Don't leave New York without a visit to Greenwich Village & its western region—even better, plan for a long, rambling walk around the West Village's network of side streets lined with beautiful red-brick townhouses and brownstones and dotted with cozy restaurants and shops. At the beating heart of the Village is the recently reopened Washington Square Park
, right near New York University
, which boasts frequent musical performances and prime people-watching. Among the historic spots of notice in the Village are the Cherry Lane Theatre
on Barrow Street, the oldest continuously running off-Broadway theater, and the Stonewall Bar
(located on Christopher Street near West 4th Street), historic site of the Stonewall riots that kicked off the gay and lesbian civil rights movement in 1969.
Restaurants in the West Village range from hole-in-the wall gems like Corner Bistro
, to always-packed foodie magnets like The Spotted Pig
and The Little Owl
, to the swanky boites of the Meatpacking District (including Pastis
). Fans of the HBO series "Sex and the City" can satisfy their sweet tooth at Magnolia Bakery
(Bleecker Street at West 11th Street), if they can handle waiting in the line snaking around the block. Shopping in the area has gone increasingly upscale, with designer boutiques like Marc Jacobs and Olive & Bette's, though (in a sign of the neighborhood's free-spirited past) they sit just a few blocks away from the scattering of porn shops around the West 4th subway stop.