27 Things New York is Known and Famous For

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The state of New York is most known for New York City, which is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. There’s something for everyone in this vibrant and exciting city, from iconic landmarks to world-class museums to Broadway shows. However, there are also other things that New York is famous for, including beautiful nature within the state. In this article, we’ll explore some of the things that New York City is known for.

What Is New York Known For?

New York is known for its towering skyscrapers, famous districts, and endless energy. From baseball and pizzas to Times Square and yellow cabs, there’s a lot to explore in the Big Apple. Amongst the metropolitan boroughs, New York is also famous for its nature including Thousand Island and Finger Lake regions.

The following are just a few of the highlights New York is known for, encompassing its iconic food to its culture and history. You can also find the best things to do in New York here.

Famous Food In New York


New York Cheesecake

New York-style cheesecake is richer and creamier than a traditional cheesecake. It has a higher ratio of cream cheese to eggs and usually has more sour cream or heavy cream. The filling is denser, so it stands up well to being layered.

The most common topping for New York cheesecake is fruit, although chocolate ganache, caramel, or whipped cream are all popular choices. There are many different cheesecake recipes out there, but the New York style is definitely one of the most iconic.


New York Style Pizza

You can’t come to New York and not try the pizza. It is thin-crust and cooked in a coal oven, which gives it a unique flavor. The first pizzeria in America opened in New York in 1905, and today there are thousands of pizzerias in NYC.

You can find all sorts of pizzas in New York, from the classic Margherita to more innovative toppings like avocado, truffle, and even lobster.

There are two main types of pizza in New York: Neapolitan and New York-style. They have some subtle differences such as Neapolitan pizza is traditionally cooked in a wood-fired oven and has a thin and crispy crust. New York-style pizza is cooked in a coal oven and has a thin and chewy crust.

No matter what your preference is, you can easily grab a slice of pizza in New York. It serves as both street and restaurant food.


Pastrami on Rye

A deli classic, New York is most certainly known for its pastrami on rye sandwiches. This succulent sandwich can be found in almost any deli in the city, each boasting its own secret family recipe.

For tasty pastrami on rye, you can check out Katz’s Delicatessen. This Lower East Side institution has been serving up sandwiches since 1888 and is world-renowned for its pastrami. The sandwich starts with hand-sliced, thick-cut pastrami that’s then steamed until it’s melt-in-your-mouth tender. It’s placed on top of fresh rye bread with a smear of mustard, and that’s it. Simple but oh so perfect.


New York Bagels

Bagels are another food that New York is known for. These round, doughy treats are boiled and then baked, giving them a chewy texture with a crisp outer crust. New York bagels are large and fluffy and often topped with things like poppy or sesame seeds.

You can find bagels just about anywhere in New York City, but for the best ones, you’ll want to head to one of the many local bakeries. Russ & Daughters is a legendary spot for bagels and lox. It is a family-run business since 1914.

History, Culture, And Traditions


Broadway Shows

Broadway is the live theater district in Manhattan. It’s famous for musicals and plays. The Broadway Theater District is only a small part of Midtown Manhattan, running from 40th St to 53rd St and from 6th Ave to 8th Ave.

There are 41 professional theaters with 500 or more seats. To be considered a Broadway theater, a venue must have 500 or more seats and be located between 40th and 53rd Streets, 6th and 8th Avenues.

Broadway productions are some of the most popular shows in the world. Famous musicals include The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Hamilton, Mamma Mia!, Chicago, The Lion King, and Jersey Boys.

Famous actors who have graced Broadway stages include James Earl Jones, Matthew Broderick, Viola Davis, Hugh Jackman, Julie Andrews, and Nathan Lane.

If you want to see a Broadway show while in New York City, be sure to get tickets in advance. Shows often sell out, especially the most popular ones.


Yellow Cabs

You can’t talk about NYC without mentioning the yellow cabs. You will see them everywhere, and they are a quintessential part of the cityscape. If you want to hail a cab, just stick your arm out when you see one with its “For Hire” light on.

They are mostly Ford Crown Victoria sedans that were phased out in other parts of the country because they did not meet new fuel emission standards. In NYC, however, they are still going strong. There are over 13000 yellow cabs operating in the city.

To get around other parts of New York, you can also take a ride in one of the city’s iconic green cabs. These are used to service the outer boroughs that are not served by yellow cabs. You can also take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage through Central Park or around Rockefeller Center.


NYC Subways

Operating since 1904, The NYC subway is one of the oldest and largest public transportation systems in the world. It is also one of the most efficient, with ridership traffic in the billions.

The NYC subway system has 36 lines and 472 stations which continues to expand. It is operated by the MTA, or Metropolitan Transportation Authority. If you are going to be using the subway a lot during your stay, it might be worth it to get an MTA MetroCard.

You can also take the bus, which is run by the MTA as well. There are over 4000 buses that service all five boroughs of NYC.


9/11 Terrorist Attack

On September 11, 2001, terrorist-piloted planes crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. The event shocked not only America but the world. It was one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in world history and changed the way America saw security, both at home and abroad.

