The skyscrapered, traffic-clogged, jam-packed part of New York known as Midtown (which encompasses the area south of Central Park at 59th Street down to 14th Street) has a lot to offer, including celebrated architecture, museums, parks, shows and shopping. These are the Midtown spots every first-time visitor should include in their Manhattan itinerary.
The best way to experience the historic Plaza Hotel (assuming you can’t afford the $905-30,000 per night price tag) is to pop downstairs to The Palm Court for afternoon tea. Enjoy a sample of fancy savories like the brioche crostini with foie gras mousse and black cherry jam; posh pastries, including the red velvet chouquette with mascarpone and white-chocolate-orange cremeux; and warm, fluffy scones smothered in devonshire cream and house-made preserves. All can be washed down with a bottle of champagne, naturally.
Rockefeller Center really comes into its own during the festive season. Catch the high-kicking Rockettes at the opulent Radio City Music Hall, and hit the intimate ice rink. Afterward, watch the annual unveiling of the colossal Christmas tree. No matter the time of year, climbing to the Top of the Rock provides 360-degree views of Manhattan wrapped by the boat-dotted rivers, with the Empire State Building smack in the middle of it all.