It really is like the movies: bright lights, constant energy, the hustle and bustle. My trip to New York City was an absolute dream even though it was below freezing for the majority of my stay. New York bleeds an attitude of fierce ambition; New Yorkers are a proud breed—and rightfully so. The area is rich with history and brims with European influence. Chatter of language upon language flutters through the busy streets. The Big Apple can certainly overwhelm; you can visit this city ample times and truly do something different every time. While there are thousands of attractions waiting for your business in New York City, here are just 11:
Fondly known as “the Met,” this world-renowned museum is massive and filled wall to wall with big names. Exhibits come and go, but during my visit, I saw artists from Michelangelo to Rodin.
There are endless skyscrapers in the city, but this one holds deep meaning for every American in light of the events on September 11, 2001. Rebuilt after the terrorist attacks, it now stands big and proud at 1776 feet tall to commemorate our country’s birthday.
One of the most impactful uses of my time in New York, this museum tactfully relays the events of 9/11 through displays of ruins, children’s artwork in response, photographs of everyone killed and audio recordings from loved ones. Goosebumps inhabited my skin and nausea my stomach as I absorbed the gravity of this chilling museum. My friend, Riley, and I spent two hours here, and we didn’t even get to everything.
Take some deeps breaths and do some meditation before your stop here because it’s intense! Riley described it as a food mall, and I couldn’t agree more. Dozens of restaurants line this indoor strip from Japanese to French cuisine, donuts to gelato. Our recommendation is to walk the entire length to see what looks best before making a decision because let’s be honest: everything looks good. Chelsea Market also offers an artisan market as well as several shops. I found a darling illustrated map of New York City and postcard to join my collection.
I can promise you that you’ll never see a mall like this anywhere else; its unique yet clean design makes this spot totally ‘grammable. In the shape of an eye, this shopping mall stands just steps from the new World Trade Center.
It’s no secret that I have a crush on Europe, and this mansion makes me feel like I’m across the pond. Its gothic-inspired architecture and view of the Hudson River make this a dreamy spot to visit. Unfortunately, the inside of the mansion was closed for the season during my visit, but it’s certainly at the top of my to-do list for my next trip to the Big Apple. I’d also be lying if I said I didn’t look up wedding prices at this charming venue.
7. Times Square
This iconic spot is the face of New York with its constant motion, bustling commerce and bright billboards. You really can’t visit New York without a stroll through Times Square. (Well, it’s probably more of a sophisticated maneuvering event trying to avoid all the people trying to sell you a bus tour!)
8. Broadway Show
Another classic attraction in the Big Apple, Broadway shows allow you some time off your feet, a cushy seat and a cultural experience. And in the center of Times Square, you can buy available discounted tickets for shows that day. Riley and I enjoyed half-off tickets to a matinee showing of School of Rock, and Broadway did not disappoint!
9. Statue of Liberty
Although I didn’t get to go up the Statue of Liberty (because temps were in the single digits!), the green lady was worth the visit. It’s another “you just gotta” attraction in New York for its history and status.
My ears popped as the elevator zipped up to the 86th floor. The Empire State Building’s old time charm, romance and skyline views make this a necessary stop; the city all lit up at night is awe-inspiring. (However, I am a bit salty that the security guard told me I couldn’t play music after I *quietly* played “Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys.)
My favorite things in life are those which are both beautiful and practical, and Grand Central Station definitely fits in these categories. Practically speaking, this train station transports thousands of people to and from work on the daily, but artistically speaking, this building is absolutely stunning with its regal chandeliers and grand, paned windows.
New York City isn’t short of things to do, but do add these classic attractions to your list. Even in the bitter cold, my trip to New York was absolutely wonderful. I’m itching to return to see more sights all in warmer weather, of course!