The Big Apple. The city so great they named it twice. New York, New York.
Made up of 5 boroughs, this city is captivating and inspiring. You’ll find restaurants, cafes and bars that offer unique experiences and the perfect Instagram opportunity. You’ll find hidden areas in Central Park and priceless works of art along Museum Mile. We’ve put together a go-to list of must-see sights for your next trip to New York City, including some hidden gems to see while you’re in certain areas!
1. THE HIGH LINE
Opened in 2009, The High Line (or High Line Park) is an elevated park running along an old section of the New York Central Railroad line. At 1.45 miles long, it is fully lined by greenery, outdoor art and gorgeous city views. The High Line will give you an area to overlook the lower west side of Manhattan, all while providing areas to sit and enjoy a truly different look of the city.
While you’re there, walk down the steps and stop by the Chelsea Market for some fabulous food, yummy treats, and maybe even some live music. Chelsea is also home to some of the most renown art galleries, most with free admission. If you’re lucky enough to be there on a Thursday night, there may be a few gallery openings, so check beforehand!
2. MUSEUM MILE
Attention art lovers: we have the place for you. Located on 5th Ave, from 82nd to 105th street, Museum Mile provides unlimited options for all things art. Including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, the National Academy Museum, Neue Galleria, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Cooper Pewit, National Design Museum, and El Museo del Barrio, Museum Mile will ensure that you never run out of choices. Do your research before to see which museums hold the art you’d like to see, because if you’re lucky enough to be there at the right time, you may even get free admission! Every June, Museum Mile Festival offers a night of free admission to most of the museums on Museum Mile and an artistic festival that lines 5th Ave.
Are you more into the history part of art history? While you’re there, you have the option to walk straight through Central Park to the west side where you’ll find the American Museum of Natural History.
3. TIMES SQUARE
From street performances to protests, this commercialized tourist haven hosts some of the most artistically driven sights of the city. Local New-Yorkers may avoid this area at all costs, but it does have some must-see sights: the iconic intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue, the site of the New Year’s ball drop, the notable red steps above the TKTS ticket booth, famous stores and restaurants, and Broadway’s historic theaters, to name a few. Pro tip: You should definitely try to see a Broadway show while you’re here - if it’s not in the budget, most of the main shows have a raffle for tickets. Show up a few hours early to put your name into the raffle, and you may win two free tickets to a show like Hamilton or the Book of Mormon!
While you’re there, stop into Stardust Diner for a meal or a milkshake while aspiring Broadway performers sing classic hits to you. It’s the cheapest “almost Broadway” show you’ll see! If you’re looking for a fun and interactive way to break up your day, head down the street to Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum or Ripley’s: Believe It or Not Museum.
4. GRAND CENTRAL STATION
If you take the train into the East side of Manhattan, you’ll most likely stop out at Grand Central Station, as this iconic landmark welcomes millions of commuters each week. And it isn’t called “grand” for no reason - Grand Central Station is an architectural revelation, with a blue-green cathedral ceiling in the main concourse giving you a view of the nighttime sky. You will also find office spaces, restaurants, and maybe a few secret areas…
While you’re there, check out one of the Grand Central Station mysteries: Whispering Gallery. An ordinary looking archway located in front of the Oyster Bar & Restaurant bears quite the secret. The architecture creates an acoustic wonder: when two people stand at diagonal arches and whisper, they can hear what the other said perfectly as if they were standing right next to each other!
5. CENTRAL PARK
Yes, you’ve seen the opening span of Central Park at the beginning of most rom-coms, but it’s definitely worth the time to see all that the treetops cover. It’s perfect for a walk or run, a picnic while you people-watch, or a romantic boat ride on the Lake. Listen to the saxophone players or have your caricature drawn by an artist lining the gravel pathways throughout the park.
While you’re there, visit the Alice in Wonderland statue that was originally commissioned for the children of NYC. Also, be sure to take a moment to check the benches that you walk by - some of them have been commissioned by New Yorkers that condense their love stories into small quotes that have been transcribed onto plaques on the backs of the bench. Wander around the paths until you walk up to the Central Park Zoo to spot some sea lions, penguins, monkeys and more!
6. ROCKEFELLER CENTER
An expansive area made up of 19 buildings between 48th and 51st Street, facing 5th Ave, this Art Deco-inspired complex is home to Saturday Night Live, the Today Show taping, the famous Christmas tree lighting, a winter ice-skating rink, and many more iconic attractions. It’s an area to mark on your list, especially if you’re visiting during winter. Just make sure you bundle up!
While you’re there, head to the tallest building in the plaza - 30 Rockefeller Plaza, or 30 Rock for short. It is home of NBC, so if you’re lucky, you might get tickets to see a live recording of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Late Night with Seth Meyers or even Saturday Night Live. On the 70th-floor, you’ll find “Top of the Rock,” an observation deck with views of Central Park and the Empire State Building. It costs $39, but it may be one of the best views you come across in New York City, so don’t miss out!