Something you might be familiar with is the disaster of arriving at your vacation destination significantly before check-in time.

You want to get out and enjoy the city you’re in, but you’re bogged down with all of your luggage. Fortunately, many cities now offer luggage storage options that help you out if you’ve arrived too early before check-in.

New York is one of the cities where this is offered and this is perfect because there’s a lot to see and do in the Big Apple! If you find yourself in the city before check-in, then you should use the time to go enjoy what the city has to offer.

While you might already have plans in place, you need some ideas that don’t require any preparation or a reservation. We’ll give you some great suggestions below to help pass the time before checking into your hotel.


Visit Times Square

New York is home to one of the world’s greatest tourist attractions, Times Square.

It’s popular for a good reason and that’s because it’s always full of life. You might have a misconception about what Times Square is or what is offered there.

Times Square doesn’t necessarily feature any singularly impressive attractions, but it’s the combination of all the tourists that flock there that make the area so interesting. 

Any time that you try and visit the square, there will inevitably be crowds of people from all around the world. Times Square is world-famous and it’s what most people picture when they think of New York.

When you visit the square, you shouldn’t have any expectations. Instead, take the time to appreciate the larger-than-life billboards and look at the diverse culture of people there. 

Visiting Times Square is more about being in the very place that is known so well. There are also plenty of shops and restaurants that you can partake in if you’re interested in that.

If you’ve never been to Times Square before, then you need to go at least once so that you can understand just how impressive it all is. 

Stroll Through Central Park

You also can’t go wrong by strolling through Central Park

Central Park is another place in New York that immediately jumps to mind when you picture the city. It’s located in Manhattan and is one of the state’s larger parks. 

This park is unlike any other and features several great attractions. Not only does it have plenty of beautiful natural scenery, but there is a miniature castle, a lake, and even a zoo located within the park. 

It’s difficult to understand the size of Central Park unless you visit it yourself. There’s far more to do there than you could ever imagine and it’s easy to spend a few hours as you wait for check-in time. 

Even if you just want to have a nice picnic or enjoy some time in nature, Central Park is a perfect place to do it. 

Eat in Chelsea Market

If you’re feeling hungry, then you should head to Chelsea Market.

The market is located in the Meatpacking District and offers some of the most delectable fares in New York. Some of the highlights include seafood, tacos, noodles, cupcakes, and ice cream.

Whether you’re looking for something savory or sweet, you can find a great bite to eat in Chelsea Market. There are dozens of eateries in the market and a few cultural shops as well.

Not only is there great food, but the layout and design of the market are exquisite. You might enjoy just walking through and seeing everything that there is to offer.

If you want to know what the food of New York tastes like, then Chelsea Market is the place to find out.

Watch a Broadway Show

A final activity that you might love is catching a Broadway show.

Many people say that Broadway is where the real actors are and there is certainly some truth to this. Unlike movies and television, a Broadway show is a live performance that requires perfect acting every time.

Movie and TV actors get several takes to get a scene right. Broadway actors don’t get this luxury and have to showcase true talent during every performance. Because of this, the raw talent and skill that you’ll see in Broadway is unlike any other.

Another cool part of this is that the theater will be decorated to match the theme of the play that you’re watching. This helps to immerse you in the show and adds another layer of dedication.

Whether you want to see a musical or a play, you can probably find something entertaining on Broadway. Alternatively, there are several other theaters located close by that offer similar levels of acting at a friendlier price.

Closing Thoughts

It’s certainly frustrating to arrive in New York before hotel check-in time, but that doesn’t mean that you need to waste the day away.

Instead, stash your bags at a luggage storage location and free yourself up to enjoy some of what New York has to offer.

A few great places to visit include Times Square, Central Park, Chelsea Market, and Broadway. Each location offers something a little different and something is sure to captivate you. 

Don’t waste your time waiting to check-in with your hotel when there’s a beautiful city to explore! New York is a popular tourist destination for a reason and you should see the city for yourself to learn why!

Looking for more ideas? Check out these things to do in NYC.