Things to do in New York City

With New York's countless attractions, it would take months to see and do everything this vibrant city has on offer. The must-see New York attractions include iconic structures and buildings such as the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, Times Square, and the Chrysler Building. In among all the skyscrapers Central Park provides a green haven for relaxation and exercise. Many first-time visitors to New York don't leave Manhattan at all, but the four other boroughs of the city - Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island - all have their own appeal and are worth exploring for those wanting a broader experience of the metropolis. Taking a ride on the Staten Island Ferry is one of the best free activities NYC has to offer.

For culture vultures there are wonderful museums to explore, such as the American Museum of Natural History or the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There are also less high-brow museums: at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, for instance, visitors can play superhero on film.

An easy way to see the sights is to take a ride on one of New York's topless tour buses. It may not be as exciting as exploring the city on foot, but it's a great way to learn and see a lot quickly. Central Park also provides a great thoroughfare for sightseers exploring Manhattan on foot, and the grid-pattern layout of the streets makes finding your way fairly simple. The New York subway is a good, cheap option for those needing to cover greater distances.

Those planning a lot of sightseeing should consider purchasing the New York Pass, which covers about 80 NYC attractions and allows the holder to skip the often lengthy queues at popular sites.

Tarrytown photo

Tarrytown

Known as the setting of Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown and its surrounds are filled with history. It is the birthplace of the author, home to the impres…

Tarrytown

Known as the setting of Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown and its surrounds are filled with history. It is the birthplace of the author, home to the impressive Rockefeller residence and sits across the river from Hyde Park, where President Franklin D. Roosevelt was born. The late President's home has a library containing hundreds of photos and artefacts, as well as his car and a letter from Einstein that led to the development of the atomic bomb. Two miles (3km) outside Hyde Park is the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, a spectacular Beaux Arts mansion.

The High Line photo

The High Line

The High Line is a verdant elevated strip hovering between the skyscrapers of Manhattan's West Side. Built on what was once a freight rail line, this unique public park brings a we…

The High Line

The High Line is a verdant elevated strip hovering between the skyscrapers of Manhattan's West Side. Built on what was once a freight rail line, this unique public park brings a welcome splash of greenery into the district. Drawing millions of visitors annually, it has led to a real estate boom in the areas it passes through, with apartments overlooking the pretty strip rocketing in value. The High Line features viewpoints, recreation areas and public spaces for exhibitions and productions. The 14th Street Passage and Chelsea Market Passage are semi-enclosed sections frequently used for public programs and art exhibitions. Picnic spots on the 23rd Street Lawn are ideal for peace and quiet while kids love features like the Pershing Square Beams where the original framework of steel beams is exposed to create a garden playground.

Address The High Line runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street and can be accessed at numerous points.

Website www.thehighline.org

Opens December to March 7am - 7pm; April to May 7am - 10pm; June to September 7am - 11pm; October to November 7am - 10pm.

Admission

Admission is free and there are free public tours but donations are appreciated.

The Statue of Liberty photo

The Statue of Liberty

The universal symbol of freedom, the Statue of Liberty was the first thing seen by 12 million immigrants passing through Ellis Island Immigration Center. Sculpted by Frederic-Augus…

The Statue of Liberty

The universal symbol of freedom, the Statue of Liberty was the first thing seen by 12 million immigrants passing through Ellis Island Immigration Center. Sculpted by Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi and modelled on the Colossus of Rhodes, the French donated the statue in 1886. The reason was to commemorate the alliance between the two countries during the American Revolution. The ferry calls at both Liberty and Ellis Islands, and tourists can visit the Ellis Island Museum documenting the experiences of the immigrants. On Liberty Island, advance bookings allow visitors to access the crown of the famous statue, but these tickets must be booked some six months in advance for peak summer season.

Address Liberty Island, New York Harbor

Website www.nps.gov/stli

Transport

Circle Line Statue of Liberty Ferry from South Ferry at Battery Park to Liberty and Ellis islands. Ferries depart approximately every 30 minutes.

Opens Ferries depart between 9am and 3.30pm.

Admission

Ferry fee (which includes access to the grounds around the statue): $18.50. Tickets for access to the Pedestal and Crown must be booked in advance.

