This webpage contains affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase through our link, we receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
When most people think of New York, they immediately conjure up images of the dynamic energy in Manhattan. Nevertheless, there's far more to this great state than its most crowded metropolis.
There are a lot of unique places to explore in New York City. From the illuminated billboards in Times Square to the picturesque views in Central Park, you'll never run out of things to do. You can visit iconic historical sites or go on classic tours; you're guaranteed an unforgettable experience!
And if you're looking to add a little heat to your trip, here are some of the hottest spots to visit in New York:
Top 21 Attractions in New York
New York is a city like no other, with endless things to see and do. Here are just 21 of the best attractions that the city has to offer:
1. Times Square
Times Square is the dazzling epicenter of New York City, a place where dreams come to life, and new possibilities emerge. Its bright lights and massive screens light up the night sky in an almost magical way that beckons any traveler seeking adventure. Those who brave Times Square during daylight hours will be equally enchanted with this bustling area filled with energy and activity...and bleachers set at one end for visitors needing breathers!
Of course, you can't forget its namesake either; back in 1904 when it was first christened after The New York Times Tower - what would later become famous worldwide as being home to one of the world's earliest moving signs debuted in 1928 – ultimately becoming yet another example why there's no other city quite like NYC!
2. Central Park
Escape the hectic urban hustle and enjoy a peaceful oasis right in Manhattan! Central Park is where it's at if you're looking for an outdoor getaway. Lose yourself among lush greenery, or take advantage of exciting activities like charming horse-drawn carriage rides and boat rentals to explore the area differently.
Wintertime offers even more fun with ice skating on offer, too - not to mention incredible views from atop Belvedere Castle!
Finally, top off your experience by visiting nearby Central Park Zoo, home to the diverse wildlife that will undoubtedly surprise you as much as they delight kids. Time well spent indeed when traveling around this iconic city!
3. Brooklyn Bridge
The golden skyline of NYC, with its majestic Brooklyn Bridge, is a sight experienced in countless romantic stories. Its charm has captivated the hearts and minds of many since 1883, when it first opened, connecting Manhattan to Brooklyn while spanning the East River. It's also home to some genuinely perfect Instaworthy photo spots that will take your breath away!
Explore this iconic landmark by walking, biking, or rollerblading along either side, feeling all those dreams come alive as you experience what makes NYC unique.
4. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Take a journey to explore the Metropolitan Museum of Art – one of America's most iconic establishments. Established in 1870, this vast two-million-piece art gallery houses an array of American decorative arts and Egyptian artifacts, including photographs and musical instruments!
But that's not all; why stop there? Take your discovery further by venturing down north Manhattan, where you can find The Met Cloisters - another remarkable museum with its distinct magical charm waiting for you. With authentic abbeys, chapels, and hallways within walls built around medieval cloisters – prepare yourself as time unravels here like never before!
If you want to avoid the crowds, consider grabbing skip-the-line tickets with the self-guided option or private guided tour. Visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a truly unforgettable experience. Whether you explore the main museum on Fifth Avenue or the Met Cloisters in Fort Tryon Park, you will be blown away by the incredible artwork on display.
Soaring to the top of one of New York City's most iconic attractions, prepare for a unique experience that will take your breath away. Step into the Empire State Building and feel its grandeur envelop you as you make your way up 102 floors - or there is an observation deck on floor 86 where 360-degree views can be admired afar with coffee in hand.
Venture early morning or later at night for a more serene experience aspiring travelers dream can only dream of. A visit to this magnificently tall monument will stay with you for the ages!
Travel to the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan and experience a beautifully designed site yet a sad reminder of September 11th at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Two majestic waterfalls cascade into an expansive reflecting pool – all as part of paying tribute to those lost on that fateful day. The story is continued within its museum walls, where visitors can view the wreckage from Twin Towers, along with exhibits devoted entirely to capturing how humanity responded following this tragedy.
A sobering stop for dreamy travelers filled with deep emotions amidst profound memories; pay your respects here at one of America's most memorable sites - forever etched in our hearts!
