5 Ways to explore New York City

With a keen interest to travel, I have been researching New York as a bucket list destination.  There is an abundance of things to do and see and I am waiting patiently to spend New Years at Time Square. Here are some interesting ways to see more of New York City.

New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York metropolitan area, one of the most populous urban places in the world.  New York City is a year-round destination, but the best time for your visit will depend on your budget, vacations and desired weather.

New York Pass

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The New York Pass is your ticket to a truly immersive experience in the city that never sleeps. By buying a one, two, three or seven-day pass, you gain access to over 80 of the city’s top destinations with one all-inclusive fee.

Even if you see only a few attractions per day, the New York Pass is a cost-effective choice for tourists on the go. Attractions such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Cloisters, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the Intrepid Museum and Madame Tussauds are just a few of the dozens of options included in the New York Pass. In addition to the sights, the New York Pass includes specialty tours of the city. Get behind-the-scenes access to NBC Studios, discover the hidden sidewalks of Greenwich Village, take a guided walking tour of Wall Street, go backstage at Radio City Music Hall – just a few of the many options that the New York Pass provides.

These tours should be booked in advance through New York Pass to assure availability. Every New York Pass comes with a guidebook containing descriptions of each attraction. Cost under $200

All Loops 48-Hour Tour – Gray Line New York

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Gray Line New York’s classic double-decker bus tours allow visitors to experience New York City in an up close and comfortable way. The All Loops Tour package gives ticketholders 48 hours to take all four of the Gray Line’s bus itineraries or “loops”: Uptown, Downtown, Night (aka the Night Tour) and Brooklyn.

Each lasts a little more than two hours, and ticketholders can take them in any order, whenever they are available. Offered in open double-decker buses, these tours offer a unique perspective for touring New York: above the crowds of pedestrians, but still surrounded by the vitality of one of the greatest cities in history. The Uptown loop includes sights like Lincoln Center, the American Museum of Natural History, the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Grant’s Tomb and the Apollo Theater. The Downtown Loop hits Times Square, Madison Square Garden, Macy’s, the Empire State Building, Greenwich Village, Chinatown and more. Both of these loops have “hop on, hop off” service – passengers can get off at Gray Line bus stops in front of the attractions that interest them, and then get on the next available bus when they’re ready. The Brooklyn Loop and the Night Tour are not hop-on, hop-off. The Brooklyn Loop crosses the Manhattan Bridge – an exhilarating view from the open top deck –and travels through DUMBO to Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Public Library and the beautiful and historic brownstones of Fort Greene.

The Night Tour covers many of the sights of the Downtown Loop, but now brilliantly lit up for the evening: the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Rockefeller Center and more. Cost under $100

Manhattan Dinner Cruise – Hornblower Cruises & Events New York

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As the sun goes down and Manhattan lights up, having dinner while afloat on the Hudson River is a truly special experience. For a romantic evening or just a nighttime celebration, it’s hard to beat Hornblower’s Manhattan Dinner Cruise aboard a luxury yacht.

Upon boarding the 210-foot vessel, enjoy a complimentary beverage while being escorted to your seat in the lower-level dining room. Intimate tables for two or tables that fit larger groups line the room’s wrap-around wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. Once you set sail you’ll enjoy a four-course meal with entrees ranging from filet mignon to broiled wild salmon to a vegetarian selection. The waitstaff will take your food and drink orders while you glide by New York landmarks including the Intrepid, One World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty. In-between courses there is plenty of opportunity to get fresh air or take a few snapshots on one of the Infinity’s wrap-around outdoor decks.

For spectacular views of Manhattan’s skyline head up to the yacht’s Skydeck, which sits 65 feet above the water. For those in the mood to dance, there is 1,925 square feet of dance-floor space spread out over four floors. Costs from $124

The Full Island Cruise – Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises

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Seeing New York from the water makes it not only less intimidating but even more welcoming. Guests are welcomed onto the ship by having their photo taken – the perfect opportunity to ham it up by posing like Charlie’s Angels or jump in the air like lottery winners. There are several seating areas: indoor and outdoor, shaded and not.

A few minutes after the cruise begins, the bow (the front of the ship) opens up for standing passengers. The Circle Line Sightseeing Full Island Cruise is narrated by knowledgeable and entertaining tour guides, and while the ship follows the same path every time, no two guides are alike, so you may get vastly different tidbits of information if you take it more than once. Whereas one guide might know Yankees stats by heart and quote Yogi Berra, another will point out where Ben Stiller grew up or talk about painter Julian Schnabel’s hot-pink building in the West Village.

All five New York City boroughs are visible from the boat, though Staten Island is only seen in the distance. Cruising south down the Hudson, the various Midtown skyscrapers are visible on the left; the markedly less-exciting New Jersey coast on the right, so guests should take this into account when choosing which side to sit on. Costs from under $40

All Access Pass 9/11 Combo – New York Water Taxi

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New York Water Taxi’s fleet of canary-yellow catamarans zipping back and forth on the East and Hudson Rivers may resemble New York City cabs back on dry land but they are a much more relaxing, fun and scenic way to see the city (and you won’t have to stand on a sidewalk for a half hour waving your hand to catch one!).

Stopping at five stops between Midtown and Brooklyn, and offering spectacular views of some of New York’s top attractions including the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, New York Water Taxi’s All Access Pass 9/11 Combo is a convenient way to visit the the 9/11 Memorial as well as other sites of interest along the way – hopping on and off as you please. Departing from Pier 79 at 39th St. and 12th Ave., the All Access Pass 9/11 Combo tour stops at Battery Park, Christopher Street, South Street Seaport and Fulton Ferry in DUMBO. Passengers can opt a straight, 90-minute tour of New York City’s most iconic landmarks, or hop off at every stop to explore further.

After shopping, dining, and enjoying the attractions within walking distance of each of the designated stops, visitors can then just jump on the next boat that passes by. Water Taxis run about 45 minutes apart. The first stop on the tour is Christopher Street, where shoppers will find a world of sweet boutiques and delicious eats on the oldest street in the West Village. The next stop is Battery Park, and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Since opening in 2011, the 9/11 Memorial has become one of the city’s busiest sites, and all visitors need to have reservations to enter. New York Water Taxi’s All Access Pass 9/11 Combo includes a free timed reservation so visitors can disembark the Water Taxi at Battery Park and go straight to the memorial – a ten-minute walk from the pier. Upon return to 42nd Street and Times Square, passengers are treated to a double-decker bus tour of Midtown’s top attractions, thanks to a complimentary ticket included in the All Access Pass 9/11 Combo. Cost under $40

A must -see Central Park

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One of New York City’s most breathtaking and celebrated attractions, Central Park is a must-see for anyone visiting the five boroughs. Whether experienced during a fresh snowfall in the winter, the spectacular floral blossoms in spring, the steamy days of summer or the gorgeous, leaf-turning months of fall, Central Park is a sight to behold.

The 843-acre park is an urban oasis of trees, gardens, rolling meadows, arches, sculptures, statues and vistas. The range of outdoor activities you can enjoy there is seemingly endless, from hiking, biking and ice-skating to simply lounging on a picnic blanket and listening to a live concert. To help you narrow down your choices, on the following pages we’ve gathered together some of the most popular attractions. For more information, visit the Central Park Conservancy’s website. Free entry.

 

For more info on  “Things to do Free” in NY : http://www.nycgo.com

 

 

Don’t forget to share your experiences with me. Happy Travels 🙂

 

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2 Responses to 5 Ways to explore New York City

  1. Lynette says:

    Awww sounds like so much fun ! Hopefully I’ll be able to go to NYC one day. xxx

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