Exploring New York
New York is renowned for famous all-American sights, such as the Statue of Liberty, glitzy departments stores, like Saks on 5th, and eye-popping museums such as the Guggenheim, while the more recent National September 11th Memorial commemorates those who died in the horrific World Trade Center attacks. The city that never sleeps is all about excess and the shopping and eating is excellent in all five of its busy boroughs, especially so in Manhattan, the heart of the city.
New York is also chock-a-block full with hotels, where deals can often be had in the summer. Discounted hotels in New York are common, even for quality places right in town at the likes of the four-star 4 The Court - A St Giles Premier Hotel or the classy Salisbury Hotel near Central Park. It doesn’t really matter where you stay in Manhattan as the subway runs just about everywhere. New York is absolutely loaded with sights and most of them are within easy reach of hotels and public transport.
Manhattan Island has the bulk of the sights in New York and is central to other boroughs. Staten Island is en route from Liberty Park and the Statue of Liberty, while Brooklyn is good for the fun Coney Island.
- The National September 11 Memorial
There couldn’t be a more fitting memorial to the almost 3,000 lives lost on that terrible day of 11 September, 2001, when two airliners ploughed into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center. The site consists of two sunken reflective pools where the towers once stood, complete with falling water and the names of all those who died. There is also a museum and manicured park on site along with the new One World Trade Center, which is now New York’s tallest building.
- Statue of Liberty
The symbol of America resides just across from the tip of Manhattan near Ellis Island and is a must-do. Gifted to America by the French during the revolution, the iconic site can be visited on a guided tour or on your own, though if you want to climb up to the crown for great views, you’ll need to reserve in advance. Ferries leave for Liberty Island frequently from Battery Park.
- Coney Island
Though not an absolute must, Coney Island is worth a visit if you are travelling with kids in the summer. This historic fairground in Brooklyn has rollercoasters and all sorts of fun rides, such as the 1927 Cyclone and the lofty Wonder Wheel. There are also many arcades and other amusements and hotels, along with the beach, and it is connected with the rest of the city by subway.
Eating and drinking and shopping nearby
There are numerous key areas for shopping and dining. Fifth Avenue is good for those into fashions, or Madison Avenue if you have deep pockets. The cool Broadway and Soho have a large variety, from street markets to flashy department stores and there are restaurants everywhere. Some of the bigger hotels also do well in the dining stakes, such as the classy Novotel New York - Times Square
, which often has deals on. For nightlife, try Soho for hip bars or the East Village for local bars.
The New York subway goes to most boroughs, with Staten Island served by commuter rail and ferry. It is often best to use the bus when going across town (east to west) and services are safe and cheap. The bulk of Yellow cabs cruise Manhattan, while Green Boro Cabs are best if you are travelling to the other boroughs. The Staten Island ferry is free and is good for views of the Statue of Liberty without having to visit.