A Guide to Places to See in New York

By Kirsten McCroskrie

New York; a place of dreams and ambitions, as well as some of the most iconic landmarks in the world. These are just some of our favorite things to do in the city that never sleeps.

Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour


To really familiarise yourself with the city and discover all the best places to see in New York, a Hop on Hop off Bus Tour is the way to go. The Big Bus Tour company has over 25 stops across the city as well as at the most famous museums and landmarks and the great thing, you can create your own sightseeing itinerary and jump on and off when you want. Take advantage of a free one-day ticket with The New York Pass.

Empire State Building


Probably one of the most iconic buildings in New York, and a definite must-see in New York, the Empire State Building towers over Midtown Manhattan at 102-stories. This famous art deco skyscraper commands some of the best views in the city and visitors can rise to the Top Deck (102 floors up!) to watch the sunset or enjoy the equally stunning 360 views from the 86th floor Main Deck. Tip: go for sunset when you can watch the city light up in all its glory.

9/11 Memorial & Museum


Pay tribute to the victims of the 2001 attacks at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in Downtown Manhattan. Located on the site of the original World Trade Centre, visitors can step back into the past and learn of the ill-fated day nearly two decades ago with over 10,000 artifacts on display. 2,000 harrowing interviews and first-hand accounts, photographs, and testimonies also make up this harrowing but humbling experience. Entry included in The New York Pass.

American Museum of Natural History


A great one for the kids, the American Museum of Natural History is not only one of the largest museums in the world but is home to fascinating pre-historic skeletons, ancient fossils, and giant meteorites. For anyone – old or young – with a curious mind, this museum will have you hooked from the minute you step through the door. Top exhibits: its 94-foot blue whale and a 122-foot long dinosaur skeleton. Those alone make it one of the top places to see in New York.

Food on Foot Tours


New York and food: two of the best things paired together. Head off the beaten path and venture into some of East Village’s most iconic eateries, or into Midtown for true New York staples. New York is famous for its diverse culinary culture so what better way to taste your way around the city than a Food on Foot Tour.

Inside Broadway Walking Tour


You can’t go to New York and not experience Broadway. An institution in its own right, this time you can go behind the scenes to experience what life is like on stage and learn from the stars about how to become a Broadway actor and make it big. This two-hour guided tour will take you around the Theatre District and let you in on some insider secrets, so for any budding actor or theatre enthusiast, this one is a must-see in New York.

Brooklyn Bridge


Connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan, Brooklyn Bridge is perhaps one of the most photographed landmarks in the city. Jump on a bike, or if you’re on foot you can join a tour or go at your own pace. Tip: it’s one of the best spots to see the iconic skyline of skyscrapers in Downtown Manhattan.

Central Park Sightseeing Walking Tour


A leafy sanctuary just off Fifth Avenue, set between the Upper West and Upper East Sides, Central Park is the most popular green space in Manhattan. If you’re looking to tick off what to see in New York, put Central Park on your list. If you’re visiting in summer bring a picnic and if it’s too cold get lost amid the paths through enchanting woodlands and lakes. Tip: there’s a section of the park, Strawberry Fields, dedicated to John Lennon.

Grand Central Station


The true hub of New York, Grand Central Station isn’t just a bustling commuter causeway – it’s an architectural delight in its own right and has been accredited status as a US National Historic Landmark. Thousands of people pass through Grand Central Station daily so the people watching is second to none, but don’t forget to look up at the ceiling mural or admire the original Tiffany clock – the largest of its kind in the world measuring in at 48-feet! Explore this Manhattan landmark at your own pace with an audio-tour.

Ellis Island


Operating as the immigrant check-in for Europeans coming to America, Ellis Island is one of the most historically important sites in the country. The Immigration Museum is a must-see in New York and showcases the history of over 12 million immigrants who entered the United States. Almost half of all American people descended from those who crossed through the golden door of Ellis Island so perhaps you’ll be able to trace some family roots there yourself.

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A Trip to New York City in Photos

