The Icons of an Icon – Visit NYC
Ask almost anyone to name the great cities of the world and New York will come up. The metropolis has been an icon of urban sophistication and progress for over a hundred years. Its attractions have become so well-known and recognizable that they themselves have reached iconic status. You can almost pick any famous landmark and you can find New York City hotels near it. The following are some of the best sites that the city has to offer.
Empire State Building
Constructed in just about a year, the Empire State Building reigned as the tallest building in the world for 42 years. Even now it attracts visitors because of its Art Deco styling and unsurpassed views from the Main Deck on the 86th Floor and the Top Deck on the 102nd Floor. Buy a ticket to both floors for different views. To avoid the lines, come between 8 AM and 11 AM. You can also skip all lines by buying express passes online. Visit just before sunset so you can see the city change into its night-time jewelry.
Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island
The symbol of American freedom, the neoclassical Statue of Liberty beckons from Liberty Island in New York Harbor. It was dedicated on October 28, 1886 and built by Gustave Eiffel just before he erected his famous tower in Paris. You’ll need to climb the staircase to the top if you want to look out from the crown. The only way to visit the statue is via a ferry. Buy tickets from the National Park Service for the best price. Tours are included with admission.
Since the ferry also stops at Ellis Island, why not stop by the famous immigration gateway on your way to the grand lady? The attraction features an online searchable database so you can find out if your ancestors passed through there. Take a free ranger-guided tour for in-depth information. The museum describes what coming to America was like for 12 million immigrants from 1892 to 1954. Your ticket to the statue also includes admission to this island.
If you want a respite from urban buildings and high prices, visit Central Park and its 843 acres. Admission is free, making the park a popular destination for locals who want to commune with nature. You can easily spend a whole day wandering the wooded paths of the Ramble, sunbathing on the open lawn of Sheep Meadow or admiring the trees on the Mall. Public performances are common, ranging from street entertainers to the New York Philharmonic, particularly in the summer.
Another freebie, the Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883 as the first bridge to cross the East River. It was hailed at the time as the longest suspension bridge in the world. Enter the mile-long pedestrian walkway at Cadman Plaza East near Prospect Street. Come at night when lights brighten the suspension cables and light up the views of lower Manhattan.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Where else can you admire Egyptian mummies, paintings by European masters and stained glass windows from 1900 but at the Met, as it is lovingly called? The largest art museum in America sprawls across 2 million square feet and is best viewed in small chunks lasting no more than two hours. You pay what you can for admission. For an overview of what you’re seeing, join one of the many free talks and tours, which are free with admission.
This article was contributed by Fiona Moriarty of Hipmunk, a travel website that offers customers a fast and easy way to find the best travel deals.
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