Considered by many to be the greatest city in the world, New York City is a place unlike any other. It is constantly buzzing with the energy of its 8 million residents and the millions of visitors that pass through its streets every year. Gotham, The Big Apple, The City of Dreams—whatever you call it, New York is a one-of-a-kind city filled with iconic sights and some of the world’s best attractions. Don’t miss out on these must-see places in NYC.
1) 9/11 Memorial & Museum
One of the most moving places in the city, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in lower Manhattan commemorates the September 11, 2001 attacks and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The memorial is located at the World Trade Center site, the former location of the Twin Towers. The museum showcases artifacts and examines the events of that awful September day. The memorial covers approximately eight acres, and features twin reflecting pools and a solemn memorial glade.
2) Empire State Building
An icon of NYC and one of its most famous buildings, the Empire State Building in Midtown Manhattan is a 102-story Art Deco skyscraper completed in 1931. Guests are welcome to take an elevator to one of two of the Empire State Building’s observation decks: the Main Deck on the 86th or the newly renovated 102nd Floor Observation Deck. You can see the Empire State building in more than 250 TV shows, including its first and most famous appearance in 1933’s King Kong.
Lovers of art, history, culture, and the natural world enjoy nothing more than visiting the hundreds of museums that pepper New York City. The best museums and places to see art include:
- Metropolitan Museum of Art, whose collection of 2 million pieces spans 5,000 years
- Museum of Modern Art, a highly influential modern art showcase
- The Guggenheim, a unique museum designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
- The American Museum of Natural History is a beloved science museum housing over 150 million plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, human remains, and human cultural artifacts
4) 5th Avenue
If you like to shop, you’ll feel right at home on Fifth Avenue, one of the most expensive streets in the world. 5th Avenue is lined with expensive boutiques and flagship stores, especially between 49th Street and 60th Street. Stores along this stretch include Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Prada, Armani, Cartier, Chanel, Harry Winston, Salvatore Ferragamo, Rolex, Versace, Henri Bendel, Bergdorf Goodman, and of course, Saks Fifth Avenue.
5) Central Park
Central Park takes up much of Manhattan, covering 843 acres between the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side. Central Park is the most popular urban park in the United States, with an estimated 38 million annual visitors. One of the most filmed locations in the world is one of the biggest must-see things in NYC.
If you want to experience more than just a simple walk in the park, there is a lot to see and do:
- Central Park Carousel, whose hand-carved and painted horses and two chariots are visited by nearly 250,000 riders a year
- Central Park Zoo, which welcomes over one million people a year
- Loeb Boathouse, where visitors can rent rowboats to enjoy in the park’s 22-acre lake
- Delacorte Theater is home to New York’s famous Shakespeare in the Park every summer.
6) Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is a 305-feet-tall sculpture that has dominated Liberty Island in New York Harbor since October 28, 1886. The copper statue developed its iconic green patina over several decades. It was a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States. It was designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel. The statue is our country’s ultimate icon of freedom, and Lady Liberty has welcomed millions of new Americans home. You get great views of the statue from Lower Manhattan or Battery Park, or you can take a ferry to Liberty Island.
7) Ellis Island
The Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration tells the stories of the more than 12 million immigrants who passed through Ellis Island. It was the main port of entry for new Americans arriving by ship between 1892-1954. Ellis Island can be reached by ferry provided by State Cruises. Transportation to Ellis Island is included in all tickets to the Statue of Liberty.
8) Times Square
One of the world's most visited tourist attractions, Times Square draws an estimated 50 million visitors annually. It is a major commercial intersection and tourist destination in the middle of the Broadway Theater District. Times Square may be most famous for its annual New Year’s Eve celebration, NYC’s biggest, loudest party of the year.
9) Yankee Stadium
Yankee Stadium is perhaps the most legendary stadium in all of baseball. The Yankees played in the original stadium from 1923-2008, where icons like Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and Derek Jeter donned the uniform. The current stadium opened in 2009, and is celebrated as one of the most luxurious sports stadiums in the country.
10) Rockefeller Center
A National Historic Landmark in Midtown Manhattan, Rockefeller Center is a massive complex found between 48th Street and 51st Street. A gorgeous example of Art Deco design, the historic original core was commissioned by John D. Rockefeller Jr. and completed in 1939. The complex includes:
- Radio City Music Hall, the home of the Rockettes
- Rockefeller Plaza, the winter home of the famous outdoor ice-skating rink, and of course the Christmas Tree
- Top of the Rock, the observation deck found on the 70th floor of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, with sweeping views of the city
11) Hotdog Cart
Cheap, delicious, and quintessentially New York, can you really say you did the City without stopping at a hotdog cart? After the vendor pulls your frank out of a steaming bath and puts it into its soft bun, you’ll hand them between $1-3. It’s customary to cover your hotdog with ketchup, relish, mustard or if you want to be really traditional, a heap of sauerkraut.
Visit New York City with YMT Vacations
If you want to visit New York City in person, why not join YMT Vacations on one of our many tours that stop by the Big Apple? New York & Gems of Europe, Autumn Leaves Tour, and Highlights of American History Tour are just a few of the itineraries that stop in New York. There are literally unlimited exciting things to do in NYC, but you have to get there first. To join us, call your travel agent or YMT Vacations at 1-888-756-9072.