Post was originally published on Denise's blog at Travel with Denise. First impressions of New York Arriving at JFK Airport [spacer height="20px"] After 8 years we finally visit The Big Apple! Our dream came true, it was on our bucket list for a long time. These are our first impressions.. We just love it! After a 9 hour flight with Delta, we take a yellow cab to our hotel. The best way to see the skyline for the first time... This is my number 1 favorite city in the world and I need to go back some day! Room Mate Grace Boutique Hotel Room Mate Grace Hotel in Times Square [spacer height="20px"] Our hotel "Room Mate Grace" is a perfect place to stay in New York. A boutique hotel in the center of New York, close to Times Square (200 meters). But everything's nearby: Broadway theaters, 5th avenue, and dozen of iconic sights. After a long day you can relax at this place; chill out at the pool and poolbar. The rooms are not big, but very clean and modern. You will have a nice bathroom and the service is great! I really recommend this place! Top of the Rock / Rockefeller Center Top of the Rock Observatory [spacer height="20px"] Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center; an amazing place with a breathtaking view of New York City and beyond. From this point you can see the Empire State Building, awesome! The excitement begins on the ground floor with the rich history and architecture of Rockefeller Center. You can take one of the glass ceiling sky shuttles for a ride to the top. When you have the New York Pass you have a free entry and you can skip the lines, perfect! You can order the New York Pass here: www.newyork.nl. The best time to visit this place is in the morning at 9.00 AM. At the top it's very small and in the evening there many tourists, but the sunset is great to see! Good luck ;) Bryant Park Bryant Park [spacer height="20px"] Bryant Park is a public park and a New York landmark. It's located between fifth and sixth avenue and between 40th and 42nd streets in Midtown Manhattan. The New York Public Library is located within the park, so when you visit the Library, make sure you walk through this park. The buildings around, the flowers and the carousel, make this place incredible! Did you know that the movie Sex and the City staged multiple scenes at the park's carousel? Times Square Times Square [spacer height="20px"] Love this concrete jungle! The most famous square in the whole wide world and one of world's most visited tourist attraction. 450.000 people daily on a busy day, that's more than then Disney theme parks! You will feel so small at this place. It's magical because of the Neon billboards and advertisements, shops, many tourists and costumed characters. At nighttime the billboards light up even more brightly than during the day, so it don't feel like night when you walk there. Do you want to make some awesome pictures without all those people? I had a jet lag so wake up at 5.00 AM, it's very quiet at this time ;) Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge Park & Brooklyn Heights Brooklyn Bridge [spacer height="20px"] I can give you 100 tips and recommendations, but the best one; rent a beach cruiser at Blazing Saddles. When you have the New York pass, you can rent a free beach cruiser for 24 hours. You can pick up your beach cruiser at Pier 17 (in the neighborhood of the circle line cruise) and you can drop your beach cruiser at Pier 17 or Pier 84 at Hudson River Park, it's up to you. The best way to explore New York is on a bike ride. We bike the Brooklyn Bridge, what an experience! There two sections; walk and bike. Very difficult to bike with so many people walking at the bridge, but we did it and it was great! We also visit Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn Heights Park, DUMBO and back over the Manhattan Bridge. You will see breathtaking views! This is the best ever, especially when you have great weather just like us :) Grand Central Station Grand Central Terminal [spacer height="20px"] Grand Central Station; official name Grand Central Terminal, with 44 platforms, more than any other railroad station in the world. This terminal is also one of the world's most visited tourist attractions, with 21.9 million visitors a few years ago. The station is not owned by Authority, but by a private company. We visit this place at the day there was a congress with Donald Trump, that's the reason why some people demonstrate. A nice thing you need to know is that you can hire an audio tour to learn more about the history. It's not only a station, you can find here shops, restaurants and a market. Really nice to visit this place, it's open daily from 5.30 AM until 2.00 AM. Empire State Building View from the Empire State Building [spacer height="20px"] One of the best places to visit in New York is the Empire State Building. I can't describe the feeling you get when you're on the top and see the view of New York and beyond. WOW WOW WOW! Also for this attraction the best time to visit is early in the morning (like 08.30 AM or 09.00 AM), it's not to crowded and you can make stunning shots! The Empire State Building was completed in a year and 45 days and finished in 1931. It stood as the world's tallest building for nearly 40 years, now One World Trade center is the tallest. Inside this building you will find art deco design. At the 86th-floor observation deck you have a 360-degree view of the city. There is a second observation deck on the 102nd floor, but you need to pay 20 USD extra when you use the New York Pass. 9/11 Memorial & Museum 9/11 Memorial [spacer height="20px"] Impressive that's the best word to describe this place.. The place where 2983 people killed in the attacks of September 11, 2001. This is a place to honor the people who have been killed. You will find two reflecting pools set in the footprints of the Twin Towers and a plaza of trees, including the Survivor tree. The underground museum tells the story of the events of 9/11, while presenting stories with 23.000 images, 10.300 artifacts and over 500 hours of video. The stories you will hear inside the museum will give you goose bumps, so sad what happens. A must see when you visit New York! Open-door Helicopter flight Manhattan View from a helicopter [spacer height="20px"] Ever made a shoe selfie with the One World Trade Center? This is the best experience ever!! An open door helicopter flight with FlyNyon. AMAZING! I wanted to give my husband a special gift on his birthday trip to New York, so I booked a flight at FlyNyon. We took the NJ Path from Manhattan to New Jersey (location of FlyNyon) and take a uber taxi to the hanger. It's possible to take you're iPhone, camera and go pro, they have straps for all your camera's. The view is spectacular! Dumbo - Brooklynn Manhattan Bridge from DUMBO, Brooklyn [spacer height="20px"] Dumbo, Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass is a neighborhood in Brooklyn and it's located between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. That's what makes this area so nice, you can make pictures of the bridges from the other side. If you take a good look you will see the Empire State Building framed by the Manhattan Bridge, this pictures are made from Washington Street. Did you know Dumbo has become Brooklyn's most expensive neighborhood? It's worth a visit by bike! Statue of Liberty at Liberty Island & Ellis Island Statue of Liberty [spacer height="20px"] Some people told us, don't visit Liberty Island, because it's very busy with tourists and it's better to see Lady Liberty from the ferry. But I can tell you, I'm happy we take the free ferry from Battery Park to Liberty Island, because we had a great time! Every 20 minutes there is a ferry who can bring you back to Manhattan or Ellis Island. That skyline is so beautiful to see, I couldn't stop making pictures of it. The Statue of Liberty was smaller then we expected, but very nice to see! After Liberty Island we visit Ellis Island. The place where 12 million immigrants first entered America. We had some high expectations, but it was a disappointing. In the tv movie Hitch, you see some old books where you can find some relatives, but there are no books at Ellis Island, only 100 computers to search for relatives. That's the reason why it was a disappointing for us. Other must sees and photo gallery [URIS id=630] [spacer height="20px"] For more from Denise, visit her blog and follow her on Instagram.
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Taking a Cruise Along the Brooklyn Waterfront

