Cmart7327 / Getty Images / iStockphoto
Cmart7327 / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Ultimate Urban Experience in Gotham

You won't have trouble staying awake in the "city that never sleeps." The greatest metropolis on Earth is chock-full of things to do, including the Met, MoMA, Broadway musicals and plays. Get an outdoors fix at Central and Battery Parks, or sip cocktails with the pretty people at trendy nightclubs.
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What to Do

National September 11 Memorial & Museum
National September 11 Memorial & Museum

National September 11 Memorial & Museum

Visit ground zero, where there is a moving memorial and museum dedicated to 9/11. This emotional sight has 2 large pools where the twin towers once stood. For all New York City travelers, this historic place is a wonderful way to pay respect to the victims and families affected by the 2011 tragedy. Admission to the memorial is free, and you can buy tickets to the museum for a small fee. 960 1280

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Broadway

Broadway

Broadway is not just for the theater; it’s one of the best shopping streets in all of New York City. No matter what your shopping desire is, Broadway definitely has it. This long street stretches from the top of Manhattan to the bottom. One of its most concentrated shopping areas is in SoHo, in the lower portion of Manhattan. You’ll see tourists and fashionistas of all types on Broadway. As a traveler, you’ll fit right in. 960 1280

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Bryant Park

Bryant Park

Bryant Park is the destination for all fashionistas. Historically, New York Fashion Week occurred in this Midtown park. Now, Bryant Park is a great place to sit, people-watch and even play a game of chess or bocce. Once you’ve regained your walking strength, take a trip down Fifth Avenue for some window shopping. You’ll love the fashion-filled vibes of this NYC spot. 960 1280

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Central Park

Central Park

If you’re visiting NYC, this famous urban park is a must-see. Central Park is 1.3 square miles of greenery and ponds, smack dab in the center of Manhattan. Ride paddleboats on a park pond, have a picnic on one of the many grassy areas, or walk along the twisting and turning paths. The possibilities are endless. If you’re traveling with little ones, the Central Park Zoo is always a hit. This destination is guaranteed fun. 960 1280

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Coney Island

Coney Island

You can’t go to New York without trying a hot dog (unless you’re vegetarian or vegan — then you get a free pass). Coney Island has the best hot dogs in all of Brooklyn. Be warned that it’s a hike from Manhattan, but the fun theme park is definitely worth the trek. Every year, on the Fourth of July, Coney Island has a famous hot-dog-eating contest for both men and women. In 10 minutes, competitors eat more than 50 hot dogs. Who will win the next competition? 960 1280

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Ellis Island

Ellis Island

Ellis Island is a nice way to remember and celebrate the past of our great nation. See immigration books dating back to 1892. You’ll need to take a ferry to Ellis Island, but the ride on the Hudson gives a great view of the city. Make it a joint trip with the Statue of Liberty; the ride from Ellis Island to Liberty Island is pretty simple. Book your ferry tickets today. 960 1280

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Empire State Building

Empire State Building

Stand atop the architectural wonder of the Empire State Building. It’s both breathtaking and romantic. Gawk at the buzzing city from the observation decks, and you’ll definitely be in awe. Also check out the view of the building from below, because its floodlights change with the seasons and for special occasions. If you’re interested, check out the Empire State Building tower light calendar. 960 1280

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Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

If you’re trying to save some bucks, plan a trip to Grand Central Station. This free tourist attraction is abuzz all day long. The architecture of the grandiose train station is stunning. Be sure to check out the mysterious mural at Grand Central while you’re there, too. When you’re done at the station, hop on the subway to your next destination, or you can visit the Chrysler Building, which is just a short walk away. 960 1280

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The Hudson River

The Hudson River

Walking along the Hudson is one of the most treasured pastimes of all New Yorkers. Get onto the walking path via West Houston Street, and you’ll be able to admire the river at your leisure. Boats are constantly passing by, which is always fun to see. If you’re feeling especially active, take a run or even bust out your rollerblades. Walk to Little Italy via Canal Street when you’re done to grab a bite of delicious Italian. 960 1280

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Museum of Modern Art

Museum of Modern Art

Art enthusiasts flock to the MoMA every year for quirky and cool art displays. This museum features many out-of-the-box artists who will surely get your mind going. One cool thing to check out is the permanent helicopter display that hangs from the ceiling as you approach the stairs leading up to the second floor. If you need a little fresh air, sit outside in the sculpture garden. 960 1280

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Pizza

Pizza

Brooklyn has some of the best pizza in New York. But the city’s best slice is constantly up for debate. No matter where you go, you’ll want to try a piece of thin pizza, which is New York’s signature. One place that is definitely worth the long line is Grimaldi’s. This destination surely has one of the best slices of cheese pizza in the world. 960 1280

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Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center

Visiting New York in the winter? Go ice skating at Rockefeller Center. This public square is famous for its large Christmas tree that’s admired throughout the holiday season every year. The gargantuan tree stands at an impressive 75 feet tall. Rockefeller Center is fun any time of year, though. Many news channels are located there, so you’ll feel definitely feel the industry buzz. 960 1280

