indian-spiced-fried-chicken fast-casual spot located in the East Village, opens today, February 22; Place des Fêtes, a Spanish-inspired restaurant, will open this month in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn; Makina Café, New York City’s first Ethiopian-Eritrean mobile restaurant, will open a full-service restaurant in Sunnyside, Queens, in early April; also in April, Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop, a 91-year-old Manhattan sandwich counter, will reopen under a new name, S&P; and Keith McNally and Daniel Boulud are working together to reopen Augustine under a new name this spring in the Financial District. For more, visit nycgo.com/dining.
Enticing Exhibits Debuting This Year:
Through August 14, the American Museum of Natural History is displaying Sharks, featuring life-size models, fossils, interactive exhibits and more. The National Museum of the American Indian will present Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe beginning March 11, a retrospective exhibition tracing the artistic development of one of the 20th century’s most innovative Native American painters, Oscar Howe. In April, Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure will debut at the Starrett-Lehigh Building. The exhibition will include over 200 never-before-seen and rarely shown paintings, drawings and artifacts to share the story of the Brooklyn-born artist. Beginning April 6, the Whitney Museum will be celebrating its 80th Whitney Biennial, Quiet as It’s Kept, featuring an array of intergenerational artists displaying a constellation of art and ideas that are present today. Fashion history enthusiasts can receive a lesson in American fashion this May at The Met Fifth Avenue, with the second half of the Costume Institute’s In America exhibition, An Anthology of Fashion launching featuring women’s and men’s dress from the 18th century to today. Also in May, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) will present Henri Matisse: The Red Studio, an exhibition focusing on Matisse’s The Red Studio (1911)—a painting that has remained among MoMA’s most important works since it was acquired in 1949—featuring never-before-seen archival work and related paintings and drawings. This June, the High Line will debut artist Meriem Bennani’s first public sculpture, Windy (2022). The sculpture was inspired by the experience of walking on the High Line. On July 1, the Brooklyn Museum will host its first survey exhibition dedicated to late artist and designer Virgil Abloh. The exhibition, Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech,” will showcase a mix of fashion, videos, sketches and more, spanning nearly two decades of the multi-creative’s career. For more, visit nycgo.com/museums.
Stars and Beloved Stories Return to Broadway:
There’s no business like show business, and this year, Broadway is going to become home for some of the biggest and brightest stars in entertainment. Hugh Jackman recently returned to Broadway for the revival of The Music Man; Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick will star in the Broadway revival of Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite, with previews February 25; on March 22, Darren Criss and Laurence Fishburne join the stage for the revival of American Buffalo; and Daniel Craig will make his anticipated return to the stage on March 29 for Macbeth. There are also limited revivals of shows coming to Broadway such as For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When The Rainbow Is Enuf, beginning April 1; Hangmen, with previews beginning April 8; and the best-selling novel The Kite Runner is coming to Broadway for the first time this summer. For more, visit nycgo.com/broadway
New York City As Seen on TV:
The most memorable and iconic television series set in New York City have recently returned to the small screen. With the return of Gossip Girl and And Just Like That, fans can explore the City that is home to Serena van der Woodsen (and the new Gossip Girl cast) and Carrie Bradshaw and friends. Gossip Girl fans can take one of the On Location Tours of the many sites where the popular series was filmed, including The Met steps and Grand Central Terminal; and Sex and the City fans can take an official tour, including dining at Buddakan or indulging in cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery.
Shopping in New York City:
This fall, visitors will be able to stop by the new Tiffany & Co. flagship store at 727 Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. The store will include eye-catching installations, exclusive products and the reopening of The Blue Box Café, where customers can enjoy breakfast. Visitors can also stop by New York City’s most iconic department stores, including Macy’s Herald Square, Nordstrom NYC, Bloomingdale’s, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue. For more, visit nycgo.com/shopping.
New and Evolved Museums and Cultural Institutions:
The Museum of Broadway, the first permanent museum dedicated to Broadway, will open in Times Square this summer and celebrate Broadway’s history while also giving a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Broadway productions. The Louis Armstrong House Museum in Corona, Queens, is undergoing a physical and programmatic expansion for a new cultural center, expected to debut later this year, which includes an interactive exhibit, archival collections, a 68-seat jazz club and store. And, the Bronx Children’s Museum, which celebrates the natural curiosity, creativity and compassion inherent in all children, is also opening this year after moving to a new home in Mill Pond Park. For more, visit nycgo.com/museums.
Festivals and Festivities Returning This Year:
NYC plays host to some of the largest events in the world across a multitude of industries. On the arts and cultural calendar, the Afrofuturism Festival is taking place at Carnegie Hall through the end of March, featuring more than 80 events, while Asia Week, which is a celebration of Asian art throughout metropolitan New York, occurs from March 16–25. NYCxDESIGN’s 10th Anniversary Festival will happen from May 10–20, offering a global stage for NYC’s designers, manufacturers, artists and makers to show their latest and greatest creations. Celebrations of art continue with the Tribeca Festival from June 8–19; the “Conscious Carnival,” Letsgetfr.ee, in August; and New York Fashion Week will return in September, setting the stage for designers worldwide to showcase their latest designs. For more, visit nycgo.com/events.
Food Halls Featuring International Delicacies and NYC Favorites:
Singapore Hawker Center, an enormous Singaporean-inspired food hall, will soon open in Midtown bringing authentic, traditional cuisine from 18 street-food vendors, including Douglas Ng of Fishball Story; Chris Hooi of Dragon Phoenix; and Ah Tai, known for his Hainanese chicken rice. This fall, the James Beard Foundation will also open an 18-stall, 16,000-square-foot hall at Pier 57 featuring local businesses and offerings from food entrepreneurs. Additionally, visitors arriving at the Moynihan Train Hall can now select from a dozen curated vendors at the Moynihan Food Hall, including Sauce Pizzeria, E.A.K. Ramen, Magnolia Bakery, H&H Bagels and Jacob’s Pickles—and can soon enjoy the full market, expanded food hall and three signature restaurants.