[caption id="attachment_591" align="alignleft" width="5545"] Brooklyn Bridge Park[/caption] [spacer height="20px"] In recent years, cool millennials, families, tourists (and pretty much everybody else) have been migrating from Manhattan to Brooklyn to experience this wonderful borough and its rich history and influential culture. Visitors yearn for more sightseeing options in Brooklyn and companies have noticed. Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises is the latest to jump on board the Brooklyn bandwagon with their brand new cruise - Hello Brooklyn! [spacer height="20px"] [caption id="attachment_592" align="alignleft" width="858"] Hello Brooklyn Route[/caption] [spacer height="20px"] The Hello Brooklyn tour departs from Pier 83 (42nd Street) and makes its way Downtown for views of the Statue of Liberty and Staten Island. On its way North, the cruise goes around the coast of Brooklyn from Bay Ridge to Williamsburg, exploring the borough's history and beauty along its piers and coast. Prepare to ride under the three East River Bridges (Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge) for an up-close look at their amazing engineering and majestic glory. [spacer height="20px"] [caption id="attachment_600" align="alignleft" width="1000"] Circle Line Cruise Under the Brooklyn Bridge[/caption] On board of the cruise, you can enjoy a specially catered menu from local Brooklyn companies, such as Blue Marble Ice Cream, Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn Cupcake, Brooklyn Cured, Brooklyn Gin, Brooklyn Roasting Company and more. The tours are narrated by some of New York's best tour guides offering insight into the rich history of Brooklyn as well as fun bits of information you won't find in encyclopedias. The tour is 2 hours long and departs daily from Pier 83 at 2:30pm and is free with the New York Pass.
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Last-Minute Holiday Gifts

It’s...wait. It’s WHAT day in December? How did that happen? How is Christmas so soon? Isn't it still October? Why haven’t I been shopping/ordering/baking? While we can’t help with the cookies for the office cookie swap, we can help make your last-minute gift shopping a little less woeful. Here, our tips for last-minute holiday gifts. Museum Gift Shops For a classy gift that’s elegant and thoughtful, try a museum gift shop. At The Frick, you can get gorgeous coffee-table books, posters, tote bags, scarves, and even some truly unique offerings, like a clock paperweight and a stunning porcelain tray. Uptown at Cooper-Hewitt, you can find fabulous design-inspired gifts, from a Bauhaus-inspired chess set to a puzzle that seems to change colors with the light. You’ll also find stocking stuffers like a snowflake trivet and a citrus squeezer, plus cute stuff for kids, including plush toys, a gummy bear puzzle, and reusable paper. A perfect place for last-minute holiday gifts. Holiday Markets If you haven’t discovered the holiday markets already, now would be the moment. The holiday markets at Bryant Park and Columbus Circle are great for handmade goodies like jewelry and toys, while the Union Square Market is especially good for food items (Jams! Bread! And get yourself some hot cider!) And if you’re near (or travelling through) Grand Central, their yearly holiday market focuses on handmade American goods. Note: Most of the markets are up through December 24, so hasten thee there immediately! Need more info on them? We’ve got the holiday market info here. Drugstores Now, hear us out. We don’t mean a desperate last-minute Christmas-Eve run to your local CVS (though, hey, if you have to, you have to.) We’re thinking something a little more well-conceived. So, consider giving a gift-wrap kit. Get the recipient gift wrap, tape (no one ever has enough tape), gift tags, bows, and maybe a little something to munch on while they wrap (also conveniently located in the drugstore.) Genius! Everyone will be grateful. Specialty Food and Wine Stores Do they love cheese? Wine? Cheese AND wine? Do they have a secret stash of chocolate in their desk? (Honestly, who doesn’t?) For a truly fun Christmas experience and some stellar chocolate, head to Myzel’s, a tiny jewel box of a candy store across from City Center. Christmas decorations abound, and you can get beautiful chocolate by the pound, as well as a fabulous selection of licorice. Plus little stocking stuffers and perhaps a cookie for you. (You’re working hard!) For fantastic cheese, head to the iconic Murray’s cheese shop in the Village, with maybe a stop at Astor Wines. Now, those are gifts.
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