If you didn't take a selfie, did you even vacation?
Sure, when you're visiting a popular tourist spot like New York City, you're bound to have to fight crowds of hundreds of other people trying to take the same photo as you. But what if you didn't have to?
The Statue of Liberty and Times Square are all bound to be destinations on your NYC trip, especially if it's your first time. However, there are plenty of other, selfie-worthy locations that the locals have been understandably hiding from the over 60 million tourists who visit the city each year, according to Curbed NY.
While experiences and exploration are good reasons to take a vacation, science shows that documenting the trip — and in particular, taking selfies — can actually make you happier.
A recent study by HomeAway surveyed 700 travelers before, during and after their vacations who downloaded an app on their phone to record the amount of time they were spending on it.
Results found that people who took photos and selfies during their vacations were 40 percent more likely to remember their trips; which is a subtle nod to all the parents who have scolded their teens for being on their phones rather than being "in the moment."
And to promote Insta-selfie-ing even more, vacationers who posted their photos on social media were 24 percent more likely to remember how they felt during the trip.
So if you want to make the best, least crowded by other tourists kind of memories — and actually be able to recall those memories down the road — then snap a selfie at one of these elite spots in the great NYC:
20 Coney Art Walls
Located on the infamous Coney Island sits the lesser-known Coney Art Walls. This outdoor museum of street arts wraps around the carnival and features 35 different art installations, according to the mural's website. Which means you get 35 different backdrop options for your selfie.
It goes without saying that Coney Island can get super packed with crowds, so if you want the walls all to yourself, arrive early. And after you get your sweet picture, you can spend the day enjoying all the rides and delicious fair food that Coney has to offer.
The exact address of the murals is 3050 Stillwell Ave., Brooklyn.
19 Little Cupcake Bakeshop Wall
Located at 9102 3rd Avenue in Brooklyn, Little Cupcake Bakeshop is a gorgeous little shop that makes some of the best NYC classic treats. And, after you've satisfied your sweet tooth, you can take an adorable selfie with their mural that has a powerful meaning.
According to their website, they painted this mural two years ago with FEED Projects to celebrate International Women's Day. So not only is this mural a great selfie backdrop, but it has an awesome meaning behind it. Bonus points if you caption your awesome photo with an equally awesome quote from a woman who you admire.
18 Harry's Corner Shop
Sometimes the simpler the background, the cooler the photo. And nothing says a selfie quite like a nice chevron print.
Harry's Corner Shop, which is located at 64 Macdougal Street, is a renowned barbershop that's drawn people to it's uniquely painted mural for years. While it's been a photo backdrop in thousands of Instagram posts, it's more of popular spot for locals then tourists.
Sadly, word on the street is that they aren't renewing their lease. So it would be smart to hurry up, book your next New York City trip and get your selfie before the mural is gone forever.
17 Stone Street
If you're looking for a place that is magically lit up and has a classic cobblestone road for your New York City selfie, then look no further than Stone Street. Not only is it the oldest street in the city — which is crazy if you think about how old and big the city really is — but the streets are lined with cozy coffee shops and stringy lights zig-zag above.
As with most places in the city, crowds of people are inevitable, but Stone Street definitely isn't bringing in Time Square-Level crowds.
You'll definitely want a selfie, and you might also never want to leave.
16 Pomander Walk
There's a good chance you've never heard of Pomander Walk — which is exactly how the locals like it.
This hidden gem of the Upper West Side features historic, England-style homes. In fact, it's often referred to as New York City's "Little Piece of England." While this might not garner the classic city selfie, it's something cool, unusual and often not photographed by busy tourists.
It's a private place, so be sure when you're strolling to act like you live there. Inside Pomander Walk is the Lotus Garden, a gorgeous setting that's absolutely perfect for your secret-garden style selfie. People will be jealous.
15 Nomo Hotel
Thanks to it's cool shops and gorgeous streets, SoHo is one of the most popular destinations for photos. While everyone and their mother is attempting to stand in the middle of this gorgeous neighborhood, you'll want to explore a place that somehow doesn't make it to the top of the Insta-worthy list: the Nomo Hotel.
Located off Crosby Street, this luxury hotel has one of the most breathtaking entrances into their lobby. Even though you may not be able to afford to stay there, you can at least take a gorgeous selfie in the entranceway that will definitely have your followers wondering if you did.
14 Pier 34
If you're looking for a rad New York City backdrop full of skyscrapers and a bustling city line — you know, the one that pairs perfectly with a "city that never sleeps" caption — then you have to check out Pier 34 at Hudson River Park.
While the park is well-known, the pier remains a spot for locals to run, walk their dogs and go for a romantic stroll during sunset. So try not to act too overwhelmed by the gorgeous scenery when you're there.
Bonus points if you can get there during one the golden hours and capture the incredible sunset or sunrise tones.
13 La Colombe
Not only are the coffee and pastries at this New York City staple incredibly delicious — and Instagram worthy all on their own — but every single one of their yummy treats and drinks are served on gorgeously intricate porcelain dishes.
So Bring a cute notebook or other hipster items to set the stage for your coffee-shop shot, or have a friend snap a not-so-candid candid shot of you casually sipping a latte. Because, you know, you come here all the time to chill and read a book.
Just make sure you get it all to stay — and be sure to stay for a while.
Maman is another adorable New York City coffee shop that would make a great selfie destination outside of the tourist-y realm. While everyone is waiting a thousand years in line for a sip of Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts, you can rest and relax inside a coffee shop that has a tendency to make you feel like you're chilling in your own living room.
