Tourist Attractions in New York
One of the greatest cities in the world, New York is always a whirlwind of activity, with famous sites at every turn and never enough time to see them all. Some people visit to enjoy the Broadway shows; others specifically to shop and dine; and many simply to see the sites: the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, historic neighborhoods, and numerous world famous museums. Many of the best places to visit in New York are within walking distance of each other, or just a short ride away, making this city a delight for sightseeing.
Some of the newer tourist attractions that have opened in New York in recent years, like the High Line and One World Observatory, offer unique perspectives of the city. Any time of year and any time of day or night there are an endless array of things to see and do in New York.
The largest and most populated city in the USA, New York City is often called the “city that never sleeps” because it is constantly buzzing with activities. The metropolis is the nexus of culture, art, architecture, history and entertainment. With so much to see and do in the city, it can be overwhelming to a New York novice.
Here is a brief but comprehensive list outlines on the top tourist attractions in New York City that travelers won’t find anywhere else.
Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty was France’s gift to America. Built-in 1886, it remains a famous world symbol of freedom and one of the greatest American icons. It is one of the world’s largest statues, standing just less than 152 feet tall from the base to the torch, and weighing approximately 450,000 pounds. The Statue of Liberty has welcomed new arrivals to the shores of America for over a hundred years. Lady Liberty on her pedestal stands at an impressive 93 meters (305 feet), which visitors can climb for views of Brooklyn and Gustave Eiffel’s supportive framework.
Empire State Building
The iconic Empire State Building is one of New York’s most famous landmark buildings and key tourist attractions. The 381-meter-tall, 102-storey building was the tallest in the world until the 1 World Trade Center tower rose higher, 41 years later. Topped with a mooring mast for airships, the Empire State Building immediately became a landmark and a symbol for NYC when it opened in 1931.
There are actually two observatories atop the Empire State Building, but both offer astounding views. On clear days, you can see up to 80 miles, looking into the neighboring states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
For naturalists looking to take a break from the big city, relaxing in the Great Lawn or a walk along the extensive spaths throughout the park can offer a much needed respite. There are also plenty of outdoor activities to entertain visitors including catch and release fishing at the Dana Discovery Center, rowboat rentals from the Loeb Boathouse. The park boasts six miles of paved roads open only to joggers, bicyclists as well as skateboarders and inline skaters. Central Park is also especially friendly for families with playgrounds and the Tisch Children’s Zoo.
With over 39 million visitors annually, Times Square is the world’s most visited tourist attraction. Lined with huge, brilliantly lit billboards and screens, Times Square is the place to go in New York in the evening, but still exciting at any time of day. Today, Times Square is a major center of the world’s entertainment industry. This is the location of annual New York’s New Year’s Eve Celebrations and the famous “ball drop” at midnight, which began in 1907, has been a staple of the square’s allure. Times Square is busy and perpetually crowded but has its own unique appeal.
The Brooklyn Bridge, built between 1869 and 1883, with its Gothic-shaped arches and suspension cables, is one of the oldest and most recognizable suspension bridges in the world which has inspired generations of poets, songwriters, and painters. This historic bridge, spanning 5,989 feet to the East River from Manhattan to Brooklyn was the world’s first steel suspension bridge.
Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met Fifth Avenue)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Met, as it is commonly known, was founded in 1870, and is one of the most famous museums in the United States. The permanent collection of The Met contains more than two million works of art, spanning a period of 5,000 years.
Rockefeller Center & Top of the Rock Observation Deck
A tour of Rockefeller Center, a complex of 19 buildings built by the Rockefeller family, offers a behind-the-scenes look at some of New York City’s greatest treasures. These buildings have housed many major corporations over the years including General Electric and are home to the NBC studios. At 70 stories high, the Top of the Rock observation deck gives visitors unobstructed 360-degree views of New York City. The NBC Studios tour gives visitors the chance to glimpse the sets of their favorite NBC shows or sit behind a news desk. Rockefeller Center is also home to Radio City Music Hall, which was restored to reflect its 1930s glamour. Rockefeller Center transforms during the holiday season with the impressive Christmas tree overlooking the skating rink and Radio City Christmas Spectacular.
Grand Central Terminal
Central Terminal, often called Grand Central Station and dubbed the “world’s loveliest station”, is a fantastic Beaux Arts building, one of the top tourist attractions in New York City and it’s definitely worth popping in to take a look at this famous landmark. The building first opened in 1913 as a terminal for the subway and train stations. The cavernous Main Concourse is home to the impressive clock made of pearly opal glass.
The High Line is a public park built on a historic freight rail line elevated above Manhattan’s West Side. The park is maintained and operated by Friends of the High Line, which fought for the preservation and transformation of the rail line into green space. Every month there are new fun and diverse activities for visitors.
National September 11 Memorial and Museum
The 9/11 Memorial Museum is located in an awesome, curving glass building, between the two pools. It features displays that include artifacts, photos, and videos, presenting the story of 9/11, as well as the aftermath and impacts. The building is constructed around the remnants of the World Trade Center and incorporates the old structures within the extraordinary new museum building.