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13 Of The Best Things To See And Do In New York City

Ashley Akridge - Freelance Writer

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New York City, aka "The City That Never Sleeps," is one of the most famous cities in the world. It attracts tourists and businesses alike from all around the globe who are drawn to this city's unique vibe and culture.

NYC is made up of five smaller cities within the massive metropolis: Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and The Bronx. Each has its own distinct character — from the iconic skyline of Manhattan to the cultural vitality of Brooklyn to the stunning parks of Queens. NYC has a lot to offer anyone who visits — from Times Square and Central Park to the Bronx's beautifully restored Grand Concourse. NYC has a lot to offer anyone who visits. Below is a list of places we recommend seeing or checking out if you visit NYC.

1) Visit Bryant Park

Midtown Manhattan skyscrapers and Bryant Park

As the largest public park in Manhattan, Bryant Park is an excellent place for tourists to start their day. Here, you'll be able to enjoy some of the best sites and the most famous monuments in the city. If you've been to NYC before, then you're probably familiar with the food vendors, the ice-skating rink and the New York Public Library.

2) Take a Stroll in Central Park

Central Park in New York City

Central Park is the most famous place in New York. Created in the 1800s, it has become the most popular place in New York for tourists and locals alike. The park covers a large area and contains many attractions, such as the Central Park Zoo, Belvedere Castle, and stables. There are many well-manicured passes throughout the park and a few trees, making for lovely scenery.

3) Visit the Statue of Liberty

New York City Skyline Statue of Liberty

You have to stop by the Statue of Liberty when you're in New York City. It's among the most famous landmarks in the United States. It was built by the French, and given to the United States in 1886 to commemorate 100 years of friendship between the two countries. It has been restored on several occasions and is an incredible work of art.

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4) The Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center in New York

Located on the top floors of Rockefeller Center, this is an excellent overview of the Manhattan skyline and the iconic NBC Studios and Radio City Music Hall. There are two ways to access the Rock Center observatory; either a public elevator or the NBC Studios tour, allowing guests to see a behind-the-scenes look at the Today Show. The public elevator will take you up to the 70th floor and the NBC Studios tour to the 66th floor. The 70th-floor Observation Deck has three levels — providing an interactive and immersive experience. With its café and gift shop, Top of the Rock makes for a great date or family outing during vacations in New York City!

5) Tour Times Square

Times Square in New York City at dusk

One of the most famous areas globally, Times Square, the "Crossroads of the World." The area is named after the Times Building, which was the headquarters of the newspaper of the same name. Times Square has become famous as a center of advertising and has a bustling nightlife scene. It is home to the famous Times Square Ball, which drops every New Year's Eve.

The restaurants and shops here are a major attraction, although the area is crowded and busy throughout the day. Many people come to Times Square to see the "Today Show" broadcast or the "Late Show with David Letterman." The Empire State Building is another popular attraction in Times Square, and it is right across the street.

6) Empire State Building

Manhattan and Empire State from above

The Empire State Building is one of the most well-known pieces of architecture in the world. It was built in 1931 and is one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world, measuring 1368 feet tall. The Empire State Building is located on Fifth Avenue and 34th Street in Midtown Manhattan. You can take a ride up to the 86th-floor observation deck here, as well as browse the gift shop.

7) Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York, NY: Crowd On Metropolitan Museum Step

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is home to an endless array of pieces and objects from around the world, all under one roof. From ancient Egypt to Renaissance paintings, you can find something for everyone, no matter your taste. With over 2 million pieces on display, this museum has something for everyone!

8) Ride the Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

Take the Staten Island ferry to view New York City as you've never seen it before. You'll come face-to-face with the Statue of Liberty and maybe even catch a glimpse at the Manhattan skyline, allowing you to catch your breath after taking in the hustle and bustle of city life. A fun fact: A single ride on the ferry is free!

9) Eat A Hot Dog From A Street Cart

Hot dog stand

Everyone has their favorite place for a hot dog in New York City. Whether you have your heart set on a Nathan's hot dog, or you are willing to walk around the corner for a Sabrett, there is no denying that a warm, soft bun and a piping hot frankfurter is a quintessential part of the NYC culinary experience.

There are four things you need to know about hot dogs in NYC:

1. They are always served with sauerkraut, red onions and mustard.

2. The hot dogs are almost always boiled, not grilled.

3. The buns are always toasted but not too toasted.

4. They were never meant to be eaten with a fork and knife.


10) Try Authentic New York City Pizza

New york pizza

Good pizza is one of the things New York City is known for. Pizza is a New York City staple, and so is Lombardi's Pizza. Many people agree that Lombardi's is the best pizza in the city. So it's not surprising to see that the line is always out the door. Don't let the line scare you away. It moves pretty fast. You can call ahead to get your name on the list or walk in and try your luck. Just in case Lombardi's Pizza is too busy, here are 5 other famous New York City pizza restaurants:

1. Tony's Pizza: A favorite among locals and tourists alike, Tony's is located in the red light district, so it's a good thing the pizza is the best in the area.

2. John's Pizzeria: The classic John's locations can be found all over the city, and their slices are really cheap.

3.   Two Boots: Two Boots is a New York City favorite.

4.   2 Bros. Pizza: 2 Bros. Pizza lives up to the hype — a famous NYC pizza shop that has been featured on No Reservations and makes the best pizza in New York City, 2 Bros. Pizza is an exemplary NYC pizza shop that you need to try if you're ever in the area.

5.   Avellino: They are known for their 100% fresh mozzarella and tomatoes and great thin crust pizza. Avellino uses fresh, quality ingredients, and you have to taste it!

11) Grand Central Station

Grand Central Terminal, New York City, USA

The enormous Grand Central Terminal is one of New York's best-known attractions. Built in 1913, it is an architectural marvel that has been described as a "glorious beaux-arts extravaganza" by the American Institute of Architects. It is also one of the busiest stations in the world, serving around 750,000 commuters every day.

12) 9/11 Memorial

Ground Zero Memorial, New York City, USA

For those of us old enough, we can all remember that day, where we were, the emotions we went through, and the many who lost loved ones. If you're in the city, it's a must-visit place to pay respect to the fallen, remember those brave people on the front lines saving lives and digging through the rubble. Now that the new building has been completed, One World Trade and you can also view the city from the observation deck.

13) The High Line Art Walk

View 25th street 10th Ave. Eduardo Kobra AI Weiwei Street Art

The High Line is a long stretch of elevated railway that was decommissioned in 1980. The city bought the property and turned it into what's now considered one of the fun places to go in NYC.

The High Line is located between Gansevoort Street on the west and 30th Street on the east. It's located between 9th Avenue and the West Side Highway, with entrances on 14th Street and 34th Street. It's free to walk along The High Line, although if you'd like to ride in a luxury car, they have carriages available for rent.

The entire parkway is 15 feet wide, with a grassy area three feet wide. There are also benches along the way where you can enjoy a picnic lunch or sit and enjoy the view. 

In Conclusion

There is a lot to see and do in New York City. Whether you are visiting the Big Apple for the first time or you have lived there your whole life, it never hurts to learn more about what NYC has to offer. We hope you've enjoyed this article, and we'd love it if you shared it with friends and family who are planning a trip or who are natives of the city.

Lower Manhattan with Freedom Tower reflecting the clouds
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