CitySights NY

By Marianne Schwab | Best Travel Deals Tips Blog

New York City Attractions

Snapshots of
Five Must See NYC Places

In a city that never sleeps, New York City attractions are endless. I moved to the Big Apple after I graduated from college and lived there for eight years. Walking down the streets of New York City is always a cultural feast of architecture, art galleries, and restaurants plus a melting pot of people from all over the world. You'll also find a variety of historic and modern New York hotels to choose from during your stay, be prepared: New York hotels are expensive.

If you've never been to New York City, one of my favorite ways to explore a new city is to take one of those double decker bus tours and hang out on the top of the bus taking tons of photos like on the Gray Line New York All Loops Tour. You can hop off then hop back on and it's easy to learn your way around a huge city. Before you go, you might want to get a FREE full-color guidebook with the purchase of a New York City Go Card or Explorer Pass and save up to 55% on popular Big Apple attractions.

I loved my years living in this city and although there is so much to see and do in NYC and great New York hotels to stay in and experience, here are my top five New York City attractions that are easy to do even if you're in the city for a short weekend. The best thing about these places? With the exception of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (which requires a modest donation), they're all free to do. Enjoy a 10% discount on a City Sights NY Uptown, Downtown, Night or Brooklyn Tour! Use code: 10OFFCS

Central Park. Central Park is 843 acres of green sanctuary for the residents of New York City living in this concrete jungle. I used to live just one half block from the park on the Upper West Side in a fourth floor brownstone apartment around the corner from Dustin Hoffman and Madonna (who lived in the San Remo on Central Park West). I have great memories of walking home from work in midtown through the park on nice days and I loved every minute of it. One evening, I ran into Jeff Bridges there who was wrapping a shoot on a movie, The Fisher King, just a little south of where this famous fountain (photo above) is located. Don't miss a stroll in the park while you're in the city or you can hire a horse drawn carriage or pedicab to take in the famous sites in Central Park. It's an easy hop on hop off stop on the Gray Line New York Manhattan Comprehensive Tour

Brooklyn Bridge. When I was back to NYC on a visit several years ago, I looked at the list of things I had never done when I lived in New York and put walking across the Brooklyn Bridge at the top of the list. I was staying in Manhattan so I took the subway to the first stop in Brooklyn since I think its more fun to walk toward Manhattan for the best “money shots” of the New York skyline. While you're in Brooklyn, you may want to get a slice of pizza at Grimaldi's (located almost under the Brooklyn Bridge) but be prepared to stand in a very long line.

Times Square. My first job in New York was for a company that produced Broadway show tours and their offices were in Times Square. It was a summer internship and I got my one and only Broadway credit on a revival of The Wiz starring Stephanie Mills and Geoffrey Holder. It was a dream job come true for a gal from Indiana. Times Square has changed a lot from when I had my first job there at 1500 Broadway. It's gone from a very seedy area to a more upmarket location. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani had a lot to do with cleaning up New York and especially the 42nd Street area.

When I was in New York in 2012, I got my 15 Seconds of Fame in Times Square and had my photo splashed on the 60 foot Jumbo Tron. Anyone could do this at the time at the American Eagle Outfitter store on 46th street. I made an inexpensive purchase of $10 flip flops, took my receipt downstairs to the photo session area and took a photo, and then walked outside to see my photo (I added my Twitter address) on the Jumbo Tron. I got featured right next to a billboard for a Broadway Show, "Promises! Promises!" with Sean Hayes! {Note: Unfortunately, you can no longer get featured on the Jumbo Tron.]

Metropolitan Museum of Art. I never get tired of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. If you get caught in NYC on a rainy day, then head there. They have one of the most extensive Egyptian artifact exhibits that I know of and have rebuilt a temple that they rescued from a river in Egypt as the river was slowly over taking it. I went to several very fancy events in the Temple Room when I was a producer in New York so I have very fond memories of the Met. It's also located right off of Central Park so these two New York City attractions are easy to do back to back.

Rockefeller Center. This is a very famous location that is not only the location for one of my favorite TV comedies, 30 Rock, but it is also the home of NBC, Radio City Music Hall, and The Top of the Rock (the observation deck - get discounts on admission at Go Select New York). In the winter, you can go ice skating in Rockefeller Center. I took my niece, Sarah, who was 10-years-old at the time, skating there and I recommend that if you're in New York and the rink is open that you ante up the skate rental fees et al and take a spin on the ice.

There are so many other great places in Manhattan that didn't make my first list including The Hamilton Grange House in Harlem so stay tuned for a second one that will include Governor's Island for a premiere spot to get a perfect shot of Manhattan's downtown skyline. Also, if you like movies and TV shows that use the Big Apple as a "back lot," why not take a movie location vacation to New York City?

Do you have your own must see NYC places that I haven't listed in my New York City attractions? Please feel free to add your comments and photos here! I'd love to see them.

If you're planning a trip to NYC, don't forget to take along the New York Pass or look into Go Select New York: Your Personalized Pass to NYC that can save you up to 55% on admissions and tours. I hope you've enjoyed getting a slice of my life in Big Apple and that you've discovered some fun and exciting New York City attractions.

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About Marianne Schwab
TV Travel Show Producer

For over twenty years, TV Travel Show Producer, Marianne Schwab, has been collecting money saving travel tips as a travel producer for high profile television programs. She has flown all over the world and produced live television productions on location from Caesar's Palace on the Vegas Strip to the beautiful island of Oahu. Read more