Step into the past and explore one of America's most treasured symbols - the Statue of Liberty! This 305-foot-tall behemoth was crafted in 1886 as a gift from France to commemorate the country's history, proudly residing on its island ever since.
Ferry over for an awe-inspiring experience any time, but if you'd like something a little extra, visit during sunrise or sunset for some of the most iconic views. It's an impressive sight to behold, but it's also an incredible way to learn more about the history of the United States - especially with kids!
A trip to the Rockefeller Center is a dream come true for any traveler looking for a unique experience. Built in the 1930s, it's an architectural marvel that houses some of the city's most iconic gems - including Radio City Music Hall and The Top of the Rock observation deck.
Embark on a tour around this fascinating complex and learn more about its history while visiting its famous sights! When you're there during Christmas time, don't forget to take in all the festive cheer from one of NYC's oldest traditions - seeing their grand evergreen tree aglow with lights since 1933!
Are you a theater lover? If so, why not skip the ordinary and go to Broadway? This stretch of exceptional theatres in Midtown Manhattan is world-renowned for its incredible performances.
With shows such as Hamilton, The Lion King, and Wicked all frequenting this excellent entertainment destination - it's an opportunity that should be grabbed with both hands. Make sure to buy tickets early; you don't want to miss out on one of these extraordinary experiences!
10. High Line
Experience the charm of Manhattan from a surreal vantage point - the High Line. Stroll along this elevated park, built on an old railway line that gives you gorgeous views of NYC all year round! From Gansevoort Street to 34th Street, wander through meandering pathways lined with beautiful plants while getting some vitamin D during the summer.
When winter arrives, marvel at its transformation into a Winter Wonderland, with festive activities and attractions that will keep your heart warm even in chillier temperatures.
11. Grand Central Terminal
A visit to Grand Central Terminal is a dreamy experience. The grandeur of the building feels like stepping back in time; its hallowed halls whisper stories of colorful history and each step across the expansive marble floor echoes with possibility.
The arched windows, illuminated by natural light, draw you in and make you feel as if you're part of something much bigger than yourself. Everywhere you look, there is something new to explore - from the intricate ceiling murals to the bustling train platforms filled with energy. As a traveler in this special place, getting lost in your thoughts and dreams is easy.
You can imagine what life must have been like for people who worked and visited these places centuries ago - the innovations that transformed this area into one of Manhattan's most treasured gems and how it has become an iconic landmark for travelers from all over the world. In some ways, it seems like time stands still here at Grand Central Terminal – the only thing that changes is the people who come and go, making their mark on this ever-changing cityscape.
12. One World Observatory
When it comes to breathtaking views of New York City, nothing compares to the One World Observatory. Standing atop the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, you can take in the majestic skyline from 1,250 feet above the ground.
The observatory is equipped with state-of-the-art technology that allows visitors to get an up close and personal view of some of Manhattan's most iconic landmarks - from the Empire State Building to Central Park – as well as its bustling streets, colorful neighborhoods, and beautiful harbor.
The observatory also provides a unique, interactive experience that shares the city's fascinating history and promising future. From the Sky Portal – an advanced video platform that takes you to famous New York City locations – to the See Forever Theater – where you can take a virtual tour of Manhattan – there is something new to experience at One World Observatory every time you visit.
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is one of the most renowned art institutions in the world. The museum houses a collection of more than 200,000 modern and contemporary works from around the globe - from paintings and sculptures to photographs, drawings, prints, films, videos, and installations.
From its beginnings in 1929 with just 13 prints and one drawing, MoMA has grown to become the definitive source of modern and contemporary art. Every visit to MoMA offers something new to explore; its ever-changing exhibitions are sure to captivate even the most experienced museum-goer.
The Museum of Modern Art is the perfect place to discover great works of art, learn more about the different styles and movements, and gain a greater appreciation for creativity in all its forms. Whether you're a connoisseur or just looking to experience something new, MoMA is sure to have something that will inspire and amaze you.
14. American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) offers one of the world's most comprehensive natural history collections. Its vast galleries span four city blocks and feature more than 33 million specimens spanning 4.5 billion years!
