New York City is a strange, strange beast. The internationally renowned metropolis, famous for its relentless, high-energy buzz that provides so much pleasure for many, is seemingly an ongoing thrill to experience. One thing's for sure: you'll never be short of things to do in this place.

With an abundance of some of the best architecture, museums, clothing stores, restaurants, bars, cafes, parks, book shops, markets, theaters and music venues on the planet, you’d be hard pressed to find yourself bored for a minute in the City That Never Sleeps. If that isn’t enough to keep you going, just a short trip upstate during the winter and you’ll have ski resorts, a short trip out west on to Long Island during the summer and you have some excellent quality surf from the Rockaways up to Montauk. Fire Island plays host to some of the most exquisite beach houses around with beautiful white-sand beaches to match.

If you like cheap thrills, there’s Coney Island to the south of Brooklyn with its weird but wonderful theme park and famous hot dog stand, Nathan’s. There are even large pockets of green that offer quiet escapes from the madness with Central Park and Prospect Park at easy access by subway from most of Brooklyn and Manhattan. The High Line is a unique linear park that sits on a disused railway track raised above the street on the west side of Manhattan and gives the viewer a different perspective of the city.

One thing worth noting when organizing a trip to NYC is that the seasons can be extreme. From 95 degree (fahrenheit) summer heat with 90% humidity to five degrees and more than three feet of snow in the winter.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by the constant hustle and bustle of the city, it’s relatively easy to escape the city for trips to lands that offer something completely different. If you pick the right time of the year you can find very affordable flights to Florida, San Francisco, Colorado (see Colorado by Chris Wilson), Montreal, Puerto Rico, even Mexico (see Oaxaca, Mexico by Chris Wilson). For shorter trips afield, try: Philadelphia, Washington DC, New Haven, Cold Spring and Long Island.

For more photo essays from around the world, check out Bobby Anwar's photo set from the Faroe Islands, as well as Akhil Sesh's gallery of Seoul.

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