World Trade Center - Ground Zero photo

World Trade Center - Ground Zero

The six hectare (16 acre) worksite that emerged from the rubble of the twin towers now symbolises the infamous events on September 11 2001 when almost 3,000 people lost their lives…

World Trade Center - Ground Zero

The six hectare (16 acre) worksite that emerged from the rubble of the twin towers now symbolises the infamous events on September 11 2001 when almost 3,000 people lost their lives. Millions now come to pay tribute and witness the devastation at viewing sites. In January 2004, a design named Reflecting Absence by Michael Arad and Peter Walker was unveiled for the World Trade Center Memorial. The memorial features a landscaped civic plaza with two massive voids aligned with the footprints where the twin towers once stood. The memorial and museum are now open to the public, providing an accurate and moving account of what the community endured during the attacks. Tourists should be mindful that this is a sombre memorial frequented by mourning family members, so loud chatter and smiling selfies are inappropriate.

Address Tribute WTC Visitor Center: 120 Liberty Street

Website www.national911memorial.org

Transport

Take the subway to Fulton Street, Broadway-Nassau Street, or Cortlandt Street. Walk to Church and Liberty Streets and follow signs

Opens The memorial is open daily 7.30am - 9pm; the museum is open 9am to 8pm Sunday to Thursday, and 9am to 9pm Friday and Saturday.

Admission

Admission is free for the family of 9/11 victims; general admission is $24 for adults with concessions available.

Radio City Music Hall photo

Radio City Music Hall

Located in Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall is one of the most famous theatres in the world. The home of the famous Rockettes chorus line, the interior of the theatre was …

Radio City Music Hall

Located in Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall is one of the most famous theatres in the world. The home of the famous Rockettes chorus line, the interior of the theatre was declared a New York landmark in 1978. While not in regular use anymore, the Hall's beautiful cinema still hosts premieres, shows and selected feature films. The most popular event is the annual Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, attracting more than a million people and running since 1933. It's best to check the official website listings to see which potential productions and acts are on while tours run daily and usually receive rave reviews.

Address 1260 Sixth Avenue

Website www.radiocity.com

Opens Tours daily between 9.30am and 5pm.

Admission

Tours: $30 (adults), $26 (children under 12); concessions available. Event ticket prices vary.

Empire State Building photo

Empire State Building

The Empire State Building in New York is an iconic landmark in the sprawling Manhattan cityscape. Completed in 1931, it stretches 102 storeys into the sky and was considered the ta…

Empire State Building

The Empire State Building in New York is an iconic landmark in the sprawling Manhattan cityscape. Completed in 1931, it stretches 102 storeys into the sky and was considered the tallest building between 1931 and 1970. Today, it is only the 28th-tallest building in the world yet still retains much of its dramatic grandeur and presence. One of the most beloved activities is embarking on the journey to the top floor's observation deck, providing views across the entire city. It's best to visit between 8am and 11am, avoiding the scores of daily visitors. Free multimedia tours are downloaded with every admission.

Address 350 Fifth Avenue, between 33rd and 34th Streets, Manhattan

Website www.esbnyc.com

Transport

Subway B, D or F to 34th Street

Opens Observatory: daily 8am-2am; last elevator at 1.15am.

Admission

Top Deck: $57 (adults), $51 (children 6-12), Main Deck: $37 (adults), $31 (children 6-12). Concessions and special ticket deals available.

Central Park photo

Central Park

The founders of New York set aside 340 hectares (840 acres) of central Manhattan as a public space, with Central Park opening in 1873 to provide an essential green lung within the …

Central Park

The founders of New York set aside 340 hectares (840 acres) of central Manhattan as a public space, with Central Park opening in 1873 to provide an essential green lung within the concrete jungle of New York. It contains themed gardens, tennis courts, lakes and even a small zoo, infused with daily joggers, skaters, buskers and tourists. But there are areas beyond the range of baseballs and frisbees where tranquillity can be found, with music concerts and Shakespearian plays frequent occurrences. During winter, two ice-skating rinks open up in Central Park, with the Wollman Rink in particular considered one of the most picturesque in the world.

