New York Insider – Guide to the Best Jazz Clubs NYC

By Go City Expert

If you like jazz, New York does not disappoint – from big names to up-and-comers the Big Apple has it all

The music scene in New York is second to none. Many of the biggest globally recognised acts grace this capital with their presence frequently and you’ll find world-class residencies in some of the smallest clubs – you just need to know where to find them... If you’re looking for jazz clubs NYC is the place to find them.

Dizzy's Club

Not many jazz clubs promise a vista overlooking Central Park and Columbus Circle which is only one of the reason’s why Dizzy’s Club in the Time Warner Centre is a must-visit. The venue will make you feel like you’ve walked onto a movie set with its modern clean lines, big windows and dark and tonal décor. While it may look overly prestigious, the atmosphere is warm and welcoming, and it’s been championed as the best audio experience of any jazz club New York. Historically, it has boasted all the big-names like Wynton Marsalis, Paquito d’Rivera, Mary Stallings, and Terry Waldo to name a few. Top tip: If you’re planning a visit for the holidays, book tickets for Christmas Eve with Barry Harris to get you in the spirit.

Location: 10 Columbus Circle (Upper West Side)
How to get there: Subway: A, C, B, D, 1 to 59th St–Columbus Circle
Opening hours: Set times at 7.30pm & 9.30pm and late-night sessions Tues-Sat 11.30pm


Famous for hosting Les Paul for almost 15 years, Iridium will always be a jazz club New York can be proud of. Forever a full house, this bustling Broadway club has been around since the early 90s and has undergone numerous expansions and renovations to allow for its growing audience. Its popularity has never waned and on its wall of fame are acts like Kenny Garrett, Jacky Terrasson and Kenny Barron. Nowadays you can catch names like Jimmy Scott and Mike Stern so make sure to get there early, this place is known far and wide.

Location: 1650 Broadway (Midtown)
How to get there: Subway: N, Q, R to 49th St; 1 to 50th St
Opening hours: Weds-Mon 7pm – Midnight

Nublu Classic

If you’re looking for an ‘insiders’ only jazz New York experience, then Nublu is the one. Nestled in the hipster Alphabet City in East Village, it’s a blink-and-you-miss-it kind of place. Look out for a small blue light to indicate you’ve fount it and step inside to a vibrant scene of offbeat jazz and avant-garde names. If you plan your visit on a Wednesday, you’ll be in luck for some live Brazilian music. Due to its popularity, it has expanded over to its sister Nublu 151 a few blocks away, where you’ll also find a top line up of live acts. Tip: it’s cash only – so make sure you bring plenty, especially for the bar!

Location: 62 Ave C (East Village)
How to get there: Subway: F to Lower East Side–Second Ave
Opening hours: Mon–Thu & Sun 5pm–2am; Fri & Sat 5pm–3am


Eponymously named after Milton “Mezz” Mezzrow, this is one of the most iconic basement jazz clubs NYC has to offer. Run by musicians for musicians, Mezzrow is a relaxed environment where jazz aficionados can enjoy some of the best jazz pianists in the city in an intimate atmosphere. Mezz himself was one of the most renowned musicians of the Chicago jazz scene in the 1920’s and played with the likes of Louis Armstrong, King Oliver and Jimmy Noone – to name a few. In his legacy, Mezzrow pays homage to this legendary musician with acts like Jon Davis, Spike Wilner and Pasquale Grasso.

Location: 163 West 10th Street (Greenwich Village)
How to get there: Subway: 1, 2 to Christopher Street
Opening hours: Sets at 8pm, 9.30pm, 11pm and Midnight (after-hours)


When you think of New York jazz, an image of a dimly lit basement with tables packed knee-to-knee springs to mind. Well, that’s exactly what a night at Smalls promises. Here you’ll find rising talent in the New York jazz scene experimenting with a new flair and modern take on bebop and hard bop as well as more contemporary fusions. It’s a cosy space with only a 60-guest capacity, and it’s popular with the locals, too, so make sure to get there early. You won’t get dinner here, but you will find beer on tap, so settle in for the night – you’re always guaranteed a good time. To get a feel for the sets, check out their previously recorded live shows on their website. Tip: if you stay there long enough, chances are you’ll get a seat throughout the night even if it’s full!

