The Best Views
New York City is dynamic and beautiful, especially at sunrise and sunset. Fortunately the city has plenty of spots to catch a nice view. Whether it's over the water, looking out onto the skyline, or at a quiet park, the city has plenty of options. We've assembled this list of the best places to catch either the sunrise or the sunset in New York City for your next visit.
Coney Island is a classic, old-school amusement park and entertainment area that offers visitors a glimpse into the past. The park is just over an hour outside of Manhattan and it has several classic thrills including a wooden roller coaster, an aquarium, and a boardwalk. The island also has a beach and a chill atmosphere that makes a strong contrast to the vibe in the city.
1218 Bowery Street, West Brighton, NYC, New York, 11224
The heart and lungs of New York City, the famous, expansive, and huge Central Park is an iconic destination in the city featuring a variety of smaller attractions and features within itself. From ball fields and jogging paths to botanical gardens, concert spaces, cafes, ponds, playgrounds, and more, the park offers something for everyone. Don't forget to take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the park - one of the quintessential tourist activities in the city.
New York City, New York
Bryant Park, located between Fifth and Sixth Avenues and between 40th and 42nd Streets in Midtown Manhattan, is situated next to the Main Branch of the New York Public Library. Featuring a large field in the summer, and a very popular ice skating rink in the winter, this community park is a nice spot to relax, enjoy a quiet setting, have a picnic, or go for a walk.
6th Ave at 41st Street, New York, New York, 10018
Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry travels between downtown Manhattan and Staten Island. Along the route it offers breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. The ride is free, and it's particularly nice at sunset when the colors are bright and the setting is stunning.
Prospect Park is located in Brooklyn and is a family-friendly place to explore with a carousel, a zoo, and Greenmarket. There's plenty of grassy areas and green space where you can enjoy a picnic or meet some friends at the ball fields for a pick-up game. During the warmer months you can also catch some outdoor music or even a show at the Prospect Park Bandshell.
One World Observatory
One World Observatory is located at the top of the One World Trade Center building. It is an observation deck that makes up the 100, 101, and 102nd floors, 1776 feet above the city. The glass building is a beautiful sight and the elevator ride to the top offers a changing scene of how New York City has changed and grown over the years.
NYC, New York, 10048
Empire State Building
The iconic Empire State Building has long been a symbol of New York City. It's one of the most famous skyscrapers in the world and the Art-Deco tower has been called one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world from 1931 to 1970 and, at 102 stories, it is currently the 2nd tallest in New York City.
A highlight for many visitors to New York is the ride and view from the Top Deck observatory, which offers breathtaking views in every direction.
20 W 34th St, New York, NY, 10001
Fort Tryon Park
Fort Tryon Park, in Hudson Heights, has 67 acres of forest area that overlooks the Hudson River and George Washington Bridge. A certain 3-acre section resembles an English estate garden. Other areas have a unique collection of trees which bloom during various seasons.
63 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort George, NYC, New York, 10040
Queens Botanical Gardens
Located at 43-50 Main Street in Flushing in Queens, the 39 acres of the Queens Botanical Gardens features rose, bee, herb, wedding, and perennial gardens, as well as an arboretum, art gallery, and more. They also host seasonal events, children's activities, and community classes.
13598 Elder Avenue, Murray Hill, NYC, New York, 11355
The High Line
This popular urban walking trail is located high above the city streets on an old rail line. It's a linear public park that has been lined with plants and trees that are particularly beautiful during the spring months. There are also benches and art work that give the trail a fascinating atmosphere. From the park there are impressive views of the city and access is available at various points along the route.
The High Line, NYC, New York, 100014
Hudson River Park
Stretching from Battery Park to 59th Street along the river, this is a nice grassy spot with bike and running trails. You can bike or jog along the waterfront looking at the river and across to the NJ side. You'll also find a playground here as well as some nice picnic spots in the grass.
Battery Park City to 59th St, Manhattan, New York City, NY
Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway
From Greenpoint Park to Sunset Park, this 26-mile route follows greenway paths around and on the East River so you don't have to worry about traffic. The views are also quite nice as you'll see greenery as well as the New York City skyline. It passes by Red Hook and the Bay Ridge neighborhood, too.
Brooklyn, New York City
Queens Night Market
This family-friendly night market not only has vendors that sell art, food, and antiques, there are also cultural performances and fun activities that everyone can enjoy. This is an open-air market that's found in Queens and it's an interesting place to wander and experience local New York culture.
Flushing Meadows, Corona Park, Queens, New York City, NY
George Washington Bridge
The George Washington Bridge connects New Jersey to Manhattan, crossing over the Hudson River. This is a double-decker suspension bridge that's the busiest motor vehicle bridge in the world. It has two towers that are held by four main steel cables. There are 14 lanes for cars and two sidewalks on the upper level.
Spanning the East River, the Williamsburg Bridge connects the Lower East Side of Manhattan to the Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn. It was built between 1896 and 1903 and is made of steel towers and four steel cables. At the time of its completion, the Williamsburg Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world.
Today the bridge has 3 subway lines, a bike path, a walkway, and eight lanes of traffic that go across it. This is also a popular photography spot in the city.
Battery Park is most notable for its beautiful views that look out over the water towards the Statue of Liberty. This is a larger park that can offer a quiet retreat from the chaos of the nearby Financial District. But it also serves as the departure point for the ferries to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, so there can be crowds of tourists in certain areas. Street performers are common in the park as well, but be prepared because watching for too long will likely come with a high price tag.
Head to this island between the months of May and October (it's closed other times of the year). In addition to fountains where kids can play, there's a zip line, rock wall, and even a mini golf course. The national park service also offers educational programming, so it's fun and informative. The island spans 172 acres and it's the perfect place for walking, running, or cycling. There's also a lot of history here. As you arrive on the island, the first thing you'll likely notice is the breathtaking views of the city. Bring your camera and enjoy your day!
New York Harbor
Greenpoint was historically a Polish neighborhood, but today it offers a diverse mix of independent bookshops, eclectic art galleries, and dive bars. This neighborhood also has the McCarren Park, where you can swim, ice skate, or play a game of ball. This area is a bit trickier to get to from a transportation perspective, but it does have a lot of character.
How much does it cost?
Prices for activities, things to do, and tours range from $29 to $600. The average cost for a tour or tickets is $112. A few of the best options are below.
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