Among all the other cultural attractions available in New York City, no visit would be complete without stepping inside at least one of the magnificent museums the city has to offer. Priceless works of art, amazing scientific artifacts and intriguing historical exhibits await in these magisterial buildings scattered around Manhattan and the outer boroughs.
If you're planning a trip to New York, let this be an introduction to the city's museums. Otherwise, take a virtual trip to the Big Apple by viewing these collections and exhibits online. For information on museums in other cities, check out our City Guides.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is such a vast collection of paintings, sculpture, photography and other art that it can't possibly be covered in one visit. Of the museum's 2 million items, about 3,500 can be viewed online. Browse everything from Islamic art to musical instruments. The Cloisters is a branch of the Met at the northern end of Manhattan that offers a wealth of medieval art.
Devotees of contemporary art shouldn't miss the Museum of Modern Art. Check out selections from the museum's drawings, paintings and multimedia installments. Audio commentary is available for some of the museum's most famous pieces, including van Gogh's "The Starry Night."
After navigating the concrete canyons of Manhattan, visitors who want to get back to nature can check out the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. The garden's site will tell you what will be blooming when you visit. January and February are best for orchid viewing, while the summer months bring roses and lilies.
Another trip worth taking is to see the lions, tigers and bears of the Bronx Zoo. This photo gallery provides a glimpse of the animals housed there.