25 Top Tourist Attractions in New York City

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The Big Apple is the biggest city in the U.S. and one of the world’s leading hubs for business, art, entertainment, and more. In a single lifetime, you couldn’t experience all of it. With so much to choose from, what would you pick if you could visit just 25 attractions in the City That Never Sleeps?

These 25 locations in New York City stand out for their fame, historical importance, and the distinct experiences they provide. Each spot, from Central Park’s natural beauty to the Chrysler Building’s architectural elegance, captures a unique aspect of the city’s character. They highlight the variety and energy of New York, making them essential visits to truly understand what makes the Big Apple so special.

1. Central Park

Central Park New York
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Central Park is a green oasis right in the heart of Manhattan. Its 843 acres provide a refuge from the bustle of the city, and admission is free.

Fun Fact: Central Park has its own zoo, the Central Park Zoo, which became famous through the animated movie “Madagascar.”

2. The National 9/11 Memorial & Museum

The National 911 Memorial & Museum
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9/11 was one of America’s darkest days. At this site, commemorations, exhibitions, and educational programs mark the day and honor its victims, survivors, and heroes.

Fun Fact: The Survivor Tree at the 9/11 Memorial is a Callery pear tree that survived the 9/11 attacks and was nursed back to health, symbolizing resilience and rebirth.

3. The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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New York City’s most-visited museum and attraction is one of the top art museums in the world. Its exhibits feature works from all over the globe spanning more than 5,000 years.

Fun Fact: The Met has over two million works of art, meaning if you spent one minute looking at each piece, it would take you almost four years to see everything!

4. The Empire State Building

The Empire State Building
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For a long time, this was the tallest building in the world, and it was the first building ever to have more than 100 floors. It’s still an iconic landmark, and the view from the top is amazing.

Fun Fact: The Empire State Building has its own zip code, 10118, due to its large size and the volume of mail it receives.

5. The High Line

The High Line Park in New York
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This is an elevated railway that was turned into a lush public park. From it, there are excellent views of the Hudson River and the skyline of Manhattan’s West Side.

Fun Fact: The High Line was inspired by the Promenade Plantée in Paris, a similarly elevated park built on an old railway viaduct.

6. Broadway

Broadway Theaters
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One of the world’s most famous theater districts, Broadway sits in midtown Manhattan. Seeing a show on Broadway is a quintessential part of the New York experience.

Fun Fact: The longest-running Broadway show was “The Phantom of the Opera,” which opened in 1988 and ran until April, 2023.

7. Top of the Rock

Top of the Rock
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You’ll get panoramic views of the city from this 3-tiered observation deck on Floors 67, 69, and 70 of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. It’s open from 8 a.m. until midnight, and the last elevators go up at 11 p.m.

Fun Fact: The Rockefeller Center’s “Top of the Rock” observation deck was originally designed to look like the deck of a 1930s ocean liner, complete with deck chairs.

8. The Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge
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A unique architectural feat, the Brooklyn Bridge connects Brooklyn and Manhattan. It’s open to motorists, rail passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

Fun Fact: The Brooklyn Bridge was the world’s first steel-wire suspension bridge and took 14 years to complete.

9. The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty
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A worldwide symbol of freedom and friendship, Lady Liberty has kept her perch since 1886. Close by is historic Ellis Island, once the U.S.A.’s busiest immigration point.

Fun Fact: The Statue of Liberty’s full name is “Liberty Enlightening the World,” and it was a gift from France to the United States.

10. Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Terminal
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Opened to the public in 1913, Grand Central is a world-famous landmark and a marvel of engineering. It’s still one of the busiest train stations on the planet, with over 750,000 visitors a day.

Fun Fact: There’s a whispering gallery in Grand Central; if two people stand at diagonal arches in the dining concourse, they can hear each other’s whispers perfectly.

11. The Manhattan Skyline

The Manhattan Skyline
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This iconic stretch of buildings is home to some of the world’s tallest and most legendary skyscrapers. One of the best ways to appreciate it is from the Staten Island Ferry.

Fun Fact: The term “skyscraper” was first used in the 1880s, describing the tall buildings sprouting up in New York City.

12. Times Square

Times Square
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Site of the annual Ball Drop to welcome the New Year, Times Square is an experience like no other. It’s a central area packed with shops, restaurants, office buildings, and flashing billboards all around it.

Fun Fact: Times Square is named after The New York Times; it was originally called Longacre Square until the newspaper moved there in 1904.

13. Coney Island

Coney Island
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Like seeing a show on Broadway, having a hot dog at Coney Island is a must-do NYC activity. If hot dogs aren’t your thing, you can still enjoy the beach and ride the famous Cyclone roller coaster.

Fun Fact: Coney Island was one of the largest amusement areas in the United States in the early 20th century, earning it the nickname “America’s Playground.”

14. The Chrysler Building

The Chrysler Building
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At one time, the Chrysler Building was the world’s tallest building. It’s still one of the most beautiful and recognizable.

Fun Fact: The Chrysler Building was built in a record time of 20 months and was the world’s tallest building for 11 months before the Empire State Building surpassed it.

15. The Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center Christmas tree
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Here, you’ll find one of New York’s biggest entertainment hubs. Top attractions include Radio City Music Hall and NBC Studios. It’s also where you access the Top of the Rock.