Website www.centralparknyc.org

Museum of Modern Art photo

Museum of Modern Art

Founded in 1929, the Museum of Modern Art owns the most important collection of modern art in the United States. Referred to as MoMA, artists with work on display include greats su…

Museum of Modern Art

Founded in 1929, the Museum of Modern Art owns the most important collection of modern art in the United States. Referred to as MoMA, artists with work on display include greats such as Monet, Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Max Beckman, Ansel Adams and Kiki Smith. What started as a gift of eight prints and a drawing developed into a vast and varied collection of some 150,000 paintings, prints, sculptures, photographs, and other media. MoMA's Library and Archives boast an impressive collection of books, historical documents and photographs. Priding itself as an educational institution, the Museum of Modern Art offers various activities and programmes for the general public. In addition, special segments broaden the community knowledge of and approach towards the exciting and puzzling world of modern art.

Address 11 West 53rd Street, Manhattan

Website www.moma.org

Transport

Subway: E or V train to 53rd Street and Fifth Avenue, or B, D, or F train to 47/50 Street Rockefeller Center. Bus: M1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 to 53rd Street

Opens Daily 10.30am - 5.30pm (until 8pm on Friday).

Admission

$25 (adults), free for children under 16 accompanied by an adult. Concessions available.

The Guggenheim Museum photo

The Guggenheim Museum

Designed by US architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the Guggenheim was built in 1959 and is an icon of Modernist architecture specifically created to showcase the modern art within. Featu…

The Guggenheim Museum

Designed by US architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the Guggenheim was built in 1959 and is an icon of Modernist architecture specifically created to showcase the modern art within. Featuring a highly celebrated collection of late 19th and 20th-century artworks, as well as touring exhibitions. Beneath a glass dome, a quarter mile ramp spirals down the inside of the building, past a collection including pieces by Pissarro, Kandinsky, Klee, Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec, Cézanne, Mapplethorpe and Gober.

Address 1071 Fifth Avenue, at 89th Street

Website www.guggenheim.org

Transport

Subway 4, 5 or 6 to 86th Street; bus M1, M2, M3, or M4 on Madison or Fifth Avenue

Opens Sunday to Friday 10am - 5.45pm; Saturday 10am - 7.45pm; closed Thursdays and Christmas Day.

Admission

$25 for adults. Concessions available. Rates differ for special exhibitions.

Metropolitan Museum of Art photo

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum, affectionately known as the Met, possesses one of the greatest and largest art collections in the world. Banners above the Met's Fifth Avenue entrance hera…

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum, affectionately known as the Met, possesses one of the greatest and largest art collections in the world. Banners above the Met's Fifth Avenue entrance herald the current attractions at this cherished New York institution. There are always temporary exhibitions from around the world alongside the impressive permanent collection. Highlights are numerous, with American collectors having the foresight and cash to buy up a large number of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces from Europe at the end of the 19th century. The art collection at the Met now contains more than two million works of art from across the planet, from ancient worlds through to modern times. Some notable works are present from such greats as Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, and Cézanne, rivalling any art collection on earth.

Address 1000 Fifth Avenue, at 82nd Street

Website www.metmuseum.org

Opens Sunday to Thursday 10am - 5.30pm; Friday and Saturday 10am - 9pm.

Admission

Admission costs are voluntary and made as a donation. Recommended admission is about $25 for adults.

American Museum of Natural History photo

American Museum of Natural History

Challenged only by its counterpart in London, the American Museum of Natural History is the largest and most important museum of its kind in the world. 45 exhibition halls hold mor…

American Museum of Natural History

Challenged only by its counterpart in London, the American Museum of Natural History is the largest and most important museum of its kind in the world. 45 exhibition halls hold more than 30 million artefacts, quite enough to keep anyone busy on a rainy afternoon. The most popular exhibit is a 50ft (15m) tall skeleton of a barosaurus in the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda, and there are three more spectacular dinosaur halls on the fourth floor. Other halls include the Hall of Biodiversity, the Hall of Ocean Life, and the Hall of Human Biology and Evolution. The fabulous Hayden Planetarium is a 90ft (27m) wide aluminium sphere that seems to float inside a massive glass cube, which in turn is home to the Rose Center for Earth and Space. Those tired of walking can check out the Museum of Television and Radio.

Address Central Park West, at West 79th Street

Website www.amnh.org

Opens Daily 10am to 5.45pm, except Christmas Day and Thanksgiving.

Admission

General admission $23 (adults). Concessions and special ticket options available. Temporary exhibitions charge additional admission fees.