Since then, New York has rebuilt and recovered. The One World Trade Center now stands in the place of the Twin Towers, and while the city will never forget what happened, it has moved forward.

In memory of the fallen and to honor the responders, the site is now home to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

The new One World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower, was completed in 2014 and now stands at 1,792 feet, making it one of the tallest buildings in the Western Hemisphere. There is an observatory where you can get some great views of the metropolitan city.

>Check Tickets To 9/11 Memorial Museum


The Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island Ferry is one of the most famous ferry rides in the world. It’s also one of the best ways to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

It runs between Manhatten and Staten Island. The ferry ride is free, and it takes about 25 minutes each way. The ferry runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

On a clear day, you can see the Manhattan skyline, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The Staten Island Ferry is one of the busiest ferry routes in the world, with over 20 million passengers each year.

New York Nicknames

The Big Apple

New York City is called The Big Apple because it is the most famous city in the world. It is known for its iconic landmarks like the Empire State Building and its dense population. John J. Fitz Gerald, a sports writer for the New York Morning Telegraph, gave it this nickname in reference to horse racing and it caught on as a way to describe the big city.


The City That Never Sleeps

The City That Never Sleeps is a nickname for New York City that was popularized in the 1920s by Broadway songs and shows. It refers to the constant energy and activity of the city. There is always something going on in New York City, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even the subway operates throughout the night albeit only for some lines.


The Melting Pot

The Melting Pot is a nickname for New York City that was given in the early 1900s when it was a center of immigration. It refers to the diverse population and cultures of the city. New York City is home to people from all over the world, and you can hear languages from all over the world spoken on its streets.

You will also find many ethnic districts such as Chinatown and Little Italy. These are interesting areas to visit to get a glimpse of elements from other cultures. Learn about the different traditions, find products from other parts of the world and most importantly, sample some delicious cuisines.

>Check Little Italy & Chinatown Food Tour

Famous Sports In New York


US Open Grand Slam

One of the four major tennis tournaments, the US Open is held in Queens at Flushing Meadows Corona Park. It is the only Grand Slam event held on American soil and attracts the biggest tennis stars in the world.

The tournament began in 1881 as the US National Championship, making it one of the oldest tennis tournaments in the world. It was first held in Newport, Rhode Island before moving to New York in 1915. It has been held at its current location since 1978.

During the two weeks of the tournament, the US Open attracts over 700,000 visitors from all over the world. If you’re lucky enough to get tickets, it’s a great event to attend.



New York is home to two Major League Baseball teams, the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. Baseball is one of America’s favorite pastimes, and it is especially popular in New York.

Both the Yankees and the Mets have a long history of success. The Yankees are one of the most successful teams in baseball history, with at least 27 World Series titles. The Mets are also a successful team, winning the World Series in 1969 and 1986.

If you’re a baseball fan, then you’ll definitely want to check out a game at Yankee Stadium or Citi Field. Even if you’re not a big fan of the sport, it’s still a great experience to see a game in person for the fans atmosphere.

Regions And Districts



Manhattan is the most densely populated borough of New York City. It is coextensive with New York County, one of the original counties of the U.S. state of New York.

The island is divided into three major sections: Lower, Midtown, and Uptown Manhattan. Some of Manhattan’s most famous landmarks include Central Park, Times Square, the Empire State Building, and the Statue of Liberty.

Manhattan is also home to many of the world’s tallest skyscrapers such as the One World Trade Center and the Chrysler Building. It comes as no surprise that this is the economic center of NYC.

With a population of over 1.6 million people, it is the most populous borough of NYC.

> Explore the City with the New York City Pass


The Bronx

The Bronx is the northernmost of NYC’s 5 boroughs and the only one located on the North American mainland. The other 4 are Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan which are on islands.

With an area of over 40 square miles and a population of 1.4 million people, it is estimated to be the 3rd most densely populated county in America.

The Bronx is home to Yankee Stadium, the New York Botanical Garden, the Bronx Zoo, and Wave Hill. It is famous for being the birthplace of hip-hop music, and therefore one of the main districts that hip-hop tours visit.


Finger Lakes Wine Region

The Finger Lakes region is one of the most beautiful and scenic areas in New York State. It’s also home to some of the best wines in the world.

The Finger Lakes region is known for its signature Riesling wines, producing over 85% of Riesling in New York. However, you can also find excellent Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.

There are over 100 wineries in the Finger Lakes region, so there’s definitely something for everyone. In addition, it is also a great nature area for hiking, biking, and canoeing. So whether you’re a wine lover or an outdoor enthusiast, the Finger Lakes region is definitely worth a visit.

Thousand Islands Region

The Thousand Islands Region is a group of 1,864 islands located in the Saint Lawrence River. It starts from Kingston, Ontario and stretches all the way to Alexandria Bay, New York. It forms part of the international boundary between Canada and the United States.

The area is popular for its fishing, boating, camping, hunting, swimming, and golfing. It is also a popular travel destination with tourists coming to see the Boldt Castle, the Thousand Islands Bridge, and the Rockport Boat Line.

