1. Take a Water Taxi Ride. One of the best ways to see New York
City is to take a circle tour around the island of Manhattan to see the city
from each side. You can also cross off the Statue of Liberty, since most of these tours will go right by the statue. New York Water Taxi offers a hop-on, hop-off version of the circle to maximize the bang for your buck.
2. Paddle-boat or Stroll Through Central Park. Central Park is a must see for New York City visitors. The huge park offers many activities and has street vendors selling souvenirs and food alike. You can paddle-boat in the park or enjoy a picnic lunch while you people watch.
3. Window Shop on 5th Avenue or Madison Avenue. Nothing epitomizes the Upper East Side lifestyle quite like the shops on 5th Avenue. From FAO Schwartz (the toy store made famous in the movie Big) to Bergdorf Goodman (an upscale department store only found in NYC) there are many interesting shops and window displays to be seen.
4. Eat at Grimaldi’s Pizza. One of the most famous pizza joints, there are a few Grimaldi’s pizza locations to dine at during your stay in NYC. The best known in under the Brooklyn Bridge, and makes for a great stop to fuel up before you trek across the bridge back into Manhattan.
5. See a Show. New York is home to many famous shows and theaters. There are many options to choose from from Broadway to Off Broadway, to free shows from upcoming actors and actresses at the NYU theater. There is something for everyone.
6. Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge. Take the subway (or a ferry) across the bay and walk the Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn into NYC. Great views from all angles of the bridge. Prepare yourself for crowds, the bridge is typically busy and the walking paths could be wider. Alternatively, you can bike ride across the bridge; the crowds can make this difficult though, and it is harder to stop to take photos and enjoy the view.
7. Relax on the High Line. The High Line was once elevated tracks for freight trains. After threats of demolition, the tracks were transformed into a city park. You can walk the former tracks and enjoy interesting views of NYC or relax on one of the many benches or seats along the path.
8. Grab a Burger at Shake Shack. A favorite of many locals, the original Shake Shack can be found in Madison Square Park serving delicious burgers, shakes, and cheese fries. Expect to wait in a long line to grab one of these burgers. You can check the line length before you go by viewing “The Shack Cam” on the Shake Shack website. There are multiple locations throughout the city if you want to skip waiting outdoors or the massive lines of the original location.
9. Visit St. Paul’s Chapel. Often overshadowed by the 9/11 Memorial, St. Paul’s Chapel lies across from the site where the World Trade Centers once stood. The oldest standing church in NYC didn’t have a single window broken from the collaspe of the towers. The Chapel became the hub for recovery workers after the attack and is now filled with panels of items collected from the rescue workers and visitors in an incredibly moving and humbling display.
10. Go to the Top of the Rock. The less crowded alternative to the Empire State Building, you can ride the elevator to the top of Rockefeller Plaza for great sky views of NYC. Not only do you get to avoid the crazy crowds of the Empire State Building here, you also get a great view of the famous building from the Top of the Rock. Go right before sunset and you can catch both day and night views of the city.