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The historic neighborhood named for New York‘s iconic Flatiron Building (and roughly between 20th and 28th Streets to the north and south and 6th Avenue and Lexington Avenue to the east and west) is brimming with exciting shops and trendy restaurants. You can easily fill a half a day exploring this bustling and eclectic neighborhood. Here are 10 fun things to do in NYC’s Flatiron District.

Also: Best under the radar NYC parks

Flatiron building

Flatiron building | Flickr CC: Jeffrey Zeldman

See the Flatiron Building

Built in 1902 and named for its resemblance to an old-time clothing iron sitting upright, the landmark triangular Flatiron Building is at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway. It was built in this wedge shape because architect Daniel Burnham needed to fill an odd triangular space. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989.

Take a neighborhood tour

Free 90-minute walking tours are scheduled each Sunday and can be arranged through flatirondisrict.nyc. Notable buildings you’ll see and learn about include the New York Life Insurance Building (not to be confused with the one in Chicago of the same name) and the MetLife Clock Tower (now the New York Edition Hotel). Downloadable self-guided walking tours are also available through the site.

One of the mosaic tile hats at the 23rd street subway station

One of the mosaic tile hats at the 23rd street subway station | Flickr CC: Stephen Best

Take a subway selfie

Pop down into the 23rd Street subway station and take a selfie of you standing under one of the fanciful hats painted onto the tiles there.

Watch cheese be made

Head to Beecher’s Handmade Cheese to pick up a snack from the cheese case, or sit down and order a cheese specialty in their deli cafe to eat right away (they claim to serve the “world’s best” mac & cheese). If timed right, you can observe cheese-making through large glass windows located in the middle of the spacious shop.

ABC Carpet Home

ABC Carpet Home | Flickr CC: Cristina Bejarano

Browse ABC Carpet & Home

The entire ground floor of this six-story shop is sub-divided into little wall-less shops that purvey everything from Buddha statues to cotton Indian blouses to splurge-worthy items that you won’t know you need until you see them. Take the elevator upstairs to see the promised carpets and furniture items. Don’t miss the beautiful food at ABC Kitchen, a vegetarian-focused restaurant from super chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

Add up all the fun

Said to be Manhattan’s only hands-on science center, the National Museum of Mathematics or (MoMath) aims its exhibits at all ages.

Souvenirs at Fishs Eddy

Souvenirs at Fishs Eddy | Flickr CC: Shinya Suzuki

Pick up a souvenir

Get some great souvenirs at Fishs Eddy. This shop, named for an unincorporated village in upstate New York, is stuffed with kitchenware and more. Many especially enticing items are decorated with Manhattan’s famous skyline or bridges.

Cheese at Eataly

Cheese at Eataly | Flickr CC: Davis Staedtler

Eat at Eataly

Cruise the gigantic Italian gourmet palace that is Eataly. It is broken up into bite-size pieces such as a stand-up snack bar, a seated pasta counter, a gelato stand for take away and much more. Celebrity chef Mario Batali is involved, and you’ll leave wishing you had more space in your tummy.

Satisfy your burger craving

Maybe you’d rather have a good-old-American burger. In that case, head to the original Shake Shack in sweet little Madison Square Park and get in the usually long line. The burger is worth the hassle, and you can enjoy eating it outdoors in the park at the cafe’s tables. Celebrity chef Danny Meyeris behind this popular spot.

Get Schnapps

Don’t want to wait in a long line for a burger or perhaps you’re just tired of celebrity chefs? Schnippers Quality Kitchen also has a line but it moves fast, and roaming deliverers make sure you’re happy once you sit down. With high ceilings and a view of the sidewalk activity, it’s a super spot on a rainy day for classic American comfort food.

Featured image: Alan Turkus, Flickr CC

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Tagged: New York Vacation

Carole Terwilliger Meyers
Carole is a Berkeley-based travel writer who most especially enjoys cultural and culinary travel. She contributes to an assortment of publications and is the author of 18 books. Carole oversees two websites, berkeleyandbeyond.com and webcamtraveler.com, and she blogs at travelswithcarole.blogspot.com.
Carole Terwilliger Meyers

@traveluv

Carole Terwilliger Meyers; freelance travel writer, website publisher http://t.co/cHHR3mbgaC, and blogger http://t.co/nK7BBHVpCG
ever been here? https://t.co/V0irF1nkFl - 5 days ago

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