On 2/22/2022, NYC & Company, New York City’s official destination marketing organization and convention and visitors bureau, released “22 reasons to visit NYC in 2022” to hype up the amazing things the city has to offer this year and boost tourism.
After a rough two years, the city is in need of a boost. In 2020, international visitation was down 86% from 2019, and domestic visitation fell by 37%, generating a nearly 55% loss in direct spending and an almost 50% drop in economic impact, according to the Governor’s Office.
But 2022 is looking bright. NYC is back and ready to boom again.
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“New York City is known for constant renewal and reinvention. In honor of 2022, we’re pleased to share 22 reasons to visit NYC this year, with this new resource highlighting just a few of the city’s newest and most iconic attractions,” said Fred Dixon NYC & Company’s president and CEO. “From brand-new hotels and restaurants to upcoming star-studded Broadway shows, exhibitions and events, we invite New Yorkers and our global community alike to experience the vibrant offerings found only in NYC this year.”
Below, we’re sharing their 22 reasons:
1. NYC Restaurant Week
The 30th anniversary of NYC Restaurant Week kicks 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.
2. There are more hotel rooms
More than 9,000 new hotel rooms are opening across 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.
3. City classics have returned
The Statue of Liberty is back open to visitors as is the iconic Bemelmans Bar, located on the Upper East Side at the Carlyle Hotel, known for its extensive cocktail menu, nightly live entertainment and Art Deco decor. The Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel, popular for its afternoon tea, and the Rainbow Room are open again.
4. You can easily see it from up high
The city’s iconic observatories like the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock are incredible experiences, but now you can see the whole of the city from One World Observatory, Edge at Hudson Yards and its City Climb, as well as 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.
5. You can enjoy its international character in the boroughs
NYC’s five boroughs offer visitors a taste of different cultures, from Little Caribbean located in Flatbush, Brooklyn, and Little Sri Lanka in Tompkinsville, Staten Island, to Manhattan’s Chinatown and Washington Heights. Queens was recently named as one of the “52 Places to Go in 2022” by The New York Times and 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. You can check out more NYC neighborhoods here and see which restaurants made our “best of” list in Queens.
6. Flying here is better than ever
There are brand-new terminals at LaGuardia Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport, which makes traveling to and from NYC so much better. The new Terminal B at LaGuardia Airport has 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.
7. It’s greener here
The city is slowly becoming a more ecologically friendly place. Even the Javits Center has a state-of-the-art 7-acre green roof that has become a sanctuary for area wildlife, including 29 bird species, five bat species and thousands of honeybees. NYC has a new park, Little Island near the Meatpacking District, and Central Park 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.
8. There are new culinary experiences
Washington Heights just saw the opening of Dutch Baby Bakery, a woman-owned shop serving fresh seasonal breakfast pastries, tarts, cakes and artisanal bread, while the East Village got Rowdy Rooster, an Indian-spiced-fried-chicken fast-casual spot. Place des Fêtes, a Spanish-inspired restaurant, will open this month in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn and Makina Café, New York City’s first Ethiopian-Eritrean mobile restaurant, will open a full-service restaurant in Sunnyside, Queens, in early April. Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop, a 91-year-old Manhattan sandwich counter, will reopen under a new name, S&P, in April and Daniel Boulud is taking over the former Augustine and launching a new concept in the Financial District. Check out our list of the best new restaurants in NYC.
9. There are enticing exhibits this year
- The American Museum of Natural History‘s “Sharks,” through August 14
- The National Museum of the American Indian‘s “Dakota Modern: The Art of Oscar Howe” starts March 11
- “Jean-Michel Basquiat: King Pleasure” will debut at the Starrett-Lehigh Building in April
- Whitney Museum‘s 80th Whitney Biennial, “Quiet as It’s Kept,” starts April 6
- The Met Fifth Avenue‘s In America exhibition, “An Anthology of Fashion,” starts in May
- The Museum of Modern Art will present “Henri Matisse: The Red Studio” in May
- The High Line will debut artist Meriem Bennani’s first public sculpture, “Windy (2022)” in June
- The Brooklyn Museum‘s “Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech” opens July 1
10. Broadway is back
- The Music Man with Hugh Jackman is currently on
- Plaza Suite with Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick will be in previews starting February 25
- American Buffalo with Darren Criss and Laurence Fishburne starts March 22
- Macbeth with Daniel Craig opens March 29
- For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When The Rainbow Is Enuf will be back April
- Hangmen will be in previews beginning April 8
- From the best-selling novel, The Kite Runner, is coming to Broadway for the first time this summer
11. New York City is on TV a lot these days
NYC is playing host and character in a lot of TV shows these days, including with Gossip Girl, And Just Like That, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and The Gilded Age. 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. You can check out these Gilded Age relics and take a Mrs. Maisel tour in a vintage Studebaker. Inventing Anna on Netflix also features many NYC hotels.
12. The shopping is good
Visitors will be able to stop by the new Tiffany & Co. flagship store at 727 Fifth Avenue this fall, which will have 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 shops, visit our shopping and style guide.
13. There are 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 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. The Bronx Children’s Museum is also opening this year after moving to a new home in Mill Pond Park. Find the best NYC museums here.
14. Festivals are back!
NYC will play host to the Afrofuturism Festival is taking place at Carnegie Hall through the end of March, featuring more than 80 events, Asia Week from March 16–25, and the NYCxDESIGN’s 10th Anniversary Festival from May 10–20. The Tribeca Festival returns June 8–19, the “Conscious Carnival,” Letsgetfr.ee, happens in August and New York Fashion Week will return in September.
15. There are new international food halls
In the past few months, a massive food hall called Citizens opened by Hudson Yards. The Hugh, inside the Citigroup center in midtown, is also up-and-running, as is multi-concept West Harlem destination Manhattanville Market. There’s more to come, as well! As we previously reported, the old Fulton Fish Market is poised to become a luxe food purveyor while chef and restaurateur Alexander Smalls is working on an African food hall in Harlem. The 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.
16. Staten Island has a lot to offer
According to NYC & Co., 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 and a new Staten Island Ferry fleet was recently launched and the St. George route on the NYC Ferry now offers a picturesque and convenient direct route to Manhattan’s Battery Park City and Midtown West.
17. Pride is celebrated year-round
Pride isn’t just a summer celebration. HAGS, the first LGBTQ+ fine dining restaurant, will open its doors this year in the East Village, and it’s going to be easier to find queer events through NYC’s first-ever LGBTQ+ ticketing platform. The annual NYC Pride March is back on June 26 and before that, the Queens Pride Parade takes place on June 5 and the Brooklyn Pride celebration happens June 11. Follow along on our Pride Guide.
18. New and revamped performing arts centers take the stage
Performing arts are back in a big way—Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater in Harlem returns this month after a two-year hiatus and construction on the new Victoria Theater, which opens next month. 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. The Irish Arts Center just opened its new building and theater as well!
19. There’s so much beauty to behold
The city has its own beauty to behold. This spring, view the annual blooming of the cherry trees at Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the East River walkway on Roosevelt Island and other locales around NYC. 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. Check out NYC’s best parks here.
20. It’s a hub for wellness
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.
21. It’s more accessible
NYC is welcoming to all, especially this year, because 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 also 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. It has world-famous sporting events
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.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.