If you’re trying to learn exactly where in the world is Murray Hill, it’s likely no one can tell you for certain. The location of the neighborhood is often debated (and can greatly vary depending on who you ask). However, in general, you’ll hear that Murray Hill is nestled on the east side of Manhattan, somewhere between 34th Street to the south, 42nd Street to the north, Madison Avenue to the west, and the East River to the east.
But while its locale may be up for question, the area’s distinct charm certainly isn’t. Within walking distance of Grand Central Terminal, this conveniently located NYC neighborhood is where you’ll come across picturesque streets lined with breathtaking Beaux-Arts mansions and gorgeous brownstones, including one Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt once called home. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, often feeling slightly removed from the bustling streets found elsewhere in the city, but that’s not to say the area is lacking in things to do and places to explore.
Intimate cafes, small specialty shops, hidden gem museums — you’ll find them all in Murray Hill, New York. And, in the evenings, a spirited bar scene appears, as the neighborhood is a great spot for the after-work crowd looking for a quick bite and a fun-loving vibe.
To help immerse visitors in Murray Hill’s atmosphere, Shelburne Hotel and Suites uses the art in its spaces to provide a snapshot of a day in the local life. With a mix of photography and lyrical references to the poetry of former NYC native Walt Whitman, the design allows guests to awaken each day connected to the hustle and beat of the thriving neighborhood below.
When it comes to food and drink, Murray Hill has the best of both worlds in terms of location: far enough from the tourist attractions of Times Square, but close enough to Midtown to warrant an array of dining options. Chic gastro pubs, no-frills bars, and comfy brunch spots within the neighborhood offer no shortage of dishes to try and cocktails to drink.
True, Murray Hill is not known for glitzy dining experiences embraced by some other neighborhoods, but what you will find for dining options are excellent. Whatever you’re craving you’ll find it in Murray Hill, whether it’s a sandwich from Sarge’s, sushi from Kokage, barbeque from Blue Smoke, or anything in between.
There’s plenty to choose from when it comes to nightlife too. The area abounds with sports pubs and cozy watering holes, like Ted’s Corner Tavern, as well as places to order bespoke cocktails and sip delectable wines, like Middle Branch or Vanguard Wine Bar. Hoping for a view too? You’re in luck.
If you’re looking to head outside and explore, Murray Hill is a good place to be. The area’s parks offer plenty of courts and fields, as well as scenic river views.
Beloved by families for its wide open spaces to play, St. Vartan Park is an unexpected surprise. Here, you’ll find basketball and handball courts, baseball and football fields, playgrounds, and plenty of greenery. The East River Esplanade is also in the area, forming the edge of Murray Hill as it meets the East River. There’s a constant flow of locals here — and it’s no mystery why. With uninterrupted views of the river, the path is a tranquil place for a refreshing walk or jog.
Murray Hill is also the home of New York City’s first peace park, Ralph Bunche Park. Named for Ralph Bunche, the first African-American to win the Nobel Peace Prize, the park is a calming retreat, and sits just across the street from the headquarters of the United Nations.
Murray Hill also offers convenient access to a multitude of attractions. While iconic New York City attractions like the Chrysler Building are in surrounding neighborhoods (making them walkable), you’ll find lesser-known hidden gems within Murray Hill …
Love dogs? Head to the AKC Museum of the Dog where you’ll find one of the largest collections of canine-related art in the world. Or, if you’re more of a bookworm, don’t miss the Morgan Library & Museum. Touting not one but three Gutenberg Bibles, its collection is certainly impressive and includes (among many other things) the only known manuscript fragment of Milton’s Paradise Lost, Thoreau’s journals, and drawings by Leonardo da Vinci.
The Murray Hill neighborhood is also home to Scandinavia House, the leading center for Nordic culture in the United States, as well as the United Nations, a complex that sits on roughly 18 acres on the East Side and offers public guided tours.
When it comes to shopping, small boutiques and quirky stores punctuate these charming neighborhood streets, making shopping in Murray Hill an easy (and perfect) way to spend an afternoon.
Looking for a unique and personalized shoe shopping experience? Head to The Shoe Box on 3rd Avenue. Housing every style you can think of — boots, sneakers, pumps, sandals — from both old-school and cutting-edge designers, a trip here can quickly escalate into a shopping spree.
On Murray Hill’s streets, you’ll also find delightful little shops like Ippodo Tea Co., the go-to place if you have any questions about Japanese green tea, or want a matcha to go. There’s also Zero Halliburton’s flagship store on Madison Avenue. A must-visit for any globetrotter, the luxury luggage company invites customers to peruse sturdy suitcases, as well as chic everyday essentials, like backpacks and camera cases.
If you’re looking for clothing, Murray Hill doesn’t disappoint. Small boutiques, such as Pookie & Sebastian, call this neighborhood home. With fashion-forward women’s apparel, contemporary closet staples, and cute tops, finding a new wardrobe in a day isn’t out of the question in this charming NYC neighborhood.
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