The museum's permanent exhibits are divided into five main Halls: Dinosaurs, Human Origins, Cultural Anthropology, Ocean Life, Earth and Planetary Sciences, and the Rose Center for Earth and Space. Each Hall contains a wealth of specimens from various periods in time, allowing visitors to learn about the history of our world from its beginnings until today.
The American Museum of Natural History is an immersive experience that will captivate visitors of all ages; each visit offers a chance to discover something new and explore the incredible natural history of our planet. There's no better way to spend an afternoon learning about the fascinating creatures, cultures, and geological phenomena that make up our world.
15. Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is a must-see for any visitor to New York City. Located on the West Side of Manhattan aboard the retired aircraft carrier Intrepid, this immense museum offers visitors a chance to explore more than 150,000 square feet of interactive exhibits and artifacts.
You can take a self-guided tour of the history of naval aviation and space exploration at the museum, from World War II to the Cold War. You can also view vintage aircraft up close, including the British Airways Concorde and a Lockheed A-12 spy plane.
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is packed with incredible sights – from spacesuits to warplanes – and provides a unique, educational experience for the entire family. Whether you're a history buff or just looking for an exciting afternoon activity, this museum will highlight your trip to New York City.
16. Coney Island
For a truly unique New York experience, take a trip to Coney Island. This iconic seaside amusement park was the birthplace of the hotdog and the roller coaster and is home to some of the oldest operating rides in America.
Coney Island has been delighting visitors since 1895 with its lively carnival atmosphere and family-friendly attractions. From the thrilling Cyclone roller coaster to the historic Wonder Wheel, there's something for everyone at this famous beachside destination.
17. Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
For a cultural experience unlike any other, visit the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. This world-renowned performing arts complex is home to several venues, including the Metropolitan Opera House, Avery Fisher Hall, and Alice Tully Hall.
The Lincoln Center offers an incredible range of performances from some of the most renowned artists in the world. This acclaimed center has something to offer everyone, from operas and symphonies to contemporary dance performances.
The Lincoln Center also features an outdoor plaza, perfect for relaxing on a sunny day. Whether you're looking to take in a performance or explore the stunning architecture of this iconic center, the Lincoln Center is sure to astound and delight.
18. Chelsea Market
The Chelsea Market is one of the best places in New York City to find incredible eats. This indoor food hall offers a vast selection of gourmet treats worldwide, from artisanal cheeses to handmade chocolates.
The market also houses several boutique shops and local boutiques, offering everything from clothing to homeware. You can easily spend an afternoon exploring the dozens of stalls, sampling delicious food, and finding unique gifts.
In addition to the incredible food and shopping, Chelsea Market offers several attractions, including regular cooking demonstrations and tasting events. With its vibrant atmosphere and an unbeatable selection of eats, this market is a must-visit destination for any traveler looking for an authentic New York experience.
19. Fifth Avenue Shopping District
You can't visit New York City without taking a stroll down Fifth Avenue. This iconic shopping district is home to some of the world's most famous stores, from Bergdorf Goodman and Tiffany & Co to Saks Fifth Avenue and Apple Store.
On Fifth Avenue, you can find everything from designer clothing to fine jewelry from the most prestigious brands. You can also explore renowned art galleries or take a break in one of the many cafes and restaurants that line the avenue.
20. St. Patrick's Cathedral
The St. Patrick's Cathedral is one of the most iconic landmarks in New York City. This stunning Gothic Revival cathedral was completed in 1879 and has become a symbol of the city's devout faith.
The cathedral's interior features intricate stained glass windows, soaring arches, and elaborate mosaics, making it a sight to behold. The cathedral also hosts events throughout the year, including masses and concerts.
Whether you're looking for spiritual enlightenment or want to marvel at the stunning architecture, a visit to St. Patrick's Cathedral is sure to be an inspiring experience. This iconic landmark will leave you in awe of its beauty and grandeur.
21. Washington Square Park
In the heart of New York City lies Washington Square Park. This iconic park is a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike.
The park features an impressive arch dedicated to George Washington and a memorial fountain. From the beautiful gardens and sculptures to its many benches and playgrounds, everyone can find something enjoyable in this bustling city park.
