Lincoln Center. Photo: Brittany Petronella
It’s go big or go home in Manhattan, the City’s urban core. Here’s where you’ll find the neon-lit electricity of Times Square; flagship stores, hotels and eateries; and, reopening later this year, the best in Broadway entertainment. It’s brash, it’s loud, it’s sensory overload—and it’s unapologetically New York.
Get a whole new perspective on the City by seeing it from a different vantage point.
One World Observatory. Photo: Chad Kraus
Located on the top three floors of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, One World Trade Center, One World Observatory delivers the experience— and views—of a lifetime. One World Observatory has five elevators that ascend to the 102nd floor in 47 seconds. Immersive LED technology in each cab shows a virtual time-lapse that recreates the development of New York City’s skyline from the 1500s to the present day.
See your place of origin added to the registry of guests (over 10 million visitors and climbing) at the Global Welcome Center. The dazzling data is presented on the largest curved indoor LED in the world. Step in closer and you’ll become part of the show.
The Horizon Grid, a three-minute multimedia spectacular, showcases 400 years of history—from the arrival of Henry Hudson to the rise of the World Trade Center. It’s powered by 145 screens with an original music score. And after all the excitement, guests can stop by ONE Dine for a cocktail, a quick bite, or make reservations for a gourmet meal.
Top of the Rock. Photo: Jen Davis
Head to the Top of the Rock for unparalleled 360-degree views of the City from its three indoor and outdoor viewing decks. The 70th-floor open-air roof deck is the perfect spot for taking pictures of the downtown skyscrapers, the Empire State Building, Central Park and more. You’ll find it all at Rockefeller Center, which has so much to do and see. It’s currently open from 10am to 10pm.
The Empire State Building in Midtown has two observation decks: the classic, open-air platform on the 86th floor made famous by countless movies and an enclosed one on the 102nd floor. Visit Edge in Hudson Yards for a cutting-edge (pun intended) experience with indoor and outdoor sky decks, outward-facing walls and the Glass Floor, which looks straight down 100 stories to the street below.
Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Gus Powell
The Museum of Modern Art is now open at full capacity with protocols—including masks, social distancing and timed ticketing—in place to ensure that each visit is safe and enjoyable for everyone. The museum is a quick walk from Times Square, Central Park, and Rockefeller Center, and it's known for its masterpieces like Vincent Van Gogh's The Starry Night and Claude Monet's Water Lilies.
This summer, MoMA is debuting two major exhibitions: Cézanne Drawing, which includes more than 200 rarely seen works by the iconic artist; and Automania, which features classic cars in the galleries and garden. All exhibitions are included with admission.
Ticket holders also receive special discounts at local restaurants and parking garages; and children ages 16 and under receive free admission, making MoMA a great value for families.
Courtesy, Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
With a Circle Line cruise, you’ll see the City in a whole new way. Circle Line has six daily cruises—the most of any sightseeing company—on the newest boats. It’s the only company that takes people around the entire island of Manhattan, with two different cruise times available.
In-person tour guides certified by the New-York Historical Society narrate all cruises, and all crew and guests must wear masks to keep everyone safe.
All boats have large outdoor decks, perfect for enjoying summer weather in a safe manner. They also feature fully stocked concession stands with summer treats like hot dogs, sandwiches, salads and beverages of all sorts.
New York Stock Exchange. Photo: M. Cooper
This is where it all began—the City, that is, back in the 1600s. You can still see traces of that history in the cobblestone streets and architectural marvels that weave through the current-day skyscrapers, which confirm the area’s standing as a government and financial powerhouse. You’ll find Wall Street and the Financial District, including sites such as the New York Stock Exchange (look around for the famous Charging Bull and Fearless Girl statues) and Federal Hall National Memorial, where George Washington took the presidential oath of office. Nearby, the Irish Hunger Memorial stands as a remembrance to the 1.5 million people who died during the Irish famine of 1845–1852, and the African Burial Ground National Monument honors the hundreds of Africans buried on that site in the 17th and 18th centuries. Go more in-depth with Inside Out Tours, which offers a guided walking tour of sites related to slavery and the Underground Railroad. Round out your tour with a stop at one of the many eateries on Stone Street (Fraunces Tavern, in business since 1762 and located nearby, once hosted a visit from then-general George Washington) and a visit to the Battery, a 25-acre park with a perfect view of the Statue of Liberty.
At the The Seaport you’ll find plenty of signature NYC experiences, including an arts program featuring up-and-coming creators, summer concerts on The Rooftop at Pier 17, eclectic dining options and epic waterfront views.
