Home to some of the nation’s most exquisite dining and priceless art, New York City is also the place to find obscure delicacies from around the world and handmade everything. It’s these paradoxes that make New York endlessly alluring, ever ready to show you something new.
REASONS TO GO:
The Empire City thrums with the energy of more than eight million residents and nearly 60 million annual visitors—many headed to iconic destinations like Times Square, Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Stop by for a bagel or a slice of pizza, and discover New York’s always-shifting patchwork of historic charms and creative modern living.
WHEN TO GO:
- Central Park: Covering 843 acres of prime real estate, Central Park is both a cultural landmark and a vibrant part of everyday life in Manhattan, drawing 40 million visitors a year for everything from weddings to Shakespeare in the park, recreational sports and quiet strolls.
- Brooklyn: No longer the castoff cousin for commuters, Brooklyn vies for top billing on New York’s best-of lists with sites like the Brooklyn Museum and the New York Transit Museum. Hop on the Q train for a Brooklyn Nets basketball game or a beach day at Coney Island.
- Lincoln Center, Broadway and the Arts: From comedy and jazz to ballet and opera at Lincoln Center, New York City is a magnet that draws in the world’s best and brightest. Head to “The Great White Way” of Broadway for popular musicals or soak up contemporary art in Chelsea’s galleries.
- High Cuisine, Low Cuisine and Everything in Between: New York is a food lover’s playground, with no-frills pizza parlors alongside celebrity chef restaurants. Head to Queens for crispy corn arepas or stick to Midtown Manhattan for farm-fresh, locally sourced cuisine.
- Museums: From the moving National September 11 Memorial & Museum near Battery Park to the Frick Collection on the Upper East Side, New York’s museums run the gamut of interests, ages and styles. Don’t miss the fascinating American Museum of Natural History.
- Wanderlust: Get out of a taxi or hop off a subway to find something exciting and totally unexpected in the city that never sleeps. Walking is the best way to see New York’s urban diversity, from dumpling houses in Chinatown to antique Jewish delis on the Upper West Side.
There is virtually no end to what’s on in the Big Apple. Spring and fall offer the best weather for walking, but New York’s opening-night parties, art exhibitions and warehouse rock shows take the festivities indoors year-round.
Name a holiday, and New York most likely has one of America’s biggest events to celebrate it, from the St. Patrick’s Day Parade to the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. During the summer, you can discover open-air concerts, film festivals and theater performances, or dance your way through the streets during June’s Gay Pride festivities.
Wind down the year at the lighting of the Rockefeller Center tree in early December, or ring in the New Year at the nation’s most thrilling NYE celebration—the Times Square Ball Drop.
Though the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock boast spectacular skyline panoramas if you’re willing to pay, one of the best views of the city is free. Hold out for a spot on the open-air decks on the Staten Island Ferry to enjoy phenomenal views of downtown, the Statue of Liberty and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.