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New York City, New York

New-York-City

Great Destination:

5

Value for Money:

2.5

Total Stars:

7.5

Personality Types that Like it Best

Broad appeal, except to pure Venturers who don't like the crowds

Did You Know…?

  • The world’s first speed limit law was passed in New York City in 1652.
  • Washington Square was once a potter’s field where trees were used for hangings.
  • The Statue of Liberty was shipped to New York from France in 214 packing crates.
  • Central Park is eight times the size of Vatican City.
  • The Empire State Building was designed to function as a lightning rod.

No Rotten Apple here

New York City is one of the few specifically urban areas to qualify as a top vacation spot in the U.S., and it earns its place because it is one of the world’s great cities and a destination preferred by venturesome travelers. Surprisingly, its most enthusiastic visitors are women.

This city (this means Manhattan, for the most part) has moved up in satisfaction rankings over the years, possibly thanks to a dedicated campaign to clean up the place in terms of safety and appearance. The city fathers want visitors to remember it as the Big Apple, not the Rotten Apple.

New York’s fans are captivated by the energy of the city that never sleeps. They want to get involved and experience, first hand, as many of its treasures as possible. They describe the city as alive, exciting, entertaining, different from any other place they know about, scenic, never dull or boring, cultural, cosmopolitan and a great place for people watching.

They cite a wide range of things that make the city great: Broadway theater, opera at the Met, symphony concerts in Carnegie Hall, top museums (the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Modern Art), the many activities in Central Park, the quaintness of Greenwich Village, the sophistication of Park Avenue and Fifth Avenue, the SoHo district, the New York Stock Exchange, the Statue of Liberty, a selection of the great restaurants of the world and more.

All these and the ambience of the city capture their imagination. No other place comes close in this richness and diversity, according to its more venturesome visitors.

It is rarer, but when those at the other end of the personality scale like New York City, they are amazed by a place so different from any other city they know.

Further, the Big Apple is different from other U.S. cities in the degree to which it appeals to overseas visitors. The city promotes itself aggressively in numerous markets abroad

Finally, New York isn’t just a round-the-clock destination. It is a city for all seasons.

Things to do for Venturers

  • New York City’s ethnic neighborhoods come alive when active visitors walk through them. For exciting food, shopping and general interest, choices include Chinatown, Little Italy and Atlantic Avenue’s Middle Eastern enclave.
  • Ready to risk getting lost? With a Brooklyn map in hand, make it a mission to find the home where Jennie Churchill (Winston Churchill’s mother) was born, and you’ll be treated to a stroll in a quiet neighborhood of brownstones. You can travel to and from the area by subway.
  • Get some serious exercise in Central Park. Choices include rowing, jogging and bicycling. The path for jogging and cycling is closed to vehicular traffic on weekends. The Central Park Zoo is here, too, but go for the larger Bronx Zoo.
  • Attend the autumn Next Wave Festival for cutting-edge dance, film and theater, at the Brooklyn Academy of Arts. Or, schedule a few summer days for the New York International Fringe Festival, FringeNYC, for short.
  • Like night spots? Traditional choices range from little pubs and cocktail lounges to dance clubs and lavish full-blown nightclubs. But, for something edgier, explore the nightlife on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and Nolita. Or, go farther afield for night spots in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg.
  • Find the street fairs — in any borough — where you can shop for fun gifts, buy items for yourself that you don’t need and eat street food.

Things to do for Centrics

  • Take the Circle Line sightseeing cruise around Manhattan to hear a narrated description of the sights. There are evening dinner cruises and other specialty cruises, too. For the man (or woman) in a hurry, view the skyline and Statue of Liberty by taking the Staten Island Ferry, departing from the tip of Manhattan, to Staten Island and back. The ferry is free.
  • Go to Chinatown to shop and eat a family-style meal in any of many restaurants with tasty and well-priced food. Visit almost any bakery for great snacks.
  • Line up an entertaining visit: See at least one Broadway show, buy at half price (on day of performance) at a TKTS booth near Times Square. On another night, take in an Off-Off-Broadway show in a grungy little theater downtown. Also, prearrange your free tickets to a taping session for a TV show.
  • New York is for the birds. Take guided bird walks in Central Park or the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.  Alternatively, thousands of migrating birds drop by each spring at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge’s 10,000 acres in Queens.
  • Start a downtown walking tour at Wall Street, where numerous important sites are tucked into a tiny patch of land: Fraunces Tavern (where George Washington bade his troops farewell); the New York Stock Exchange; Federal Hall (where Washington was sworn in as president in 1789); Trinity Church (burial site for Alexander Hamilton and Robert Fulton); then up Broadway to St. Paul’s Chapel, where Washington attended services. This walk can reasonably end at the World Trade Center site.
  • For great views on a clear day, go to the top of the Empire State Building or go to the Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center).  Also, a lesser-known but charming choice for a little bird’s-eye viewing is the Roof Garden Cafe at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where you can have cocktails and sandwiches, see outdoor exhibits and take in nice views of Central Park.

Things to do for Authentics

  • Plan visits to the Statue of Liberty, the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and the United Nations headquarters building.  Also, eat in a fancy restaurant, but if price is a concern, make that lunch. Some hot eateries have really good lunch deals.
  • Walk in Central Park — which is larger than Monaco — any day of the week, but the place jumps with activity on pleasant weekend days. Take the camera, especially if you are in town for autumn colors. Call it the citified fall foliage tour.
  • Go shopping for all kinds of cameras, computers and other electronics (shop B&H Camera or Adorama for the best prices). The city is a haven (or heaven) for those who love to buy clothes, too.
  • Visit President Theodore Roosevelt’s birthplace on E. 20th Street in Manhattan. It is part of the U.S. National Park Service and you will be led through by a park ranger.
  • Visit the Lower East Side Tenement Museum for an eye-opening introduction to what life was like for many poor immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Visit the Tribute WTC Visitor Center, located next to the World Trade Center, which was created by families of 9/11 victims.  For another spontaneously created memorial, go to Staten Island, turn right after exiting the ferry, walk past the baseball stadium, then take another right and walk down an incline to the memorial.

Additional Resources

For more information, consult NYC & Company at www.nycgo.com