The region is also famous for its peach and grape production.

Famous People From New York

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan is one of the most famous basketball players of all time. He played for the Chicago Bulls between 1984 to 1998 and helped them win six NBA Championships. Jordan is born in 1963 in Brooklyn New York before growing up in North Carolina.

He is also known for his time with the USA Basketball team, where he won two Olympic gold medals. Today, Michael Jordan is the owner of the Charlotte Hornets. He is also a successful businessman, with his own brand of sneakers and clothing.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the 32nd President of the United States, serving from 1933 to 1945. He was born in 1882 in Hyde Park, New York.

During his time in office, Roosevelt oversaw the Great Depression and World War II. He is also known for his “New Deal” policies, which helped to boost the economy and provide relief for the American people.

After his death in 1945, Roosevelt was succeeded by his vice president, Harry S. Truman. You can learn more about Franklin D. Roosevelt at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum, which is located in Hyde Park, New York.

Robert John Downey Jr.

Robert John Downey Jr. is an American actor, producer, and singer. He was born in 1965 in New York City.

Downey Jr. started his acting career in 1984, appearing in the film Tuff Turf. He has since starred in many films, including Chaplin, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man, The Avengers, and Sherlock Holmes.

Downey Jr. has received many recognitions for his work, such as nominations and awards in the Academy, Golden Globe, and BAFTA.

Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway is an American actress who has starred in many films, including The Princess Diaries, Ella Enchanted, and The Devil Wears Prada. She was born in Brooklyn in 1982 and grew up in New Jersey.

Anne Hathaway began her acting career on stage and made her big-screen debut in 2001. She has since starred in many films and has won several awards, including an Oscar for her role in Les Miserables.

Architecture And Landmarks

New York City is home to a ton of world-famous landmarks; below are just some of them but you can find a larger list of the districts, museums, and landmarks in New York City here.


Ellis Island & Statue of Liberty

A little over a century ago, Ellis Island was the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States. Today, it is a national monument and part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument.

The Ellis Island Immigration Museum tells the stories of those who came through the island, and the Statue of Liberty stands as a symbol of hope for all who see her.

The Statue of Liberty is one of New York’s, if not America’s, most recognizable landmarks. A gift from the people of France to America, the statue was built in 1875 by sculptor Frederic Bartholdi and engineer Gustave Eiffel. It stands 305 feet high on Liberty Island in New York Harbor and can be seen from as far away as Staten Island.

The statue is a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of liberty. She holds a torch in her right hand and a Tabula Ansata — a tablet evoking the law — in her left. The broken chains at her feet represent freedom from tyranny and servitude.

Today, the Statue of Liberty is one of the most popular tourist destinations and monuments in New York, with over 3 million visitors each year.

>Check Tours To Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty


Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in the world. It is located on the Niagara River which flows from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. The Falls is made up of three waterfalls: the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls, and the Bridal Veil Falls.

The Falls sits between the Canadian and US border. It is a popular tourist destination with people coming from all over the world to see it and a common day trip from New York. It is also a scenic spot for honeymoons and weddings.

The Falls is also known for its impressive hydroelectric power generation.

>Check Niagara Falls Day Trip


The Empire State Building

One of the most iconic skyscrapers in the world, the Empire State Building is a must-see when you’re in New York. Located in Midtown Manhattan, this masterpiece was completed in 1931 and stands 1,454 feet tall. It was the world’s tallest building until 1973.

For unbeatable views of the city, head to the 86th-floor observation deck. You can also take a ride up to the 102nd floor, which is the highest observation deck in the city. It is located on Fifth Avenue between West 33rd and 34th Streets in Midtown Manhattan.

Get your tickets online early as there can be quite a queue for access to this world-famous landmark.


Central Park

Central Park is one of the most famous parks in the world. It’s also one of the largest parks in New York City, at 843 acres. Central Park is a man-made oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle.

The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in 1857. It’s home to many iconic landmarks, including the Belvedere Castle, the Central Park Zoo, and the Strawberry Fields memorial.


United Nations Headquarters

The United Nations Headquarters is located in New York City. It was built in 1952 and is home to the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council.

The United Nations Headquarters is open to the public, and you can take a tour of the building and learn more about the work of the United Nations.

You can also visit the UNICEF Welcome Centre, which is located in the same building. The UNICEF Welcome Centre is a free museum that tells the story of UNICEF and its work for children around the world.

Many More Things New York Is Known And Famous For

These are just a pinch of what New York is known for. This is a state and city that has something for everyone. If you’re looking to explore some of the most famous landmarks in the world, then New York is the place for you.

From the Statue of Liberty to Central Park to the Empire State Building, there are plenty of iconic attractions to see in this vibrant city.

But don’t just stick to the tourist traps; make sure to explore some of the lesser-known corners of New York as well. There’s so much to see and do in this city that you could never hope to see everything in one visit. But that’s all part of the fun! New York is a place that you can keep coming back to again and again



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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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