Times Square – famous for its New Year celebrations, a hive of frenetic activity and a vast array of shopping opportunities. There are so many things to do in Times Square that the list is almost endless – theatre shows, comedy performances and dining at all-American venues, to name just a few. But the sheer immensity of it is almost an activity in itself – spend some time just looking up at the digitally-adorned high rise buildings and enjoy the sights. It’s unlike anywhere else in the city.
The Empire State Building is an iconic New York tower which dominates the skyline – it’s instantly recognisable. Hovering a staggering 1250 feet above the city streets, the Empire State Observatory offers some truly spectacular views of the city. There are two observation platforms on the 86th and 102nd floors, and on a clear day you can see as far as New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Massachusetts.
Take the time to admire the beautiful Art Deco lobby which has been restored but retains its stunning 1930s glamour. It’s advisable to pre-book online or travel around peak times – you can only get to the top via a lift, for which you’ll need a ticket. If you want to plan something particularly special, pre-book for Thursday to Saturday from 10pm to 1am where a live saxophonist will be playing on the 86th floor observatory. The observatories are open 365 days a year, regardless of the weather, from 8am to 2am – the last lift journey takes place at 1.15am.
Statue of Liberty
A gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States, the Statue of Liberty has become a symbol for New York, and America as a whole. It’s set on a 12 acre island, a mile south of lower Manhattan and is an absolute must during your stay! To get to the island you need to take a ferry from Battery Park in New York or Liberty State Park in New Jersey. You can’t take a private vessel as these aren’t permitted to dock at either island – Ellis Island is included in your trip.
There aren’t many parks in the world that can place claim on their own zoo, but Central Park in one of them. Spanning over 750 acres and home to breath-taking foliage, monuments and water features, it’s a thing of beauty. It’s no exaggeration to say that you could spend a whole day exploring Central Park – there really is so much to see here. We think the Conservatory Garden is well worth a visit, along with the Alice in Wonderland monument and the lake. In winter, go ice skating and, in summer, catch ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ at the Delacorte Theatre.
A complex of 19 buildings which sprawl across 22 acres, the Rockefeller Centre is one of the most iconic landmarks in New York. Christmas at Rockefeller is particularly beautiful, with an ice skating rink in the sunken plaza and the famed annual Christmas Tree lighting, but there are famous sights to be found here all year round.