New York City overview
As one of the world's largest metropolises, New York City is full of fun and exciting things to do. From shopping to dining to sight-seeing, everyone in the family will enjoy a getaway to the Big Apple. There’s so much to do and see in the city that never sleeps that you’ll have quite a long list of things to accomplish before your getaway comes to an end. From Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State Building, New York City encompasses everything about the American Dream.
If you want to see the city’s most well-known attractions, plan on it taking a while to complete this list - you may even have to plan for a return trip. You should, of course, take the ferry out to Ellis Island to visit the Statue of Liberty. Since this is where many of our ancestors arrived when they first came to America, the site can offer a personal connection to your past. Don’t forget to take a ride up to Lady Liberty’s crown for a bird’s eye view of the New York City skyline.
If the height of the Statue of Liberty didn’t take your breath away, try venturing to the top of the 102-story Empire State Building. This historic skyscraper is located in Midtown Manhattan and has a height of 1,250 feet - be prepared for long lines, but breathtaking urban views.
Everyone remembers where they were on September 11, 2001, and a visit at the National September 11 Memorial will stop you in your tracks. Visit the site where the Twin Towers once stood and are now memorialized by the country’s largest manmade waterfalls and the names of those who lost their lives.
Recently opened is One World Trade Center, the new building for the city’s World Trade Center complex and now the tallest building in the U.S. This building took the place of those that fell during the terrorist attacks of September 11 and is a sight to be seen with its reflective windows as it towers above New York City’s skyline.
Things to Do
If you’re interested in visiting a museum while in the Big Apple, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. The American Museum of Natural History, Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art and the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum are all located in New York City.
If you want to see the city in its busiest location, head to Times Square to see why New York is also called the City of Lights. You can see the famous district where many of us watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve each year.
Visit Yankee Stadium to see one of the most beloved sports teams in American culture. The stadium is home to the New York Yankees and will give you a look into the baseball club’s past as well as its present success.
Perhaps two of the oldest and most historic sites are Rockefeller Center and the Grand Central Terminal. Rockefeller Center is a complex made up of 19 buildings in the center of Midtown Manhattan and span the area between Fifth and Sixth avenues. The famous Rockefeller family constructed the buildings and the complex has since been deemed a National Historic Landmark. Another popular city landmark is Grand Central Terminal, where trains traveling in and out of New York arrive and depart. The station opened in 1871 and has undergone several renovations to keep it up-to-date while preserving its historic past.
You can get a great view of the Manhattan skyline with a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. As one of the most famous bridges in the U.S., you don’t want to miss this opportunity to see the historic isle.
Top Restaurants and Shopping
Many high-end designers and labels have locations in New York Cit,y so window-shopping is a must-do during your visit. Major department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s are headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, while high-fashion boutiques can be found in SoHo. Check out Greenwich Village for music stores and unique food shops or the vintage clothing stores on the Lower East Side.
The best clothing store in New York City is Barney's while the best bargain store is Century 21. If you plan on shopping for discount items, you’ll want to get to Century 21 early during the weekdays in order to avoid the crowds that flood the store in the afternoons and on the weekends.
Soho, Noho and Nolita are the best shopping zones in the big Apple and these three neighborhoods feature the newest and trendiest boutiques.
If you’re a vintage-lover, try Beacon’s Closet in Brooklyn. Made up of two stores, here is where you’ll find some of the most affordable clothing in New York.
There’s culinary bliss to fit any budget in New York City. Whether you’re looking for a delicious steak in Midtown or authentic ethnic food in Chinatown, your stomach and taste buds will go home happy.
From Indian to Italian to Greek, you can literally taste the world in NYC. With such a wide range of options, there’s cuisine from all over the planet in New York City that will make you feel like a world-wide traveler.
New York City is full of things to do and accomplishing them all in one trip might be pretty close to impossible - but hey, who wouldn’t love another reason to go back? You can tailor your trip to suit your interests or try to take in as many tourist sites as possible.
And that's not all! We've rounded up more
New York neighborhood
recommendations on in our handy
New York travel ideas
section of our site. We've also prepared a nifty
New York neighborhood guide
infographic for those of you who like things graphic and snazzy.