1. One World Trade Center
This skyscraper towers over Lower Manhattan at 1,776 feet, referring to the year the United States was founded, 1776. It is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, and it soars above the Willis Tower in Chicago, which held the record for highest building in the United States for 14 years. It is open for visitors 9 AM to 8 PM. It is a main tourist attraction for two reasons. First, the view from the top is so high you can see the curve of the earth from the observation level. Second, the elevator shows a time lapse of New York City evolving and elevating from the perspective the viewer has from the building.
Trains: A, C, E, 2, 3, 4, 5, J, Z, R, W
2. The Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge is the oldest suspension bridge in New York. The Brooklyn Bridge was built in 1883, designed by architect John Roebling. It spans the East River, connecting the boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan, and is a primary route of driving, walking, and biking commuters in NYC at rush hour. On a nice day, you will get an amazing view of everything from Midtown to Bay Ridge.
Trains: 4, 5, 6, J, Z, A, C, 2, 3, R, W
3. Central Park
Central Park is in the middle of Manhattan, spanning from 59th Street to 110th Street – 2 ½ miles long. In the winter, the hills cover with snow and it is perfect for sledding, and a skating rink opens up as well, where they serve hot cocoa and rent skates. In the summer, there is a kid-themed amusement park with water rides and ice cream vendors. Fishing is great at the park pond, which also has a running track around it. Running a in the park is a very relaxing and beautiful experience.
Trains: 1, 2, 3, A, C, B, D, N, Q, R, W
4. Barclays Center
This modern-looking arena in the neighborhood of Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, houses two sports teams: The Islanders and The Nets. it is also an amazingly technological place, and is perfect for concerts. It is near Atlantic Center, a mall and train station. Barclays Center has a great variety of local foods such as Nathan’s Hot Dogs, Junior’s Cheesecake, and Brooklyn Mac, and the First Aid team is one of the best (I found out the hard way!)
Trains: 2, 3, 4, 5, B, D, N, Q, R
5. Coney Island
The only amusement park in NYC, this thrilling adventure is one of the best experiences of your life. Deno’s Wonder Wheel is a beautiful ride at night, with all the buildings lit up, and Luna Park’s Cyclone is a rollercoaster that people come from all around to visit. Nearby is the New York Aquarium, a Wildlife Conservation Society Facility with amazing marine life. The minor league baseball team, the Brooklyn Cyclones, play right across the street from the park. The whole area makes for a great day-trip, and it appeals to people of all ages (especially the kids!)
Trains: D, F, N, Q
6. Broadway Shows
One of the reasons people truly love New York is because of the theater. Broadway gets the most elite actors in the world to come perform in shows. But because it is so cool, it is not cheap. Some ways you can get tickets without emptying your bank account are either buying the tickets really far in advance when there are special offers, or lining up at the TKTS booth at Duffy Square or the South Street Seaport. No matter how the tickets get to you, the experience is still the same. Unforgettable.
Trains: A, C, E, 1, 2, 3, N, Q, R, W, S, 7
7. The Bronx Zoo
It’s hard to believe you are in New York City, walking through this amazing recreation of the wilds of the Amazon, Africa, and Asia, but this 265 acre park rests right in the middle of the borough of the Bronx, and 2 Million people visit it each year. The amounts of wildlife and large habitats are astounding, and it is an all-around fun place to visit. Check the website, because at certain times of year they have special events, like ice carving, holiday lights, and even a 5K race you can run right through the zoo!
Trains: 2, 5
8. Grand Central Terminal
Need to get to Yonkers? New Haven? Well, if you do, Grand Central is your station. But the trains are not the top reason that most people go there. It’s because of the amazing architecture. Grand Central is the most beautiful terminal anyone will ever see in their lives. At night, the ceiling display of constellations lights up, and it looks like you are peering into the actual night sky. During the day, audio tours are offered and you can learn about the meaning for all of the artwork and architecture in the station.
Trains: 4, 5, 6, S, 7
9. Queens Museum and New York Hall of Science
If you want to see the whole city at once, this is the place to be. The central room of the museum is a giant three-dimensional panorama of the five boroughs, built for the 1964 World’s Fair. The museum also offers kids art lessons and fun activities. The science hall is very hands-on, with a section about simple machines that help hand-eye coordination. This is the perfect museum for children 4-15, touching on Physics, Math, the Human Body, Art, and so much more. In the spring and summer, the baseball team, the Mets, plays nearby, and the US Open tennis tournament is housed in Flushing Meadows Park, near the museum in late August.
10. Staten Island Ferry
A great way to get unbelievable views of Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, the Verrazano Bridge, and more, is to ride the Staten Island Ferry. One of the first transportation services for commuters going into Manhattan, the free ferry has been in service for over 100 years, providing 70,000 commuters a day with a transportation system. Tourists also ride it frequently, sometimes on their way to the Staten Island Yankees, a minor league baseball team, whose stadium is in the same neighborhood as the ferry terminal. In a few years, a ferris wheel will be opening up in walking distance of the ferry terminal, and it is predicted to be a major tourist attraction.
Trains: 1, 4, 5, R, W, SIR