21 Nov The Best of NYC: Tips for the Seeing the Top Attractions
While I love spending time sitting by the ocean and listening to the waves, that whole sitting in a beach chair all day thing can get boring. That’s why, when I took a few days off to recoup from our recent rebrand, I decided to head to New York City. Here are a few highlights from my trip.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Met completely consumed my first day in New York. Thinking back, I’m pretty sure I missed a third of the collection because I ran out of steam by mid-afternoon.
The highlight of my Met visit was the Temple of Dendur. I’m not sure what is more impressive, the temple itself or the room that houses it. The temple, from 10 BC, is the only ancient Egyptian temple in the United States. The vast room where the temple is on display includes water features that mimic where the temple sat along the Nile River.
Other Met highlights include Washington Crossing the Delaware (it’s huge and glorious), a large collection of ancient Greek and Roman sculpture and marble mastery, as well as works by Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, Rembrandt, and others.
Met Tip: I would allow two full days for my next visit to avoid rushing around. Your tickets are good for three days after your first visit, so there is no additional cost for a return trip.
Top of the Rock
While not the tallest vantage point in NYC, Top of the Rock has great views of the New York skyline, Central Park, Midtown, and all of the iconic skyscrapers. There are observation platforms at three different levels, which helps thin the crowd for that perfect selfie. The elevator ride to the top is made it faster by the projection show that is played on the roof of the elevator cars.
Top of the Rock Tip: Located at Rockefeller Center, be sure to sneak a peek at the Today Show before heading up for the views. Also, if you’re trying to decide between the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock, I’d go with Top of the Rock. The area around Rockefeller Center is nicer, and there is more to do.
Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty was definitely the highlight of my trip. I’ve been to New York City a handful of times but had never been because I guess I thought it was too touristy of a thing to do. I couldn’t have been more wrong! There are amazing views of the city from the boat and from Liberty Island itself. Combine that with the history of this American icon, and you have one of the most inspirational moments NYC can offer.
Top Statue Strategies: Both Liberty Island and Ellis Island are included in your ticket. You have to pay to do any genealogy research at Ellis Island, so if that’s not in your budget, I would focus your energy on the statue and museum on Liberty Island. While the top of the ferry has the best views, it also means you wait in a longer line when getting off. Keep this in mind after you’ve already walked 15 miles around lower Manhattan.
- I bought an unlimited 5-Day subway card, because who wants to keep up with their account balance while trying to navigate the subway while being hungry, thirsty, and needing to use the restroom? Yeah, me neither.
- Download the Citymapper app before you go. It’s a great app that tells how to get to the subway station on foot, the correct line to take, and alerts you when it’s time to get off the train. Plus, it’s a free app that works in multiple cities around the world. I believe it also offers a Lyft discount for when you get lost and are tired of walking.
- I bought a CityPass before I left and I would definitely recommend you do the same. If you’re looking to hit a lot of the big tourist attractions, CityPass (or something like it) will help you get into the attractions faster. For instance, the four (or was it five?) ticket lines at the Met must have been 50 people deep, but with my CityPass I was able to use a self-serve kiosk to get my ticket and walk right in. Plus, at the Met the CityPass includes a self-guided audio tour, which is normally an additional charge.
Want to know more about finding food and drinks while you’re there? Check out our previous post from Digital Strategist, Marisa Stephens, about following your “hungerlust” in the Big Apple.
About the Author
James Prow is the Coldwell Banker Caine Graphic Designer. In his free time, he enjoys margaritas, working on his home, and all things Clemson. Willy Taco is his spirit animal.