NYC just turned 350 years old. And there are easily ten times more than that many places to visit and things to do. As a New York City transplant (like most here), it took considerable time to really get to know her. Now, it is rather hard not to appreciate her diversity…
Here are the TOP 10 MUST-DO activities in NYC:
To not see Lady Liberty up close and personal is sheer geek blasphemy. She is quite lovely! Book tickets in advance on line and you can collect them in person at the ticket office near the port in Battery City. You can choose just to visit Liberty Island, or you can also make a stop at renowned Ellis Island and learn more about the immigrant history of New York.
While half of the gazillion tourists will be on long lines for the Empire State Building, you should head over the Rockefeller Plaza. The Observatory up top will give you even better views of NYC as it provides an unobstructed view of Central Park. The North view with Central Park in front of you will be imbued in your memory forever. Amazing..
Undoubtedly my favorite museum in all of NYC. Well that’s cause I’m crazy about flight and aerodynamics. You can see right before your noses retired military aircraft, board the retired Growler submarine, the once exclusive Concorde jet (shockingly super tiny inside!), and enjoy any of three different simulators. An extra plus – as of July 2012, the museum acquired a retired NASA Space Shuttle! Hello?! How cool is that!!
So what you might not necessarily know, is that you need to acquire a visitor’s pass to see the new site. You can request one online or otherwise, expect there to be an hour+ long wait to secure one at a building a few blocks over from the entrance to the site. Security is strict as expected and their are restrictions of what personal items you can have. Still, to be present at the official site of remembrance and see the former Freedom Tower that close will leave you in awe. All 1776 ft of it (historical significance of course). However, the experience in its solemn splendor will not disappoint.
5. Catch a Sailboat/ Yacht/ Ferry ride
On a warm summer day, this is probably the most exhilarating thing you will ever do in NYC. You can purchase tickets online at Viator.com or at the ticket booth at South Street Seaport. Rum punches for purchase aboard the yacht add a wanna-be “tropicy” flair. I also always enjoy the ease of a ferry ride between NYC and Brooklyn. The NY Waterway has increased service between the boroughs and you can easily track their service with their super cool app (NYWaterway). You can also contact a cruise company and enjoy a chic 3-hr cruise down the Hudson River, around Battery City and up the East River. On this cruise, you will learn tons about NYC and a lot of its significant skyscrapers/buildings will be discussed by the tour guide.
While there are many wonderful museums in NYC, the Met never ever disappoints. The Egyptian, Greek & Roman wings are worth every millisecond of your life. Plus, in great weather, you can enjoy the rooftop view at the Roof Garden Café & Martini Bar There u can enjoy light fare and cocktails in an informal, outdoor setting with panoramic views of Manhattan. Run not walk!
Yes, this is a highly controversial exhibit surrounding where the “bodies” came from and how they were obtained… sigh… However, you would be insane not to see this exhibit for yourself. It’s on the pricey side ($25 per adult), but the technological genius that went into preparing these specimens will blow your mind. It’s organized into wings based on the human body systems. The Reproductive System room is not for the faint of heart.
It’s not want you might think. Aside from the obvious lure of the goodies you can peruse in the entrance level gift shop, the museum is actually a little bland. There are sections to highlight the evolution of sex within art, video etc. However, the coolest floor is the top floor which has a detailed wing on animal sexual behavior. The things you will learn up there!
The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long New York City linear park built on a section of a unused New York Central Railroad spur called the West Side Line. It’s a public space with a rich history. Aside from the wonderful views, attractions include art installations, walking tours, performances, a telescope set-up on certain nights and special events like their upcoming Haunted High Line Halloween.
Whether it is for a bike ride (bike rentals are pretty plentiful), to visit the zoo there, ice skate, picnic or paddle in the lake near the Boat House, this is a must-experience haven amidst the nuttiness of the city.
If you really like all things quarky, you may even want to check out this list of 18 hidden gems in NYC as well. There you have it. Enjoy folks!