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NYC’s Hidden Gems: Best Places to Live Off the Beaten Path

May 2, 2024 | By Roomrs



It’s no secret that New York City is one of the most exciting cities in the world. People travel from all over to experience the city’s Broadway shows, incredible cuisine, vibrant nightlife, and iconic fast-paced energy. 


Since NYC is such a popular destination, some of the city’s most popular neighborhoods can feel overrun by tourists or locals traveling to and from work. For example, even though Times Square is one of New York City’s best-known spots, a short-term or long-term stay there may not offer quite the experience you’re looking for.

8 Best Neighborhoods in NYC Without the Crowds

Wherever you choose to rent in NYC, you should have a safe space where you go to relax and unwind between exciting adventures in the city and beyond. 


Before you book your rental in New York’s most bustling neighborhoods, consider these hidden gems that offer a more peaceful living experience without sacrificing convenience and amenities. 


1. Bushwick

Located just northeast of central Brooklyn and bordering the borough of Queens, Bushwick is a hip, up-and-coming neighborhood known for its inspiring street art and repurposed industrial buildings. 


This area has a thriving art scene, tons of cool coffee shops and restaurants, and unique nightlife spots and performance venues. Other areas of Brooklyn, as well as Manhattan and Queens, are easily accessible with plenty of subway stations nearby. 


2. Crown Heights

Crown Heights is one of Brooklyn’s most central neighborhoods. Renters in Crown Heights get to enjoy walking by the area’s many classic brownstones and Victorian-style mansions (or even staying in one), and it’s clear that this neighborhood has been one of Brooklyn’s historical mainstays for a long time. 


Despite its popularity, you won’t experience overcrowding in the streets, subway stations, or shops in Crown Heights, which makes it a relatively low-key place to call home in NYC. A variety of restaurants, coffee shops, and corner stores are available within walking distance from any Crown Heights home. 


3. Hell’s Kitchen 

Brooklyn tends to be the tamer side of New York City. But even though Manhattan has more of the hustle and bustle that sets NYC apart, there are still many areas of this piece of the island that can offer short- or long-term renters a peaceful yet convenient place to live.


Hell’s Kitchen is a great example of a well-known Manhattan neighborhood that boasts many of the city’s greatest attractions yet isn’t as crowded as nearby areas. The neighborhood is located in Midtown Manhattan’s West Side, just west of Broadway and Times Square alongside the Hudson River. 


Some of New York City’s best food can be found in Hell’s Kitchen, and apartments here are just a few blocks from Lincoln Center and Central Park. 


4. Morningside Heights

Traveling uptown in Manhattan generally brings you to calmer neighborhoods. One underestimated neighborhood in Upper Manhattan is Morningside Heights, which is nestled along the Hudson River just west of Harlem. 


The campuses of Columbia University and Barnard College are located within Morningside Heights, which gives the area a studious vibe and guarantees plenty of nearby nightlife. This kind of neighborhood is perfect for young professionals looking to get involved in city life without feeling overwhelmed by crowds of tourists. 




5. Williamsburg

If a combination of Manhattan’s fast-paced energy and Brooklyn’s artistic vibe is what you’re after, Williamsburg is the perfect option. This neighborhood is located in northwest Brooklyn and connects directly to Lower Manhattan by way of the Williamsburg Bridge. 


Like other areas of Brooklyn, Williamsburg is made vibrant by all kinds of unique street art. The music, art, and fashion scenes are alive and well in Williamsburg, and the vibe around town is hip and young without feeling overwhelming or pretentious. The neighborhood is home to a wide variety of bars, dance clubs, and music venues to explore. 


6. East Village

The East Village extends from the East River to NoHo in Lower Manhattan, making it one of Manhattan’s larger neighborhoods. This means that the options for short- and long-term rentals are numerous and can be found at a variety of price points. 


In the center of the East Village is Tompkins Square Park, a large and popular green space for residents to enjoy near their homes. All kinds of restaurants can be found in this neighborhood, as well as unique bars, clubs, and music venues. The area has a relaxed vibe with lots of quieter side streets to explore, but busier spots like Greenwich Village and SoHo are only a short subway ride away.


7. Bed-Stuy

Short for Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bed-Stuy can be found right below Williamsburg and east of Downtown Brooklyn. Some of Brooklyn’s oldest and grandest buildings can be found in this neighborhood. 


Along with historic brownstones, the streets of Bed-Stuy are lined with coffee shops, vintage stores, and bookstores, so there’s always plenty to do and see near your stay. Depending on where in Bed-Stuy you live, you’re never more than a few blocks from expansive Highland Park to the east. 


8. East Harlem 

With the Harlem River to the east and Central Park to the west, East Harlem has a lot to offer its residents in terms of charm, convenience, and peaceful living. You’ll find everything you need within a few blocks of your East Harlem apartment, from necessities like groceries and drugstores to highly rated restaurants and bars. 


Additionally, Randall’s Island is located just across the Harlem River to the east. This hidden gem is home to multiple sports fields and green spaces, providing a nice escape from the pace of Manhattan. 

Find Hidden Gems in NYC With Roomrs

All the best neighborhoods in NYC for both long- and short-term stays are waiting to be discovered on Roomrs. With so many unique places to live in New York City, you’re sure to find an apartment that meets all your requirements and then some. 


Take the time to peruse all of our New York City private rooms to choose the stay that’s right for you. 

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