Broadway photo

Broadway

Going to the theatre is one of the most popular tourist events in New York and the shows on Broadway are world famous, boasting some of the best productions in the world from block…

Broadway

Going to the theatre is one of the most popular tourist events in New York and the shows on Broadway are world famous, boasting some of the best productions in the world from blockbuster musicals to intense and intimate dramas. There are ongoing shows that have been running for years, such as The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, and A Chorus Line. Newer, edgier shows play off-Broadway, and may provide just as much entertainment at slightly lower prices. This is one way to experience part of the American dream, even if only on vacation. There is something to entertain people of all ages.

Website www.broadway.com

Times Square photo

Times Square

Though it is ultimately just an intersection at the corner of Broadway and 42nd Street, Times Square has achieved iconic status. In a single frame, it successfully represents the h…

Times Square

Though it is ultimately just an intersection at the corner of Broadway and 42nd Street, Times Square has achieved iconic status. In a single frame, it successfully represents the hive of activity that is New York City. Flashing advertisements produce a mesmerizing and memorable sight. Times Square is used in countless films, TV series and literature and is the base for ABC's Good Morning America programs and MTV's popular Total Request Live. Thousands gather annually for New Year's Eve in the square to see the famous ball drop. Since 2009, Times Square has been closed to traffic and visitors can now enjoy strolling and sitting at their leisure, not worrying about the city's notorious taxis and bustling vehicles.

Address Corner of 42nd Street and Broadway

Website www.timessquare.com

Rockefeller Centre photo

Rockefeller Centre

This 22 acre (8ha) land houses a plethora of iconic New York City attractions. Radio City Music Hall ranks highly among visitors, having hosted multiple awards shows such as the Gr…

Rockefeller Centre

This 22 acre (8ha) land houses a plethora of iconic New York City attractions. Radio City Music Hall ranks highly among visitors, having hosted multiple awards shows such as the Grammys, Emmys and MTV Music Awards and also being a concert venue frequented by today's top performers. The Rockefeller Plaza is the site of the eerie Lunchtime atop a Skyscraper photograph, as well as being the home of Saturday Night Live and popular TV series 30 Rock. The Rockefeller Center also claims to have the best views of the city, a hotly contested competition for sure. At the building's base is the Rink at Rockefeller Center with the golden statue of Prometheus at its head. Beneath is the Concourse, an underground pedestrian mall boasting designer brands and food outlets.

Address Between 48th and 51st Streets; and 5th Avenue and 6th Avenue, Manhattan

Website www.rockefellercenter.com

Brooklyn Bridge photo

Brooklyn Bridge

The sheer scope of New York City is hard to understand until you have traversed the Brooklyn Bridge, inaugurated in 1883, which crosses 5,989 feet (1,825 m) of the East River and c…

Brooklyn Bridge

The sheer scope of New York City is hard to understand until you have traversed the Brooklyn Bridge, inaugurated in 1883, which crosses 5,989 feet (1,825 m) of the East River and connects two of New York's biggest metropoles, Manhattan and Brooklyn. The construction was an impressive feat of engineering ingenuity and upon completion it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. Today, it is a treasured landmark of the city, colourfully illuminated at night to highlight the architectural towers and hangings. There is a pedestrian walkway from which visitors can savour vistas of both Manhattan and Brooklyn. Photographers looking for quintessential New York cityscapes should be sure to walk the bridge.

St Patrick's Cathedral photo

St Patrick's Cathedral

St Patrick's Cathedral is a magnificent example of Gothic architecture popular in 13th-century Europe. One of the city's most gorgeous buildings, its spires soar 330 feet (100m) in…

St Patrick's Cathedral

St Patrick's Cathedral is a magnificent example of Gothic architecture popular in 13th-century Europe. One of the city's most gorgeous buildings, its spires soar 330 feet (100m) into the air while its entrance is both grand and ornate. Built between 1850 and 1878, it is now the seat of the archbishop of New York and the largest catholic cathedral in the United States. To most New Yorkers and harried tourists, St Patrick's is most valued for its peace and tranquillity. But it's still an active place of worship although tourists are welcome they should show respect, especially during church services. Guided tours are available.

Address Fifth Avenue, between 50th and 51st Streets

Website www.saintpatrickscathedral.org

Opens The Cathedral is open daily from 6.30am to 8.45pm.

