Shopping Spree In New York

By Go City Expert

New York Pass Holiday Shopping Spree

The holidays are all about giving and spreading that magical seasons' spirit. With that being said, the New York Pass is giving back to pass holders in a big way this year and allowing them to enjoy their trip to New York City even more. As we get closer to the Holidays, many people are worried about how they will be able to buy gifts for their family or even personal presents for themselves. Especially if you've already spent money on your vacation to New York. Thus, we're giving New York Pass customers the chance to win a special $500 shopping spree.

Winning the grand prize means you take home a $500 Century 21 gift card. Selected winners will be able to use the gift card inside of the Century 21 department store. There will also be a number of runner-ups selected to take home a $100 or $50 Century 21 gift card.

How To Enter

Getting your hands on this shopping spree will probably be the easiest money that you have ever earned. In fact, all you actually need in order to enter is an Instagram account. Pass holders can enter the contest by simply following the New York Pass on Instagram, posting pictures during their trip to NYC, and using the hashtag #NYPHolidaySweep. Piece of cake right? Contestants may post as many pictures from their trip as they like. Just remember to continually tag New York Pass for your chance to win. This is your opportunity to bring out your inner-photographer and show off the sights of the city.


All winners for the Holiday Sweepstakes will be selected on December 8th based on the engagement of their posts. Therefore, the more traffic that you drive to your post, the greater chance you have of winning the shopping spree. Make sure that you are sharing your posts and spreading the word to your friends to like and comment on your pictures so that you're more likely to show up as one of the top posts on Instagram in the #NYPHolidaySweep search. Now you're ready to go out and win that shopping spree! Good luck.

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statue of liberty ferry

Taking the Statue of Liberty Ferry

Exploring one of the most iconic landmarks in the world doesn't have to mean a long trip to Liberty Island. Whether you're looking for an up-close view of the Statue of Liberty or wish to explore Ellis Island, taking a ferry from either Manhattan, NY, or Liberty State Park in Jersey City is both easy and affordable. The cost of taking these ferries can vary depending on which route you choose; fares for adults range from $18-$27 with tickets inclusive of both stops at both islands. If visitors wish to access the Statue, additional tickets will need to be purchased - it’s recommended that these are bought in advance due to high demand during peak times. On-board visitors can expect friendly staff who are more than willing to answer any questions, restrooms, snacks/drinks kiosks and spectacular views. The ride itself typically takes between 20-30 minutes each way depending on which route you take, so if time is limited it’s important to plan ahead. Once at Liberty Island visitors can explore all that this historic landmark has to offer; various guided tours, food choices such as hot dogs or sandwiches at concession stands available onboard the ferry and even special events held seasonally such as live music performances which are free with ticket purchase! After exploring Ellis Island visitors will have more than enough time for iconic photos before heading back. Visiting New York City? Taking the ferry to the Statue of Liberty is an absolute must! Not only does it offer unparalleled views and incredible experiences - it's also a great opportunity for some iconic pictures with Lady Liberty herself! Don't forget your camera – this is an experience not soon forgotten! Don't worry; if you don't know what that is or where to get it from, we're going to tell you right now. Prepare yourself for the ultimate guide to taking the Statue of Liberty ferry, and what you'll find when you reach its historic shores! What is the Statue of Liberty Ferry? As you may have gathered, it's a ferry that takes people between New York's mainland and Liberty