There’s a lot to see and do in New York City, especially if it’s your first time visiting! In fact, first-time visitors often find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer range of things to check out. So it’s a good idea to prepare a list of top New York City landmarks to cross off your bucket list ahead of time.
Not sure where to start? Take it from New York City natives and read our list of the most important must-see NYC landmarks to visit first. When you’re done, remember to contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 1-516-342-2200 if you’re in need of legal assistance for any reason, or simply visit our blog for more recommendations straight from your favorite NYC locals!
The Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty, situated on Liberty Island, is undeniably the most important NYC landmark; it’s recognized around the world, after all. Lady Liberty was gifted by France to America on this country’s 100th birthday. It’s 305 feet tall when measured to the top of Lady Liberty’s torch.
The only downside to this NYC landmark? You’ll have to reserve your visit well in advance, ideally three weeks ahead. Don’t expect to stop by the Statue of Liberty on a whim during your visit to New York City.
Summit One Vanderbilt
Then there’s Summit One Vanderbilt: a dazzling attraction that sits atop the 67-floor One Vanderbilt superstructure. This 1,400-foot skyscraper is one of the tallest in the city, just after One World Trade Center and similar skyscrapers.
You enter this experience underground, then take a marvelous trip through a mirrored hallway to reach an elevator that takes you up to the 91st floor. You can look over New York City from above. But this experience is particularly impressive because of the mirrors that surround you, making you feel like you are in an infinite space.
Edge Observation Deck
The Edge Observation Deck is the highest outdoor observation deck available in the entire Western Hemisphere. It’s in Hudson Yards and it’s perfect for NYC visitors if you aren’t afraid of heights! Once you step outside this outdoor terrace, you’ll be 65 feet into the sky.
At Edge Observation Deck, you can enjoy panoramic views of NYC’s skyline. If you are feeling particularly brave, you can stand on a see-through glass floor and see passersby on the ground over 1,100 feet below you.
Check out the attached restaurant and bar if you are feeling hungry or need a drink to get over your fear of heights!
Citi Field is the official stadium for the Mets. This stadium originally opened in 2009, and it’s a perfect place for family-friendly activities. Of course, you’ll also find places to grab bites to eat or beer. Even if you aren’t the biggest baseball aficionado, you’ll enjoy yourself at this energetic park.
Note that Citi Field isn’t just for baseball, however. You can also purchase tickets for other events like concerts: In the past, stars such as Paul McCartney and Nas have hosted events at Citi Field.
Check out what’s coming up soon and decide whether to add this to your list of must-see NYC landmarks.
Empire State Building
Who can forget the Empire State building? This world-renowned icon features dazzling Art Deco architecture, which speaks to a world long gone. It’s over 1,400 feet tall, and even though it’s not the tallest building in New York, it’s quite an illustrious landmark to visit all the same.
You can visit the lobby, or take a public elevator up to the tippy top (albeit for a small fee). The top actually features three tiers of lights, so this may be a great NYC landmark to visit at night. The light tiers light up in sequences of nine colors at a time.
Since this landmark is open 365 days a year, it’s especially easy to visit even if you’re in the Big Apple during the tourism off-season.
Brooklyn Ridge is arguably just as iconic as the San Francisco Bridge on the other side of the country. The longest suspension bridge on the Manhattan skyline was first opened in the late 19th century and was (and still is) a marvel of engineering. It attracts thousands of tourists per day, and you can enjoy excellent views of lower Manhattan, the East River, and major city landmarks like the Statue of Liberty along its length.
Just beware of bicyclists if you check out Brooklyn Bridge during rush hour! Things can get hectic around that time, so it may be wiser to take pictures from afar if you don’t want to get barreled over.
Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center’s Top of the Rock observation deck is a landmark experience in and of itself. In fact, it offers better views of the Big Apple than even the Empire State building. Indeed, purchase tickets for this experience, and you’ll be able to check out New York City from 70 stories up. As a bonus, it’s not as expensive as the Empire State building’s observation deck.
If money is no object, you can skip the lines with a VIP ticket that costs $75. Don’t forget to check out the Rainbow Room, which is a historic lounge located on the 65th floor. It offers live music, beautiful sight lines, and fine dining with partnered delicious cocktails.
Central Park is a haven of green in the middle of the bustling Big Apple. If you are feeling a little overwhelmed by the lights, sounds, and swarms of people, check out this 38-acre park, which has been beautifully maintained for decades. It features rocks and streams, winding trails, and even a local zoo: a perfect attraction if you have your kids with you on your visit to NYC. Visit Central Park on a day with nice weather to enjoy this one-of-a-kind experience even more.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a historic Manhattan institution and one of the largest museums in the entire world. Indeed, it’ll take you more than one day to see everything this art house has to offer!
