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If a visit to New York City is on the agenda, there are thousands of places to visit, adventures to enjoy and unique places to explore. One day isn’t enough, as many people find, but a little advanced knowledge and planning can make the most of a visit.
Things To Do In New York City
To experience New York City at its finest, be certain to see these top ten sites. It is highly recommended that reservations, prior purchase of tickets and hours of operation be confirmed before venturing out, or, at the very least, have a contingency plan just in case.
The Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
At Battery Park, the southern tip of Manhattan, regular ferry service is available to Liberty and Ellis Island. One ticket will include a visit to both islands to view and explore the Statue of Liberty, the museum on Ellis Island, the harbour, as well as the skyline of New York City. Take in the view and surprising size around the base of the Statue of Liberty and then head inside the pedestal to explore the museum. Visitors are no longer allowed inside the Statue itself, though a limited number are able to view inside through a glass ceiling and guided tour. This tour is by reservation only, so call and reserve in advance.
Continue the ferry trip to Ellis Island, the largest port of immigrant entry and inspection to the United States of America. The history and museum are thrilling for all ages and can spark interest, as well as information and helpful hints, to begin tracing your own family roots.
Be certain to bring a camera for some of the best views of the New York skyline from the deck of the ferry boats.
South Street Seaport
In lower Manhattan, you’ll find the South Street Seaport. A twelve block area situated on the waterfront filled with shops, restaurants and a museum to give visitors a better idea of New York City’s humble beginnings. Walk the cobblestone streets that many wagons travelled after hauling a European ship’s cargo. Enjoy the outdoor performances of a variety of artists. Stop and get your caricature done and try not to leave without an “I Love NY” souvenir. Should you get tired of walking, pop for a short harbour cruise for a special look at the historical, but elegantly renovated South Street Seaport.
In midtown Manhattan is Rockefeller Center; the largest, private, building enterprise ever built in the United States. Fourteen skyscrapers surround an open plaza that houses an ice skating rink from October through April. Paul Manship’s gold Prometheus statue holds centre stage of the plaza and, to make all visitors feel welcome, just look overhead as the flags of all nations wave in the breeze. When you tire of skating, stop at any of the shops, stores and restaurants that surround the plaza. Loiter for a unique view inside the NBC studios or splurge for a behind-the-scenes tour to learn the history, secrets and gossip of the day.
The plaza is the host to many festivals, concerts and shows throughout the year. If you are lucky enough to be in New York City during the Christmas holiday, don’t miss Rockefeller Center’s massive Christmas tree; a great spot for a family photograph.
Central Park, in the centre of New York City, is an eight-hundred-plus-acre park that includes a boathouse, a carousel, athletic fields, playgrounds, sculptures, fountains and many roaming performers and artists. Rent a remote-controlled boat and race the competition, run through the various trails, feed the squirrel and birds, or simply find a spot on one of the thousands of benches and people-watch.
Between 42nd and 43rd street, on Broadway, lies Times Square, the southern tip of the theatre district. With the evolving neon signs, the stores that compete for your attention, the theatres that draw you in and the noise and people, there is no other place that represents New York City. Simply stand in one place and take in the view. Should plans allow, Times Square is the place to be on New Year’s Eve to watch the famous ball descend; however, planning and early arrival are key.
While taking in the views of Times Square, find a ticket kiosk for ticket sales of the current day’s shows. Less expensive, last-minute tickets to many of the popular shows can be obtained and no show will disappoint. Corporate sponsors and large budgets, combined with performer talent and energy can only leave a grand NYC impression.
New York Public Library
The search for patience and fortitude doesn’t have to be a difficult, inner experience. Simply head to the New York Public Library where Patience and Fortitude, the marble lions, flank the entrance. The largest marble structure ever built in the United States welcomes all those with curious minds. Changing exhibits, unique murals, massive oak tables and panelling, and a gift shop make this library an extraordinary place to see. Don’t miss it.
For the young or young-at-heart, the Bronx Zoo is a unique get-away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Explore the butterfly zone, the world of reptiles, the Congo rain forest or the Himalayan Highlands all within an hour. Pet deer and learn about the life of parrots at the Children’s Zoo, ride the Bengali Express Monorail to view the tigers or simply relax with ice cream while watching the daily life of the giraffe. With a number of families or special events planned throughout the year, there’s always something fun to do at the zoo.
The Brooklyn Bridge
Rent a bicycle or simply walk over this century-old steel suspension bridge. Take in the dramatic views of the skyline, the boats, The Statue of Liberty and the skyline of lower Manhattan. Be certain to stop at the centre of the bridge for historic markers and information and don’t forget your camera!
Though one of the most devastating attacks on the United States left many scars, Ground Zero is a memorial consisting of what remains of Fritz Koenig’s sculpture, “The Sphere.” Though the sculpture was damaged by debris, the remaining portion, the many notes of thanks, photographs and stories of September 11th, create a sense of life and reality. Though it is an emotional place to visit, the sense of pride and strength is resolute.
Image Credit: Depositphotos