Manhattan upper west side tourist scavenger hunt

New York, Upper West Side 3hr self-guided walking tour scavenger hunt

Are you looking for things to do on the Upper West Side? Our self-guided walking tour/scavenger hunt will take you from the Lincoln Center to the American Natural History Museum through Central Park and much more!

Solve challenges at every step to discover your next destination and learn new things. Learn a little history as well as interesting facts about what surrounds you. See the sights.

The Upper West Side is a residential area, especially wealthy, on the Isle of Manhattan. It is located west of Central Park and has a population of nearly 210,000.




Scavenger Hunt information :

  • Central Park
  • Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • New York Historical Society Museum
  • Strawberry Fields
  • Spooky Central
  • Sherman Square
  • Juilliard School
  • Cherry Hill
  • The Dakota
  • Belvedere Castle
  • Many monuments, and much more!

We have visited New York a few times since our first visit in 2005 including this course specifically.

  • Starting point: Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023, United States
  • Distance: 4.7 km / 2.9 mi
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Method: on foot
  • Required: Fully charged smartphone with internet access (data plan) – Wifi will not be enough.
  • Suggested:
    • Water bottle
    • Local map

Ancient History

The natives who inhabited what is now the big city of New York were Lenape who spoke Algonquin.

This neighborhood developed around Bloomingdale Street (renamed The Boulevard in 1868) where the first mansions were established, followed by smaller homes in the early 19th century. The name Bloomingdale comes from the Dutch village of Bloemendaal, in the Tulip region of the Netherlands.

The Dutch originally settled the island of Manhattan in 1626, before the British conquered them in 1664. They had compared the current Upper West Side to this area they know well.

In the second half of the 19th century, most of the water’s edge, along the Hudson River, was occupied by wharves for shipping as well as manufacturers. In 1830 a railroad was authorized between New York and Albany, which passed on the waterfront.

Central Park was created in the 1850s through the 1870s. Many who previously squatted this area of the island were forced to move into the Upper West Side.

Recent History of the Upper West Side

There was a construction boom in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which also encouraged the expansion of subway lines as early as 1904. Around that time, The Boulevard (previously Bloomingdale Street), sees its name change again, to Broadway as it is the natural extension of this road which originates in Lower Manhattan.

Many of the large apartment buildings that line Central Park were built at the beginning of the last century, before the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Today, the Upper West Side is a cultural and intellectual core of the city with Columbia University and Barnard College to the north, and the Lincoln Center to the south.