Get Free Access To Popular Attractions
OK. Admittedly purchasing a tourist discount pass isnt free, in fact, these passes can seem expensive.
However, the all-inclusive tourist passes include most of the citys popular tourist attractions and tours, including hop-on-hop-off bus tours and boat cruises.
The object of these all-inclusive passes is to experience as many things in a day as you have time for. These passes are sold in increments of days, and the longer the pass the less the daily cost is.
So, if you plan efficiently, you will end up getting free access to several tours and attractions.
The Solomon R Guggenheim Museum One Of The More Unique Places To Visit In New York
- Major art museum
- Global icon
- National Historic Landmark
Why its awesome: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is a renowned art museum housed within an iconic building. From the vast permanent collections to the eye-catching architecture, there is certainly nothing ordinary about the Guggenheim. An incredibly popular attraction in New York, the museum is now listed as a National Historic Landmark. Although the museum can trace its roots back to the late 1930s the present striking building was constructed in the late 1950s.
The building project was headed by the renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Circular in shape, the gallery follows a spiral ramp inside. Light floods in through the huge skylight highlighting the interesting pieces. Indeed, the museum was said to be a Temple of the Spirit, providing a new way for people to admire art.
What to do there: Before entering, admire the interesting architecture from outside, appreciating the circular form and unusual design. Stand in the atrium, looking up at the balconies with their wave-like form. Then, spend a few hours seeing the large collections in the permanent and temporary exhibitions. Major pieces include those by Paul Cezanne, Marc Chagall, Paul Klee, Albert Gleizes, and Georges Braque.
Taste The Best Burgers At Jg Melons
A great burger is a beautiful thing, as simple as it is delicious. Established in 1972, the J.G Melons firm was called a few times the best burger in the city by famous frequenters such as the restaurateur Danny Meyer, or even best burger in the world by previous NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
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Incredible Things To Do In New York City
There are so many things to do in New York that youre never quite done exploring.
You may not know it, but I used to live in New York City. I visited for the first time in December 2000, when I had a long layover on my way back to Sardinia, and decided one day Id call it home, so this is a city I know inside out.
For all New York first timers and also for those who will be traveling there for their second, third or millionth time I thought Id pick the very best things to do in New York, and share a few tips that will help you make the most of the city.
Little Italy And Chinatown
One of the many wonderful things about New York is its diversity, and that is what youll experience when you visit Little Italy and Chinatown. The best part? These two completely different neighborhoods are right next door to each other. Thats the beauty of New York: You get to enjoy two equally fascinating but totally different neighborhoods within mere blocks of one another.
Lots of people visit both these neighborhoods in the same trip. We do for our neighborhood tour, adding in SoHo as well. Since theyre so close, you can get a taste of each in under an hour.
Of course, you can stay a lot longer if you want to have lunch or dinner here. Little Italy has seemingly endless options for pasta, pizza, and pastries plus a few annual celebrations that really bring the neighborhood to life. Coming from the Italian flavors of Mulberry Street, youll cross over Canal Street, the heart of Chinatown. Chinatown is like a city within a city. Chinese food, shopping, medicine, decor youll find it all here.
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Meet Your Heroes At Madame Tussauds
Rub shoulders with the Hulk and snap photos with George Washington as you explore this mind-boggling waxwork world. Nowhere else would politicians and popstars stand side by side with Spiderman and the Kardashians.
Stroll down the runway at fashion week and take center stage in a Broadway show just all in a days work at Madame Tussauds.
Areas & Neighborhoods In New York
The neighborhoods in New York are difficult if not impossible to encapsulate in just a few sentences. Indeed, the vibrant, diverse areas of NYC could fill a book. And things to do in New York span across all of these neighborhoods. Whether you are interested in the arts, want to party the night away, or feel like strolling the streets aimlessly, New York City makes an excellent destination.
Midtown Midtown hosts the Empire State Building and Koreatown. Of course, the area is also spilling over with professionals who have somewhere to be, so prepare to elbow your way down the sidewalk as you navigate the neighborhood.
Chinatown Make your way to Chinatown for authentic dim sum and cultural flare. This part of NYC is also a magnet for adventurous foodies, and you will find vendors selling things like live eels and pork buns to the public. Dont let the name of the neighborhood deceive you: Chinatown also has Vietnamese food and more.
SoHo Take the fast track to SoHo for boutiques and other retailers in spades. Once youve spent your fair share on your credit card, make your way to some of the chic art galleries, if only for a window shop.