The area has a true neighborhood vibe, with community gathering spaces and programming like free fitness classes at Seaport Fit, rooftop movies at Seaport Cinema and the River To River summer arts festival. If you’re in the mood for a meal, enjoy waterfront dining from a growing roster of world-renowned chefs, including Jean-Georges Vongerichten, David Chang, Andrew Carmellini and Helene Henderson.
There are a number of Hilton properties dotted across the City in prime locations that make it easy to sightsee. The Conrad New York Midtown is just steps from Central Park. Enjoy all the park has to offer, including rowboats, gardens and acres of green space. The Alto Rooftop bar, on the 22nd floor of The Bernic Hotel New York City, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, offers guests and patrons a panoramic view of the City and seasonally curated cocktails.
Loopy Doopy Bar. Courtesy, Conrad New York Downtown
The Loopy Doopy Rooftop Bar, located on the 16th floor of Conrad New York Downtown and overlooking the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor, will offer a fresh, seasonal menu, developed by the hotel’s executive chef, Khaled Tabet. Guests will be able to order a selection of culinary offerings, including gourmet-flavored kettle corn, hummus and sumac pita chips, rotisserie chicken salad sliders and a four-citrus fluke ceviche.
Statue of Liberty. Photo: Julienne Schaer
It’s one of the most recognizable symbols of the United States: the Statue of Liberty. The statue was designed to commemorate the emancipation of slaves in the United States, as evidenced by the broken chains at her feet; standing regal in New York Harbor since 1886, she’s welcomed countless newcomers, dream seekers and visitors to her shores. The only way to reach the statue is with a ferry ride to her perch on Liberty Island, which also gives you access to Ellis Island and two museums: the Statue of Liberty Museum and the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. If your ancestors came to America, you can search ships’ manifests to see when they arrived. A bit of trivia: the statue’s full name is Liberty Enlightening the World, and the tablet she holds in her left hand is inscribed with the Roman numerals “JULY IV MDCCLXXVI”—July 4, 1776, when the US Declaration of Independence was adopted.
9/11 Memorial. Photo: Brittany Petronella
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on America. The 9/11 Memorial & Museum will commemorate the event with the annual September 11 memorial ceremony and reading of victims’ names, and with a Tribute in Light on September 11–12, when two beams of light will shine from the former Twin Towers’ footprint into the sky. (The City will also join in by shining blue lights from the facades of various buildings.) The museum’s 110,000 square feet of space houses memorabilia, personal stories, interactive exhibits and artifacts related to the events. The outdoor memorial features two reflecting pools—the largest man-made waterfalls in North America—filling the exact footprints of the fallen towers. If you can’t make it in person, consider the live virtual tours of both the museum and the memorial.
City Vineyard. Photo: Elizabeth Bick
Savor the views and vintages at City Winery, the only fully functional winery in Manhattan. Guests can enjoy dining indoors or outdoors on a riverside patio with incredible views of the Hudson River and can take in live music or a comedy show seven days a week. The winery also boasts a 32,000-square-foot private event space. Make sure to visit the pop-up location in Rockefeller Center and sister restaurant, City Vineyard, at Pier 26.
The High Line. Photo: Brittany Petronella
To see the value of urban renewal projects, one need look no further than the High Line. Once an elevated railway that had crumbled into disrepair, the 1.5-mile walkway and public park is now a thriving garden space with more than 100,000 plants, an outdoor gallery for rotating public art and a gathering spot for both residents and visitors. Free timed-entry tickets are available for weekend visits only. Fun fact: the tracks ran through the National Biscuit Company building, now home to Chelsea Market, where the Oreo cookie was invented. (Near the southern end is Little Island, a new public park that juts out into the Hudson River.)
The High Line extends from the Meatpacking District up through Chelsea and almost into Hudson Yards, so for diversions you can step into the surrounding Meatpacking District (yes, it was once home to slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants) for retail therapy and nibbles at Chelsea Market, art gallery walks in Chelsea and sightseeing and shopping at Hudson Yards.
Central Park. Photo: Marley White
Carving out a swath of 843 acres in the middle of Manhattan, Central Park has provided New Yorkers and visitors a calm respite since its first section opened in 1858. Make sure to visit if you have time: the endless green space packed into the surrounding steel and concrete skyscrapers is truly a sight to behold. Follow one of the only straight lines in the park on a saunter down the elm-lined Mall and Literary Walk (known to locals as the Promenade). Save some time to see Strawberry Fields if you’re a Beatles fan, or have a picnic on the Great Lawn and explore the North Woods, one of the quietest and most secluded sections of the park. For a more in-depth look, take one of Central Park Conservatory’s audio and self-guided tours. And Shakespeare lovers, rejoice. Shakespeare in the Park is back for the summer 2021 season with Merry Wives, which runs July 6–September 18 at Delacorte Theater. SummerStage performances will take place this summer as well, with hip-hop, indie, jazz and global artists, as well as a September 17 concert with the folk-rock band Dawes.
