New York landmarks are seen all over the media and internet but visiting them in person is awesome! We travelled last year in the height of summer and spent a fantastic four days exploring the city.
Here are the highlights!
Top Of The Rock
One of my favourite New York landmarks is the view from the top of the Rockefeller Building, especially at sunset. It gets very busy but is so worth it. You can see for miles, and the view of the Empire State Building is incredible as the light changes and it gets dark. I would recommend booking in advance to avoid the queues, especially at busy times of the day.
Read reviews on TripAdvisor here.
Statue Of Liberty and Ellis Island
We booked a guided tour first thing in the morning and so avoided many of the crowds, and our guide was both knowledgeable and entertaining. We took the ferry over to Liberty Island and were guided around the museum and up inside the plinth. We had some free time to wander around and then took the ferry to Ellis Island where she showed us around. This was so interesting as I didn’t previously know the history of the millions of immigrants who passed through the facility. We had lunch in the shade of the trees and the views of the New York skyline were amazing.
Read reviews of the Liberty tour options on TripAdvisor here.
One World Trade Center
This was my younger son’s favourite building and is next to the extremely poignant 911 memorial in downtown. We didn’t go inside but will definitely do so on our next visit.
Grand Central Station
Grand Central Station is one of the iconic New York landmarks and is a bustling hub for millions of travellers every year. There are lots of photo opportunities and I loved the arches like the one in the photo below.
One of the lesser-known gems is Chelsea Market which is in an historic old building on the West Side. It houses independent traders and eateries, and is a great place to browse, or have lunch, as there are so many options. It is just off the High Line so is a great stopping-off point for a cup of coffee.
The High Line
The High Line is an old raised freight railway line which winds around the lower West Side and is a lovely space for looking at some fab New York landmarks from a different perspective. The line was due for demolition in the mid 90s but was developed by the city and has been such a success that it has been replicated around the world. The walkways and landscaping have all had a designer touch and teams of workers maintain the flowers and trees.
There are plenty of seats to take a rest, and water fountains to refill drink bottles. On a hot summer’s day there is plenty of shade, and there are toilets and refreshments along the route. It is 1.45 miles in total and some entrance points have lifts to allow disabled access.
We saw tourists using walking tour guides and I wish I’d have considered this as an option as there was so much to see and learn about. You can read reviews on TripAdvisor here and check out the tour options.
Iconic New York Landmarks
As you wander around the city there are famous buildings everywhere. I went for an early morning run and caught the Flatiron building before the streets were filled with people.
My all time favourite building is the Chrysler Building. It’s tricky to find a great view from street level as there are so many other skyscrapers in the way.
However, if you know where to go then there are some great spots to take decent photos. I have made a note of the best ones here :
- E44th and 3rd Avenue
- Lexington Avenue, from 37th onwards
- E41 and Lexington
- W42nd street between 5th and Madison heading east
There is so much to do in Central Park. From the zoo to fountains and walkways, and Strawberry Fields which is the memorial to John Lennon. It’s a great place for an early morning jog, or you can hire a bicycle and take a ride around the park. Definitely somewhere to explore when you visit New York!
Circle Line Tour
One of the highlights of our visit was the Circle Line Harbor Lights Tour which the whole family absolutely loved. We took the sunset tour which was a lovely way to finish off a day of sightseeing, and extremely relaxing. We passed so many New York landmarks including the downtown skyline, One World Trade Center, Liberty Island and Brooklyn Bridge. You start from Pier 83 and travel south and then in a semicircle anticlockwise up as far as the Chrysler Building on the East River. If you’re lucky and it’s a clear day then the views of the setting sun are stunning. Read reviews here.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my favourite New York landmarks. Please leave a comment if you’ve enjoyed the blog or have more ideas about things to see in the Big Apple!
You may also like my tips for a visit to Niagara, which is only a short hop from NYC, and you can read about it here.
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