Island, where the Statue of Liberty stands tall. From where does the Statue of Liberty Ferry depart? If you're traveling from New York, the departure point is in Battery Park: Statue Cruises Kiosk, Battery Park New York, NY 10004 The closest bus stop is Stop 12, 13, or 14 on the Downtown route. The closest subway stop is Whitehall Street/South Ferry/Bowling Green. If you are traveling from New Jersey, the departure point is Liberty State Park: 1 Audrey Zapp Dr, Jersey City NJ 07305 The closest stop is Liberty State Park Station on the HBLR. How often does the ferry leave? It's worth checking the official timetable to ensure your timings are up to date, but on average, the ferry departs from either port every 25 minutes. How do I get a ticket? We've got you covered – Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Ferry tickets are available with the below money-saving options, so you can choose the attraction pass that's right for you: 1. All-Inclusive Pass – All you can do. Your Attraction Pass includes admission to dozens of attractions. 2. Explorer Pass – Choose as you go. Your Explorer Pass includes admission to up to 10 attractions. It's worth noting that, whichever way you decide to go, booking is required to get the ferry, and early booking is highly recommended because, as you may have guessed, it is an incredibly popular tourist destination! The History of Ellis Island Standing tall as a symbol of liberty and justice, the Statue of Liberty is an important part of America's history. The island itself is named after Samual Ellis, who owned the landmass before it was opened to the public. Ellis Island served as the primary entry point for immigration into the United States, so much so that a third of all Americans can trace their family tree to someone who landed on the island! But its job as an immigration entry point ended nearly 100 years ago, and it wasn't actually opened to the public until 1976. Nowadays, it hosts countless tourists every year, who flock there from all over the world to explore one of the most iconic landmarks on the planet. What to expect on Ellis Island The Statue of Liberty This one's a no-brainer. You wouldn't even be reading this if not for Lady Liberty herself! Yes, the Statue of Liberty now stands tall on Ellis Island. Visitors can walk around the National Monument and see the big girl up close - at least if they look up! Then, when you've enjoyed the view, so to speak, you can enter the Statue of Liberty Museum, which contains tons of amazing artifacts that detail the statue, and the island's, history in much greater detail than we ever could. See the original torch up close, touch a copper rendition of Lady Liberty's face, and explore interactive exhibits like a reimagining of the studio where the statue was first conceived. Then, head across to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, where you can learn more about the island's importance in populating America. Through first-hand accounts, artifacts, and other exhibits, you'll piece together the island's rich history. Then, try tracing your family tree back to the island in one of the many databases you'll find. Then, when you've had your fill, simply hop back on the ferry and cross over to the mainland! From the views of the harbor and cityscape, to learning more about its history and standing in awe of this magnificent monument, a ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty provides an unbeatable experience full of wonder and amazement. With the accessibility for all, the convenience of booking your tickets ahead of time, and spectacular views from the crown of Lady Liberty that you won't find anywhere else, taking a ferry ride to this iconic landmark is an adventure like no other. And that's our guide to taking the statue of liberty ferry, and what you'll find on Ellis Island! Don't miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime experience - book your ferry ticket today! Looking for more fun-filled adventures in the Big Apple? Check out our guide to The RIDE, your one-stop shop for every other New York landmark on your bucket list! Want to know what other attractions are covered with your pass? Check out all of them here!
Dom Bewley

