Almost 50 million Americans visit New York every year – flocking to the Big Apple to soak up the sights and sounds of one of the world’s biggest and best cities. Most of those visitors – and the 12 million or so who come from overseas – will have the same things on their agenda. While it’s fine to want to tick off all the key sights – the Empire State Building, Central Park, Statue of Liberty, Fifth Avenue et al – you should also try to make sure your visit is like no-one else’s. So, if you want to stand out from the crowd and come away from New York with an extra special experience, what should you do?
Here are four ideas…
Sure, you could get a decent view of the New York skyline from the Brooklyn Bridge – or from the Top of the Rock or the Empire State Building, but why not take things to the next level? Since New York is a city defined by the height and scale of its skyscrapers, it makes sense to take to the skies. Book yourself a helicopter tour and you’ll get a jaw-dropping view of the city from the best possible vantage point. Short tours will take you over the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn Bridge but book a longer ride to see the Yankee Stadium, Battery Park and George Washington Bridge.
A day’s sightseeing needs to be capped off in style and there’s no better way to do this than by taking in a show on Broadway. Manhattan’s theater district is world renowned for its quality and there’s always a varied program that should cater for all tastes. Disney classics such as the Lion King or Aladdin are popular family favourites, while Kinky Boots’ Cyndi Lauper-written soundtrack is bound to stick in your head and the range of plays on offer shows that Broadway is about more than just musicals. Book in advance, and make top class theater a part of your New York visit.
When you go to New York matters. Get your timing right and your visit can be more special as a result. Head to New York for Thanksgiving, for example, and you could join the crowds watching the famous Macy’s parade. If you’re in town for New Year’s Eve, you could join one of the world’s biggest parties and countdown to midnight in Times Square. During the winter, you could enjoy a skate on the ice rink at the Rockefeller Center, while the summer sees outdoor entertainment shows in Central Park.
Go beyond Manhattan
Too many tourists never venture beyond Manhattan. While that’s understandable, they are missing out on many great attractions as a result. You could fill days with the great activities in Brooklyn, for example, while the picturesque Washington Square Park and the West Village will enhance any New York itinerary, offering a a slower-paced charm that will help you to relax after the thrills and spills of Manhattan.