Location: 183 West 10th Street (Greenwich Village)
How to get there: Subway: 1 to Christopher St–Sheridan Sq
Opening hours: 7.30pm –; 10.30pm – 1am; 1am – 4am

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Things to do in Flushing New York

We can’t quite explain it, but there’s just something about Flushing. Located just across the East River, the neighborhood is home to some of the most exciting activities and attractions in the city. Whether you’re looking to check out the interesting historical landmarks, taste some incredible Chinese food, or have your mind blown by an entirely unique museum exhibit, you’ll find countless reasons to love the area. Boredom is something you won’t experience here for sure. So, if you’re planning to make the visit, have a read through our list of the best things to do in the area and then see how The New York Pass® can make your experience even better! Whatever you choose to do, we promise you won’t leave disappointed! Explore the Area Recognized for its vibrancy and diversity in culture, New York is home to the biggest Chinese population outside of Asia. Though many tourists flock to Manhattan Chinatown, the city has nine whole iterations within its state boundaries! We love Flushing’s version of this high-energy ethnic enclave for its lower price points and an endless array of enticing restaurants. Seriously, as the largest Chinatown in New York, this place is the prime dining destination in the area. You’ll find everything from Peking duck puns, lychee bubble tea, and mooncakes in every flavor right here. Don’t mind if we do! Originally created as part of the 1939 New York World’s Fair, the garden continues to inspire and delight visitors with its colorful dazzling displays. Open all year round, this stunning urban oasis offers 39 acres of greenery to be discovered – we couldn’t think of a better way to spend a sunny New York afternoon! Whether you’re a nature lover, or just simply a lover of pretty things, this is the place to be. Before planning your visit, we recommend checking the website for any traditional festivities, special events, or interesting programs being held. If you’re looking for artistry and culture in Flushing, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! Adapted from the New York State Pavilion, Queens Theatre has been quenching the community’s thirst for the performed arts for quite some time. These days, you can catch everything from classic plays and side-splitting comedians to musical and dance performances, all under the same roof. With so much choice, you could go every night if you wanted to! Learn Something New Those looking to learn more about the background of the area should appreciate the next item on our list. Situated at 137th Street, the Lewis Latimer House Museum once served as a home to the African-American inventor until the very time of his passing. Today, the site is open to all visitors, presenting exhibitions about his greatest achievements and fascinating life and ancestry. A total delight for history buffs and science geeks alike, this place presents a great educational experience for those of all ages. Don’t miss out! Looking for a great day out that’s both fun and educational? Well, look no further. Located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, the New York Hall of Science seeks to cultivate curiosity and wonder in the world around us. Breaking away from the typical museum experience, the institute presents more than 450 immersive displays which work to bring visitors into the learning process. Fan favorites include Rocket Park mini golf, the Design Lab, and the award-winning 60, 000 square-foot Science playground. Perfect for those traveling with family, this place makes for the ultimate day trip. Another one of our favorite things to do in Flushing is visiting the Queens Museum of Art. Founded in 1972, the gallery offers an interesting cultural experience to remember. Though it isn’t quite a household name, this place is well worth the visit for its iconic Panorama of the City - a scale model of New York that was built for the 1964 World’s Fair, and is continuously updated since then. Other Highlights include its huge map of the city's water supply system and a collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass. Hey, whilst you’re there, why not try to place yourself on the Panorama? Visit Some Interesting Landmarks You don’t have to travel to India to be captivated by beautiful Hindu temples. In fact, the Hindu Temple Society of North America is recognized as one of the very formations of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. Thankfully for us, this unique historical gem welcomes visitors to view its intricately carved stone columns and religious shrines. Whilst you’re there, we also suggest checking out its canteen basement, which is known for serving delicious South Indian cuisine. This place feeds a whopping 4, 000 people a week – and who are we to question that many people? Flushing is dotted with historic structures dating way back to the 17th and 18th centuries – you just need to know where to look. One of our favorite hidden gems in the area is the Flushing Quaker Meeting House for its long, storied history. Built in 1694, the building is recognized as the oldest house of worship in NYC, and a rare remaining example of ecclesiastical architecture. Visitors can take tours to view its timeworn floorboards, wooden benches and handcrafted ceiling beams. Since the Meeting House still serves as a house of worship, we recommend modest dress. We love this place because it’s impossible to leave without having learned something new! Ready to explore? Enjoy the best of NYC with the The New York Pass®. You’ll also be able to visit attractions all over New York for one low price.
Sarah Harris

