New York City is simply the best place for any vacation. There, I said it! I love visiting Manhattan, even though I lived there for several years a few decades ago. But I’m guilty, as many of us are, in that when you live in a city, you don’t go to the attractions in your own back yard. You’re too busy with your regular life activities.
Here’s a great way, whether you’re a tourist or a local, to experience the top attractions of the Big Apple at a great price – New York CityPASS.
New York CityPASS includes admission to six attractions:
• The Empire State Building
• American Museum of Natural History
• The Metropolitan Museum of Art
• Top of the Rock Observation Deck OR the Guggenheim Museum
• Ferry Access to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island OR Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
• 9/11 Memorial & Museum OR the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
The New York CityPASS will save you about $100 off the regular price you would pay if you bought tickets to these places separately. It is valid for nine consecutive days, starting with the first day you visit an attraction. So, make it a fabulous nine days and get to see and enjoy six wondrous experiences in New York.
We took the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise – and it was delightful. I highly recommend taking this at the beginning of your trip, since it will give you an overview of the different sections of Manhattan, as well as the boroughs and parts of New Jersey on the other side of the water.
The Circle Line provides a knowledgeable and affable tour guide who tells you all about the sights you are passing, with anecdotes thrown in that make the cruise around the island both fun and ultra-informative. You can make note of the places you want to visit on the rest of your trip.
Circle Line offers a 90-minute cruise or a 2.5 hour one, depending on how much time you have available. There’s also a Harbor Lights Cruise leaving at 7 pm that allows you to see the twinkling lights of the city from dusk to dark for about two hours.
A few of the views include Hudson Yards, Chelsea Piers, Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Battery Park and the towering One World Trade Center. After rounding the tip of southern Manhattan, guests get a close-up, stunning view of the magnificent Statue of Liberty.
Before or after your Circle Line Cruise, you may want to visit the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum which is just a short block away. Its home is the aircraft carrier Intrepid, a National Historic Landmark.
The Museum has numerous airplanes, artifacts, historic video footage and interactive exhibits for everyone to enjoy.
On our first day in NYC, we headed over to the Empire State Building. There are many observation decks throughout the city, but c’mon – this is the one we know and love – which has appeared in some 250 movies, including a few of my favorites: Sleepless in Seattle, An Affair to Remember, Amazing Spiderman, Elf, and of course, King Kong. In fact, one of the Empire State Building current exhibits even includes the opportunity for you to be held in the big ape’s hand!
Other exhibits are Otis Elevators, Opening Day, Construction, The Site in the 1920s, Celebrity, and Modern Marvel. It’s all super interesting – not to mention the 360-degree views you get from being up on the 86th Floor Observation Deck. For an upgrade, you can go to the 102nd Floor Observatory.
Now that you’ve seen places from on high or from the water, you can visit the other attractions from New York CityPASS.
Let’s face it, one could spend the whole nine days going through the Metropolitan Museum of Art and still not see even half of it. The Met presents over 5,000 years of art from around the world in its amazing collections of art, exhibitions, and events.
Some of the current exhibitions are:
• A New Look at Old Masters
• The African Origin of Civilization
• In America: A Lexicon of Fashion
• Emperors, Artists & Inventors: Transformative Gifts of Fine Arms and Armor
• Bodhisattvas of Wisdom, Compassion, and Power
• The Good Life: Collecting Late Antique Art at The Met
• Fabergé from the Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation Collection
The Guggenheim Museum aka the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, on the upper East Side is the landmark cylindrical building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It houses a phenomenal collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern, and contemporary art, as well as special exhibitions throughout the year.
Currently, visitors can enjoy Vasily Kandinsky: Around the Circle; Gillian Wearing: Wearing Masks; and Etel Adnan: Light’s New Measure. The Thannhauser Collection at The Guggenheim includes works by Degas, Manet, Van Gogh, and more.
The American Museum of Natural History is on the Upper West Side across from Central Park. This 2 million square feet museum features 45 exhibition halls in 26 interconnected buildings – with collections of over 34 million specimens of animals, plants, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, human remains and cultural artifacts. Wowza!
Okay, so we know you won’t have time to see but a small part of it – but no matter how many hours you’re there – you’ll be in awe viewing the displays and learning so much. The museum’s mission statement is: “To discover, interpret, and disseminate—through scientific research and education—knowledge about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe.”
Whether you’re going to be in New York for two weeks, two months, or two years, The New York CityPASS is a fantastic way to visit these six attractions in nine days… at a value price.
In addition to your CityPASS, check out nycgo.com as the go-to resource for all things New York City.
For more information, visit New York CityPASS.