The 6 Best Ways to See New York, by Fly.com's Ralph du Plessis
Manhattan (fondly known as "The Big Apple" or "The City" ny locals) is the reigning top U.S. tourist destination, packing a world-renowned punch in just 23 square miles. NYC is a city of superlatives boasting five-star hotels, top-rated restaurants, world-class entertainment and sports venues that house national title-holding teams; one could spend years fully exploring all New York City has to offer.
Manhattan is a year-round destination, drawing millions of visitors to see the famous Rockefeller Christmas Tree, sip cocktails at the Central Park Boathouse restaurant, take in a Broadway show on the Great White Way, reflect at Ground Zero, helicopter around the Statue of Liberty, run the famous NYC marathon or admire it all from atop the Empire State Building or from the middle of Times Square.
Home to the United Nations, the city is dripping with diversity and culture. Lincoln Center is the world’s largest cultural complex with theaters, operas, ballets and art exhibits. Carnegie Hall is considered the premier venue for classical music in the U.S. The Museum of Modern Art is the most comprehensive collection of modern art in the world. Little Italy and Chinatown remain hot destinations for tourists looking for an authentic meal or simply a meal-side serenade.
World famous doesn’t have to mean expensive, especially for those willing to explore some nearby boroughs. Consisting of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx, Manhattan’s sister boroughs offer even more cultural insight and family activities. The Bronx Zoo accepts admission by suggested donation on Wednesdays. Brooklyn’s Botanic Garden offers free admission on Tuesdays and Saturday mornings. Staten Island’s famous ferry, which shuttles riders from lower Manhattan to Staten Island, provides a free spot to enjoy views of the skyline and get up close and personal with the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan Harbor. Two new ballparks opened in 2009: Queens’ Citi Field, home to the New York Mets, and Yankee Stadium, home to the Bronx Bombers (better known as the New York Yankees).
How to Get There
JFK and Newark serve as the largest international hubs in the area, while LaGuardia is a large domestic airport. Transportation from all three is easily available directly into Manhattan by subway, bus or taxi. For those more local, Grand Central, a landmark building and must-see for its historic astronomical vaulted ceiling, provides access for those north and east of the city (such as Connecticut and upstate New York). Penn Station provides access to and from New Jersey.
Each with distinct personalities, New York City's family of neighborhoods (including spots like Greenwich Village, SoHo, Chelsea, the Meatpacking and Financial Districts, and the Upper East and West Side) is what makes the island of Manhattan so unique. Manhattan is compact enough to walk it all for those who packed sneakers. For everyone else, NYC's subway, accessible for just $2.25 regardless of the length of the ride, is one of the oldest and most extensive public transportation systems in the world. Accessible 24 hours a day, it's the perfect way to tour the "City that Never Sleeps."