NYC & Company/Will Steacy  

Smorgasburg

Smorgasburg

Foodies of all kinds will love the Smorgasburg. This local flea market happens every Saturday and Sunday in Brooklyn and hosts 100 food vendors, rain or shine. Sample some delectable cheeses that will blow your mind. From Sunday’s market location, take your food over to Brooklyn Bridge Park for a picnic. And when you’re done at the Smorgasburg, explore the fun boutiques and side streets that Brooklyn has to offer. 960 1280

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St. Marks Place

St. Marks Place

Go off the beaten path on this hip street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Take the subway to Astor Place and walk over to St. Mark’s Place. There, you’ll find tons of cheap souvenirs for your family, as well as cutting-edge tattoo parlors to admire. There are many small, cheap restaurants around, too, just waiting to be discovered. 960 1280

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Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty

Climb the crown of the Statue of Liberty during your New York extravaganza. Or, if you’re hoping for a more laid-back trip, marvel at Lady Liberty from the pedestal. You’ll love the relaxing ferry ride on the Hudson from Manhattan to Liberty Island. Be sure to book your reservation for the statue and ferry far in advance, as they tend to fill up quickly. 960 1280

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Metropolitan Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a massive attraction on the city’s Museum Mile, with art for everyone to enjoy. Plus, admission is free (or you can give a small suggested donation). Even if you’re not really into art, the Met is a wonderful place to just sit and eat a slice of NYC pizza or a classic city hot dog. If you’re more daring, visit the top of the museum for a gorgeous view of the city. Grab a drink at the Roof Garden Café for a fun and memorable outing. 960 1280

NYC & Company/Joe Buglewicz  

Times Square

Times Square

Kick off your New York City adventure in the electric hub of the city. Times Square is the go-to destination for eager theatergoers, shopping enthusiasts and lovers of culture. Take your picture with an entertainer in the square and post it for all your friends to see. Don’t miss Times Square on New Year’s Eve, either: it’s famous for its huge celebration on the last day of the year. 960 1280

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Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park

Greenwich Village boasts one of the coolest sites Manhattan has to offer: Washington Square Park. Its gorgeous arch resembles the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The park also features a picturesque fountain that children play in during the summertime. And it is the hot spot for musicians to try out their material. If you’re looking for a relaxed afternoon, perch yourself in the midst of this exciting park. 960 1280

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Where to Eat

Anella
Anella

Anella

Anella is well worth the hike from Manhattan into Brooklyn. This Greenpoint gem doesn’t try too hard with its relaxed vibe and no-frills decor, but it still meets perfection with dishes like ricotta gnocchi, pan-seared pork chops and steamed mussels. 960 1280

CityEats.com  

Lexington Brass

Lexington Brass

A popular lunch and brunch spot in Midtown, Lexington Brass serves American bistro favorites with a twist of sophistication. You’ll feel right at home here with comfort foods like roasted chicken served in cast-iron pans. 960 1280

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Olives

Olives

Located in Union Square’s W Hotel, Olives is a swanky spot for a meal or a meetup, with an extensive small-plates menu and creative cocktails such as the Heart Beet -- vodka-infused beet lemonade. 960 1280

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Café de la Esquina

Café de la Esquina

Where else can you find a retro Mexico dinner that takes menu suggestions from neighborhood locals? Williamsburg, of course. The hip Brooklyn hood’s Café de La Esquina dishes are a spicy spin on the classics, such as the hamburguesa, a burger topped with jalapenos, avocado and chipotle mayo. 960 1280

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Macelleria

Macelleria

This Italian steakhouse in the Meatpacking District is a carnivore’s dream, with dry-aged porterhouse, Tuscan sausage and chicken alla diavola. But fear not, vegetarians: There are plenty of meat-free pasta dishes, too. And tiramisu doesn’t always have to wait until dessert. 960 1280

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Má Pêche

Má Pêche

Midtown’s modern American restaurant Má Pêche's menu changes daily, but the extensive raw bar is always a perfect starter. On the way out pick up dessert -- an addictive slice of Crack Pie or Compost Cookie -- at the sister bakery, Momofuku’s Milk Bar. 960 1280

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Amali

Amali

Amali, a Mediteranean eatery on the Upper East Side, adheres to a strict farm-to-table dining experience -- using local vegetables, grains and dairy products -- and only buying whole animals. Greek-infused specialities like the lamb porterhouse and Kataifi cannoli are not to be missed. 960 1280

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Masak

Masak

Sweet and spicy street foods from Singapore are given a sophisticated touch at East Village’s Masak. Start off dinner with the signature dish Quih Pie Tee (pictured), fried rice cracker cups filled with seasonal flavors like foie gras, sweetcorn and strawberries. 960 1280

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Aroma Kitchen and Winebar

Aroma Kitchen and Winebar

Aroma, an East Village Italian restaurant and wine bar, focuses on regional Italian dishes and seasonal specialties, such as the risotto del giorno. And you’ll feel like royalty with the service; Chef Vito is known to personally deliver his signature dishes to your table. 960 1280

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‘Cesca Enoteca and Trattoria

‘Cesca Enoteca and Trattoria

Friendly and rustic, this southern Italian spot is a welcome culinary spot on the Upper West Side. Authentic Italian dishes like linguine alla vongole, are best paired with an Italian varietal on the extensive award-wining wine list. 960 1280

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