You could never see everything in NYC has to offer, but we have selected the TOP must to see list. Whether you need to know where to take out-of-towners, the best views or the most incredible places, we’ve got you covered, you just need to explore it away!
Empire State Building
Try imagining NYC’s skyline without the towering spire of the Empire State Building. Impossible, right? Taking a mere 11 months to construct, the 1,454-foot-tall emblem became the city’s highest building upon completion in 1931.
No mere river crossing, this span is an elegant reminder of New York’s history of architectural innovation. When it opened in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was a feat of engineering: It was the first structure to cross the East River and, at the time, the longest suspension bridge in the world. (It also made use of steel-wire cables, invented by the bridge’s original designer, John A. Roebling.)
Gotham’s love affair with its most famous green space is well documented in song, literature and film, but there’s still plenty to adore about the country’s first landscaped public park. Urban visionaries Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux sought a harmonious balance of scenic elements: pastoral (the open lawn of the Sheep Meadow), formal (the linear, tree-lined Mall) and picturesque (the densely wooded paths of the Ramble).
The State of Liberty
Perhaps no other New York attraction is as iconic—or as avoided by tourist-averse New Yorkers—as Lady Liberty. The landmark was closed in the fall in order to repair damage sustained during Hurricane Sandy, but happily, it will reopen to the public on July 4. (Hor apropos.) Our tip: Dodge the foam-crown-sporting masses and skip the line for the ferry by prebooking a combo cruise-and-tour ticket (visit statuecruises.com for more information)
Grand Central Terminal
The 100-year-old transit hub funnels thousands of commuters each day, but it’s a destination in its own right: The majestic Beaux Arts framework is a spectacle of both form and function.
American Museum of Natural History
No matter which wing you wander through or where your curiosities lie (dinosaurs, gems or something else entirely), it’s hard to explore this Upper West Side fixture without being awestruck.
Staten Island Ferry
The price of a harbor crossing between Staten Island and lower Manhattan may be the only activity in New York City that’s cheaper today than it was in 1817.
After Olmsted and Vaux unveiled Central Park in 1859, they turned their attention south to create this bucolic Brooklyn destination.
We won’t argue if you want to call this glimmering pinnacle of Art Deco architecture NYC’s most eye-popping skyscraper. Triangle-shaped windows in its crown are lined with lights, creating a beautiful effect come nighttime. Oozing a moneyed sophistication oft identified with old New York, the structure pays homage to its namesake with giant eagles (replicas of ones added to Chrysler automobiles in the 1920s) in lieu of traditional gargoyles and a brickwork relief sculpture of racing cars, complete with chrome hubcaps.
The Bombers’ current field opened in 2009 to much fanfare and stands opposite the now-flattened original. It may not be the House That Ruth Built, but many elements of the new arena—the limestone exterior, the gatelike frieze around the top—mimic the old, plus cup holders at every seat and a high-def scoreboard are noticeable improvements.