You’re finished up with meetings and work in what may be the greatest city in the world, New York City. But you only have 5 hours to make the most of it. Here are 6 of the top things you must do in New York City that will only take a few New York minutes.
Take a View From the Top
One of the majestic things about New York City is the skyline. There are what seems to be endless buildings and landmarks that seem impossible to take in all at once. Or is it? Climb into the sky at one of the many observation decks in Manhattan. Top of The Rock at 30 Rockefeller Center takes you to the 70th floor, where you can even look down into Times Square from one of its three 360 degrees viewing decks. The Empire State building, located in the heart of the city, takes you even higher to the 86th and 102nd floor at 1,250 feet high. Also as high, but maybe even more glorious, is the view at One World Observatory located at One World Trade Center in Downtown. All three buildings have dining and shopping options, as well.
For those interested in paying respects and remembering one the most significant days in American history, be sure to visit the 911 Memorial and Museum. Honoring the victims and first responders, this sacred institution educates visitors about the architecture, symbolism, and history of the Twin Towers.
At the tip of Downtown, you can catch a free ride on the Staten Island Ferry. This 30-minute cruise will take you to Staten Island, where just off the Ferry you can visit the National Lighthouse Museum and other quick attractions. Or, you can take the Statue cruise and head over to Liberty Island and tour Lady Liberty herself, The Statue of Liberty. You can also visit Ellis Island and to learn more about your very own ancestors.
Eat and Shop
Sure, just about anywhere you go in New York City, and this includes all the 5 Burroughs, you’re going to eat some of the best food ever. However, some of the best eats in Manhattan are in three of its popular districts. Test your palette in Chinatown with countless exotic flavors, then try your hand at haggling at one of the many souvenir shops. Not as congested is the urban shopping area of SoHo, or South of Houston Street, bordered by Greenwich Village and TriBeCa with hip and “now” bistros and cafes. Not only will you find the best names in any area of retail, but the neighborhood’s historic architecture provides many photo opts. And bustling with life is Midtown. Visit some of the more famous and more reasonably priced restaurants and shops surrounding Times Square. Plus, there are food carts and food trucks everywhere!
See the Sites
You’ve seen these iconic sites and landmarks in movies, television shows, and magazines. Why not enjoy the attractions live? People watch in Times Square or get a picture with a street performer such as Elmo, Batman, or Mickey Mouse. Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to spot The Naked Cowboy. Head east and cross the East River via the Brooklyn Bridge. And if you need to escape the concrete jungle, head north to Central Park. Surrounded by some of the world’s most famous museums such as the American Museum of Natural History, the Guggenheim, and The MET, this 843 acres park is a great place to take in NYC at your own pace. It even has its own zoo!
Catch Some Waves
New York City isn’t known for its beaches, but they’re still a sight to be seen. In Brooklyn, walk the boardwalk at Coney Island where you can enjoy amusement park rides, games, and snacks. A must do here is ordering a Nathan’s hotdog! Another popular beach is Rockaway in Queens, the largest urban beach in America. Be careful if you get in the water, though, because surf’s always up!
Have a little more time to spend in New York City? Here are even more must do’s to consider if you’re on an extended stay.
For those of you who have visited or are from the New York City area, what are some of your favorite NYC must do’s? Share in the comment section.