West Village West Village has trendy nightlife and serves as a good place for celebrity watching. Despite its high profile, the area manages to maintain a bit of a comfortable charm. This attitude is reflected in local brunch spots and beyond.
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Storm King Art Center
Just 12 miles away from Beacon, the Storm King Art Center is an expansive sculpture garden in the Hudson Valley. This 500-acre open-air museum is nestled in a bucolic landscape of rolling hills, meadows, and forests.
Dedicated to supporting contemporary artists, as well as protecting the environment, the expansive property exhibits large-scale sculptures and commissioned pieces. The collection includes striking artworks created from the 1950s to the present.
From New York City, it’s an easy day trip to the Storm King Art Center by train or bus. Travelers can take the Metro-North Railroad from Grand Central station in New York City to Beacon and then hail a taxi to Storm King Art Center. Another option is the New Jersey Transit train that goes from Penn Station in New York to Salisbury Mills station or the Coach USA bus that offers round-trip tickets from Port Authority bus terminal.
The Statue Of Liberty And Ellis Island
We end our list with two tourist treasures: The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Located on neighboring islands in New York Harbor, these attractions are worth the visit simply for their place in American history. The Statue of Liberty, a beacon of hope. Ellis Island, the harsh reality of the immigrant experience. Both are accessible via the frequent ferries that leave from Battery Park . Go ahead and look up if your family passed through Ellis Island!
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Coney Island Easily One Of The Most Fun Places To Check Out In New York
- Family-friendly destination
- Ethnic diversity
- Various rides and attractions
Why its awesome: The seaside Coney Island was once the biggest amusement area in the USA. Interestingly, the area was also responsible for several innovations and technological advances in the past, including baby incubators. Although Coney Island went into decline for a period it is again today a thriving area for fun. There are rollercoasters and other rides, sideshows, carnival-like games, movies, a museum, and more. Coney Island was once the best places to go in New York for young couples and families, it still holds some charm.
What to do there: Wander along Coney Island boardwalk and marvel at the huge array of activities and attractions, with all the sights, sounds, smells, and shrieks of excitement of the fair. Bask in the sunshine on the beach and take a refreshing dip in the sea. Play beach volleyball, build a sandcastle, and feast on tempting street food. The hotdogs are especially popular. If the heat gets too much, how about a spot of ice skating?
Feel a rush of adrenaline on rides like Thunderbolt Roller Coaster and Coney Island Cyclone, enjoy great views atop Denos Wonder Wheel, challenge your friends on the bumper cars, and feel a sense of nostalgia as you sail around on the carousel. Brave the parachute jump, watch movies on the beach, explore the underwater world at the aquarium, and learn more about the area at Coney Island Museum.
Statue Of Liberty & Liberty Island
The Statue of Liberty is by far one of the most visited tourist attractions in New York City. The statue was gifted to the United States by France in 1886 as a symbol of freedom and democracy and she looms over the city like a guardian, beckoning visitors to cross the water on the ferry to see it up close on Liberty Island.
There are many tours you can take of the Statue, including the grounds of Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty Crown and Pedestal interior areas. This is often combined with a tour of Ellis Island and you can save money by combining the two.
We recommend this Ellis Island & the Statue of Liberty tour with fast track.
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Walk Through Little Italy And Soho
Head to Soho and Little Italy on a relaxed walking tour for a dose of authentic New York life. Keep an eye out for celebrities as you stroll past cast-iron buildings in fashionable Soho, and hear stories of immigrants and gangs in Little Italy.
You will visit iconic sights like Spring Street, Mulberry Street, and Columbus Park on this journey through history.
Statue Of Liberty And Ellis Island Guided Tour
Both islands have a unique experience to offer that you should discover for yourself at least once. You can always visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island with a guide to make your visit that much richer adding in historical context and local insight but however you choose to visit, these two deserve top billing on your NYC bucket list.
Flatiron Building A Great Place To See In New York If You Love Architecture
- National Historic Landmark
- Featured in many movies, TV shows, and books
- Iconic symbol of New York
- Unusual design
Why its awesome: The 22-level Flatiron Building, located in Manhattan, dates back to the early 1900s. Designed in a wedge shape it takes its name from the fact that it looks like an old-fashioned clothes iron. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building features Beaux-Arts designs with elements from Greek and Renaissance architecture. Home to many offices, the inside spaces also have unusual designs, with angular walls and great views towards the Empire State Building.