Things To Do In NYC With Teenagers On Vacation

Top 10 Things to Do in NYC With Teenagers on Vacation When you are traveling with teenagers on a vacation to NYC, you'll probably have to make some concessions to a typical itinerary; teens are natural thrill seekers with age-related interests that are beyond understanding to most adults. That being said, there are plenty of things to do with teens in New York City without hearing, “I’m bored” a thousand times a day. To help you out, we have created a top 10 list of the most amazing, teen-friendly things to do when vacationing in the Big Red Apple (that you'll enjoy doing, too). Free Entry with The New York Pass® Free entry to many of these popular New York attractions and activities are included on The New York Pass®. Used by over 3.5 million travelers, the New York Pass is the ultimate sightseeing pass, which includes admission to 90+ attractions, Fast Track Entry at select attractions, a free guidebook, & much more. Learn more about the New York Pass benefits & how to save up to 70% off attractions. On Location Tours If your teen goes crazy for celebrities the On Location Tour should be at the top of your list. New York City is the filming location for hundreds of movies and television shows. As a result, there are ample opportunities to run into celebs for photo ops. Better yet, take the On Location Tour to hit up the most sought-after filming sites. There is a stop for Gossip Girls, Amazing Spider-Man, Glee, and Friends, plus dozens more. Admission: On Location Tours: Central Park TV & Movie Sites Walking Tour tickets are included with the New York Pass. Madame Tussauds Wax museums have this way of bringing out the inner child in everyone. Give your teen a ticket to Madame Tussauds New York and watch them go gaga after the faux celebs. The museum is constantly updating exhibits, so there will certainly be recognizable and relevant figures. Plus, Madame Tussauds is keeping things lively. For example, at the Project Runway Fashion Experience teens can create their own fashion line and walk the runway. Admission: Madame Tussauds tickets are included with the New York Pass. Luna Park in Coney Island Coney Island is one of the coolest places to hang out in New York City. Teens will love the endless thrills and things to do at Coney Island. Tack on the thrills of Luna Park for an all-around great way to entertain even the moodiest teen for a day. Located in the Brooklyn borough, Luna Park is home to rides like the Sling Shot and Steeplechase. The park also plays host to live entertainment throughout the year, so check it out before you visit to see what’s happening when you are in town. Admission: Luna Park at Coney Island tickets are included with the New York Pass. Times Square Any teen who travels to NYC will want to say they’ve been to Times Square. This is, after all, the most iconic spot on the NYC map. Bring your teen to the crossroads of the bright lights of this big city before you end your trip. While in Times Square, take a ride on the subway, catch a hip Broadway show, or shop until your teen is ready to drop. Times Square is also one of the best places to grab a bite to eat, whether your teen is a McDonald’s fanatic or into something more sophisticated like sushi. One World Observatory Take your teenager to the top of the world at the One World Observatory. This is one place where most teens haven’t been, giving your teen some serious travel cred. There’s a glass elevator that takes you to the top of the 1,776-foot tall skyscraper. From there you can see every bit of New York City for some sweet selfie moments. While the Foundations room is neat, the real treat for teenagers is the Skyportal that dangles you over the ground on a disc made of glass. Admission: One World Observatory tickets are not included with the New York Pass. Pump Track Teens who are into rollerblading, skateboarding, or trick bike riding are in luck. At the Velosolutions Asphalt Pump Track, teens can test their skills on this blacktop playground. If your teen is interested in actually getting out there make sure they pack their wheels. While you sit and gawk awestruck at the serious tricks taking place, you can also enjoy the scenic Manhattan views. Empire State Building As one of the most well-known landmarks of New York City teenagers on vacation needs to pencil the Empire State Building into their schedule. However, you want to make it exciting so they are interested in seeing this historic building. Consider going at midnight, as the building is open until 2 am so that you can see NYC in all of its illuminated glory. You can also get the teen to download the trendy, and free, Empire State Building Experience app on their smartphone for a more relevant encounter with this wondrous site. Admission: Empire State Building tickets are included with the New York Pass. Museum of Modern Art Andy Warhol, Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso...if your teen is into art, then, by all means, make a beeline to the Museum of Modern Art. At MoMA, the most famous and highly prized modern sculpture, photography, and paintings are on display. If you need a break from all the activity, rest your laurels in the luxurious Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden in the museum. Before you leave the museum, treat your teenager to a fine dining experience in the mod landscape. The Modern is a two Michelin star restaurant that offers a modern take on some of the best food in the city. Admission: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) tickets are included with the New York Pass. Bronx Zoo Zip Line Yes, that’s correct, there is a zip line in NYC and it takes you over the top of Bronx Zoo. For teenagers who need an adrenaline rush, this is the perfect place to combine a love for animals with high-line speed. They will be thrilled at the prospect of telling friends they went zip lining over a zoo while traveling to NYC. Fly over the Bronx River for 400 feet at a staggering 50 feet off the ground. If your teen backs out at the last minute, no worries. They can save face by enjoying the aerial adventure course at the zoo. Plus, it’s a zoo, after all, where any teen can visit the World of Reptiles, the Congo Gorilla Forest, and Sea Lion Pool. Tip: The Bronx Zoo is free to the public on Wednesdays. Remember To Save On Admission Attractions New York is the perfect city for teenagers to get out and have fun while trying new things. There are tons of activities across the 5 boroughs including museums, guided tours, zoos, and sightseeing. With so much to do during your trip to NYC, you can easily find yourself paying a lot of money on general admission at attractions. However, if you use the New York Pass you'll gain free access to over 90 attractions in New York City. That way, you'll be able to see more attractions and experience more things to do with teens in NYC on vacation--all, while saving more money. For more information on the New York Pass, click here.
Go City Expert

