New York City, one of the most fascinating places on earth, offers a wide range of activities and adventures for everyone. Even if you’re lucky enough to visit New York more than a few times, you still won’t even come close to seeing all the secrets the city has to offer. Deciding exactly where to go and what to do is definitely a fun process, but it can also be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’ve never been to the city before. Here is a summary of the 5 top things to do in New York City:
1. Ellis Island and The Statue of Liberty
This is a truly amazing place because it holds the history of our nation. Many of our ancestors came through Ellis Island hoping to gain access to the land of the free. If you have the time, you can even look up your relatives and see their names in the registry book. You then go on to Liberty Island where Lady Liberty awaits you. She is definitely a site to see. Everyone has seen the statue in history books or on TV, but up close and personal she is majestic. There really aren’t enough words to describe her. Departing from New York, there is a ferry that takes you to Ellis Island and then on to Liberty Island. You can do both or just one. The cost of the ferry is $ 12 and it also departs from New Jersey as well. You’ll definitely want to get your tickets in advance, as they do sell out often. You can purchase them at the ferry departure site or online. There are additional tickets needed for going up into the crown of the statue. There might be an additional cost, but regardless, you need extra tickets. They also go fast, so you’ll want to get them months before you arrive in New York.
2. Times Square.
There is so much to do in this one district and it’s all for free! (Well, unless you buy souvenirs of course). This is where you can watch the ball drop every New Year’s eve. There are plenty of shopping opportunities and stores to go into. There are also plenty of places to dine and eat. There is a tourist information center on 7th Avenue close to 46th Street. From Times Square there are endless possibilities. You can get tickets to one of the many Broadway shows or just sit back and enjoy the night life.
3. Central Park.
Central Park is a favorite place of many a native New Yorker as well as those who visit the expansive park to experience its many wonders. The park is free to visit, except for the giant carousel and the Central Park Zoo, and one of the most beloved places in the whole wooded area is Strawberry Fields, a monument in honor of the late and great John Lennon. Situated across from the Dakota, the New York apartment where Lennon was gunned down, the site consists of a stone circle with the words “Imagine,” the title of one of his most recognizable hits. Prepare to spend an entire day in Central Park exploring New York City’s most beautiful spots.
4. Ellen’s Stardust Diner
For ’50s style fun, delicious food, and an incredible ambience for both kids and adults, visit Ellen’s Stardust Diner, which is not too far away from Times Square, located on 51st and Broadway. At Ellen’s you will be sung to by waiters and waitresses who know all of the best Broadway show tunes. In fact, several employees of Ellen’s Stardust Diner have gone on to successful careers on Broadway. If you can, sit in the upper dining area which provides a view of the whole place. Food is on the pricey side, but well worth it. While reservations aren’t necessary, the diner is rather well known, so plan on waiting in a long line most days.
5. The Empire State Building
The Empire State Building is the tallest building in the city and the view from the top is absolutely breathtaking. Definitely a site to see. At the top they have look out points and binoculars to use. You can see all of the surrounding states on a beautiful clear day. During the Christmas season, the lights at the top of the building are red and green. They put up different themed lights for various holidays throughout the year. This building is one of the most famous buildings in the world and it is featured in many classic movies. The cost of admission is currently $ 19 for adults. If you have a military ID you get $ 2 off the cost of admission. Some entertainment coupon books and AAA have discount coupons as well. Tickets can be bought in the lobby the day you plan on going. Thousands of people visit the Empire State Building every day so plan accordingly.
This list of fun and exciting things to do in New York City is just the very tip of the iceberg as after all, the Big Apple is also known as, “The City That Never Sleeps.” But hopefully, with this list as a starting point you will be able to see some of New York City’s very best tourist attractions and have the perfect time exploring its countless wonders.
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