The Empire State Building
Located in Midtown Manhattan, the 86th and 102nd floors of this National Historic Landmark are the Observation Deck and offer stunning 360 degree views of the city up to 80 miles away. One of the most popular places to visit in New York, visitors reach their destination by taking a ride in one of the manually operated elevators that allow them to watch their ascent as they go. In addition to the observation decks, also check out the newly restored art deco-style ceiling murals in the lobby, as well as either of the building’s two exhibits. On the 80th floor, the Dare to Dream Exhibit is a historical and educational experience that walks visitors through the history of the Empire State Building’s engineering and construction. Original documents, including historical photographs, architectural sketches, construction notes, and bookkeeping documents, pay tribute to the architects, builders, and laborers who helped make the iconic skyscraper a reality.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is the largest museum in the United States and one of the most-visited museums in the world. It has been a staple of the Manhattan experience for decades. With over 2 million permanent works divided among 17 different curatorial departments, this is an educational experience like no other. The Met Fifth Avenue spans more than 2 million square feet and offers more than 5,000 years of art from a multitude of cultures and time periods. For a more personal experience, try an EmptyMet tour. The EmptyMet tour offers visitors the opportunity to see one of the city’s most visited attractions before it opens to the public, featuring the museum’s most engaging tour guides. Tickets for the tour also include same-day admission to The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters.
American Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History’s entire complex is comprised of 28 interconnected buildings that house 45 exhibition halls, as well as a planetarium and library. Yet another of the world’s largest museums, the site is home to over 33 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, human remains, and cultural artifacts, and also employs a 225-person, full-time scientific staff. Self-guided tours include the Dino Tour, the Earth and Space Tour, the Highlights Tour, the Night At The Museum Tour, the Theodore Roosevelt Tour, and the Whales Tour.
The Statue of Liberty
Commissioned in 1876 to symbolize freedom and democracy in the United States, the Statue of Liberty has since become one of New York’s most internationally-recognized landmarks. Situated on Liberty Island in the middle of New York Harbor, visitors reach the World Heritage Site via ferry. Once there, you can walk around, take pictures, and enjoy views of both Lady Liberty and the Manhattan skyline.
Visitors can spend hours at The Ellis Island Immigration Museum learning about the island’s history before, during, and after it served as one of America’s busiest immigration stations. During your visit, you’ll also hear many stories of immigrants that explain why they came to America and what happened to them after they arrived. For those feeling more adventurous, the 90-minute Hard Hat Tour (for ages 13 and up) is being offered through August 2017 and provides visitors with the chance to see several of the island’s untouched facilities, including its 750-bed hospital and laundry building. Since Ellis Island is included as part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, tickets purchased for tours that leave before 2 p.m. will take you to both locations.
Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962, Central park spans over 843 acres of land and welcomes more than 25 million visitors each year. From Belvadere Castle, to the Great Lawn, to Strawberry Fields, to the Shakespeare Garden, Central Park has hundreds of outdoor sites and activities to offer. The best part about this tourist site? It’s free to anyone and everyone who wants to visit.