No trip to New York City is complete without visiting Central Park. This 843-acre piece of land in the middle of the city became the city's first official scenic landmark back in 1974 and it was actually the very first public park in the country. The park has been free to enter since 1858 and it is open every day between 6am and 1am. While in Central Park, visit the Conservatory Garden, Belvedere Castle, the Central Park Zoo, Bow Bridge, Shakespeare Garden, the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, or one of the other mini-attractions within. Or you can simply go for a leisurely walk, run, or bike ride with your family.
As one of the tallest buildings in the city, the Empire State Building is a must-see attraction for visitors to New York City. To make it possible for everyone to visit, the Observatory Deck is open every day of the year between 8AM and 2AM. If you want to avoid lines, however, be sure to get there early. Or if you want to enjoy saxophone music during your trip, visit Thursday to Saturday between 9PM and 1AM.
Every visitor to New York City will at least see the Statue of Liberty from afar, but for the best experience, you should actually visit the crown. To do so, you will need to reserve a ticket in advance, but it is easy to do so. If you don't feel up to the physical challenge of climbing up the crown of the Statue of Liberty, you can also view it from afar. The best view is from Battery Park and it is from here that you will take a ferry to the statue or to Ellis Island. There are also summer concerts in the park.
Times Square is the center of activity in New York City and truly a top attraction for those who want to see every iconic site. Viewing the bright billboards and rush of people at the Crossroads of the World is well worth the visit. You don't have to pay anything to see the square, but you may want to get a cup of coffee or bite to eat nearby so you can enjoy people watching in this great city.
Broadway is one of the most famous theater districts in the world and it is not just one location. There are 40 professional theaters that make up Broadway, each of which has at least 500 seats and shows the top performances. Broadway is known for its musicals, although there are also non-musical theater productions. Expect to pay more for a show than you would somewhere else in the country, but the quality will be the best in the world.
For those who love shopping, a trip to Fifth Avenue in New York City is a requirement. This is where you will find all of the top stores, including some of the most expensive ones you can find anywhere. In addition to top shopping, Fifth Avenue also has several historic buildings and sites, including the George W. Vanderbilt Residence, the Sidewalk Clock, and the New York Public Library. If you plan on walking around New York at any point during your trip, you will walk down Fifth Avenue at some point.
Rockefeller Center is in Midtown Manhattan and covers 22 acres. Inside, you will find 19 different commercial buildings and unique New York City events. This is the sight of the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree which is annually lit on live TV as well as the ice rink that pops up every winter. NBC Studios is also in Rockefeller Center, so if you want the chance to see the network in action, add this attraction to your list.
Grand Central Terminal started as a commuter center and train station and since then it has become much more. You can still get here from various railroad and subway lines as well as many city buses and it has more platforms than any other railroad station worldwide. In addition to serving commuters, however, Grand Central Terminal now has 68 different shops, plenty of dining options, a market for fresh food, and even special events.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the most famous art museums in the country and easily one of the top attractions in New York City. This museum is frequently referred to as the Met and it is actually the largest of all American art museums and sits within the list of the top 10 largest in the world. The Met's extensive collection includes items from every era and region, ranging from Ancient Egypt to European masters and from African art to Islamic art. There are also encyclopedic collections of antique weapons, costumes, and musical instruments. The Met is open every day of the year, except Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day, so you won't have a problem fitting it into your schedule.
This is the principal memorial as well as museum commemorating September 11th in addition to the World Trade Center bombing in 1993. You can find the memorial at the former site of the Twin Towers and it is run by a non-profit. The museum honors the victims of the terrorist attacks and looks at 9/11 and its significance today in addition to providing records and artifacts. When you buy your ticket, it includes both the museum and the memorial.