Things To Do In NYC For Solo Traveler On Vacation

Top Things to Do in NYC for a Solo Traveler on Vacation Don't be intimidated by the idea of a solo trip to New York City - it's one of the best cities in the world to experience on your own. New York City will challenge you as a tourist. You'll have to navigate the city (and quickly learn why it's so commonly referred to as a 'concrete jungle') on your own, entertain yourself, and choose your own itinerary--entirely. The perfect destination for a little you time and self discovery. Traveling alone in NYC is an entirely different experience than traveling with a partner or in a group. When visiting NYC alone you have total control over what you see and do. No compromising over restaurants, sightseeing tours, or afternoon outings. Yet to make the most of your solo travels to New York City, you want to choose things to do that are geared at single people. Here are some of the best activities for a solo traveler to help guide your itinerary. Free Entry with The New York Pass® Free entry to many of these popular New York attractions and activities are included on The New York Pass®. Used by over 3.5 million travelers, the New York Pass is the ultimate sightseeing pass, which includes admission to 90+ attractions, Fast Track Entry at select attractions, a free guidebook, & much more. Learn more about the New York Pass benefits & how to save up to 70% off attractions. New York Art Galleries Spread out across six neighborhoods in NYC are locally procured art galleries, which are perfect for a solo traveler with an artistic curiosity. After all, when you are by yourself you can fully immerse yourself in the art without feeling pressured by others to move to the next activity. Admission: the galleries are totally free to get in to and open to the public. They are located in Chelsea, Lower East Side, Upper East Side, Soho, Williamsburg/Bushwick, and Dumbo located in Brooklyn. Shopping at Cobble Hill Whether you are into books at Books Are Magic, prefer the hip finds at Refinery, or want to nosh out at Stinky Bklyn, Cobble Hill is where it’s happening for shopping in NYC boutiques. For all of your trendiest New York shopping needs, the Cobble Hill shopping district along Smith and Court offer a smorgasbord of delights. Shop til your heart is content without any guilt from tagalongs as a solo traveler in NYC. This is a great place to grab souvenirs for family members whom you left behind for your trip. Admission: getting into the shops is totally free, the shopping however, is unfortunately not. Luxury Spa Days Where is the one place where silence is golden? Why, at a luxurious spa, of course, and New York City is full of these. Consider booking a spa experience at your hotel, or splurge for the Sleeping Beauty treatment at Joanna Vargas Skin Care. And, no, spa days aren’t just for the ladies. Solo male travelers can strive for Brad Pitt’s face with a treatment by the Tracie Martyn Fifth Avenue salon. After all, this is who gives Brad his Hollywood shine. Admission: to experience NYC spa luxury, you'll have to book a treatment or appointment with a spa before you go. 9/11 Memorial and Museum If you visit NYC, then you must experience the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The memorial is on the World Trade Center grounds and features a pair of reflecting pools. Then in the museum in Foundation Hall, you can see a wall that was an actual part of the retaining wall used during the recovery after the 9/11 attacks. