Top 10 more reasons to visit New York
The biggest icon of all is that American is New York City. So here are 10 more don’t miss highlights of New York City.
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Most visitors to this vibrant city, especially return visitors, find the real joy of New York is developing familiarity with the city, whether that’s the parks of Greenwich Village, the coffee shops of the Upper West Side or the unique buzz of Harlem.
Why not take the time to stop and enjoy your own bite of the Big Apple?
1. The Statue of Liberty
Also known as Lady Liberty, this spectacular monument opened in 1886 and included Gustave Eiffel among its architects (he also designed The Eiffel Tower in 1889). There are regular tours out to Liberty, most including Ellis Island. However, if you mainly want to see and photograph the statue from the water, a ride on the Staten Island ferry it is fantastic option and it is free.
2. The High Line
This is a disused freight rail line along Manhattan’s West Side that has been turned into a public park. It runs from W14th St to W34th St and is open from 7am until late in the evening (11pm in summer, 7pm in winter). It has been embraced as a fantastic use of urban space with art installations, wifi hotspots and gardens. Unique and inspiring!
3. Grand Central Station
Officially Grand Central Station has been Grand Central Terminal since 1913 but the new name is yet to stick. It’s a grand Beaux-Arts complex over 19 hectares with Tiffany glass in the outside clock on the grand façade and a glorious main concourse with a highly decorated ceiling. Amazingly, this is one of the ten most visited tourist attractions in the world. There are 35 food outlets and restaurants on the dining concourse, one level below the main concourse and the 44 platforms are on two levels below that. There are both self-guided and guided daily tours.
4. The American Museum of Natural History
One of the largest museums in the world, may be best known as the setting for the Night at the Museum movie series. It is dauntingly comprehensive so you really need to pick a topic such as dinosaur discoveries or climate change – or focus on one of the many special exhibitions on. The T-rex skeleton and the blue whale replica are emblematic but the hominid skeleton named Lucy, the giant sequoia slab and the 632 carat Patricia emerald are worth seeking out.
5. UN Headquarters
This is officially seven hectares of international territory bordered by First Ave, the East River, E42nd St and E48th St. The land was bought and donated by John D Rockefeller Jr. after WWII and Le Corbusier was part of the design team. The largest structure is the Secretariat Building but the most important is the General Assembly Building. You are welcome to visit to see the exhibits and installations and there are regular guided tours. You can even book for lunch in the Delegates Dining Room. As they say ‘Welcome to the United Nations - it's your world!’.
6. Greenwich Village
This is the really fun part of lower Manhattan so plan to spend some time here. Washington Square, with that famous arch, has been a welcome gathering place for avant guard artists such as buskers, poets and other street performers for decades. A wonderful spot to enjoy a picnic lunch and be entertained.
7. Woodbury Common
Love a bargain? This huge discount mall is about 80 km from downtown Manhattan. You can get there by car, train or various shuttle buses – even by helicopter, though that may cut into the overall savings. There are 220 stores offering up to 65 per cent off. So you can find Levis for $25US or Nike and Adidas at similar discounts plus luxury brands including Armani, Dior or Gucci at great prices.
8. Wall Street
Did you know Wall Street got its name from the palisade erected by the Dutch to keep Indian tribes and the British out of the land it had purchased in 1626? A local tree became a site for bargaining and the New York Stock Exchange had its roots. Anyone can visit, of course, but some areas are off-limits. A tour provides much better insight thanwandering alone. Feeling peckish? Try Brookfield Place at 230 Vessey St that has good shops and eating options while also overlooking North Cove Yacht Harbor. Love walking tours? Try Wall Street Walks to discover the history behind Wall Street for $35US.
9. Flatiron Building
This is a wedge-shaped 21-storey structure at the corner of Broadway and 5th Avenue. Since it opened in 1903 it has been a unique landmark of New York and has given its name to a whole district. It was designed by Chicago architect Daniel Burnham and was intended to be called the Fuller Building, as the HQ of the Fuller Construction Company, but its resemblance to a clothes iron soon led to the nickname that has stuck. It can be best appreciated from Flatiron Plaza across E23rd St.
10. Times Square
The heart of the city - Times Square - is where every tourist to NYC ends up and for good reason. It takes its name from the New York Times Building of 1904 that was inaugurated by a New Year’s Eve fireworks display. It soon became the Theatre District, with billboards to match. Building regulations now require that each one is covered with billboards. Whether it’s for theatre tickets, neon photography or simply the bustle of the crowds, it’s an essential area to spend some time to soak in this wonderful city.
Have you spent time in this amazing city? Share your memories of New York below…