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Top 10 Things to Do in New York

Empire State Building view

1. Pay a Visit to the Empire State Building

It takes perseverance to visit the Empire State Building, a large structure with its zip code, long lines, and challenging elevator rides. However, I think everyone should give it a shot at least once. You can still see five of the USA’s fifty states from the observation deck of this Art Deco colossus, formerly the tallest structure in the world. You can also see the entirety of Manhattan island from there. Below, the stunning Chrysler skyscraper, which was once a serious contender for the title of “tallest building in the world,” shines in defeat.

The Empire State Building’s operating hours are 8 a.m. until 2 a.m. Although there is no time you can’t visit the building, before 10:00 am is your best time to visit the Empire State Building, especially if you have children with you. Even after purchasing a fast pass, you will still need to pass security checks as rigorous as those at an airport.

Pro Tip:

Compared to climbing higher up, the 86th floor is less expensive, outdoors, and possibly has a better perspective. However, those who are altitude-inclined may think it’s a cop-out.

2. Check the Top of the Rock.

When someone says, “We went to Top of the Rock,” they’re usually referring to the observation deck at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. For example, “we didn’t go up the Empire State Building.” One of New York’s most well-liked viewing platforms is located on the 70th level of this enormous building. From here, you can see exactly how huge Central Park is, stretched out below the tower like a sizable green picnic blanket. Additionally, your viewfinder will display the Empire State Building in real life (something number 1 on our list will never be able to claim). Similar to the Empire State Building, tourists prefer to visit Top of the Rock during sunset since it offers the finest lighting for taking pictures.

The Rockefeller Center, located on ground level, really shines during the holiday season when you can view the renowned Radio City Rockettes chorus line, take in the aroma of one of New York’s biggest Christmas trees, and glide over the city’s most well-known skating rink.

Pro Tip:

You can pay a visit to the top of the rock anytime. If you reserve one of the sought-after sundowner spaces, be prepared to pay a $10 supplemental fee.

The Statue of Liberty

3. Visit Ellis Island After Seeing the Statue of Liberty

Remember to say “Bonjour” when you see the Statue of Liberty, a French sculpture designed by renowned French engineer Gustave Eiffel.

The stunning Statue of Liberty is perched on an island in New York Harbor. She is easily accessible via ferry. She is French and was constructed by renowned French engineer Gustav Eiffel. You can also make a reservation to see her crown, although it’s not recommended for the faint of heart to ascend the 146 steps of the spiral staircase.

A quick ferry ride separates Ellis Island from Liberty Island. 12 million immigrants went through Ellis Island’s offices as an immigration inspection station, along with countless others who have been forgotten, like Cary Grant in 1920 and Bob Hope in 1908. The island’s museum is simultaneously moving and heartbreaking because entry into the US is still quite challenging.

Pro Tip:

Whether you’re chugging over to Staten Island, lounging on Governor’s, or you’ve entered a hot dog eating contest over at Coney, New York’s neighboring islands offer a breezy break from the city center.

4. Take Time to Reflect at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum

Constructing a 9/11 memorial in New York was a huge challenge. The tragedy’s scope and the massive void the World Trade Center’s collapse left would be very hard to fill. However, the two towers’ former footprints have been transformed into two submerged pools continuously filled with waterfalls. The memorial, also referred to as “Reflecting Absence,” is a worthy, substantial memorial.

The National September 11 Museum, built on top of the original Twin Towers’ foundations, is located beneath this straightforward yet monumental pair of monuments. Around the exhibitions, which feature heartbreaking burnt-out artifacts and melted equipment from valiant first responders, tissue stations are available—and frequently needed. Ascend to the observation deck of the One World Trade Center to round out your tour of the neighborhood and leave on a hopeful note. Skyline views from New York City’s tallest building are well-liked.

Pro Tip:

You can reflect on the events of 9/11 in a variety of locations. Five minutes south is the 9/11 Tribute Museum, which is run by the September 11th Families’ Association. It gives moving guided tours that are led by individuals who have experienced the events firsthand.

5. Relaxing at Central Park

Central Park is an incredibly tranquil sanctuary in the middle of the busiest city in the world. It carves a sizable grassy swath out of Upper Manhattan and boasts 834 acres of green space. Tower blocks look in from all angles as though they were guests at a terrarium. You may observe New Yorkers at the park at their most relaxed. While tourists, Instagrammers, and members of the national press stand side by side to take pictures of Bow Bridge, students lie on the grass. While children run amok with model boats at Conservatory Water in the summer and sleds in the winter, pampered dogs are kept on tight leashes around the squirrels.

Additionally, there are statues of the heroic Alaskan sled dog Balto and Alice in Wonderland. Strawberry Fields, a tranquil area of the park named in honor of John Lennon of the Beatles, is located below Dakota Apartments, where he formerly lived.