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum are solemn places where you will be glad you are visiting alone. Admission: 9/11 Memorial and Museum tickets are included with the New York Pass. Museum of Modern Art MoMA is one of the world’s most famous modern art museums and a grand adventure for any solo traveler. See works of art by the most famous modern artist of New York City—Andy Warhol—including the Gold Marilyn Monroe painting. Other artists on display include Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, and Willem de Kooning. It is a must-see for any NYC visitor, and when visiting alone you have no pressure to rush through the 250,000 plus photos on display at the Museum of Modern Art. Admission: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) tickets are included with the New York Pass. Brooklyn Bridge Bike Ride When is the last time you tried riding a bike with your kids tagging along, or your parents for that matter? If you are traveling with a group, trying to enjoy a bike ride is nearly impossible. Someone’s always complaining or getting left behind. Well, now that you are traveling NYC solo you are in the driver’s seat. Test your bicycling chops with a bike rental and tour over the Brooklyn Bridge. Enjoy the sights and sounds of New York City including the Statue of Liberty and NYC Harbor. Admission: Brooklyn Bridge Sightseeing Bike Tours and Rentals tickets included with the New York Pass. SoHo, Little Italy and Chinatown Instead of sticking close to your hotel and Times Square, venture out into the melting pot that is NYC. Three of the most cultural neighborhoods in the city are SoHo, Little Italy, and Chinatown. Best of all, you can take a walking tour of all three and soak it all in. As a single visitor, you won’t have to fret with getting split up from your group. Instead, you can spend as much time meandering vendor stalls and people watching while you dine alfresco. Admission: SoHo, Little Italy and Chinatown Tour tickets are included with the New York Pass. Brooklyn Botanical Garden As you look for a place to rest your tourist-tired feet, consider a stop at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Tucked away in the midst of a bustling city, the BBG features an array of flora that will give your spirit a lift. From the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden to the Shakespeare Garden, there are several small gardens nestled throughout the property. There’s also a Children’s Garden where kids have been gardening for more than a century, inspiring tourists of all ages. Admission: Brooklyn Botanical Garden tickets are included with the New York Pass. Museum of Sex Let’s be honest, sometimes you want to see the sites of a city, but you are too embarrassed to ask others in your group to join you. Here we have the Museum of Sex, which is educational and enlightening if not a bit eye-catching at times. And if you typically travel with children, now is your opportunity to experience this 18-and-over museum on your own. Plus, for solo travelers in NYC, there is the Jump For Joy exhibit. Here you can unleash your energy and bounce around in a room with strangers. The interestingly shaped round bouncy balls are made to encourage bumping into one another. Admission: Museum of Sex tickets are included with the New York Pass. Remember To Save On Attraction Admission There's always something to do in New York City, hence the nickname "The city that never sleeps". Being that there are so many different activities and attractions to visit in the city, you can end up spending a ton on admission fees. However, if you purchase the New York Pass, you'll gain free access to over 90 attractions in New York. This will allow you to save more money and visit more attractions. For more information on the New York Pass, click here.
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