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New York City

Hit the high points of the City that Never Sleeps

No town serves up quite as many attractions and adventures as New York City. Get lost in neighborhoods that sizzle with creativity; wander iconic museums showcasing vast troves of both ancient and modern world art; and hit a deli, hot dog stand or pizzeria for an iconic NYC foodie experience. After sampling these slices of the Big Apple, it’s hard to argue with the assertion that New York is the most exciting metropolis on the planet.

It would take months to explore every nook and cranny of the City that Never Sleeps, so here are a few can’t-miss highlights for shorter trips.

Ellis Island

Take a ferry tour to Ellis Island, part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument, located in New York Harbor about a mile west of the southern tip of Manhattan. This legendary complex was the epicenter for immigrants who made the courageous voyage to the U.S. between 1892 and 1954. More than 12 million people were evaluated in the labyrinthine rooms and hallways of Ellis Island’s processing center. The signature Ellis Island Museum of Immigration experience includes up-close views of the Statue of Liberty, followed by poignant, often heart-wrenching accounts of the immigrants’ journeys.

Empire State Building

Standing at 1,454 feet (102 stories), the Empire State Building is one of New York City’s most enduring icons. Defining the skyline, this majestic structure speaks to the glory that is Manhattan. Sublime panoramas can be found on the outdoor deck that wraps around the entire circumference of the 86th-floor observatory and on the 102nd-floor indoor deck.

Central Park and More

Laid out on an easy-to-navigate grid system, New York City is renowned as one of the world’s most walkable towns. If you have the desire and stamina, the entire length of Manhattan can be strolled in around six hours. While the city is known for its skylines, New York also offers a wide array of green spaces that serve as virtual backyards for apartment dwellers, especially during the city’s hot summers.

On sunny days, 843-acre Central Park welcomes families, friends, dog-walkers, picnickers and ballplayers. The world-famous park, which forms a 2.5-mile-long rectangle between Fifth Avenue and Central Park West, has served as a backdrop for countless New York books, plays and movies. Visitors could easily spend a day strolling among the fountains, statues, conservatories, lakes, carousel, zoo, boathouse and gorgeously landscaped Shakespeare Garden.

While many lavish praise on famed American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted for his designs for Central Park, Brooklyn’s Prospect Park offers an equally seductive complement to NYC’s urban frisson. There’s the 60-acre lake, myriad ballparks, a zoo and the only urban Audubon Center in the U.S. Prospect Park forms a key part of the Atlantic Flyway bird migration route, and more than 200 species can be found in the park.

If you prefer walking in urban spaces, Times Square can’t be beat. Centered on the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue, this hub of the Broadway Theater District has been described as the “Crossroads of the World.” Visitors can explore the many shops, gaze at the scores of electronic signs and billboards, and then visit a classic Broadway show.

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