NYC Observation Decks: One World Observatory vs. Empire State Building vs. Top of the Rock

Visiting one of New York City's iconic observation decks is a must-do lifetime adventure. There’s an endless amount of fun things to do and historical landmarks to see, but a visit to an observation deck (or two, or three...) is one of the most memorable things you can do on your trip to NYC. Plus, it's a great way to 'see' everything there is to see in NYC. New York City is home to 3 of the best observation decks in the world: the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock and One World Observatory. We've put together a comparison of New York's most popular observation decks so you can get an idea for what the difference is between the Empire State Building vs Top of the Rock vs One World Observatory so you can decide which one suits what you want to do and see best. Free Entry with The New York Pass® Free entry to many of these popular New York attractions and activities are included on The New York Pass®. Used by over 3.5 million travelers, the New York Pass is the ultimate sightseeing pass, which includes admission to 90+ attractions, Fast Track Entry at select attractions, a free guidebook, & much more. Learn more about the New York Pass benefits & how to save up to 70% off attractions. 1. The One World Observatory The One World Observatory is an icon of the city skyline with its amazing spire. Travelers can take one of its 70 elevators up to three observation decks in under 50 seconds; it's an elevator ride that feels like a launch. The views: One World Trade Center is located on the south-western side of the Manhattan peninsula (close to the tip of the peninsula), so you'll get close views of the Hudson River, New Jersey, and Manhattan. You can see Ground Zero, the 9/11 Memorial Museum, and the Financial District. You'll be able to see the Empire State Building (though your view will be farther than from Top of the Rock) and Top of the Rock (though you might need to reference a skyline map to pick it out from its surrounding buildings!). All around, it has views that stretch from Westchester and Rockland counties to New Jersey, Brooklyn, and Long Island in addition to the mighty metropolis of NYC. Then, step into the Main Observatory and view high-definition footage of Manhattan’s streets. Enjoy some artisanal cocktails the bar One Mix and indulge in some culinary delights at One Dine. The structure and its observatory decks are a rebirth of downtown Manhattan after the tragedy of 9/11. Experience the city's rebirth. Admission: One World Observatory tickets are sold separately from The New York Pass. 2. The Empire State Building The Empire State Building (ESB) shows 360-degree views of the city. At night, this international icon displays dazzling light shows to celebrate various occasions, which are often synchronized to music. In addition to its 86th-floor observatory, there's the Top Deck. You can see up to 80 miles away and get a full picture of the city. The views: the Empire State Building is located right in the middle of Manhattan, so from its top Observation Deck, you’ll get one-of-a-kind vistas of the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and the brilliant city streets below. You'll also be able to see New York City's other popular observation decks; the view from ESB of One World Observatory is much closer than the view you get of it from Top of the Rock, and similarly, the view from ESB of Rockefeller Center is much closer than the view you get of it from One World Observatory. Be sure to check out the Dare to Dream exhibit, which pays tribute to the builders and architects who helped create this historic landmark. There are period photographs, mementos, architectural sketches, and more. If you plan your visit to the Empire State Building around meal time, consider dining at its STATE Grill and Bar for breakfast, lunch or dinner. In exceptional Art Deco design, it showcases New York State’s winemakers, brewers, and farmers. Admission: Empire State Building tickets are included with the New York Pass. 3. Top of the Rock The Top of the Rock is a must-do on any tourist's bucket list. The Top of the Rock Observation deck is nestled in the heart of Rockefeller Center. Ascend 70 floors up and take in a sweeping view from three indoor and outdoor viewing decks.There are indoor viewing areas on the 69th and 67th floors Rockefeller Center is chockful of beautiful architecture, culture, and rich history. Take it in with a guided tour through its gardens and significant buildings. The views: the Top of the Rock is located just south of Central Park, right in Times Square, so you'll get the best views of Central Park when compared to other observation decks. In the other direction, you'll be able to see the Empire State Building framed by the sprawling city, the Bank of America Building, Times Square, Brooklyn Bridge, and more. From Top of the Rock, the view of the Empire State Building is closer than the view of the Empire State Building from One World Observatory. After you pass the Swarovski chandelier in the lobby, there are artifacts and photos outlining the history of Rockefeller Center and an open-air deck on the 70th floor. Compared to the Empire State Building, the Top of the Rock is less claustrophobic. Admission: Top of the Rock tickets are included with The New York Pass. The Biggest Differences Between the Top New York City Observation Decks Each observation deck experience provides an educational and informative experience on your way up to the observation deck complete with exhibitions and displays. The locations: where each building is situated will impact your views from each of the observation decks. See the