The park is also great for participating in chess, music, and performance art activities. Or you can relax in the sun or enjoy some people-watching. No matter your interests, Washington Square Park has something for everyone and should not be missed on any trip to New York City.
Top 8 Day Trips from New York City
Some great day trips can be taken from New York City. Whether you want to explore the natural beauty of upstate New York or visit some of the historical sites in the area, there is something for everyone. Here are eight of the best day trips from New York City.
1. Niagara Falls
The thunderous roar of Niagara Falls can be heard from miles away! Take a day trip to this natural wonder and explore the various activities available. From visiting "The Cave of the Winds" to taking a romantic boat ride along the Niagara River, you'll have plenty of choices for how to spend your time at this mesmerizing oasis.
You'll also find many restaurants and souvenir shops - perfect for foodies or those looking to take home something special. The best part? You can see the American and Canadian sides of the Falls in one day. Bring your passport!
Discover the beauty of Philadelphia and its surrounding Amish Country on a day trip from NYC! Start by visiting downtown Philly's Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and other historic sites. Then venture out to Lancaster County for a glimpse into traditional Amish life - it's like taking a step back in time. While here, attend a farmers market and try some local Amish-made goods. Don't forget to admire the breathtaking landscapes along the way! You'll be sure to have a memorable day.
Experience the nation's capital in a single day with a Washington, DC, tour. Get up close and personal with some of America's most iconic landmarks - including the White House, National Mall, and US Capitol building. You'll also visit famous attractions like the Lincoln Memorial and Vietnam Veterans Memorial. With all these sights, you'll leave Washington, DC, feeling more informed about this incredible city and its rich history. In the evening, grab a bite at one of the city's many delicious restaurants.
No visit to NYC would be complete without a trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Meet the ferry at Battery Park and cruise to both iconic destinations for a guided tour with an audio headset. This is your chance to learn about the history of this symbol of freedom and explore its beautifully restored grounds. Afterward, you can browse through the Museum of Immigration at Ellis Island and absorb the stories of immigrants who made America their home. The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour is a great way to appreciate the American Dream!
Shop 'til you drop on a Woodbury Common Shopping Tour! This large outlet mall is home to more than 200 stores and brands, so you're guaranteed to find something for everyone. Get lost in the hustle and bustle of shoppers worldwide, or pick up designer pieces at discounted prices. The mall includes a food court and cafes to take breaks between shopping sprees. You'll be sure to return home with a unique souvenir or two!
When it comes to day trips from NYC, a visit to Boston is a must! Follow the Freedom Trail and wander through two centuries of history in this vibrant city. Visit 16 historical sites - all within walking distance - that tell stories about the American Revolution and other important moments in time. You can learn more about Boston's past and take in the city's beauty at each location. As a bonus, you can explore museums, shops, and restaurants when you're done with your journey.
Head to the Hamptons, Sag Harbor, and outlet shops in Riverhead for a day of relaxation. Have a picnic at one of the many pristine beaches and take stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Afterward, stroll through the charming village of Sag Harbor, filled with boutiques and galleries. At night, check out the nearby outlets for some of the best deals on brands and designer items. From shopping to sightseeing, this tour has it all!
Upscale wineries abound on Long Island, and what better way to discover them than with a wine tour? Sample some of the finest wines in the area while taking an educational journey through Long Island's winemaking history.
You'll visit award-winning vineyards, learn about local grape varieties, and even pair wines with food. On your way back to NYC, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the area's rolling hills and landscapes. This is the perfect day for any wine enthusiast!
The Big Apple is home to some of the world's most luxurious and affordable hotels. From five-star palaces to budget hostels, there is something for everyone in New York City. Here are the top three hotels that you should consider on your next visit:
1. The Plaza
Step into the world of luxury and style at The Plaza, one of New York's most beloved hotels. Located opposite Central Park and only 1.4 miles from the Empire State Building, you'll be surrounded by beautiful French-style décor, Italian linens, and gold-plated fixtures in every bathroom. Enjoy tranquil views from your terrace or suite as you sip tea in the majestic Palm Court or sample food from their European-inspired hall. Relax with exquisite spa treatments, listen to jazz music in their elegant lounge, or toast to good times at their champagne bar – all this awaits you at The Plaza!