The signature building has been used in various TV shows and films over the years, including Godzilla, Spider Man, and Friends. Fun fact: the original elevators in the Flatiron Building were powered by water!
What to do there: Often said to be among the most photographed buildings in the world, one of the main things for tourists to do at the Flatiron Building is to snap plenty of pictures of the buildings unusual form. Enter the grand lobby and admire the interiors. Although visitors arent allowed into other parts of the building the nearby area has plenty to keep you busy after youve taken lots of photos.
Go Underground At Howe Caverns
Kim Knox Beckius
New York’s second-most-famous natural attraction was discovered in 1842 byâ¦ cows. Today, touring Howe Caverns in Howes Cave, New York, is still one of the state’s coolest things to do. An elevator descends 16 stories to this underground world of fantastical limestone formations. You’ll cruise an underground lake, wriggle through the Winding Way and maybe even bring yourself romantic good fortune.
Special outings like lantern tours and family flashlight tours and additional on-site attractions like a ropes course, rock wall, zip line and OGO balls, make Howe Caverns a place families return to again and again.
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The City Of Niagara Falls
The City of Niagara Falls sits on the banks of the Niagara River across from the city of Niagara Falls, Canada. The main tourist attraction is the waterfall that shares its name with and connects the two cities. In addition to the iconic waterfall, the city of Niagara Falls also boasts several casinos.
The Seneca Nation runs the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel, which features 99 gaming tables and 4,200 slot machines as well as the biggest hotel in New York State outside Manhattan.
The Museum Of Modern Art
Our NYC trip planners tell us that you can’t leave the MoMA off a list of must-visit places in NYC. Aside from The Met, its probably the most beloved museum in the city. Be sure to check out the rotating exhibitions alongside the museums permanent collectionboth are worth exploring.
MoMA is $25 to visit. Don’t worrythere are plenty of ways to enjoy New York’s vibrant art scene if you’re traveling on a budget. You just need to know where to look! Our trip planners can suggest their favorite art galleries in town, or tip you off to how to enjoy many of New York’s museums for free.
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The American Museum Of Natural History
First opened in 1869, this museum currently boasts a collection of a whopping 30 million artifacts including complete dinosaur skeletons, a state of the art planetarium and even a seasonal butterfly house. There are 600 fossil skeletons on display including a mammoth and t-rex. The Rose Centre in the museum provides space theater shows that are both informative and spectacular to watch.
Places You Must Visit In New York City
So, youve booked a trip to New York City. Youre probably planning to see the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and perhaps even a Broadway show. However, New York is a massive city and there are so many things to see outside of the iconic tourist traps like Times Square. Being that there is so much to do, youll want to make sure you come in with a plan. The airports are just outside the city so make sure you have an idea of how youll be getting into the city and a place for luggage storage in New York City if you cant check into your hotel right away. Also make sure you book a hotel in a location central to some of the attractions you are looking forward to. Once you have this taken care of its time to experience these must-see attractions in New York City.
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Go On A Nyc Architecture Tour
The architecture in New York is truly something to write home about, with everything from designer skyscrapers to historic landmarks waiting to be discovered.
Your camera will be working hard as you visit sights like Grand Central Station, Times Square, and the Chrysler Building. Watch as the light enhances your perspective and listen as the guide shares insider secrets about this beguiling city.
Where To Stay In New York City
There are so many neighborhoods to choose from in New York City. How is a first-time visitor supposed to pick? If you dont know the city well, I recommend staying in Midtown so you can easily get to all parts of the city. Stay near a subway stop so you can get around easily.
While it might be tempting to stay in Times Square, it doesnt give you an accurate picture of how charming New York City can be and it can be really noisy and crowded. Its best to stay outside of that area.
Here are a few of our recommended hotels in NYC. You can read reviews of book directly through any of these links:
- The Quin luxury boutique hotel near Central Park with a bar/lounge, renovated rooms and nice bathrooms Read reviews | Book now on Expedia
- Kimpton Hotel Eventi Luxury boutique spa hotel in Chelsea. The location and the hotel itself is very impressive Read reviews | Book now on Expedia
- Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel Located in midtown, near Grand Central, this is an impressive hotel with modern design Read reviews | Book now on Expedia
What are your favorite things to do in New York City either as a tourist or as a local? Share it with us in the comments.
Laura Lynch, creator and writer of Savored Journeys, is an avid world traveler, certified wine expert, and international food specialist. She has written about travel and food for over 20 years and has visited 70+ countries.
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