Admission

Free

Grand Central Station photo

Grand Central Station

One of New York's most famous and best loved landmarks, Grand Central was opened in 1913 opposite Rockefeller Center. It is one of the world's largest train stations, with 44 platf…

Grand Central Station

One of New York's most famous and best loved landmarks, Grand Central was opened in 1913 opposite Rockefeller Center. It is one of the world's largest train stations, with 44 platforms, but its true distinction is its magnificent architecture. Its striking ambiance is anchored by enormous windows and the refurbished ceiling covered by a detailed astronomical fresco. The terminal houses a number of good restaurants, budget-friendly eateries and speciality shops. The magnificent Vanderbilt Hall regularly houses public events, while there is also a one-hour guided tour; book several weeks ahead in peak season to avoid disappointment. Interestingly, Grand Central sees about double the amount of visitors every day as it does commuters.

Address 110 E. 42nd St.

Website www.grandcentralterminal.com

Central Park Zoo photo

Central Park Zoo

Home to some exotic and beautiful animals, the Central Park Zoo is a must for all children and animal lovers visiting the city. Residents at the zoo include the elusive red pandas,…

Central Park Zoo

Home to some exotic and beautiful animals, the Central Park Zoo is a must for all children and animal lovers visiting the city. Residents at the zoo include the elusive red pandas, polar pears, snow leopards, and snow monkeys to name a few. The Tisch Children's Zoo is a great place for young kids, with children able to pet the goats, sheep, alpacas, potbellied pigs, and other barnyard animals on display. Booking online may result in discounts and also allows visitors to skip the long summer queues.

Address 64th St. and Fifth Ave, Central Park

Website www.centralparkzoo.com

Opens Open daily 10am - 5pm on weekdays and 10am - 5.30pm on weekends and holidays. Hours are slightly reduced between November and March.

Admission

General Admission is $13.95 for adults, and $8.95 for children. Combination deals, concessions, and family specials are available.

Wollman Rink photo

Wollman Rink

The Wollman Rink, located in Central Park and made famous by many movies, is a fantastic place to take the kids for the day during the winter months in New York City. The setting o…

Wollman Rink

The Wollman Rink, located in Central Park and made famous by many movies, is a fantastic place to take the kids for the day during the winter months in New York City. The setting of this ice rink is beautiful, surrounded by trees with the New York City skyline above them. Children can even attend skating school while adults can host a party or event, guaranteeing an unforgettable experience. The rink is not just for children but also a popular spot for dates in New York City due to the romantic associations and stunning setting.

Address Central Park

Website www.wollmanskatingrink.com

Opens Public skating hours can vary throughout the year, and the rink is only open seasonally.

Admission

Monday to Thursday: $12 (adults), $6 (children under 11). Friday to Sunday: $19 (adults); $6 (children under 11).

Brooklyn Children's Museum photo

Brooklyn Children's Museum

The Brooklyn Children's Museum is a great place to take the little ones while on holiday in New York City. It was founded in 1899 and is said to have been the first museum in the U…

Brooklyn Children's Museum

The Brooklyn Children's Museum is a great place to take the little ones while on holiday in New York City. It was founded in 1899 and is said to have been the first museum in the United States. Its collections and exhibits include hands-on activities, role-playing opportunities, and resident animals. Thousands of artefacts are on display to teach children about science, the environment, culture, and the arts. There are no 'Do Not Touch' signs here! There is a cafe and a shop at the museum, and a special 'Totally Tots' section for kids under five. Adults must accompany children.

Address 145 Brooklyn Avenue

Website www.brooklynkids.org

Opens Tuesday to Sunday 10am - 5pm (open till 6pm on Thursdays). Closed Mondays.

Admission

$13 per person. Children under the age of 12 months get in for free.

The Frick Collection photo

The Frick Collection

The Frick is quite possibly New York's most underrated art gallery, a collection of exceptional paintings featuring important works by Vermeer, Manet, Rembrandt, Whistler, Goya and…

The Frick Collection

The Frick is quite possibly New York's most underrated art gallery, a collection of exceptional paintings featuring important works by Vermeer, Manet, Rembrandt, Whistler, Goya and Van Dyk. A highlight is the renowned pair of Holbein paintings of Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell, and a group of small bronze sculptures rated as some of the finest in the world. This was the New York residence of Henry Clay Frick, who transformed a fortune made in the coal business into this sublime building facing onto Central Park. The interior courtyard is a tranquil retreat from the busy world outside.

