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New York City

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New York City New York City Photo via cnrc.navy.mil

Things To Do in NYC

Peter Minuit (1580 - Aug 5, 1638) was the director of the Dutch colony of New Netherland.  He purchased the island of Manhattan from the Native Americans on May 24, 1626 for goods valued at 60 Dutch guilders (currency).  In the 19th century it was estimated to be the equivalent of $1,000 USD.

Manhattan derives its name from the word Manna-hata from the Leape Indian language.  Manna-hata translates to "island of many hills".

Visiting New York City

Whether you are planning a short few days in New York or an extensive vacation, you will never be at a lack for things to do.  Planning ahead is advised in order to cover as many activities as possible.  Whether sightseeing, shopping or taking in Broadway plays, you will have an over abundance of selections.

If you are planning on taking in some of the city's biggest attractions, you might want to consider picking up a CityPass, which consists of tickets for six of the major NYC attractions, it'll  save you a few bucks!

Sightseeing the Major Attractions

The Big Apple is home to some of the world's most famous iconic landmarks.  From the Empire State Building to the Statue of Liberty, no trip to New York is complete without taking in these sites:

The Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty, entitled "La Liberté éclairant le monde" or "Liberty Enlightening the World" is  a colossal neoclassical sculpture located on Liberty Island in New York Harbor.  The sculpture was designed by Frédéric Bartholdi and dedicated on Oct 28, 1886.  She was designated as a National Monument in 1924 and restored for her centennial on July 4, 1986.  Liberty was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States and is a universal symbol of Freedom and Democracy.

Statue of LibertyThe only way to get to Liberty Island is by using the Statue of Liberty -- Ellis Island Ferry System.  Private vessels are not allowed to dock at either Liberty or Ellis Islands.

For first time visitors and recurrent visitors, The Statue of Liberty is the most stirring experience in all of New York.  Visitors wishing to enter the statue's base must obtain a complimentary museum/pedestal ticket along with the ferry ticket.  Those wishing to climb the staircase, within the statue, to the crown will have to purchase a special ticket.  These tickets are reserved up to a year in advance.

Ellis Island Immigration Museum
The Ellis Island Immigration Museum is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and is considered one of the country's most popular attractions.  In 2001, the Statue of Liberty -- Ellis Island Foundation, in partnership with the National Park Service, unveiled the American Family Immigration History Center.  Families can research ancestor immigration history, family documentation and genealogical exploration.

Ellis Island NYThe 45 minute Audio Tour, available in 9 languages, invites visitors to relive the immigration experience as if they are new arrivals.  Additional tours describe exhibits, interviews with historians, architects and archaeologists.  There are also children tours narrated by "Marty the Muskrat", offered in 5 languages.

Ellis Island Immigration Museum is a must visit.  Plan on spending a good deal of time in order to cover the vast information available.  From artifacts, photos, The Peopling of America Center to Award-winning film documentaries.

The Empire State Building
The Empire State Building soars 1,454 feet above Midtown Manhattan and is considered the "World's Most Famous Office Building."  Take the Empire's super fast elevator to the 86th or 102nd observatory floors for breathtaking views of the city.

In celebration of its 80th anniversary, Empire State Building unveiled a new exhibit which captures its astonishing history, engineering and construction.  The 80th floor pays homage to the pioneering work of the architects, builders and laborers of the day.

Empire State BuildingYou will discover fascinating facts about its construction, reproductions of nostalgic photos and mementos of more than 3,400 workers who created history.  Examine stunning period photos, architectural sketches and renderings, construction notes and so much more!

You will walk away understanding why this building has stood the test of time.

Take A Break and Relax

New York has the largest diversity in dining cuisine anywhere in the United States.  From first generation Greek dishes that are mouthwatering to New York's famous Little Italy for the very best in Italian delights.  How about a short stop over at one of New York's finest cocktail lounges and take in some Jazz or contemporary sounds.

Central Park

Want to break away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets?  Take a stroll through Central Park:

Although Central Park was not a part of the Commissioners' plan of 1811, with the expansion of the city, people were  looking for open spaces to get away from the chaotic life in the city.  At the center of Manhattan, Central Park covers 843 acres and initially opened in 1857.

