It’s often said that you can tell the difference between a tourist and a local in New York because the tourists are always gazing upwards. And with so many breathtaking new additions to the skyline in recent years, it’s easy to see why.
SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, now the tallest building in Midtown Manhattan, offers awe-inspiring views from its transparent, glass-enclosed sky decks. It’s a similar story in New York’s newest neighbourhood, Hudson Yards, home to the highest outdoor observation deck in the western hemisphere. Not to be outdone, the Empire State Building has undertaken a four-year renovation project and offers a totally revitalised visitor experience, with observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floors, a wide range of restaurants, plus exhibits on everything from the building’s construction to its place in the films, TV shows, adverts and comics of popular culture. Closer to the ground but also new is Little Island park at Pier 55 on the Hudson River, a three-acre oasis that floats above the water on 132 tulip-shaped stilts.
Of course, it’s not all new. All the wonderful old reasons to visit New York are still there too: the bright lights of Broadway, the billboards of Times Square, horse and carriage rides through scenic Central Park, and shopping until your feet hurt at Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s. A visit to the moving 9/11 Memorial & Museum is an absolute must, as is taking a cruise past the Statue of Liberty, taking in museums like MoMA and the Met, and taking a stroll along the elevated High Line, an abandoned railway line that’s been cleverly transformed into one of the city’s best green spaces.
With so much on offer – not to mention some of the best hotels and restaurants in America – it doesn’t matter when you visit either. Come in summer for picnics in the park. Come in winter for festive traditions like the lighting of the tree at Rockefeller Center. But above all, come, for you haven’t seen America until you’ve experienced New York.
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