Far uptown on the edge of Manhattan in the middle of Fort Tryon Park overlooking the Hudson River lies the Cloisters, the lesser known gem of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Opened in 1938, the museum is home to an expansive collection of medieval European art once owned by George Grey Barnard and John D. Rockefeller Jr. Reminiscent of a medical monastery, the Met Cloisters has beautiful floor-to-ceiling tapestries, stained glass windows, and various courtyard gardens that make you feel as if you've stepped through a window in time. I first visited the Cloisters almost a decade ago with my dad and found it so peculiar that such a place existed just a few miles north of the modern skyscrapers and hustle and bustle of the city. While quite a trek from the middle of Manhattan (unless you have a car), it's the perfect escape if you're looking to get lost in history for an afternoon.
Who: Anyone who appreciates architecture, medieval art, and/or history (and isn't discouraged by a long subway ride/uphill walk through Fort Tryon Park to get there).
What: A brand of the Met that's dedicated to medieval art
Where: Fort Tyron Park— a public park in Hudson Heights upper Manhattan
When: Spring/Summer would be best to catch the gardens in full bloom
Why: If you're looking for a quiet afternoon and a change of scenery from the middle of Manhattan, the Cloisters is a perfect sanctuary filled with art and nature.
Tyro Tip: The lower level garden and courtyard with views of the Hudson River can be easily missed… make sure you find the staircase that leads you to it.