The Metropolis: Must-sees in the Upper East Side

The beautiful area of Manhattan known as the Upper East Side stretches from the East River to Central Park (East to West), and from 59th to 96th Street (South to North).

With its fabulous mansions, designer stores, world-class museums, picturesque neighborhoods and famous residents, most would agree it has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a fishing camp of the Native American Lenape.

Its neighborhoods—Lenox Hill, Yorkville, and Carnegie Hill—are considered three of NYC’s most affluent, with Carnegie Hill being recognized as the wealthiest. In fact, the Upper East Side (UES) boasts the country’s “highest pricing per square foot.”

Here are some of our favorite ways to spend time in the Upper East Side of Manhattan:

Upper East Side Historic Districts

The area from 59th to 78th Street (along 5th Avenue) is one of Manhattan’s biggest landmark districts. The Friends of the Upper East Side dedicate their time to “preserving the architectural legacy, livability, and sense of place” within the six historical districts of the UES. Together, these districts hold 129 historic landmarks including:

The Andrew Carnegie Mansion (now home to the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum)

Archibald Gracie Mansion (the official residence of the Mayor of New York City)

The Duke Residence(one of the grand Beaux-Arts mansions facing Central Park)

Metropolitan Museum Historic District (an 8 block-long collection of brownstones and apartment buildings (along with the Metropolitan Museum of Arts itself) in Beaux-Arts, neo-Renaissance and Italianate architectural styles).

Henderson Place (a 24-building enclave of red-brick homes designed and built in the Queen Anne style)

Explore the historic sites of the UES on your own, or to get a better understanding and broader perspective, take a walking tour. Stroll through the neighborhoods with a knowledgeable guide to see both popular and lesser-known (but equally interesting) spots such as the Alexander Calder Sidewalk, St. Ignatius Loyola Church, the Frick Art Reference Library, one of Andy Warhol’s studios, the Czech Consulate, along with countless others.

Museum Mile

On 5th Avenue, between 82nd and 105th Streets, lies Manhattan’s largest concentration of museums—Museum Mile. This one-mile stretch offers the world’s finest modern and contemporary art, Old Master paintings, sculpture, historic and cultural artifacts, collections of popular culture, photography, film, interior design, furniture, historic documents, manuscripts, and so much more:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is arguably one of the finest museums on the globe, displaying more exhibits than any other museum—featuring pieces from virtually every corner of the world.

 

 

 
 
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The Neue Galerie focuses on late 19th century to mid-20th century art and craftsmanship from Vienna, Germany, and Austria.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s distinctive contemporary exterior is appropriately symbolic of the equally dazzling contemporary art that lies within: minimalistic, non-objective, surrealist, impressionistic, and post-impressionistic.

The Jewish Museum tells the 4,000-year, global story of Jewish culture, heritage, and history—with over 30,000 pieces art, media, and historical artifacts.

Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum (located within the historic Carnegie Mansion) houses a spectacular array of both historic and modern-day masterpieces of design including metalwork, sculpture, furniture, musical instruments, woodwork, pottery, pop culture objects and more.

El Museo del Barrio is dedicated to preserving and exhibiting the contributions of Caribbean and Latin American artists.

The Museum of the City of New York, aptly named, chronicles the rich history of this fascinating metropolis from its beginnings through the present day.

The National Academy Museum features 8,000 works of American artists—from the 19th through today—including pieces created by students of its National Academy School and members of The National Academy.

UES Shopping

The shops of the Upper East Side are second to none, featuring some of the finest fashion boutiques and upscale retail establishments in the city.

There are so many fabulous designer boutiques on the Upper East Side. Some must-sees include Fivestory (featuring both well-established and up-and-coming designers), Aquazurra (fabulous footwear), Chuckies (high-end accessories and footwear), Neue Galerie (one-of-a-kind pieces), Chanel Boutique (need we say more?), Olive & Bette’s (trend-setting, youthful urban wear), Hermès (upscale French retailer), Christian Louboutin  (to-die-for shoes), Albertine (a phenomenal book store) and the flagship stores of Alexander McQUEEN, Ralph Lauren, and Kate Spade and Christian Louboutin

Department stores on 5th Avenue in the UES include Barneys New York (a premiere luxury department store catering to both classic and modern fashionistas, Bergdorf Goodman (featuring high-end fashions with a separate men’s store across the street), and the legendary Bloomingdale’s.

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden

A visit to the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden is like traveling back to colonial times.

While it was originally constructed as a carriage house in 1799 (built on land originally owned by President John Adams’ daughter Abigail), it was converted into a hotel resort for Manhattanites looking to get away from it all in the early 1800s.

Guides will take you on a tour through the eight furnished rooms of this charming, historic antebellum residence, offering lots of interesting information about the historic site as well as New York history.

Your Home on the Upper East Side

Nestled in the heart of the Upper East Side is our sister hotel, the Marmara Manhattan. Just minutes from Museum Mile, Central Park East, legendary shopping and dining locations, the Marmara Manhattan provides perfect luxury accommodations.

The Marmara Manhattan offers chic guestrooms, suites, studios—even a fabulous penthouse. With elegant furnishings, spacious rooms, luxurious amenities, large windows offering great views, and warm hospitality, your stay will be as stylish and sophisticated as the Upper East Side itself. Many of our rooms even feature balconies and jacuzzi baths.

Staying for a while, or need extra space for a larger party? We offer one, two, and three-bedroom suites with fully-equipped kitchens, washers and dryers, plenty of storage, and lots of light and space. Our three-bedroom suite features three full bathrooms and a huge walk-in closet.

We look forward to making your stay in Manhattan’s Upper East Side memorable!

Learn more about The Marmara Park Avenue at a glance.