Top 10 New York Attractions
There’s so much to see and do in the Big Apple and so many amazing New York City attractions, it’s hard to narrow it down to just the “Top 10″ – but here are the most popular New York attractions sure to be on any visitors “must see” list.
Empire State Building: #1 New York Attraction
The Empire State Building is probably the most world famous of all New York City attractions. Built in 1930-1931, the 102-story-high skyscraper is one of the best-known sites in the world. The Observatory, on the 86th Floor, is a NYC attraction visited by millions of people each year. At the top of everyone’s list of New York attractions, the Empire State Building measures 1250 feet (381 meters) from street level to the top of its 102nd Floor – and 1454 feet (443 feet) when adding the height of its pinnacle.
Statue of Liberty: #2 New York Attractions
The Statue of Liberty is more than just a New York City attraction, it’s an important symbol of freedom that was the first sight millions of immigrants saw upon their arrival in the USA. The statue was a gift from France to commemorate a century of American independence. Lady Liberty, whose “real” name is “Liberty Enlightening the World” (La Liberté éclairant le monde in French), was built in France, then dismantled and shipped to New York, where this NYC attraction has stood watch over New York’s harbor since its official dedication in 1886. (Towards the end of 2011, the Statue of Liberty will be closed for about a year for installation of a second interior staircase.) When visiting the Statue of Liberty, be sure to check out another notable New York attraction: the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, which tells the story of the more than 12 million immigrants who were processed there between 1892 and 1954 before being granted official entry into the USA.
Rockefeller Center: #3 New York Attractions
Rockefeller Center, an office, shopping, dining and entertainment complex of 19 buildings, was built during the Great Depression in the 1930s and contains a number of New York attractions. Check out the famous Atlas sculpture, the stunning Art Deco interior of Radio City Music Hall, take a tour of NBC Studios, go to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck … and if you’re lucky enough to be in New York during the holiday season, you can go ice skating at Rockefeller Center and see the famous Christmas tree, a popular annual New York City attraction.
Times Square: #4 New York Attractions
Times Square, the New York City attraction at the heart of New York’s Broadway district, is located at the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue – the Times Square area extends from West 42nd-West 47th Streets and 6th-9th Avenues. Times Square This is one of those New York attractions that’s instantly recognizable, as the giant neon signs, billboards and advertisements have been seen in numerous movies and television shows, including the world-famous New Year’s Eve “ball-dropping” celebration that’s attended by thousands and watched by millions.
Grand Central Terminal: #5 New York Attractions
Tourists aren’t the only ones who flock to Grand Central Terminal (no, it’s not called Grand Central Station) – this landmark New York City attraction, located in midtown Manhattan, is a vital transportation center. Millions of commuters travel through Grand Central Terminal regularly, along with countless visitors who can’t help but be awestruck by this gloriously restored Beaux-Arts structure that first opened in 1913. In addition to its railroad lines, this NYC attraction offers shopping, dining, cocktail lounges and public events, including an annual Holiday Fair featuring unique gift ideas from dozens of vendors.
Central Park: #6 New York Attractions
The most visited urban park in America, Central Park is a beautiful, multi-faceted oasis, a tranquil and relaxing New York attraction right in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world! Explore this 843-acre, 2.5 mile-wide NYC attraction on foot, on bicycle or on horse-drawn carriage – don’t forget to stop at the Central Park Zoo, the Strawberry Fields international peace garden (dedicated to John Lennon) or the park’s dozens of fountains, monuments and sculptures.
New York Museums: #7 New York Attractions
Museums of every variety are among the most popular New York City attractions – in fact, museums could make up their own Top 10 New York Attractions list! And at the top of that list you’d be sure to find these: Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of the world’s premier museums, containing more than 2 million items that cover 5000 years of world culture; Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the first museum in the world exclusively dedicated to modern art, and the American Museum of Natural History, home to dinosaurs, a big blue whale and the Hayden Planetarium.
Staten Island Ferry: #8 New York Attractions
The Staten Island Ferry, which journeys between the Whitehall Ferry Terminal (better known as South Ferry) in Manhattan and the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island is a popular New York attraction for visitors – and a busy commuter route for people who live on Staten Island and work in Manhattan. About 60,000 passengers travel on the Staten Island Ferry every day. This NYC attraction operates 24/7, the 5-mile, 25-minute one-way journey offers riders a terrific view of the New York harbor and the Statue of Liberty – and it’s free of charge!
United Nations Headquarters: #9 New York Attractions
The United Nations Headquarters has been a popular New York attraction for visitors from all around the world since its official opening on January 9, 1951. This 18-acre New York City attraction, while located on the East Side of Manhattan, is actually international territory and belongs to all the countries that are members of the United Nations. While visiting this NYC attraction, try to take one of the guided tours that are conducted seven days a week (Monday-Friday in January and February).
Ground Zero: #10 New York Attractions
The site of the former World Trade Center towers, destroyed in the infamous terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, has become a historically significant and emotional New York City attraction. Located in lower Manhattan, millions of people have journeyed to this New York attraction to pay tribute to the 2982 individuals whose lives were lost on 9/11 (and on February 26, 1993 in an earlier terrorist attack). The official on-site 9/11 Memorial will be dedicated on September 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of the attack, at a private ceremony for the victims’ families. The Memorial, which will feature two reflecting pools and bronze panels with the names of all the victims, will open to the public on September 12, 2011. A 9/11 Memorial Museum is scheduled to open in 2012.
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