17 complete art and artifact curations adorn the walls and shelves of this NYC landmark. Our advice? Try to tackle the Met over the course of a few days, spending a few hours in the museum each day, to avoid getting burned out and so you can see what else the city has to offer.
Naturally, you have to check out Times Square if you are looking to check off a bunch of NYC landmarks from your vacation to-do list. This heart of Manhattan has become a shopping center and major attraction for tourists. Check out some of the most important shops in the area, like the giant M&M store, for a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.
Times Square is even more impressive at night than it is during the day. In fact, many find that nighttime is the best time to arrive so that you can be absorbed in the neon lights and sounds.
However, we don’t recommend showing up at Times Square for New Year’s celebrations. This intersection tends to be overly clogged with tourists, and odds are good that you’ll have less of a fun time here than you would practically anywhere else.
Rockefeller Center is another important NYC landmark. It’s a multi-block complex most recognizable in the winter, when the ice-skating rink draws thousands of people every day, and when a giant Christmas tree is lit up in the center.
But this is an excellent place to visit all year round. You’ll find a bronze Atlas statue, plus the plaza for the popular Today Show – arrive early enough, and you may even end up on TV! It’s a phenomenal spot to shop or stroll around on a warm New York City day, or on a chilly day with a mug of hot chocolate clenched between your hands.
Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal, also sometimes called Grand Central Station, is a transportation hub with a lot of history and a lot of modern-day activity. Grand Central has funneled thousands of commuters each day for over a hundred years. It’s an amazing place to visit, even if you don’t plan on taking a train to any of the surrounding boroughs or cities.
It includes a restaurant, beautiful art, and a constellation-decorated ceiling with an opal clock around the main information booth. Just standing in Grand Central tends to make you feel like you’re a part of something big, or like you are at a nexus of activity – and for good reason!
New York Botanical Garden
The New York Botanical Garden is a lush place of serenity and tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It includes many meandering gardens and paths where you can enjoy beautifully cultivated vegetation, in addition to a 50-acre forest that includes some of the oldest trees in all of New York City.
In addition, the New York Botanical Garden hosts a select roster of shows that rotate from time to time, so it could be a great place to take friends and family members for a show.
The Apollo Theater is a famous institution that has been host to hundreds of phenomenal entertainment events, including the first performance by jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald in 1934. Meanwhile, Live at the Apollo, recorded in 1962, started the mainstream career of James Brown. And if you’re a Jimi Hendrix fan, you’ll also want to check out this NYC landmark, where in 1964 he won an Amateur Night contest!
It’s a link to the Harlem Renaissance art movement and is a lesser-known NYC landmark that doesn’t draw nearly as much general tourist attention. Pick this if you want to check out something unique and interesting about New York City but don’t want to be overly swarmed by crowds.
If you’re a baseball fan, you absolutely have to visit Yankee Stadium at the earliest opportunity. However, note that this isn’t the original field – it opened in 2009 but is positioned opposite the original Yankees Stadium.
While that may be a bit of a bummer for some baseball aficionados, there’s still a lot to like about this modernized ballpark that includes a beautiful limestone exterior, plus a high-definition scoreboard that makes enjoying a game from the cheapest seats enjoyable. There’s also a dedicated baseball museum located behind centerfield, which is currently cultivating a collection of signed baseballs from the living Yankees players.
American Museum of Natural History
Last but not least is the American Museum of Natural History. It’s a great place to take your family and it is much more viewable in a single day compared to the Met.
If you like dinosaurs, taxidermy, or scientific exhibits, this Museum of Natural History will have plenty of excellent attractions for you to check out. Be sure to take a picture of the prehistoric skeleton of the extinct Barosaurus that greets you as soon as you walk into the main concourse!
Additional NYC Landmarks To See
While you’re in NYC, you shouldn’t miss these other famous landmark buildings, structures, and locations.
- The Chrysler Building
- The Flatiron Building
- The Wall Street Stock Exchange
- Ellis Island
- Madison Square Garden
- The New York Public Library
- The Hudson River
- Washington Square Park
- The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
- The Broadway Theater District
- Staten Island
- The Queens Botanical Garden
- Saks Fifth Avenue
- The Bronx Stairs
- Greenwich Village
- The Chelsea Market
- The Brooklyn Heights Historic District
Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers Today
While the above NYC landmarks are breathtaking and fun, they’re just the start of everything you can experience in the Big Apple. Indeed, there are dozens of other places to visit, experience, eat at, and more. The longer you stay, the less you want to leave!
That’s just one reason why Schwartzapfel Lawyershas dedicated itself to helping hard-working New Yorkers with their legal troubles. So, if you or a loved one is ever in need of an attorney for a personal injury, workers’ compensation, or other legal matter, please don’t hesitate to contact us today online or at 1-516-342-2200.