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Hidden Treasures: Where to Go After the Met, MOMA, and Guggenheim

Checked all the major museums off your list? Try these on for size. New York City’s museums consistently attract millions of visitors every year, with the Met alone drawing six million, and it’s not hard to see why: from Van Gogh at MoMA to Picasso at the Guggenheim, the Big Apple is a cultural gem for art lovers. But if you’re tired of the crowds and have seen every buzzworthy exhibit on your list, consider visiting these 5 smaller museums — they might even become your new go-to destinations!

1. The Morgan Library & Museum

The Morgan Library & Museum was once the personal library of Pierpont Morgan, one of the most successful bankers and financiers in American history. Designed by McKim, Mead & White, the famous architectural firm that also designed Columbia University, the museum is housed in a stunning Italian Renaissance-style palazzo that has since been expanded into a larger building complex. Visit Mr. Morgan’s personal library, or see the museum’s rare collection of treasure bindings (bejeweled medieval manuscripts bound in gold). The Morgan Library & Museum is located at 225 Madison Avenue.

2. Conjuring Arts Research Center

Aspiring witches and wizards will love the Conjuring Arts Research Center, a collection of more than 11,000 volumes on all things occult. The non-profit was founded by magician David Blaine and consultant Bill Kalush, with the purpose of preserving magic and its “allied arts.” Stop by for insider information on hypnosis, card tricks, mentalism, psychic skills, and more. Visits are only available by appointment, so if you’re interested in making a trip, call ahead! The Conjuring Arts Research Center is located at 11 West 30th Street.

3. The Rubin Museum

The Rubin Museum is dedicated to the art and culture of the Himalayas, India, and surrounding regions, with sculptures and paintings dating back 1,000 years. If you visit the museum, you’ll enjoy an installation inspired by Tibetan shrines, a sound-based art exhibition featuring ambient music inspired by Buddhist philosophy, and a photographic collection on India that includes documentation of Gandhi’s final days. In addition to visual art, the Rubin has a robust array of programming, including a film series, dance performances, live music, and lectures. The Rubin Museum is located at 150 West 17th Street.

4. Skyscraper Museum

If you spend your visit to the Big Apple with your neck craned skyward at the formidable buildings surrounding you, New Yorkers will probably know you’re a tourist. But there’s no reason to be embarrassed; the city’s incredible architecture deserves a bit of admiration! For visitors who want to learn more about the city’s tallest buildings, the Skyscraper Museum is a must-see. Check out their mini model of Manhattan or their replicas of the world’s most famous buildings, such as the Burj Khalifa. The Skyscraper Museum is located at 39 Battery Place.

5. New York Transit Museum

The New York City subway system boasts the most stations of any underground metro in the world. If you want to learn more about the mass transit behemoth that keeps the Big Apple running twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, stop by the New York Transit Museum. Housed in Downtown Brooklyn in an actual subway stop refurbished to its 1936 glory, the Transit Museum has a collection of old-school train models and historical memorabilia. The New York Transit Museum is located at the corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street in Brooklyn. The only thing better than visiting New York City’s cultural institutions is knowing that you have a spacious suite to relax in at the end of the day. For a hotel experience that offers all the comforts of home, Affinia’s residentially-sized suites include spacious kitchens and serene terraces so that you can decompress after a long day of sightseeing. If you book now, you’ll enjoy Affinia’s very best rates of the year: rooms start at just $119 a night for January and February, with up to 40% off bookings for every month afterward.

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