Young or old, man or woman – New York is on the bucket list of every individual who has ever seen a movie or heard a song that has alluded to the magic of New York. It’s hard to definitively put a finger on why New York has garnered this incredible reputation, but all who visit are converted to this diverse and vibrant city. Now that you have registered for your ESTA visa, got your travel insurance sorted (companies such as tickinsurance.com.au offer reasonably priced policies online), and packed for the weather you are expecting – the fun begins in designing your itinerary. If you are lucky enough to be visiting New York this year, you might need some ideas on where to go and why, so we have compiled a list of 10 places you must visit.
Let’s kick things off with the most revered attraction in New York, the Empire State Building. If it’s good enough for King Kong to climb, it’s good enough for you to ascend the 102 floors to reach the top and get the best view of New York City. The Empire State Building has been recently refurbished at the end of 2019, with the viewing deck much more accommodating to the many thousands who visit each day. Try and choose a sunny day to visit so you can see a greater distance, and spend a few hours looking through the telescopes.
New York is often referred to as the concrete jungle, but Central Park does a good job to defy that label. Central Park is an enormous 840 acres of green land, ponds, walking tracks and memorials spread across the expansive park. The best part of visiting Central Park is that it is at the centre of New York, and so you can tee up this visit with any other attraction you are visiting that day. Be sure to look for the turtles in the pond, as they can be seen all year round except winter when the pond is frozen over.
Manhattan is fantastic, but there is lots to be seen in Brooklyn also. You can access this borough by walking over the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge, which offers a great view of the Manhattan skyline when you are about halfway to Brooklyn. Try and do this in the day and at night if you have the time so that you can see the beauty in the light of day and lit up with all the lights at night.
The High Line is a very special place to visit, with the 2.3-kilometre linear park elevated above Chelsea. Now, what exactly is a linear park? The High Line is a railway which has been converted into a park, with the outdoor space offering benches along the gorgeous path that winds between buildings and toward the centre of the city. It might be an idea to visit Chelsea Market before or after this expedition for a drink or bite to eat as it is closeby and an attraction in itself.
So much more than a train station is Grand Central Terminal. This gorgeous station has such a colourful history, with the architecture and design hinting at the era in which it was brought to life. When you walk through this 70-acre compound, it might be hard to believe that there have been many times in the past where this terminal was almost demolished, with figures such as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis fighting to keep it open. Now, it’s one of the city’s most regal landmarks and a must-visit.
You will want to be well-rested on the day you visit Times Square, as this area will assault the senses and truly embodies New York’s reputation for being the city that never sleeps. Here you will find all the main retailers you know and love, some fine restaurant choices and comedy clubs are in good supply. If you are booked in for any group tours, it’s likely this will be the meet-up spot.
Lady Liberty represents the opportunity and spirit of New York and can be seen from a number of vantage points around the city. If you want to get up close and personal with the Statue of Liberty, you can take the boat ride from Battery Park which circles the statue with the choice to get off and really get close. Note that different boats will get to different distances so if you want to actually step off and enter the island, make sure you are on the right boat.
Broadway isn’t one place in particular, but a suburb that features a number of theatres that showcase blockbuster musicals, plays and artistic expressions. Jump onto TodayTix to see what is showing and when, and you may be able to snag tickets at a reasonable price when purchased last minute. This does not need to be an expensive exercise, you can do this affordably or lavishly.
Depending on when you are visiting New York, you may be lucky enough to see a concert or sports event at this renowned venue. Madison Square Gardens is home to ice hockey team, New York arrangers, and NBA team, New York Knicks. Despite the name, Madison Square Garden is actually an indoor arena, so don’t let that put you off if you are considering the venue when travelling in winter.
How do you determine the local cuisine in a community as ethnically diverse as New York. The truth is, there are many of them, and you should try your best to make your way through the lot. Chinese takeout is a great option for those days spent on your feet all day, and New York pizza is another delicious delicacy you will have to try. There will also be areas, like Lower Manhattan, which are known for their Jewish fare, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the restaurants with long lines like Katz Delicatissant and Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen.
Here are some of the best places to visit in New York, but there are thousands of other places to see. Where you stay in New York will have a direct influence on the areas you spend time in, so do some research on the boroughs and suburbs so you get the experience you are after.