SUMMIT One Vanderbilt vs The Edge Comparison

Watch the city unfurl beneath you from one of these soaring skyscrapers.
By Stuart Bak

Choosing between SUMMIT One Vanderbilt and The Edge? Never fear, our guide will help you make a decision. Both observation decks have a jaw-dropping view of New York City and beyond, but which one will you go for?

Observation platform one-upmanship in the Big Apple has taken humanity to terrifying new heights in recent years. But few have gone as far as the giants that are SUMMIT One Vanderbilt and Edge, both of which offer genuinely unique new experiences for the fearless adrenaline junkie from their nerve-jangling locations over 1,000 feet in the air. So: two skyscrapers, both alike in terror-inducing height. But which is higher? Which one can you scale? Which has a mirrored infinity room? And which boasts the best views of the Empire State Building? Dive in to our guide to find out how Edge and SUMMIT compare.



Name: SUMMIT One Vanderbilt. But ask any NYC local for directions to plain old SUMMIT or SUMMIT One and they’ll know exactly where you mean.

Age: The tapering wedge of concrete, glass, steel and terracotta tiles that is One Vanderbilt opened its doors in September 2020. Its crowning glory, SUMMIT, opened a year later in October 2021.

What is SUMMIT One? Coming up with a new concept for a Manhattan observation platform is no mean feat, given that the primary draw is always going to be those stunning 360-degree views of the iconic skyline. But a new concept is just what SUMMIT has achieved, adding cool art installations and dreamlike immersive experiences that will – says the PR blurb – see you ‘break through to a new realm’ and ‘escape the boundaries of perception’.

SUMMIT One: Vital Statistics 

  • Height: At the time of writing, One Vanderbilt is the fourth tallest building in New York, standing at 1,401 feet (427 meters). You’ll find the SUMMIT observation platforms a heart-stopping 1,100 feet (336 meters) over Madison Avenue.
  • Number of floors: 93.
  • Elevators: 42.
  • Visitors: Despite the pandemic, SUMMIT welcomed a whopping 1.4 million visitors in its first year (to October 2022).

What’s the SUMMIT Experience Like?

Mirrored room at SUMMIT

Standard tickets take you on a thrilling journey through four ‘chapters’ of frankly hallucinatory immersive experiences. You’ll start in Transcendence, where mirrored floors and ceilings reflect the city skyline, the clouds (and you) to infinity. The journey continues through Unity and Affinity, which feature such trippy effects as floating silver balls and your own face rendered in cloud form, before ascending to the main event – Levitation – a series of glass boxes that hover above the city streets. Peer down between your toes, if you dare, at the distant hustle and bustle of Madison Avenue, a mere 1,063 feet below. You’ll also get some of the best views of the Empire State and Chrysler buildings from up here. Daredevils can get higher still with the ultimate add-on experience. Buckle up for ‘Ascent’, in which fearless fun seekers can enjoy the twin sensations of stomachs dropping and knees buckling aboard one of two *glass-bottomed elevators* (the largest in the world, fact fans) that rise a further 120 feet into the air.

Fascinating SUMMIT Fact of the Day

If the eye-catching tiles that punctuate One Vanderbilt’s gleaming glass exterior look familiar, that’s because they’re the same tiles used on the ceilings inside the adjoining Grand Central Station!

SUMMIT Fast Facts

Silver orbs at SUMMIT
  • Opening hours: 9AM-midnight, year round. Last entry is at 10PM.
  • Tickets: there are several booking options available on the SUMMIT website.
  • Closest transport links: the entrance to SUMMIT is located on the main concourse of Grand Central Terminal.

But how does SUMMIT compare to Edge? Let’s find out...


Edge at sunset

Name: Not to be confused with the U2 guitarist of the same name (height 5 feet 10 inches), Edge (height 1,131 feet) is the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere.

Age: 30 Hudson Yards – currently NYC’s sixth-tallest skyscraper – was completed in March 2019. Edge opened in March 2020, closing after a mere two days due to the pandemic, then reopening in September 2020.

What is Edge? Only the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere and the second highest viewing deck in NYC, after the One World Observatory’s fully enclosed platform.

