The number one reason to love the Upper West Side is that it is one of the few neighborhoods left in Manhattan that possesses a strong sense of community. While everywhere else on the island is over-commercialized and super expensive, the Upper West Side has maintained its character and residential feel. It seems perfectly reasonable to live here, whereas in other areas of Manhattan the idea seems insane.
2. Proximity to Central Park
Central Park is a very popular tourist destination, but thankfully it is such an expansive area. People get dispersed throughout the vast 843 acres of the park, so there is plenty of room to bike, board, jog, walk, or sit and contemplate next to Azalea Pond. Living in the Upper West Side gives fitness enthusiasts a unique opportunity to jog through the park first thing in the morning, before most of the city has woken up. This is an experience every New Yorker should have.
3. Riverside Park
Upper West Side is a fantastic spot for people who like a little green space in their lives. Not only is Central Park super accessible, Riverside Park also calls the Upper West Side home. Riverside Park stretches for 86 blocks along the Hudson River. It features cafes, art installations, and bike and jogging paths. It is without a doubt Manhattan’s most spectacular waterfront park, and is therefore one of only eight officially designated landmarks in the City of New York.
4. Fun, Unpretentious Bars
If your perfect night out involves a more relaxed, easygoing pace Upper West Side is your spot for nightlife. At places like e’s bar you can play board games, darts and pool with genuine New Yorkers in a lively but not excessive atmosphere.
5. World-Class Cuisine for All Budgets
Another wonderful thing about the Upper West Side is that they have a fantastic variety of restaurants and cuisines. Whether you’re looking to impress someone for a special occasion or just dine casually after happy hour, UWS has the cuisine you’re looking for.
6. Levain’s Cookies
Upper West Side is lucky to be home to a New York bakery that has become an establishment for out-of-this-world cookies and baked treats. Levain Bakery has earned a reputation as one of the best places in the world to get a chocolate chip cookie.
7. American Museum of Natural History
One major tourist destination that Upper West Side brings to the table is the American Museum of Natural History. With iconic mainstays like massive dinosaur fossils and the blue whale, this museum will have your imagination running wild. Stay in the loop to learn about temporary exhibitions to expand your wonder and awe even further.
8. Cultural Destination for the Arts
Though much of the Upper West Side is known for livability and lack of pretentiousness, the Lincoln Center provides the neighborhood with a high-culture appeal by hosting performing-arts institutions like the Metropolitan Opera and the New York City Ballet.
9. Easy Access to High-Quality Grocers
New York is a hub for culinary excellence and a variety of cuisines. However, you’re going to have to be doing most of your cooking at home unless you’ve got the budget to eat out every day. Fairway is a two-story specialty grocer offering excellent deli, bakery, and butcher services, as well as endless international specialties and bulk sale items. Trader Joe’s is another excellent specialty supermarket with two UWS locations, serving up unique healthy dishes that are easy to implement into your daily diet.