Although technically a part of New Jersey, Ellis Island was considered to be ‘The Gateway to America’ and was once the last thing standing in the way of millions of immigrants and New York City. It has long since stopped holding that function, having closed down in 1954, but still attracts people from around the world. Take a tour of the museum, or walk around the island. Apart from the amazing view of the skyline, there is a wall that extends around the grounds with the names of immigrants who stopped here.
Many people associate Rockefeller Center with ice skating, Saturday Night Live, and NBC Studios, but the best part of the building isn’t located inside with shops and restaurants or at ground level. It’s located 850 feet up. Take the quick elevator ride up to the Rockefeller Observatory and get an eagle’s eye view of the city. See all of Central Park sprawled before you during the day and a breath-taking view of the Empire State Building at sunset.
Top of the Rock, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY, USA +1 212 698 2000
Travel across two boroughs via the Brooklyn Bridge. It offers great photo ops of downtown Manhattan and DUMBO. There are separate lanes for bikers and pedestrians, which clears up a bit of the congestion. This is an ideal place for a mid-day date or just a day out with some friends. For those who might be afraid to cross the bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge Park is located below the bridge on the Brooklyn side and offers the same breathtaking views of lower Manhattan.
Those whose lives were lost in the tragic events of September 11th will never be forgotten. This memorial, completed in September 2011, pays homage to all those who lost their lives. Two beautiful pools, equipped with man-made waterfalls, sit where the two twin towers once stood. Try to locate the Survivor Tree, the memorial’s symbol of the past and present fused together. This tree, discovered after the attacks, was nursed back to health by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and returned to the site.
Central Park is arguably one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. The park hosts a bunch of different events including a Jazz Festival in the fall, Shakespeare in the Park in the summer, and ice skating in the winter. If you’re not interested in organized events, walk around and see what’s going on. Listen to someone play the guitar on the grass, revisit childhood wonder in the Alice in Wonderland-themed park, or go retro and rollerblade down the hills. This park is so big, it’s hard to come here and not find something to do.
Central Park, New York, NY, USA +1 212 310 6600
One of the many parks in the city, Bryant Park, is probably best known for its ice skating rink in the winter and concerts in the summer. This park is drastically smaller than Central Park, but that doesn’t mean it offers anything less. Bryant Park hosts daily events ranging from fitness classes to bird watching tours. The main website offers plenty of activities to keep you occupied. Apart from the events, the scenery itself is a sight to see with beautiful tulips in the spring and vibrant foliage in the fall.