If you’ve seen any movie that takes place in Manhattan, you’ve seen these iconic attractions. But have you experienced them in person, with your very own eyes? Until you can answer “yes” to that question, you can’t really say you’ve been to New York City.
This iconic building is visible from almost everywhere in Manhattan, and it serves as an excellent point of reference if you’re feeling a bit directionally challenged. A New York landmark since its completion in 1931, visitors (particularly those who are unafraid of heights) can see for miles at the 86th and 102nd-floor observation decks.
Right behind the New York Public Library is a popular oasis of green known as Bryant Park. It’s the perfect spot to have lunch al fresco on a beautiful spring day, and, if you’re lucky, you’ll catch a free outdoor movie or yoga or fencing class. If you visit in the winter, perhaps you’ll enjoy the gratis ice-skating or the holiday market.
If you find yourself at the intersection of Broadway, Sixth Avenue and 34th Street, you’re standing in Herald Square. You’ll recognize it, of course, because of the flagship Macy’s store, which is where the wildly popular Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade ends.
This majestic church is the home for Catholics in New York City, and the seat of Timothy Dolan, archbishop of the city. The neo-gothic cathedral is one of the largest in the country and is adorned with stained glass and ornate detailing. It’s a beautiful spot for tourists to see and an incredibly meaningful place for visiting Catholics to celebrate mass.
Some insist you haven’t really seen New York City until you’ve seen it from the “Top of the Rock” – the 70-story high observation deck at 30 Rockefeller Center, that is. Known for its ice rink (which becomes the trendy Rink Bar in the summer) and the annual lighting of an enormous Christmas tree, Rockefeller Center is also famed as the studio where the Today Show and other NBC favorites are taped.
Hardly any picture screams “New York!” more than one of Times Square, with its oversized billboards, neon lights, open-all-night atmosphere and unparalleled people watching. Look for the red staircase if you’re trying to find half-price theater tickets before the curtain rises, and, if you’re standing there on New Year’s Eve, you’d better quickly grab someone to kiss as the famous ball drops.
The aptly named Union Square originally celebrated the “union” of two major thoroughfares in the city: Broadway and (what is now) Fourth Avenue. Now it’s well known for hosting several impressive sculptures, such as the equestrian statue of President George Washington. Shops, restaurants and popular residential areas surround the Square.
16 somber acres on the Hudson River memorialize the tragic terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Today, every individual who lost his or her life is memorialized in the fountains, trees and carvings, and the original footprints of the Twin Towers that fell are filled with pools of water. Tours are available.
An architecturally important and stunning edifice, the Grand Central Terminal has been restored to its 1913 grandeur…right down to the storied, colorful mosaic ceiling. While you can certainly catch a train here, many come to shop, dine or people watch without ever intending to go anywhere else.
Often the destination of choice in midtown Manhattan, “The Garden” is one of the most well-known sports, music and entertainment venues around. Whether you’re looking for a hockey or basketball game, a concert from Billy Joel or U2, or even an electronic dance act, The Garden is just the ticket you need to buy.
If the traffic in the City is driving you crazy, stroll 30 feet above it. Impossible, you say? Not if you’re on the High Line, a 1.45-mile long skinny park situated on a stretch of abandoned elevated railroad track. Bring a book and relax among the manicured plantings, or bring your camera and document the sweeping views of the river and the city. On gorgeous spring days you’ll be up there with a lot of friends, but it’s free and the feeling of walking on top of the city can’t be beat.