image above for a better idea of where each observation deck is relative to the others. The exhibits: One World Observatory, being the most recently built, features a more modern design and feel and its exhibits explore the development of downtown Manhattan and the impact of 9/11 and how the One World Observatory building came to be. Top of the Rock and the Empire State Building both offer a classic and nostalgic New York City experience that highlight the history of the city with a particular emphasis on the American dream and the eventual prosperity post-Great Depression era. The views: the biggest difference between One World Observatory vs Empire State Building vs Top of the Rock is the view you'll get at the top. Of course, whichever observatory deck you choose to visit, you won't see that building in the skyline. One World Observatory (southern-most building): views of the Hudson River and the city skyline looking north from the southern tip of Manhattan Empire State Building (middle building): views from the middle of Manhattan with One World Observatory visible to the south and Rockefeller Center visible to the north Top of the Rock (northern-most building): views of Central Park to the north and views of the Empire State Building and One World Observatory to the south Popular Things to Do Nearby In addition to these 3 observation decks (One World Observatory, the Empire State Building, and Top of the Rock) there are other great sites and activities worth checking out while in NYC. Central Park This world-famous park is 36 acres of beautiful streams, waterfalls, rocks and winding trails. It’s ideal for strolling and a wonderful sight from each of the observation decks.Take a romantic paddle around the lake or even a Venetian Gondola ride at Loeb Boathouse. Savor some great fare like crab cakes at the Central Park Boathouse Restaurant. Monkey around at the Central Park Zoo. There’s even pot-bellied pigs, penguins and sea lions. You never have to wait for the carnival to come to town in NYC.In the summer, head to Victorian Gardens for an all-American day of juggler performances, cart rides, and funnel cake. In the winter, hit the ice for some ice-skating. The Statue of Liberty You can take a ferry over to the Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island. Visit the crown and see panoramic views of Brooklyn. This colossal copper statue was designed by artist Frederic Bartholdi. It’s the symbol of freedom.The Liberty Island Museum is located in the lobby of its pedestal and chronicles the history of freedom. At the pedestal, you can great views of New Jersey, New York, and the New York Harbor.Getting in: Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Immigration Museum tickets are included with The New York Pass. The Brooklyn Bridge The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the city’s noblest landmarks. It stretches over Brooklyn, Manhattan and the East River and delivers amazing views. Take a walk across its promenade above the roadway and feel the city’s vibe. It only takes about 40 minutes.Getting in: the Brooklyn Bridge is free and open to the public. Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour tickets and Bike Rentals you can use to bike across the Brooklyn Bridge are included with The New York Pass. Grand Central Terminal The Grand Central Terminal is the world’s largest railway station and a magnificent public space. It’s modeled after an ancient Roman bath and features glimmering chandeliers, an amazing concourse, and a robin’s egg-blue ceiling displaying the constellations.Getting in: Grand Central Terminal is free and open to the public. The American Museum of Natural History The American Museum of Natural History is the largest natural history museum on the globe and without a doubt impressive. It stretches four city blocks and showcases 45 exhibition halls with over 30 million artifacts from outer space, the sea, and the land. Don’t miss it. Getting in: American Museum of Natural History tickets are included with The New York Pass. Metropolitan Museum of Art Roam the labyrinthine corridors of the colossal Metropolitan Museum of Art where you view more than 2 million works of art showcasing 5,000 years of history.Its Egyptian collection features stone sarcophagi inscribed with hieroglyphics and pages from the Egyptian Book of the Dead.Other highlights include the American Wing with collections of American Arts. There are also stunning Islamic galleries with metalwork and ceramics. Its roof garden serves up fabulous views of Central Park and the city skyline.Getting in: The Metropolitan Museum of Art tickets can be purchased online. The High Line Just years ago, the High Line was a railroad track carrying freight trains. Today, it's a railway-turned-beautiful city retreat situated high above the busy city streets.Take a stroll along the path and check out the park's many features, including picnic tables, seating, curving walkways, and well-manicured gardens while you take in the unique views of the Hudson River and Manhattan skyline. Getting in: admission to the High Line is free and open to the public. Remember to Save on Observation Decks and New York Attraction Admissions New York City's top 3 observatory decks are at the top of many tourists itineraries. They're all popular attractions, but how can you manage to afford the admission price at each? New York Pass grants you free admission to two of these Observation decks, with Empire State Building tickets and Top of the Rock tickets, plus, admission to over 90 additional attractions in NYC. Get a New York Pass and start saving on admission to top attractions during your trip. For more information get the New York Pass here.
Casey Makovich

