One of the greatest cities in the world, New York is always a whirlwind of activity, with famous sites at every turn and never enough time to see them all. Some people come here to enjoy the Broadway shows; others come specifically to shop; and many come simply to see the sights.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit New York City is from April to June and September to early November when the weather is mild and pleasant while any time of year and any time of day there are an endless array of things to see and do in New York.
Top Places to Visit in New York
1. Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty was France’s gift to America. Built in 1886, it remains a famous world symbol of freedom and one of the greatest American icons. It is one of the world’s largest statues, standing just under 152 feet tall from the base to the torch, and weighing approximately 450,000 pounds. You can see the statue from land, with particularly good views from Battery Park, on the southern tip of Manhattan. However, to truly appreciate the Statue of Liberty, it’s best to take a short boat trip to Liberty Island and see it up close. You can walk around the base, enter the pedestal, or, with advance reservations, go right up to the crown.
2. Central Park
A walk, peddle, or carriage ride through the crisscrossing pathways of Central Park is a must-do on anyone’s New York City itinerary. In winter, you can even lace up your skates and glide across Wollman Rink. This huge park in the city center, a half-mile wide and 2.5 miles long, is one of the things that makes New York such a beautiful and livable city. Besides being a great place to experience a little nature, Central Park has many attractions within its borders, including the Belvedere Castle, Strawberry Fields, the Central Park Zoo, and the Lake.
3. Times Square
Lined with huge, brilliantly lit billboards and screens, Times Square is a place best visited in the evening, but still exciting at any time of day. This is the location of New York’s New Year’s Eve Celebrations and the famous “ball drop” at midnight, when the square and surrounding streets are filled with people. Times Square is busy and perpetually crowded but has its own unique appeal. Bleachers set up at one end are a great place to take a break and appreciate the scene.
4. Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge, with its Gothic-shaped arches and suspension cables, is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks and has inspired generations of poets, songwriters, and painters. This historic bridge, spanning the East River from Manhattan to Brooklyn, was completed in 1883 and was the world’s first steel suspension bridge. You can see it from many of the ferries, or the east side of Manhattan, but the best way to experience this icon is to take an hour and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. A wood plank walkway, only open to pedestrians and cyclists, runs above the lanes of traffic. If you are not up for walking the whole distance, at least go as far as the first pillar, where there is a viewing platform, and you can see one of the granite towers up close. From the bridge are beautiful views over Manhattan, the East River, and beyond to the Statue of Liberty.
5. Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Met, as it is commonly known, was founded in 1870, and is one of the most famous museums in the United States. The permanent collection of The Met contains more than two million works of art, spanning a period of 5,000 years. Although the museum has three sites, the centerpiece is The Met Fifth Avenue. Highlights of the collection include American decorative arts, arms and armor, costumes, Egyptian art, musical instruments, photographs, and much more. Exhibitions bring some of the world’s most famous works to the public.