Central ParkBelvedere means "beautiful view" or "panoramic view".  Visit the beautiful Belvedere Castle which contains exhibits and an awesome observation deck.  The family friendly observatory demonstrates the process by which naturalists observe their world and share their scientific discoveries.  Displays include telescopes, microscopes, skeletons and feathers.  Other exhibits include a plywood tree with papier-mache reproductions of birds seen in Central Park.

Other wonderful activities to enjoy in Central Park include:

Birding: A wonderful wooded area of the park called "The Ramble" is very popular with bird watchers.

Boating: Rowboats and kayaks are available to rent on an hourly basis at Loeb Boathouse, which houses a restaurant that overlooks the lake.

Rock Climbing: Rock outcroppings attract climbers, especially boulderers.  The two most popular spots for boulderers are Rat Rock and Cat Rock, near the south end of the park.

Theater In The Park: Every summer the Public Theater offers free open air theater productions, starring well-known stage and screen actors.  The Delacorte Theater offers mostly plays by William Shakespeare and are considered of the highest quality.  The New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera also offer open air concerts during the summer months.

Museums

New York offers one of the most impressive collections of museums and galleries in the entire country.  Although the majority are located on Manhattan, other boroughs offer some of the finest museums as well.

The Guggenheim Museum
Guggenheim MuseumThe museum was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and was completed in 1959.  This museum is among the 20th century's most important architectural landmarks.  The great rotunda has been the site of many celebrated exhibits, while smaller galleries offer Guggenheim's renown collections ranging from Impressionism to Contemporary art.

The Thannhauser Collection is presenting the masterpieces of such artists as Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Camille Pissarro and Vincent van Gogh.

If art is a passion, a trip to the Guggenheim is a must!

Museum of Natural History
The American Museum of Natural History, located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, is one of the largest and recognized museums worldwide:

Teddy Roosevelt Memorial: A Must See New Exhibit is the Teddy Roosevelt Memorial, honoring this conservation pioneer.  Roosevelt's role in preserving U.S wilderness is explored in-depth.  This two-story memorial offers visitors the lesser-known side of Teddy Roosevelt and how he earned the moniker of "Conservation President".

Spiders Alive: View some of the planet's most versatile animals featuring live spiders, larger-than-life models, fossils and so many more wonderful exhibits.

Creatures of Light: Welcome to the world of bioluminescence -- the generation of light by living things.  View trees spangled with organisms that blink, flow, flash and glitter.

Children's Museum of Manhattan
Children's Museum of ManhattanYour children will be in seventh heaven at this museum. From the Grinch's Holiday Workshop to Adventures with Dora and Diego.  Your children will walk through the pages of Dr. Seauss's holiday tale.  Enjoy interactive fun making their own wacky Seussian words and creating "rhyming hats.

Learn facts about animals and their habitats while helping Diego rescue animals in trouble.  Explore a cave, beach and rainforest or rub animal footprints.  How about building a Spectacled Bear's nest!

Broadway

No trip to New York would be complete without taking in one of Broadway's famous plays!  The finest talents from around the world and celebrities from films are setting stars ablaze along the Great White Way!  Comedies to Dramas to Musicals, you will have the time of your life!

Shopping Along Fifth Avenue

The most prestigious boutiques and flagship stores line Fifth Avenue from 49th Street to 60th Street.  Luxury boutiques on Fifth Avenue include the most famous designers throughout the entire world:

Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co, Gucci, Adidas, Prada, Cartier, Max Azria, Omega and so many more!

Fifth Avenue is home to luxury department stores such as Lord & Taylor, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman.

Line at Apple StoreIf window shopping is more up your alley, Fifth Avenue is a Must during the Christmas holiday.  Every window is unparallelled in beauty, fantasy and winter wonderland extraordinaire.

New York is the most entertaining, fascinating, energized city in the world.  There are more activities, sites and sounds then can possibly be experienced in a short period of time.

Come to New York and experience the most amazing vacation ride you will ever be on. There is something for everyone and you will never be at a loss for something to do. Once you have returned home, you will be planning your next great adventure to the "city that never sleeps".  Come to New York -- You will fall in love!