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The Big Apple, The City That Never Sleeps, The City of Dreams: this magnetic destination has earned countless nicknames, and there's much to discover in this celebrated city. New York City is home to iconic treasures and world-renowned landmarks, offering something for everyone.
Stretching across the East River, the Brooklyn Bridge is an architectural wonder. Connecting the island of Manhattan to Brooklyn, the suspension bridge with its Gothic towers and steel cables adds a unique silhouette to the city's iconic skyline. Completed in 1883, the bridge was the longest of its kind, measuring almost 1600 feet (487.68 meters). One of the city's most enduringly popular attractions, Brooklyn Bridge offers visitors some of the best views of the cityscape above the river's shimmering waters.
This powerhouse in the modern art world doubles as one of the best-known museums on the globe. Its galleries burst with intriguing exhibits showcasing mediums ranging from painting and drawing to print and illustration. Photography fans will also find a lot to love at the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art). Classic artworks closely associated with the museum include Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe and Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Should your appetite for food begin to compete with your appetite for art, there is a charming restaurant on site, as well as a gift shop to browse on your way out.
The American Museum of Natural History is a popular attraction and one of the largest natural history museums in the world. The museum houses a vast collection of artifacts, displays and exhibits, all geared to reveal secrets of the beautiful natural world. The visit begins with skeletons and life-size replicas of elephants, dinosaurs and other extinct creatures, which welcome you as you enter the main hall. Other points of interest include the Hall of Human Biology and Evolution, the Hall of Meteorites, a vast collection of gemstones, an IMAX theater and the Rose Center for Earth and Space planetarium shows (at extra cost), as well as a research library. The museum offers a number of specially customized public and group tours as well as educational programs and trips, enabling visitors to explore the exhibits in detail.
Larger-than-life billboards, the collective flicker and flash of neon lights, mesmerizing digital screens and a famously atmospheric spirit sum up the allure of the bustling Times Square. Christened after the New York Times, which moved its office to this location in 1924, the vibrant milieu of this busy square deeply echoes the city's ethos. Riveting Broadway marquees, a diverse set of shops, restaurants of every type and stripe, and towering buildings beyond vie for attention. Somewhere amid a sea of tourists who are likely making their way to the iconic red steps for panoramic views of this spectacle, a big crimson tourist bus inches its way toward the next monumental attraction. Meanwhile, longstanding fixtures of this place contribute to its hugely legendary status, from the Coca-Cola sign, the colossal M&Ms World store and Times Square Studios, to the TKTS booth, the Hard Rock Cafe, and Planet Hollywood.
Soaring to a height of 1,454 feet (443.2 meters), this 102-story skyscraper held the title of the world's tallest for close to four decades after its completion in 1931. Despite being surpassed in height, the Empire State Building remains one of the United States' best-known and most iconic modern wonders. The building's Art Deco design is the work of the architect William F. Lamb, who drew up the plans over a mere two weeks using the Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem as a template. Replete with stunning architectural details best showcased by the lavish lobby, the Empire State Building is a splendid jewel of the Art Deco variety. The highlights of the Empire State Building are its two observation decks, perched on the 86th and 102nd floors of the building. From here, awe-inspiring views of New York City await, the vista transforming from a sun-dappled, urban landscape by day to a glittering sea of lights by night. Often, the tower's lofty pinnacle is lit up in myriad colors to celebrate various special occasions and anniversaries throughout the year, accompanied by spectacular light shows that are visible for miles around.
An emerald expanse in the thriving, concrete jungle that is New York City, Central Park lies in the heartland of the Manhattan borough. It commences its labyrinthine stretch from Midtown, all the way to Harlem. It was created in 1857 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who envisioned a sprawling green space in the center of the island. The park spans 843 acres (341.15 hectares) and bustles with life throughout the day, even as the layered, multi-hued fold of the city's skyline unfolds at its hem. The park's 21 playgrounds are speckled with ornate fountains, sculptures, myriad bridges and arches, together forming an urbane respite where several come to find peace from the city's chaotic pace. Attractions within the park include the Bethesda Fountain, the Conservatory Garden, Belvedere Castle, and Central Park Zoo.
A national historic landmark, Rockefeller Center spans a massive 22 acres (8.90 hectares) in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. The center's namesake, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., was the sole financier of the ambitious project, making this one of the world's largest private building ventures in modern times. The complex is composed of 14 Art Deco buildings built in the 1930s alongside five others - one that was completed in 1947 and another four built in the International Style. The splendid design of these historic buildings is matched by a spectacular array of attractions including the Top of the Rock Observation Deck that grants a show-stopping view of the city, Radio City Music Hall, NBC Studios, several shops, and restaurants. A sprawling complex resplendently embellished with Art Deco details, the Rockefeller Center is a historic treasure with a modern twist.
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum is a stunning memorial that was created to honor the people who lost their lives during the dreaded September 11, 2001 attacks.The memorial consists of two pools set in the original site as well as a beautiful plaza. The names of the victims are engraved on paneling along with the pools. Visitors can also explore the 9/11 Memorial Museum that features artifacts and stories about the event. The various exhibits on display at this underground museum educates the visitors.
A shining beacon of freedom, Lady Liberty dominates the eponymous Liberty Island in New York, her copper-wrought form towering over the city's harbor in all its glory. French activist Édouard René de Laboulaye expressed solidarity with the United States on behalf of his nation, if and when the US decided to build a monument that would be emblematic of their independence. The Statue of Liberty thus was the creative culmination of French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and Gustave Eiffel and came to be an honorable offering from the nation of France to the United States. Designed to represent Libertas, a Roman goddess, Lady Liberty gazes proudly into the distance, her right torch-bearing arm outstretched toward the skies, while her left-hand holds a tablet inscribed with the date of United States' Declaration of independence. Over the years, the statue has not only instilled a sense of pride among hordes of Americans but has also been an uplifting sight for tens of thousands of immigrants who charted foreign seas in a bid to start life anew.
This massive cathedral, situated across from Rockefeller Center on Fifth Avenue is regarded as the largest Catholic cathedral in the United States. With its two soaring 330-foot spires, St. Patrick's Cathedral is also one of the city's most spectacular architectural sights. Construction on the neo-gothic structure had started in 1850 and completed in 1878. Inside, it boasts of numerous altars and stained glass windows, and a giant organ with over 7,300 pipes. Services are held throughout the day, and many New Yorkers stop in for a moment of serenity in their otherwise hectic lives.