Even beyond that, if you really feel like acting like a local, you can take your cute coffee cup to go and snap a classic pic that says "I'm late for work, but I still had time to get coffee."
11 The Elk
In New York City, tucked away in the West Village sits The Elk, an adorable and peaceful cafe that has amazing natural lighting. Perfect for a candid coffee selfie.
Whether you're snapping a photo inside while reading a good book on one of their "no laptop" tables or casually hanging outside along their patio on one of their barstools, you're bound to get a classic coffee-shop selfie. Bonus points of you get one typing away on your laptop and caption it with something along the lines of "working on the next American novel."
Just make sure it's not on the "no laptop" tables, they do that seriously.
10 Pietro NoLita
Located in one of the coolest areas of New York City on 174 Elizabeth Street, this cafe is everything pink. And I mean, everything.
While inside you'll find delicious healthy Italian dishes — don't worry I don't think the food is pink — and, of course, more pink decor outside the cafe is where the real photo-opp lies. Take a seat on one of the gorgeous pink benches, and look out onto the bustle and hustle of the city streets.
It's the kind of photo that says "Hey, only in New York," and also probably "I'm really, really into the color pink."
9 Stuyvesant Street
The East Village is a gorgeous place for a stroll — and a good selfie. While taking a long, relaxing walk through the village, make sure you make your way down to Stuyvesant Street. Diagonally crossing 9th Street and sitting between 2nd and 3rd Avenue is the kind of street that makes you stop and catch your breath.
Before you get caught up imagining what it would be like to live in one of the beautiful and historic townhomes covered with creeping vines, have your travel buddy stop and take a casual look-over-the-shoulder picture. This is the perfect backdrop for it.
8 Bethesda Terrace
Obviously, Central Park is not a secret selfie spot. But while there are tons of different places to snap a good park photo, we think Bethesda Terrace — and the fountain outside it — makes for the kind of photos that will make your followers drool with envy.
This place is so insanely gorgeous that people literally get married and take their engagement photos there all the time.
Because it's in Central Park, there is, of course, a good chance you'll encounter some crowds. But if you get there in the early morning, you might have the steps behind the terrace all to yourself.
7 Milk and Cream Cereal Bar
In New York City, desserts are not just something to munch on, but a work of art to be admired. And when you visit Milk and Cream Cereal Bar, you understand exactly why that is.
First off, you need to get a cute selfie by the "Treat Yo'Self" neon sign, because you're eating at a dessert bar in NYC and you absolutely should be treating yourself. After that, order yourself something scrumptious and beautiful to hold up proudly in front of the New York skyline.
Hundreds of likes are guaranteed, and there's also a chance that your treat will be so gorgeous that you'll feel bad eating it.
6 Tiger by Sonny
Known for its amazing street art, there are literally hundreds of interesting, gorgeous and slightly weird murals throughout the city you can snap a photo in front of. But are any really as cool as this tiger? My guess would be no.
Located in the heart of New York City at 185 Lafayette Street, this massively huge mural is almost impossible to ignore and even capture in just one photo.
But after you take several selfies (from several different angles) make sure you use any "Eye of the Tiger" references sparingly. You're in New York and New Yorkers can do better than that.
5 Greenwich Village Brownstones
If you're trying to fake your way in and look like a real, fancy New Yorker, you need a good pic on the steps of a fancy brownstone. You know, the one you live in.
And Greenwich Village is the absolute best place to do that.
While you literally have tens of thousands of brownstones to choose from, I'd suggest using one that's on a less-busy area of the street. It's smart to be careful that someone might not totally want you to have a long photo sesh outside their building, so get your photo and then kindly move along.
4 The Met Rooftop
It's New York City, and crowds are literally everywhere in sight, year-round. So while this is another one of those locations that you might definitely have to fight through some tourists, the rooftop of the Met Museum is worth it where Times Square is probably not.
With gorgeous skyline views and incredible gardens to stroll through, the photo opportunities are endless. Take your time exploring the rooftop and waiting for fellow photo-takers to get their perfect shot, because it will be like no other view you've ever had. Also, you can grab a cocktail while you wait, which is a win-win.
3 Panna II Garden
Panna II Garden is one of the weirdest and most awesome places you'll ever visit in New York City. Not only are you gonna get some yummy Indian food in this adorable and tiny little restaurant, but the incredible light display above makes it more than Insta-worthy.
You will not be alone, but taking a photo in the heart of a huge crowd during a night on the town is cool in of itself. However, this place is old-school, so be sure to bring some cash. And your own beverages, if you'd like to partake.
I mean, that's just New York right?
2 Baby Brasa
Tucked away in the West Village lies New York City's best Peruvian chicken, well at least according to Baby Brasa's website. While the food tends to steal the show, this incredible restaurant also serves up some insanely beautiful and unique decor.
You're gonna want to first grab a meal and take a photo inside while getting cozy under the dozens of hanging plants above you. After you've filled up, head outside for a personal photo shoot in front of one of the cafe's many cheeky murals. Fan favorites include "Burn, baby burn," which also makes for some very simple caption inspiration.
1 The Standard
Just looking out a few photos of The Standard and its incredible rooftop, and one can already imagine the infinite amounts of selfie possibilities.
While the hotel itself is one of the hippest and coolest places for the rich and famous to stay when they visit New York City, its rooftop is the real gem. Not only will you find yourself wanting to hang out under the city lights for hours upon hours, but the photos you'll get from this fancy and actually kind of secret spot are one in a million.
Bonus points if you can convince people you stayed there because it's unsurprisingly very expensive.