Enjoy the glamour of New York City from the comfort of Hyatt Grand Central New York. Located steps away from Grand Central station, only a 13-minute walk to Times Square, and a 14-minute walk to the Empire State Building, you'll always be close to all NYC offers. Relax in one of their luxurious rooms featuring flat-screen TVs, Bluetooth speakers, Wi-Fi, and city views, or upgrade to a suite for added living space and dining tables. Rejuvenate with in-room spa services and stay fit with their fitness center or snack store – enjoy a dreamy night at Hyatt Grand Central New York!
A short walk away from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you can dive into the energy of New York City with a stay at Central Park West Hostel. Located in the Upper West Side and only a 2-minute walk from the nearest subway station and 16 minutes to Central Park, you'll have access to some of New York's best attractions. Spacious dorms provide free Wi-Fi, bunk beds, lockers, sitting areas, fireplaces, and shared bathrooms. Opt for one of the private rooms or upgraded dorms with en suite facilities for extra privacy. Use the communal kitchen and game room, then relax in the bright lounge or throw a load in their coin-operated laundry – Central Park West Hostel is sure to make your NYC dream come true!
New Yorkers are a hardy bunch. They have to put up with the hectic pace of life in the city, but they also have to contend with some of the most expensive food in the country. It's no wonder, then, that many residents have learned to cook for themselves – and that they know where to find the best food when they venture out. Here are just a few of the best places to eat in New York City, whether looking for a quick bite or a leisurely meal.
Balthazar is a magnificent brasserie that serves traditional French cuisine every day of the week. The seafood and shellfish are exquisitely fresh, and the bread and pastries are baked fresh each day at the Balthazar Bakery. The ambiance is dreamy and romantic, perfect for a night out. Balthazar is a Michelin guide recommended restaurant that will not disappoint.
One of New York City's most celebrated restaurants, DANIEL, is a culinary oasis on Park Avenue. Executive Chef Eddy LeRoux, Executive Pastry Shaun Velez, and Chef de Cuisine Joshua Capone present a seasonal, modern menu inspired by the finest meats, seafood, fruits, wild game, vegetables, and foraged ingredients from around the world. The restaurant's wine cellar is a treasure trove of the finest wines from the Rhône and Burgundy and a robust Champagne program.
Minetta Tavern is a place where you can find an exciting mix of people. Everyone has frequented it, from Ernest Hemingway and Ezra Pound to Eugene O'Neill and Dylan Thomas. These days, it's more often known as a "Parisian steakhouse meets classic New York City tavern." In other words, it's a great place to enjoy a good meal and some good company. Whether you're looking for a quiet evening out or a lively night on the town, Minetta Tavern is sure to please.
Since its opening, Ko has upheld the Kaiseki tradition of seasonality and innovation while also drawing inspiration from the New York City melting pot. The restaurant features two separate spaces- The Bar at Ko, which serves an evolving à la carte menu, and the Main Dining Room, which showcases a full-tasting menu. Guests can enjoy an extensive beverage program alongside their meal. Ko has two Michelin stars, which it has maintained since 2009. In 2015, the New York Times awarded Ko three stars. In 2019, Ko was ranked No. 76 on the world's 50 Best Restaurants list. Ko is a restaurant that upholds tradition while embracing change, making it a truly unique dining experience.
When three friends from Tijuana and Brawley, Mexico, came together, they decided to bring the authentic Mexican taco to the east coast. The delicious tacos at LOS TACOS No. 1 come from family recipes and fresh, simple, and delicious ingredients. Each taco is packed with a bit of authentic Mexican culture and flavor. You won't be disappointed by the authentic taste of these tacos!
And there you have it! That's our list of the 21 hottest spots to Visit in New York. If you're looking for the best, then look no further! These are the places that will leave you breathless and wanting more. We've covered it all, from world-famous tourist destinations to hidden gems off the beaten path. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to the Empire State today!
Need some assistance for your trip? Send us a message and we will do our best to help you out.
Try to be as detailed as you can with exactly what you need help with so we can best serve you.