Concrete jungle where dreams are made of…literally.
New York City. A destination i’ve been lucky enough to explore three times, yet still, with an upcoming trip in sight, am never short of things to do, and places to see. With Manhatten itself being home to hundreds of iconic sights and attractions, the city is never short of things to do, for any age, interest, budget and weather – there really is something for everyone.
Manhatten, home to hundreds of towering buildings that form the city’s iconic skyline, home to hundreds of retailers, home to one of the most famous parks in the world, and home to millions of tourists each year…it’s fair to say, everyone dreams of visiting the city at least once in their lives. Some people like to visit the city for a short shopping break, some go for sports, others go for the theatre, whilst overs purely go for the sightseeing and attractions, but what are my favourite aspects of the city?
The saying, ‘The city that never sleeps’ couldn’t be any more applicable than it is to Times Square. Acting as one of the worlds most visited tourist attractions; Times Square is a big, bright, unforgettable commercial interestion in Manhatten, home to popular retailers, television studios, restaurants, hotels and attractions. Thousands of tourists visit Times Square everyday, both day and night; immersing in the bright lights and intereactive billboards, absorbing the bustling atmosphere provided by yellow taxi traffic, tourists and street performers, capturing photos on the iconic TXTs booth red steps, and infront of the One Times Square tower that hosts the prominent part of the annual New Years Eve celebration, the Times Square Ball. You may even be lucky in catching sight of the famous Naked Cowboy. It’s evident that Times Square is a major tourist attraction in itself, and the best part is, it’s FREE to see and getting to other iconic attractions of NYC from here, couldn’t be easier!
Oh, and spending New Years Eve stood in a single spot on Times Square for 10+ hours in the freezing cold, is totally worth it…despite how bad it sounds.
Joining on, and around Times Square is New York’s theatre district…Broadway, playing home to many famous, popular musicals like Lion King, Wicked, Les Mis and many more, alongside various ‘off-broadway’ plays and comedy performances. Even if you aren’t a fully pledged musical lover, seeing a show on Broadway is a must-do for any trip to New York, plus, if you get yourself up and out to the Times Square TKTS booth on the day you want to go, or download the ‘Todaytix’ app, you can grab bargain tickets at up to 50% for some of the best loved shows!
Central Park could be seen as a destination itself. Situated in the heart of the city, Central Park is the perfect opportunity to escape the buzz of city life, go for a walk, run, cycle, or even indulge on a horse and carriage ride. It’s hard to believe there’s so much to see and do in the park, for free or at a reasonable priced! Animal lovers can visit Central Park zoo and appreciate the natural wildlife of the park; food lovers can enjoy a picnic on many of the parks open gardens, indulge in street foods, or eat at the Loeb boathouse; activity lovers can walk, run, cycle, boat, swim in the outdoor pool during the summer, and ice-skate during the winter; leisure lovers can just appreciate the mass of the park, its lakes and monuments; and there is always a hide range of events throughout the year, from fitness classes, storytellings, concerts, plays etc.
Quite literally, a shoppers paradise. I think most people consider New York as a top shopping destination, and it sure is. Fifth avenue is only one (very long) avenue of stores…there’s plenty of other shopping opportunities throughout the city. Although many consider fifth avenue to be the luxury shopping area due to accommodating the likes of Saks, Tiffany & Co, Gucci, Ralph Lauren etc., it also boasts a range of high street retailers like H&M, GAP, Zara, Hollister and Abercrombie – both of which I’ve come out with crazy deals! Fifth Avenue is also a picture perfect spot for capturing the famous yellow taxis and New York’s straight roads.
One World Observatory
Priced at $34 for standard adult admission, lots of people are automatically put of by the expense, however, if you are ever to consider visiting one of New York’s observation decks, I recommend the One World without a doubt. Standing 1,776 feet tall as the Western Hempispheres tallest building, the 100th-102nd floor of the One World offers 360 panoramic views of the city and its surrounding areas/waters. After a quick 60 second life ride to the observation deck, the Sky Deck theatre will blow you away (go and see it to believe it) and the views are an experience of their own. I spent my last evening in the city at the One World, watching the sunset and listening to live music (this happens often), and I can’t even describe how it made me feel and how in awe I actually was…I even got to witness a proposal – it was an emotional evening, for many different reasons.
A place not many people consider going when in the city, especially their first time. After two trips to the city, I finally made the trip over to Brooklyn this year, yet still only stayed on the outskirts…next year I’ll tour it even more (I want to see those apartments/houses you always see on TV, with the big steps to the door, trees along the pavement…you get me). Anyway, it’s highly likely that any visit to New York would consist of a trip to see Brooklyn Bridge, so why not soak up the sights, walk across the bridge, and absorb the phenomenonal views of NYC’s impressive skyline.
New York City during the winter season is definitely my favourite. Christmas itself, is a magical time of year, but the city just goes above and beyond. There isn’t a street that isn’t filled with Christmas lights and decorations, department stores like Saks and Macy’s pull off the most impressive window displays you’ve ever seen, Central Park turns into a winter wonderland (dependant on whether snow falls…) and temperatures drop to minus…in other words it truly feel ‘christmassey’ and I felt as though I was living the life of Buddy the Elf.
So, that’s an insight into what I love most about New York City…I’ve been lucky enough to visit once as a family holiday during the winter, and twice on my own travels in the summer – make sure to check out my upcoming blog ‘New York on a budget’.
– Always exploring,
(visited December 2012, September 2015 and August 2016)