Attractions

by Roger  

Times SquareRegardless of the time of year or the weather outside, there will never be a shortage of attractions available to visitors of New York City. And one of the things that makes visiting so great is that nearly all of the good ones are crammed together in the southern two-thirds of the long and thin island of Manhattan. If you bring good shoes and a reasonable level of fitness then most of them are walking distance from each other, which is quite rare and wonderful for a city of 8 million people.

Times Square

This famous intersection where Seventh Avenue meets Broadway is home to most of the city’s large theaters and tourist traps. Visiting at night is an absolute must for any visitor, since the famous lights get more impressive each year and it’s not nearly as dodgy as it once was, but stay in another part of town if you can manage it.

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Central Park

This huge park at the center of Manhattan is home to a zoo, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Strawberry Fields John Lennon Memorial, the Wollman Skating Rink, and many other interesting attractions. Hotels with a view of the park are all in the top price ranges, but the view almost makes it worth the high price.

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Museums

There are over 100 museums in New York City, with quite a few world-famous ones mixed in. They are mostly bunched together as well, but of course there is so much else going on that trying to spend all your time going from one to the next would be exhausting and a good way to miss out on everything else.

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Rockefeller Center

This famous collection of office buildings is right in the center of Midtown so it’s harder to avoid than it is to visit. There really isn’t much here to see considering the fame of the place, but it’s good to at least know what to look for.

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Statue of Liberty

This landmark out in New York Harbor might be the single most popular attraction for first-time visitors. Getting there is kind of a hassle, but that doesn’t discourage many people. There is a free way to get a good and close photo if that’s your main objective.

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Ellis Island

This tiny island is Liberty Island’s somber brother out in New York Harbor. It makes for an interesting quick visit, which is nearly effortless for many since the ferries that take visitors to the Statue of Liberty also stop at Ellis Island before returning to their base, and all for one price.

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Empire State Building

This giant office building in the southern part of Midtown is an extremely popular attraction, but its popularity also means high prices and insane crowds most of the time. The views can be amazing, but there is another alternative to consider before joining the herd here.

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Wall Street

At least for now this tiny section of Downtown Manhattan is the world’s financial capital. You can’t visit the New York Stock Exchange anymore, but this area is definitely worth a quick walk-through, partly because it’s so close to several other key attractions.

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Ground Zero

The former site of the World Trade Center main towers seems to be even a more popular attraction in its sad absence as it was when it had the best views of the city from its observation deck. There isn’t much to see now, but it’s right next to Wall Street so swinging by while in the area is a quick and interesting diversion.

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Churches and monuments

These certainly lack the fun factor of most of the other New York City attractions, but you’ll be passing by a few gorgeous and historic examples whether you want to or not. It’s not a bad idea to find out a little the main ones just so you can tell the people back home what you passed by.

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