A Weekend in New York City: Things to See and Do (5 stars)
This post is part of a review where we ordered the same article on each quality level on Textbroker.com – if you landed directly from search results, you might want to go back to here first to read the rest of it.
At turns known as The Big Apple, Gotham and The City That Never Sleeps, New York City – the largest and most exciting city in the United States – is a fascinating place to visit and explore. Hundreds of attractions are crammed into the city’s five boroughs, and a population of over 8 million people ensures that something’s always on. If you’re lucky enough to visit – but only have a weekend to spare – try to include as many of the ten following attractions as possible during your stay:
1. The Empire State Building – For more than forty years, the Empire State Building held the title of tallest skyscraper in the world. This iconic Art Deco landmark is the perfect place to begin any visit to New York City. Views from its open-air, 86-floor observation deck are absolutely breathtaking. From that vantage point, you can take in 360-degree views of the bustling, effervescent city below. Make sure to have someone snap a photo of you with the city sprawling out behind you – it makes for the perfect souvenir to remember your holiday by. Finally, save yourself a long, boring wait – and a lot of wasted time – by purchasing your tickets in advance.
2. Central Park – Central Park acts as a delightful 34-hectare oasis in the midst of the loud, tumultuous excitement that defines New York City. Thanks to its prime location in the middle of the island of Manhattan, Central Park is easy to visit no matter where you are staying. In fact, a great way to make seeing the sights easier is by booking a stay at a hotel that’s near Central Park. Either way, make a point to stroll through a section of it while you’re here; you might even consider renting bicycles to cover more of it in a shorter period of time.
3. Times Square – People the world over are familiar with New York City’s massive New Year’s Eve celebrations that are held in Times Square every year. This world famous spot lies at the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue, and is a must-see on any visit to NYC. Massive electronic billboards light up the majority of this exciting spot, and are instantly recognizable to anyone who explores it. If Central Park is the quiet heart of New York City, then Times Square is its racing pulse – don’t miss it.
4. Ground Zero – The tragic events of September 11, 2001 put an indelible mark on the consciousness of the entire world. No matter how far away you were from where the Twin Towers fell on that terrible day, you probably felt almost as if you were there. An official memorial is scheduled to be completed in September of 2011; for the time being, simply visiting the spot is a somber but worthwhile thing to do. In the midst of all of the fun involved in visiting New York City, try to fit in a visit to this sombre, historic place.
5. Ellis Island - From 1892 to 1954, millions of immigrants arriving in the U.S. streamed through the immigration station at Ellis Island. Located in New York Harbor, it can be accessed via ferries that depart regularly from Battery Park. By visiting Ellis Island, you can gain better insight into how America came to be and get a more complete understanding of what a melting pot this country truly is. If you don’t have the time to explore the island and its museum, you should consider viewing it from afar at Battery Park.
6. The Statue of Liberty – As one of the most enduring symbols of the American spirit, the Statue of Liberty is the first thing that pops into many of our minds when we think of New York City. Dedicated in 1886, this impressive monument was a gift to the American people from the people of France. It’s located near Ellis Island in New York Harbor; many people include both sites in a single trip. You don’t have to take a ferry over to Lady Liberty in order to appreciate her, though; she can be seen from several points in Lower Manhattan.
7. The Metropolitan Museum of Art – Situated on the eastern edge of Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art – or The Met, as its often lovingly referred – is an excellent place to include during your weekend tour of New York. As one of several topnotch museums in Manhattan, however, you will have to pick and choose one or two that you want to visit. You can save time by purchasing tickets in advance, and by mapping out your visit ahead of time. Don’t miss Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of George Washington or the impressive Egyptian collection.
8. The Museum of Modern Art – Another Manhattan museum that you should consider visiting is the Museum of Modern Art. Popularly referred to as the MoMA, it is considered by many to be the most influential modern art museum in the entire world. An impressive array of world-famous works of art can be found here, including van Gogh’s The Starry Night, Dali’s The Persistence of Memory, Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans and Monet’s Water Lilies. Even if you only spend an hour or two, it’s well worth it.
9. The American Museum of Natural History – As one of the best-known and most celebrated natural history museums in the world, the American Museum of Natural History is a topnotch place to include during any holiday in New York City. As cavernous as it is – the museum boasts more than 32 million specimens in all – it is impossible to come close to taking it all in with a limited amount of time. Still, if you happen to be on the city’s Upper West Side and can spare an hour or two, its eclectic array of exhibits are well worth a look.
10. Chinatown – Finally, no weekend visit to New York City would be complete without trying some of its delectable cuisine. Delicious places to dine can be found all over the city, but Chinatown is definitely the beating heart of this culinary capital. Grab lunch or dinner in one of its restaurants, then spend an hour or so simply roaming its busy, enthralling streets; you’ll come away with a better appreciation for the diversity of this amazing city.