Explore What’s New on Staten Island:
There’s never been a better time to hop on a ferry and visit Staten Island. The acclaimed Clinton Hall opened its sixth beer hall in the City at the Empire Outlets alongside MRKPL Culinary Market, offering shoppers a robust selection of craft beer, wine, cocktails and cuisine. The brand-new Staten Island Ferry Hawks baseball team will begin playing in the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball this summer. The team was named in honor of the iconic ferry and the hawks that are native to the island. In addition to a new Staten Island Ferry fleet, the recently-launched St. George route on the NYC Ferry now offers a picturesque and convenient direct route to Manhattan’s Battery Park City and Midtown West. For more, visit nycgo.com/statenisland.
Year-Round and Citywide Celebrations of Pride:
As the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement, New York City is proudly the center of Pride celebrations each June, and throughout the year. HAGS, the first LGBTQ+ fine dining restaurant, will open its doors this year in the East Village. NYC also plays host to the annual NYC Pride March taking place on June 26. One of the largest Pride marches in the world, the annual event attracts tens of thousands of participants and millions of sidewalk spectators each year. The celebrations will continue in the boroughs beyond Manhattan, including the new Queens Pride Parade on June 5, the Brooklyn Pride celebration on June 11, and additional celebrations that have yet to be announced. For more, visit nycgo.com/lgbtq.
New and Revamped Performing Arts Centers Take the Stage:
New York City’s performing arts scene is making more than just a comeback in 2022. Those looking to discover up-and-coming artists will welcome back the return of Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater in Harlem this month after a two-year hiatus. The Apollo is also undergoing the first expansion in its history, with the opening of the new Victoria Theater next month. The theater will feature two new performance spaces and will be available for use by local artists and NYC-based art organizations. In April, The Barrow Group theater company will open a new facility in Midtown Manhattan that will offer over 13,000 square feet of training studios and a brand-new theater. And David Geffen Hall, part of Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic, will reopen its doors to the public this fall, after a complete makeover. For more, visit nycgo.com/performingarts.
Explore the Great Outdoors Within the Five Boroughs:
Experience the beauty of the outdoors without leaving the City, with a vast array of floral and nature-related offerings. This spring, view the annual blooming of the cherry trees at Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the East River walkway on Roosevelt Island. Since each tree only blooms for one week, check out BBG’s Cherry Watch to plan your trip. Don’t miss the horticultural spectacle of The Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, which will fill the historic Enid A. Haupt Conservatory with thousands of dramatically displayed orchids. Nearby, adventure enthusiasts can check out the Treetop Adventure at the Bronx Zoo, reopening this spring. And to catch some waves, visit Rockaway Beach in Queens, known as the City’s go-to surfing destination, which also offers playgrounds and other outdoor activities, such as basketball courts, baseball fields, volleyball courts and more. For more, visit nycgo.com/outdoors.
Rejuvenating Wellness Experiences:
Find tranquility at the City’s numerous wellness outposts in 2022. The seasonal Winter Spa at The William Vale hotel offers guests the ultimate spa experience with private red cedar outdoor saunas featuring panoramic dome windows and soaks in their red cedar hot tubs to relax and recharge. Governors Island offers your pick of 20 wellness experiences at QCNY—opening March 4—including several saunas, and massage and treatment offerings. Additionally, opening this spring, the spa at the new Aman New York hotel will offer three stories of rejuvenating experiences, including a 65-foot-long indoor swimming pool, two spa houses and an outdoor terrace.
A More Accessible New York City:
New York City is on a mission to make the destination more accessible to all. Some of the biggest Broadway shows including The Lion King, Aladdin and Come From Away have implemented autism-friendly performances, with adjustments such as reducing any jarring sounds and eliminating strobe or spotlights that shine into the audience. Contento, a restaurant that opened in East Harlem last June, was designed to be accessible for all. Accommodations include lower bar counters for those using wheelchairs, a QR code on the menu that people with visual impairments can scan with their phones to have the menu read out loud to them, and the bathroom on the same floor as the restaurant instead of down a flight of stairs. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum offers many free access programs for visitors with developmental disabilities, taking place on select Sundays throughout the year, alternating each month between virtual and in-person programming. For more, visit nycgo.com/accessibility.
22. World-Famous Sporting Events:
New York City is home to some of the greatest sporting events across the globe, for both spectators and participants. The NYCRuns Brooklyn Marathon & Half Marathon will take place April 24, offering runners the chance to explore the borough from North Williamsburg and along the waterfront, before finishing in Prospect Park. On May 1, bike enthusiasts can take to the streets in the TD 5 Boro Bike Tour, experiencing New York City streets without any car traffic. Since 1978, the top tennis stars have played in the US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, with this year’s tournament taking place August 29–September 11. And, the sporting event most synonymous with NYC is the TCS New York City Marathon, an annual 26.2-mile run taking place November 6 that also takes competitors through all five boroughs. For more, visit nycgo.com/sports.
The Key to NYC program mandates proof of full vaccination for staff and all patrons age 5 and older for indoor dining, indoor fitness, and indoor entertainment and certain meeting spaces. Patrons should visit each location’s website for additional information on safety protocols.
For an up-to-date list of what’s open across the five boroughs, visit nycgo.com/whatsopen.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.