Upper West Side, New York City Travel Guide
Upper West Side Summary
- Limited nightlife and relatively far from downtown nightlife scene
- Relatively far from New York's world-class shopping
- Stroller traffic jams
What It's Like
Safe, residential, professional, and full of families, the Upper West Side is sandwiched between Manhattan's Central Park and Riverside Park, running from West 59th Street up to West 110th Street. Beautiful low-rise brownstones blend with tall, swanky apartment buildings on the numbered streets that branch off Columbus Avenue, Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway, the area's major thoroughfares. Kid-friendly museums like the Children's Museum of Manhattan, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Hayden Planetarium make this a prime location for families looking to get outside the tourist crowds in Times Square.
Though certainly affluent, the Upper West Side is a bit humbler than the downtown neighborhoods -- think Seinfeld, not Sex and the City. Like anywhere in New York, great restaurants are easy to find. But velvet-roped nightclubs, fashion boutiques, and art galleries are replaced by sports bars, doggie apparel shops, and the Folk Art Museum.
Where to Stay
Hotels in the Upper West Side target a balance of families, couples, and business travelers -- basically anyone looking for a quiet alternative to the tourist traps in Times Square. But being a less popular destination also means that there are few hotels to choose from. Classy options includes the Lucerne, which offers tasteful decor and top-notch service. For families, the Beacon provides large, kitchenette-outfitted rooms for a reasonable price. For a small-scale boutique-hotel experience, check out On the Ave.
Upper West Side Hotel Guides
It might seem impossible for a great hotel to stay under the radar in New York City, where everything new and noteworthy gets hyped to death within, well, a New York minute. But the residential Upper West Side is often overlooked by tourists. It's a great destination for visitors who want to experience New York as the locals do, and it's home to a a few hotel gems that deserve more recognition than they get.