The Top Things to Do in New York City

February 18, 2015

New York City is a popular tourist destination for travelers across the globe.

From one-of-a-kind restaurants to magnanimous art collections and dazzling stage shows, a New York City minute is filled with endless ways to be entertained. Discover the best things to do in New York City with this helpful guide.

NYC Skyline

For a truly spectacular view of the City, you have to rise above it all. The skyline is where the beauty of New York shines. Skyscrapers, bridges, architectural landmarks, and rivers dot the island creating an epic panorama. Gaze upon the glittering lights of the city, sprawling endlessly, at the 86th-floor observation deck at the Empire State Building. Or, for a view of the Empire State Building and Central Park, travel to the Top of the Rock. Each view is unique, so experience both for a 360-degree view of Manhattan.

Historic Landmarks

A city synonymous with America, NYC is imbued with history. Take the time to tour the State of Liberty and Ellis Island, where freedom and perseverance are celebrated. Then, honor a tragic time in our nation’s history at the 9/11 Memorial.

Join the Great Pizza Debate

The “best pizza in NYC” discussion is one of the most delicious debates you can join. With pizzerias seemingly on every corner, homemade slices and pies are easy to get. Some fan favorites include old-world style Lombardi’s Pizzeria on Spring Street and John’s Pizza in Midtown. Venture further to Brooklyn, too, where Grimaldi’s Pizzeria and Juliana’s heat up the debate with line-worthy coal-oven pizzas.

Shopping in the City

From kitschy souvenirs to “I Heart NYC” shirts to upscale, luxury shopping, the stores in New York City make it easy to fill your shopping bags. For tourist-trap mainstays, the shops in and around Times Square are a perfect choice. Looking for labels? The shops lining Fifth Avenue, like Louis Vuitton, Prada and Bergdorf Goodman, will give the glam you desire. Street vendors outside The Metropolitan Museum of Art sell various art prints and hand-painted pictures. Over at South Street Seaport browse a cobblestone-street lined selection of modern boutiques and brands. Upscale fashion institutions like Saks Fifth Avenue are worth a look too if only to marvel at the clothes, shoes, and purses presented like a museum more than a store. In each New York neighborhood, from Soho to Nolita, there is a signature shopping experience.

NYC Tours

Exploring the City on your own can be daunting. Let an expert lead the way on guided tours. Make the most of your trip with an inside look at the famous landmarks and attractions. Walking tours, boat cruises and landmark-centered jaunts are popular. I highly recommend the Circle Line Sightseeing Harbor Cruise. Opt for the Twilight Tour to see the city at dusk and under the spell of night. If you’re a Broadway buff, the Walkin’ Broadway tour is for you. Want to learn more about Lower Manhattan? Try the Wall Street Walks. Professional guides lead groups through NYC institutions like Carnegie Hall, Rockefeller Center, the New York Public Library and City Hall. And you can’t forget about the Big Bus Tours. These giant, bright red buses allow riders to hop-on/hop-off at over 40 New York City attractions.

Museums in NYC

Many of the best museums in the world can be found in New York City. From the over two mullion masterpieces on display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art to the sprawling American Museum of Natural History collection, the culture on display is remarkable. The Upper West Side’s Museum Mile, home to The Met and Guggenheim, the Midtown Museum of Modern Art, and the Upper West Side Frick Collection and American Museum of History are the most prominent NYC museums.

Bright Lights of Broadway

The most famous theater district in the world is found in New York City. Tickets to a Broadway show are a coveted item, and although expensive, well worth the price. Choose from timeless classics like Les Miserables to new favorites like The Lion King. Either way, you can’t miss the quintessential Broadway experience.

Central Park

No matter the time of year, Central Park paints a breathtakingly beautiful NYC picture. A lovely stroll through the winding roads of the park is an ideal way to spend an afternoon. Take the leisurely approach, and enjoy the sights you stumble upon. Or use an app like Central Park to lead you in the direction of popular sites like the Bow Bridge, Belvedere Castle, Onassis Reservoir and the Friedsam Memorial Carousel. The fact Central Park is free also makes it one of the best deals in New York.

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