Address E 70th Street at 5th Ave

Website www.frick.org

Opens Tuesday to Saturday 10am - 6pm, Sundays 11am - 5pm.

Admission

$22 adults, concessions available. Children under 10 are not admitted. Admission price includes audio guide. Free on first Friday of the month.

Staten Island Ferry photo

Staten Island Ferry

The ferry from Battery Park to Staten Island and back is a great way to see the Lower Manhattan skyline and Hudson River life while resting your feet. It's a must-see New York attr…

Staten Island Ferry

The ferry from Battery Park to Staten Island and back is a great way to see the Lower Manhattan skyline and Hudson River life while resting your feet. It's a must-see New York attraction that doesn't cost a thing. It also skirts the Statue of Liberty affording decent views of this iconic structure. Most tourists stay onboard for the return leg, but it's worth hopping off and exploring a bit of Staten Island while you're there. Staten Island is a borough of New York City and a fun neighbourhood to explore, but the ferry journey, mainly used by commuters, is actually the main attraction. The ferry leaves roughly every 30 minutes or every hour and takes 25 minutes each way. Schedules are available on the official website.

Website www.siferry.com

Opens Runs 24 hours, see website for schedule.


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Greenwich Village photo

Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village began life as an industrial park but has been transformed by a vibrants arts community. Affectionately known as the Village, it's now home to New York University,…

Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village began life as an industrial park but has been transformed by a vibrants arts community. Affectionately known as the Village, it's now home to New York University, the famous Washington Square Park and also the setting for the iconic sitcom Friends. Despite gentrification and a high influx of yuppie residents, the district has retained a bit of its artistic flair. There are a number of great off-Broadway theatres, as well as historic jazz and rock venues like Bitter End, Village Vanguard, Small's, and the Blue Note. Additionally, there's an eclectic mix of international restaurants and cafes.

Address Lower Manhattan

Wall Street photo

Wall Street

Home to the New York Stock Exchange, Wall Street has attained legendary status as the financial heart of the USA. The narrow street runs from Broadway to the East River and is home…

Wall Street

Home to the New York Stock Exchange, Wall Street has attained legendary status as the financial heart of the USA. The narrow street runs from Broadway to the East River and is home to landmarks like Federal Hall, where George Washington was inaugurated as the first president. 23 Wall Street still has shrapnel holes in its limestone façade from the 1920 Wall Street Bombing. Perhaps the most iconic symbol of Wall Street is the Wall Street Bull, a 7,100 pound (3,200kg) bronze sculpture by Arturo Di Modica. The sculpture is a popular photo opportunity in New York, symbolising financial optimism and prosperity. The installation of Fearless Girl, a small statue of a girl facing the beast, adds another layer of artistic intrigue.

Coney Island photo

Coney Island

Coney Island has been a tourist attraction in New York City since the 1830s, when New Yorkers would flock to the beaches. Its movie theatres, amusement parks, museums, circus, aqua…

Coney Island

Coney Island has been a tourist attraction in New York City since the 1830s, when New Yorkers would flock to the beaches. Its movie theatres, amusement parks, museums, circus, aquarium and restaurants still attract crowds each summer. Claiming to be the birthplace of the hotdog, a visit to Coney Island isn't complete without sampling the yummy street food along the boardwalk. While filling one's stomach, they can gaze upon the fireworks which light up the sky each Friday around 9.30pm. The activities and amusements at Coney Island are in full swing from May to September, but many attractions close outside these months.

Website www.coneyisland.com

Ellis Island photo

Ellis Island

From 1892 to 1924, more than 20 million immigrants moved through the crowded halls of Ellis Island. Today, it draws millions of people each year as one of the most popular tourist …

Ellis Island

From 1892 to 1924, more than 20 million immigrants moved through the crowded halls of Ellis Island. Today, it draws millions of people each year as one of the most popular tourist attractions in New York City. The Ellis Island Immigration Museum offers multimedia exhibits and audio tours, a chance to experience the island as a new arrival might have back in the day. One of the more popular exhibits is the American Family Immigration Center, where visitors can access passenger records to find relatives, while there are also special children's tours. Reached by ferry, the journey also stops at the iconic Statue of Liberty.

Website www.ellisisland.org

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