Which Area of New York Should You Stay in for Sightseeing?

Wondering where to stay in New York City? Planning a sightseeing tour of the Big Apple can at first seem overwhelming. There are so many attractions in the city that you won't want to miss, but seeing all of New York City can take a lifetime. The neighborhood in which you're staying plays a huge role in your trip. You want to choose a hotel that's located in an area close to major attractions, such as: The Empire State Building Rockefeller Center The 9/11 Memorial & Museum The Intrepid The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Museum Mile on the East Side of Central Park Free Entry with The New York Pass® Free entry to many of these popular New York attractions and activities are included on The New York Pass®. Used by over 3.5 million travelers, the New York Pass is the ultimate sightseeing pass, which includes admission to 90+ attractions, Fast Track Entry at select attractions, a free guidebook, & much more. Learn more about the New York Pass benefits & how to save up to 70% off attractions. Of course, this list includes just a few of the hundreds of attractions that are sure to strike your interest. To plan the best possible trip, you should research the neighborhoods of New York first. Choose the one that most interests you and offers easy access to your must-see attractions. Where to Stay in New York City - 5 Neighborhoods to Consider Times Square/The Theater Distinct/Hell's Kitchen The Times Square area is probably one of the most iconic parts of New York and one of the most popular places to stay for sightseers. It's centrally located to many of the biggest attractions. Times Square is in roughly the same area as the Theater District and the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood. This part of New York has everything. Times Square itself is one of the world's most famous tourist attractions. You'll be walking distance from attractions such as Ripley's Believe it or Not and Madame Tussaud's. From Times Square, you're just a brief walk from major Broadway theaters in the city including the Shubert Theatre, the Minskoff Theatre, the Winter Garden Theatre, and the New Amsterdam Theatre. If you like to eat good food when you're on vacation, you won't be disappointed by the offerings of Hell's Kitchen. This area of the city is notorious for its culinary offerings and offers world-class cuisine from all over the world. Stay in the Time's Square/Theater District neighborhood if you want to be conveniently located to attractions like the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center and also hit a few Broadway shows during your stay. Chelsea Chelsea is located to the south of Hell's Kitchen. The area extends from around 15th Street to 38th Street on the west side of Manhattan. If you're wondering where to stay in New York City to fully experience the arts and culture scene, Chelsea delivers. Known as one of NYC's premier artsy destinations, Chelsea is filled with tons of art galleries that rival the MoMA and fine dining restaurants. If you stay in this neighborhood, one of its highlight attractions is Chelsea Market, a historical area that's home to a variety of eating establishments and little shops that sell fresh produce, meats, baked goods, crafts by local artisans, and more. Another attraction that's convenient to Chelsea hotels is the Chelsea Piers Sports & Entertainment Complex on the Hudson River. This is a sporting complex offering a spa, indoor soccer fields, a rock climbing wall, ice skating rinks, and a marina. Chelsea is right next to Hell's Kitchen, so it is also not too far from attractions like the Empire State Building, the Broadway theaters, and Rockefeller Center. Union Square/Flatiron Union Square is centrally located toward the southern tip of Manhattan. It is just east of Chelsea and northeast of Greenwich Village. The Flatiron building, which was constructed in the early 20th century, is probably the most iconic sight in this part of the city. One of the biggest advantages of the Union Square/Flatiron area is that it is located at a central hub of the New York City subway system, making it a convenient place to stay for those who are planning on getting around by subway. Tip: Union Square/Flatiron is a good option for an area to stay if you want to hit both Midtown attractions like Times Square and the Empire State Building while also making it to some of the major attractions way downtown like the Statue of Liberty and the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. The Financial District The Financial District is located down at the southern tip of Manhattan. This area offers vacationers a bit more quiet than more bustling neighborhoods like the Theater District and Chelsea. However, the Financial District is also home to some attractions that most vacationers visiting New York won't want to miss. Most people who sightsee in New York these days will want to see the emotionally-charged World Trade Center Complex and the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, an essential attraction that recognizes one of the most important events in New York's history. The Financial District is close to other important historical attractions like the Statue of Liberty. In addition to being located near these attractions, the Financial District is the home of Wall Street and perhaps one of the most important business hubs in New York City and the entire world. The Upper East Side Historically, the Upper East Side (UES) has been home to some of the crème de la crème of New York society. This is one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the city with some of the most valuable real estate. The UES is also an ideal place to stay if art and culture are what is drawing you to New York. It's convenient to Museum Mile and some of the best art museums in the city. Museum Mile is the stretch of Fifth Avenue that runs along the East side of Central Park and is home to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim. In addition to the art museums, Central Park itself is very accessible to hotels on the Upper East Side and is a must-see New York attraction. Remember to Save on Attraction Admission Choosing where to stay in New York City to maximize your sightseeing itinerary is a great start to planning your trip. Next, choose the hotel in that area that works best for your budget and needs. And remember, being in close proximity to the most popular attractions can save you time in your day and allow you to visit more attractions. With more stops on your itinerary, that means you'll be spending more money on admission. Therefore, you should look into purchasing a New York Pass which grants you free entry to over 90 attractions in New York City. For more information on the New York Pass, click here.
Casey Makovich

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