According to NYC & Company, the city’s official tourism arm, there were a record-breaking 65.2 million visitors exploring NYC in 2018. Most were out of state visitors, however there were over one millions tourists from Great Britain and China visiting “The Big Apple.”
There are hundreds of things to see and do in New York City. For those with a minimum amount of time, purchase a New York CityPASS. Not only will you save money, convenience and time, but when you download your ticket onto your cellphone, it notifies you when you are close to one of the most popular city attractions to visit.
1. We used this CityPASS to enter and take the elevator up to the top of the Empire State Building to ride the multimedia elevator to the 86th and 102nd floor. These observatory areas offer breathtaking 360° views of New York City and beyond.
2. When it’s too hot or rainy, the CityPASS offers admission into The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s an art lovers dream. See a collection of Vincent van Gogh paintings, a fascinating CAMP Notes on Fashion Exhibit now through September 8, 2019, and thelively multimedia PLAY IT LOUD – Instruments of Rock and Roll on display until October 1, 2019.
3. While exploring Rockefeller Center, we showed our CityPASS to ride up to Top of the Rock Observation Deck. Visitors are welcome to explore three floors 70 stories up. Unobstructed views through glass panels are on the 67th and 69th floors and the 70th floor is outdoors in the open air.
4. Be sure to see the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. The memorial twin bronze pools at the World Trade Center are free to see. They honor the names of every person who died in the terrorist attacks. Entrance to the 9/11 Museum is included in City Pass New York City. The 110,000 square foot building offers a collection of artifacts, video and written stories, photos, and other materials gathered from the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing and honor the lives lost on September 11, 2001.
5. Purchase theatre tickets at TKTS for up to a 50% discount. Download the app on your smartphone to see what shows are offering discount tickets each day. Then go to one of the TKTS ticket booths to purchase your theatre tickets for that day. At the Times Square location the lines for matinee and evening tickets on the day of the performance are usually the longest. The Lincoln Center TKTS is shorter for same-day matinee and evening tickets and the booth opens earlier at 12 p.m.
6. Explore the newer Vessel in the Hudson Yards Public Square to climb up a 16-story high unique beehive looking metal structure. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick and Heatherwick Studio it offers a new perspective of the city and Hudson River while riding the eight passenger elevator or walking up 154 intricately interconnecting flights of stairs. It’s a great workout stepping up and down 2,500 individual copper-clad steps and 80 landings. Entrance is free, however since this is new, you need to secure an advance timed ticket. Same-day tickets are sometimes available beginning at 9:30 a.m.
7. Walking along the 1.45 mile-long High Line elevated park. It’s a peaceful spot offering art work sprinkled among flowering perennials beds, and a mix of grasses. American Sweetgum trees provide shade in sitting areas on a rail trail developed on a former New York Central Railroad. The Diller – von Furstenberg Sundeck is one of the High Line’s most popular gathering spots. There are plenty of benches and lounge chairs to rest and enjoy this picturesque area of the city.
8. For some retail therapy the first New York City Neiman Marcus is located in Hudson Yards among 100 familiar boutiques and an array of experiential and online retailers.
9. Explore Central Park for free music and theatre. Rent a bike, take a carriage ride, visit the ZOO and have a picnic lunch or dinner during a warm summer night.
10. Culinary options at Hudson Yards include Thomas Keller’s French-style Bouchon Bakery, and Mercado Little Spain where Jose Andres takes guests on an incredible vegetable journey through Spain. Visit a culinary wonderland in the basement of The Plaza Food Hall . It’s next to Central Park and offers some of thee finest food purveyors include Todd English Marketplace and Restaurant, and counter-style dining options including Luke’s, Vive La Crepe, Epicerie Boulud offering an assortment of breakfast foods, lunch, dinner, beverages, and merchandise. Throughout the city foodies like pre-theatre fare at the Public House inside Merrion Row Hotel is a good choice. Near NYU Mamoun’s is great for falafels. Nearby Cookie Do NYC is a fun spot for an edible sugary treat. Bagels are the best at Zucker’s and Rose shaped ice creams are beautiful at Amorino.
Where to stay? We really enjoyed the boutique hotel Merrion Row Hotel in the Midtown area of New York City. The newer and clean 28 room Irish-theme hotel is located just two blocks from the excitement of Times Square, yet is serene, quiet and offers a great pub and restaurant. Checking in, guests receive a pint of beer or glass of wine, plus breakfast vouchers every morning. It’s an ideal home base to explore the city.
Next time you are in New York City visit the destinations that make this city one of the most visited cities in the world.