Edge: Vital Statistics 

  • Height: Up on the 100th floor, the Edge platform is at 1,131 feet (345 meters), while guests brave enough to book the City Climb experience will reach 1,271 feet (381 meters) at The Apex.
  • Number of floors: 103.
  • Elevators: 59.
  • Distance the Edge platform protrudes from the main building: 80 feet.

What’s the Edge Experience Like?

Glass viewing platform at Edge

This one’s definitely not for the faint of heart. Here on the 100th floor, 1,131 feet above terra firma, is where you’ll find some of the most astonishing 360-degree views of the Big Apple and beyond. Edge’s unique gimmick is as simple as it is frightening: the triangular viewing platform (complete with transparent floor, natch) protrudes 80 feet from the side of the building, hanging suspended over the streets of New York. And, as if that isn’t thrilling enough, there’s also the City Climb, in which brave souls are harnessed to the building for a bucket-list ascent to The Apex. Scale the top of the skyscraper and summon those nerves of steel to lean right out over the edge at an epic 1,271 feet.

Fascinating Edge Fact of the Day

The transparent nine foot balcony that surrounds Edge is angled outwards at 6.6 degrees, meaning visitors can safely ‘overhang’ the ground and rooftops far below.

Edge Fast Facts

Outdoor sky deck at Edge
  • Opening hours: 9AM-10PM Monday-Thursday; 9AM-midnight Friday-Sunday. The last elevator ascends 50 minutes before closing.
  • Tickets: general admission to Edge is included with a New York Pass. Alternatively, you’ll find various ticket options, including the epic City Climb, at the Edge website.
  • Closest transport links: the No.7 Subway is the main route into Hudson Yards, and several bus lines also stop within a few minutes’ walk.

SUMMIT vs Edge: Which Should You Visit?

If you only have time to do one, the decision is probably best based on your own personal tolerance for heights. Sure, SUMMIT’s Levitation zone is nerve-wracking, but it’s got nothing on Edge’s huge, protruding glass platform. A New York Pass gets you access to the nail-biting see-through platform at Edge as well as dozens more top New York attractions.

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Attraction of The Week: High Line Park

[caption id="attachment_1299" align="aligncenter" width="568"] High Line Park | @nycparks |[/caption] High Line Park One of the greatest luxuries in New York are the amazing and unique views that the city presents. It seems as though wherever you go, no matter the borough, you can find gorgeous opportunities to take photos. Of course we see the photos of monstrous buildings in the sky and even scenic photos of NYC's historic venues but perhaps one of the best photo opportunities in New York is a hidden gem... High Line Park. Views "The High Line", as it is often referred to, is a public park/walk-way in the sky that hovers over the city. The park is situated on what used to be railways stretching from below 14th street up to 34th street by the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Many people love walking on the High Line not only because of the amazing view from over the city but also for the sight of the neighboring Hudson River. Another famous neighbor to the High Line is the Whitney Museum, positioned right at the foot of the park on Ganesvoort street. [caption id="attachment_1301" align="aligncenter" width="511"] High Line Park | @highlinenyc[/caption] Activities are plenty at High Line Park no matter the season. Throughout the year you can catch temporary art installations and performances. In warmer months you can also enjoy the gardens which feature over 200 species of plants, and sun-bathing along the path which provides relaxing benches facing the river. One of the most popular stops along the path is the ramp between 25th and 26th street that allows visitors to sit right above the street and watch the traffic pass along. While walking through High Line Park, you'll also pass by Chelsea Market which is an interesting hub that hosts many different cuisines as well as stores and art shops... Just something to keep in mind if you want to grab a bite to eat after enjoying the High Line. [caption id="attachment_1300" align="aligncenter" width="500"] High Line Park | @highlinenyc[/caption] Hours The hours for the park change slightly depending on the season. Below you can see what times the park will be opening and closing throughout the year: Winter: 7am - 7pm Spring/Fall: 7am - 10pm Summer: 7am - 11pm If you're interested in walking through High Line Park, entrance is absolutely free, but tours are offered if you'd like to find out more about the history of the park.
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