The ‘Big Apple’. The most populous city in USA. It is the City of New York. It is as big and famous as it can get. It is world’s hub for arts, culture, entertainment and the financial capital as well.
Home to the most recognizable symbols of USA, the city is busy, boisterous and bustling with energy. It is always on move and always has more than enough options for the millions of tourists that throng the city be it any season of year or any kind of weather. The city has so much to offer but you wouldn’t be fair if you don’t take your time to admire the city itself.
From our brief rendezvous with NYC and the feedback from so many friends, we have created 3-day plan for the city. We have tried to squeeze the best of the New York City in these 3 days but the plan leaves lots of time for leisure and to explore the finest eateries in NYC.
Buy the NY subway pass (no better way to get around the city) and jump on the roller coaster that is New York City.
Start your day with the most famous attraction of them all, the Statue of Liberty. If the weather forecast during your trip to NYC is clear, you could buy a ticket beforehand and skip the long queues. Otherwise wait for the sunny day like us and go early in the morning to avoid long wait. After the mandatory airport-like security check, make your way to the ferry. The views of the Lower Manhattan skyline from the ferry and the liberty island are great.
The green lady is an imposing figure and looks even more magnificent up close. Once you land on the get the complementary audio guide and start your tour of the island. The island, the pedestal and the statue itself has a great story behind it and makes the visit even more special. We opted out of the Ellis island tour which houses the immigration museum.
In the afternoon go for shopping or take a stroll in the Central Park. Depending on the season you could enjoy the amusement parks or the skating rinks or the carousal or the zoo or just sit and enjoy the quiet so hard to find in New York.
The best way to get back to energy of the city is to visit the Times Square (Broadway and 7th) in the evening. The animated crowds, the chirpy street performers and the huge billboards illuminated with brightest lights. You got to feel lively just coming here. Book and visit a Broadway show to have a complete experience of Times Square. Depending on your taste you would have wide range of choices.
The main attraction for this day is ‘The Met’ (Not the Mets). The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a huge collection of artifacts from around the globe. Be it the antiquities (Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Oriental) or the relics from the islands (Oceania, Americas etc.) or the arts of Modern American and European artists, all would leave you speechless. So pick and choose the collection that attracts you and spend as much time you like. It could easily take half a day for key highlights if not more. There is no fixed entry fee but still you would have to get in line for the tickets by paying a donation.
In the evening around an hour before the sunset, head to the Whitehall Terminal at the southern tip of Manhattan to catch the Staten Island Ferry. This free service running between Manhattan and State Island (every half an hour) gives you a gorgeous view of the lower Manhattan skyline and also a unique view of the Statue of Liberty (which you wouldn’t get even from the liberty island ferry). On the way back to Manhattan, the sun would have set and you could get the amazing view of lit up Manhattan.
Back on the land, head to the World Trade center to pay respect to the lost lives at the 9/11 memorial. Visiting the North and South pools along with the plaques with names of the victims is a sobering experience and really makes you re-think about what happened that day.
This day you could explore any other museum of your choice. The top picks would be American Museum of Natural History, Museum of Modern Art and Guggenheim Museum. We chose the Natural History museum as we have always been fascinated with Dinosaurs and this museum provides a rich collection of the fossils. Also it would be a divergence from the arts and culture we experienced at ‘The Met’. The museum was fun and dinosaurs were as intimidating as we had imagined.
You could spend the remaining day admiring the architecture of the Grand central station and the Brooklyn Bridge. The best spots to view the Brooklyn Bridge are on the Brooklyn side – Brooklyn Bridge park (the name says it all). Here you also get a wonderful view of the sprawling lower-middle Manhattan skyline.
In evening visit the top of Empire State Building or the top of the Rockefeller building to view the Manhattan town from the top. Again the best time would be just before the sunset so that you could view the city in the natural light and then the artificial light. It is tough to choose between these two options. However, our pick would be Top of the Rock as it has a wonderful view of the Empire State building as well as the central park.
As always, the specific agenda for each day could be shuffled around depending on the weather on that day. Rule of thumb is outdoors for sunny days and indoors for the others. Have a blast.
Do you have a story to tell about your New York experience? Drop in a comment or send us a mail. We will definitely reply. All the interesting tales will be published in a special feature.