Fun Fact: The annual Christmas tree lighting at Rockefeller Center has been a tradition since 1933.

16. Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Brooklyn Botanic Garden
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Prospect Park is home to this 52-acre escape from the busy streets. Don’t-miss sights include the Cranford Rose Garden, the Japanese Hill and Pond Garden, and the Steinhardt Conservatory.

Fun Fact: The Brooklyn Botanic Garden features a cherry esplanade that blooms with over 200 cherry trees in spring, creating a stunning pink canopy.

17. Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village
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“The Village” is one of the city’s most legendary neighborhoods. It’s home to some well-known jazz venues and plenty of unique boutiques and restaurants.

Fun Fact: Greenwich Village was once known as “Little Bohemia” due to its large population of artists, writers, and musicians in the early 20th century.

18. Chelsea Market

Chelsea Market
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Among the most popular spots in the city, the food hall here is a place to sample a vast array of international dishes. Local art galleries and unique souvenirs are also top attractions.

Fun Fact: Chelsea Market is built inside the former National Biscuit Company factory, where the Oreo cookie was invented and first produced.

19. SoHo

SoHo district in Manhattan, New York
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Another famous neighborhood, SoHo is perhaps best-known for vintage shops and specialty boutiques. However, it also has many art galleries and historic buildings.

Fun Fact: SoHo is short for “South of Houston Street,” and its iron-cast buildings are among the oldest and most extensive in the world.

20. Nolita

Cafe in Nolita, Lower Manhattan, NYC
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Short for North of Little Italy, Nolita is, in fact, part of Little Italy. Top things to do are visiting the catacombs of the St. Basilica Church and enjoying a slice of what many consider to be the world’s best pizza.

Fun Fact: Nolita hosts a festival every September to celebrate San Gennaro, the Patron Saint of Naples, complete with parades, food stands, and carnival games, reflecting its Italian heritage.

21. African Burial Ground Mound National Monument

African Burial Ground Mound National Monument
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Around 15,000 free and enslaved Africans and African-Americans were interred in an unmarked cemetery here. Now the National Park Service manages this site that serves as a tribute to them.

Did You Know? The African Burial Ground National Monument is the oldest and largest known excavated burial ground in North America for both free and enslaved Africans.

22. Brooklyn Heights Promenade

Brooklyn Heights Promenade
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Also called the Esplanade, this park originally was intended to connect an expressway through Brooklyn and Queens. Today, it’s filled with lush greenery, and it’s perfect for a stroll or just spending some quiet time on a park bench.

Fun Fact: The Brooklyn Heights Promenade offers one of the most famous and photographed views of the Manhattan skyline, particularly beautiful at sunset.

23. The Bronx Zoo

The Bronx Zoo
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Open since 1899, the Bronx Zoo is one of the oldest and largest in the country today. It provides habitat for over 4,000 animals, many of which are rare or endangered.

Fun Fact: The Bronx Zoo played a pivotal role in saving the American bison from extinction. In the early 20th century, it bred bison in captivity and later sent them to western states to repopulate the species.

24. One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center
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Finished in 2014 and soaring 1,776’ into the New York sky, this is now the Western Hemisphere’s tallest building and the 7th-tallest in the world. In tribute to the original World Trade Center, its roof height matches the 1,368’ of the original, and its 200’ X 200’ matches that of each of the Twin Towers as well. Partly because the height equals the year America declared its independence from Britain, it’s also called the Freedom Tower.

Fun Fact: One World Trade Center’s Observatory has an installation called “See Forever™ Theater,” which presents a time-lapse visual journey of New York City’s skyline from the 1500s to present day.

25. The Steinway Tower

The Steinway Tower
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At 1,428’, this is the 3rd-tallest building in New York. What sets it apart, though, is that it’s the world’s most slender skyscraper.

Fun Fact: The Steinway Tower is not only known for its height but also for incorporating the historic Steinway Hall into its design, blending New York’s musical heritage with modern skyscraper architecture.

Texas Swagger: Unraveling the Lone Star State’s Unapologetic Pride

Texas man
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If you’ve ever been to Texas, you’ll notice, besides all the pickup trucks and the cowboy hats, that Texans take a lot of pride in their home state. There are other places in the country that have a strong sense of regional or local pride, but Texas seems to top them all. In fact, for some Texans, the only thing bigger than Texas is their love of the Lone Star State.

Texas Swagger: Unraveling the Lone Star State’s Unapologetic Pride

The World’s Most Beautiful Mountain Ranges

woman sitting on mountain top
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For as long as humans have existed, mountains have inspired and daunted us. They’re the basis for countless legends, and although they can be deadly, they have an irresistible pull on us, drawing millions of sightseers, hikers, climbers, skiers, and other outdoor enthusiasts every year. Making a definitive list of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world is subjective, but the ones here are certainly strong contenders.

The World’s Most Beautiful Mountain Ranges

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Robert Sihler is an educator, freelance writer, and rock climbing guide and instructor living with his family in Driftwood, Texas. In his spare time, he enjoys reading fiction, streaming films, completing crossword puzzles, and rock climbing. When he goes on vacation, he likes to visit the mountains of the West and climb remote, obscure peaks that have seen few or no prior ascents.