You’ll find safe and secure parking near many of the City’s best attractions with Edison ParkFast. Attractions like Times Square, Hudson Yards, the High Line, Downtown Brooklyn, the Seaport District, Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center and more are just steps from Edison ParkFast lots.
Parking is also available at Secaucus Junction, a great solution for people driving to NYC.
Visit parkfast.com for reservations, payment and vehicle retrieval options. There’s no need to download an app.
All ParkFast lots feature Covid-19 safety precautions like low-touch valet service, mobile checkout, masked attendants, social-distancing measures and hand-sanitizing stations. Locally owned and operated since 1956, Edison ParkFast offers a best-in-class, safe and secure parking experience at all its locations.
Lincoln Center. Photo: Brittany Petronella
Lincoln Center is welcoming arts and culture back in a big way this year with its Restart Stages initiative. During the summer months, it will host chamber concerts, dance workshops, rehearsals, film screenings, cabaret performances and more on 10 outdoor stages set up on its Upper West Side campus. It will also feature a family area with art activities and an outdoor reading room created by the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
The Washington Heights area is rich in history and filled with Dominican and Puerto Rican eateries and cultural enclaves. Lin-Manuel Miranda, of Hamilton and In The Heights fame, has strong roots in the neighborhood. Stroll through streets filled with mom-and-pop shops serving Latin American fare—pick up some fried plantains and a papaya shake for a quick pick-me-up at El Conde Steakhouse. South of here, explore cultural landmarks like the Apollo Theater that put Harlem on the map. Don’t forget to stop by the legendary Sylvia’s Restaurant for soul food classics such as chicken and waffles, collard greens and macaroni and cheese. Toward the bottom of Manhattan is Chinatown, where you can visit dim sum parlors, tea shops and Chinese markets.
Harry Potter Flagship. Courtesy, Harry Potter NY
Muggles and wizards alike will find the largest collection of Harry Potter merchandise under one roof at Harry Potter New York. Within the store’s three floors and over 20,000 square feet, guests can choose their very own wand, browse through robes, plushies and collectibles, and have a tankard of butterbeer, a swirl of butterbeer ice cream or take home a bottle of butterbeer from the Butterbeer Café. Along the way they’ll find fanciful details, like a specially created figure of Fawkes the Phoenix staring down from the ceiling and a charming reproduction of Honeydukes, complete with chocolate frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans. Located in the Flatiron District, Harry Potter New York is sure to be a magical shopping experience for Wizarding World fans.
The Met Cloisters. Photo: José A. Alvarado Jr.
The Met Cloisters, in Fort Tryon Park at the northern tip of Manhattan, houses the Metropolitan Museum’s collection of European medieval art. It’s where you’ll find the Unicorn Tapestries, seven woven hangings from the late 1400s and early 1500s that depict a unicorn hunt, and the museum’s collection of arms and armor, paintings and altarpieces. Even the building itself is art: European cloisters, chapels and other architectural details were painstakingly pieced back together to create the museum’s edifice. Explore Fort Tryon Park before or after your visit for a welcome natural respite. Designed by the sons of Frederick Law Olmsted (the landscape architect who designed Central Park), the 67-acre setting has sweeping views of the Hudson, walking paths and one of the City’s largest gardens. Head farther afield for more hiking and nature-watching: Inwood Hill Park, just to the north, is home to a portion of the Hudson River Bike Trail, a hiking trail and plenty of spots to see wildlife.
Known as an oasis in the City, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden at the Museum of Modern Art has myriad sculptures dotted around the open-air setting, flecked with weeping beech and Asian birch trees and seasonal plantings. See works by Picasso (She-Goat) and Matisse (Back I–V), or pose in front of Hector Guimard’s art nouveau Paris subway sign for a très-chic Insta shot. Equally sophisticated is the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s rooftop garden and café, a lush, open spot with unbeatable views of Central Park. Alex Da Corte’s As Long As the Sun Lasts, with its cobalt-blue version of Sesame Street’s Big Bird perched on a crescent moon, is on display in the garden through October 31. And don’t forget the Whitney Museum of American Art: the redesigned building has more than 13,000 square feet of terraces and outdoor exhibit space.