New York has always been a hub for the fine arts. Travelers from all over the world go to New York to visit the famous Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim, and Met museums in Manhattan. Many others also visit the artsy and historic mansions of Long Island. With a three-day itinerary, you can see a bit of everything, from museums to galleries to vintage manors. Why not throw in a brunch or two and a walk along the beach in the afternoon?

Day 1: Manhattan – Upper East Side


image via Flickr by Phil Roeder

The Upper East Side is home to the famed Museum Mile, an unmissable section of Fifth Avenue lined with art museums on one side and Central Park on the other. Start the day early if you want to see all the museums; otherwise, pick the ones you are most interested in, and take your time. There are lots of places to have lunch in the area, so don’t worry about going hungry. Museums here include:

  • Goethe House German Cultural Center
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met)
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
  • The Jewish Museum
  • National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts
  • Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum
  • Museum of the City of New York
  • El Museo del Barrio

Apart from the museums, you can also visit lots of galleries. Starting at the Sandra Gering Gallery on East 63rd Street, make your way uptown and pop in all the galleries that spark your fancy. If you’re a hardcore walker, you can do museums in the morning and galleries in the afternoon.

Day 2: Manhattan – Lower East Side

The Lower East Side is the hot spot for gritty and powerful contemporary art. This area is famous for the large mural art that graces sides of buildings and hidden corners. The indie art scene is bustling on the Lower East Side. The best way to experience this area of Manhattan is on a walking tour. There are some free options, and then there are The Two Percent VIP tours.

A good visit to the Lower East Side art scene will take an entire day. Grab brunch in SoHo or Little Italy, and have your camera ready, because the street art will blow you away.

You can also fit a visit to the MOMA in before starting your walking tour.

Day 3: Long Island

For a breezy change of scenery, you can spend the day in Long Island. Check into a hotel that fits your budget, then head out to explore the area. Long Island is known for the vintage mansions and manors that you can visit any time of year. The most famous mansions are located on the Gold Coast, including one immortalized by “The Great Gatsby.” After visiting a few, check out the Nassau County Museum of Art for a real visual experience.

To finish off your three-day art tour of New York, visit the Long Island Museum of Art, History, and Carriages. Then take a walk on the beach before going for a cocktail to celebrate.