A few years ago, a friend of mine invited me to travel to New York City. Though our time in the city was just a couple of days, it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. This great city offers way too many exciting attractions to see on a limited time schedule, but my friend and I tried to cram in as many sightseeing attractions as possible. If you are planning to travel to New York City on a tight schedule but want to maximize your experience, I offer you the following five top attractions in New York City.
Ellis Island Immigration Museum
The gateway through which millions of immigrants from all over the world entered the United States, Ellis Island is a historically important site, and the museum is a must do if you only have one day in the city. This museum houses excellent exhibits showcasing a great number of artifacts, documents and photographs that illustrate the lives of the many immigrants who arrived at America through Ellis Island. You will be touched by the many heartfelt stories of people who left their families and homeland in search of a better way of life here in the States. Here, you can also visit the Great Hall where the immigration process took place.
Empire State Building
If you are in New York City for a brief duration, you definitely don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to visit the world famous Empire State Building. Towering 1,250 feet high in the city’s skyline, the Empire State Building is one of the most visited attractions in New York City. This great American landmark has two observation decks that you can visit where you will see incredible views of the city night or day. You should be advised that because of the popularity of the building, you will probably have to wait in long lines. However, you can speed up your wait time by purchasing your tickets in advance online before you travel to New York City.
After all your sightseeing, you will no doubt get tired and hungry, and there is no better place to take care of that than Central Park. Grab you a New York style hot dog or some other tasty food of choice from the many street vendors and head over to this 843 acre park for a picnic and leisurely recreation. Whether you want to picnic under a shade tree, sit on a bench and bird watch or nap on the wide open green spaces, the park offers gorgeous landscapes, gardens, charming bridges, serene fountains and lakes. If you are up for action and adventure, you will find many trails for walking, cycling and jogging. Additionally, you can enjoy other activities like swimming, boating, skating and rock climbing while your children will love the playground areas and the carousel rides.
Situated near Fifth Avenue, the Rockefeller Center is a huge complex of offices, restaurants and shops. Famous for being the home of Radio City Music Hall and the annual Christmas tree that is broadcast on television every year, the Rockefeller Center is well worth a visit. If your visit is during the winter, have a little spin on the enormous ice skating rink and capture photos of the beautiful Christmas tree. No matter when you visit the center, you can take an elevator ride up to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck to see amazing views of the city and several famous landmarks all at once like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and Central Park.
Before you end your day in New York City, be sure to walk down to Times Square for an unforgettable experience. World famous for being the home of the New Year’s Eve ball drop, Times Square is a spacious commercial district packed with towering buildings, vibrant lights and flashing billboards. Make sure you bring your camera to capture photos of the impressive sights. Simply walking amid the bustling crowds and gazing at all the lights is captivating enough, but in addition to that, you can also shop for souvenirs, taste delicious New York style foods and catch Broadway performances while in Times Square.