Pro Tip:

Come here throughout the summer to see Shakespeare in the Park, free evening productions of some of Shakespeare’s most well-known plays presented by the Delacorte Theater.

6. View the Works of Art at The Met

The abundance of museums in a city with New York’s cultural significance should not come as a surprise. Make your way to the Met, which is short for Metropolitan Museum of Art and one of the most prominent museums in the world, for the most extensive collection. Over two million works from this enormous collection are dispersed among many structures. On Fifth Avenue, there sits the main museum. However, in addition to the customary gloomy ranks of mummies, you shouldn’t overlook the significant Temple of Dendur. Most visitors walk directly to the Egyptian rooms, which can be exhaustingly busy.

You can quickly move from the guns and armor gallery to the America Wing to view the museum’s treasured painting, “Washington Crossing the Delaware” by Emanuel Leutze, which is another eye-catching gem. Georgia O’Keeffe’s more recent works are also kept there. Upstairs are the Impressionists. Find the museum’s most recognizable works of art by Van Gogh and Monet.

Pro Tip:

Be aware of the fashion exhibitions at the Met. The Miranda Priestleys of the city are drawn to these amazing events.

Gallery in The Met

7. Go to Times Square to Capture the Spirit of New York

Times Square in the Theater District, the most visited location on earth, is ablaze with digital billboards and frequently thronged with tourists. Although some folks are only in town to take a photo at the center of the universe, many visitors are looking for inexpensive Broadway tickets.

Queuing at a TKTS booth is the greatest way to secure day seats for Broadway mainstay productions; one is located right on Times Square, underneath the steps. Broadway blockbusters, including The Lion King, Chicago, and Jersey Boys, are 50% off here. For the major events, you may also make online reservations or register for day seat lotteries; Hamilton has the hardest tickets to get, but it’s always worth a shot.

Pro Tip:

At midday, keep an eye out for a street performer known as the Naked Cowboy (mercifully, he wears y-fronts).

8. Impress Your Children by Visiting the American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History is a great place for kids, animal lovers, and Jurassic Park fans. The exhibits, which include a brand-new and crucial climate change exhibition, draw visitors back, although they may have gained fresh popularity due to the Night at the Museum movies.

About 33 million specimens may be found in this museum, some of which are cute, and others have just too many legs to qualify as such. Kids will squeal with joy when they see the T-Rex skeleton in the Saurischian hall on the fourth floor. The first-floor meteorite hall, where the largest boulder to strike the US from orbit since 1906 stood, is maintained clear of dinosaurs. The Rose Center, which has a sizable planetarium, is another gigantic structure that is entirely devoted to space.

Pro Tip:

Make sure you stop by the Hall of American Forests’ felled 1,400year-old Giant Sequoia (try counting its rings!). The legendary Lucy, whose skeleton remains date back 3.18 million years, is another option for something even older. She is one of our earliest known forebears. She spends time at the Human Origins Anne and Bernard Spitzer Hall.

Brooklyn Bridge

9. Go Over the Brooklyn Bridge

Before leaving Manhattan, you haven’t seen the real New York. Every day, 10,000 people cross the Brooklyn Bridge to enter the renowned Brooklyn borough of New York City. On this 35-minute journey across the Hudson, join them. There are other beautiful sights besides the bridge. Enjoy spectacular views of Lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, and other landmarks. The trip can also be made on a Citi Bike, which can be rented all around the city. This speeds up the crossing, but carrying an ice cream makes it more challenging.

The closest hipster hotspot in Williamsburg after you’re on the Brooklyn side. The Brooklyn Bridge Park is located near Dumbo (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), while the Brooklyn Botanic Garden comes into its own in the spring with the advent of the cherry blossoms.

Pro Tip:

A waterfront area called Brooklyn Bridge Park has several piers and even a small pebble beach (off Pier 4). The main draw to hanging out here is to indulge in a picnic while admiring the magnificent skyline. Consider taking a sightseeing ferry excursion for more beautiful vistas.

10. Take a High Line Stroll

Tired of constantly gazing up at buildings? The crick in your neck will go away after a stroll along the High Line. The High Line, formerly a derelict railroad viaduct, was restored as a public park in 2009. Its lengthy, narrow walkway meanders past attractive lawns, public artwork, and flower beds that are all elevated several meters above the ground. Visits are uncharged. Elevators and staircases allow access to the park from various locations in Chelsea. Walk along to see views of West Manhattan and to see hipsters relaxing on the High Line’s deck chairs, where they belong. Keep an eye out for the IAC building by Frank Gehry and Nabisco, the company that created the Oreo cookie.

Pro Tip:

Make sure to visit the Chelsea Market, a neighboring urban food court, after a walk. They have huge fried chicken sandwiches, small doughnuts, and gelato for a refreshing dessert.