10 Best Things to See in New York City
Everyone has their own idea of what New York
is all about, making the city a very different place for people with different interests. To some, New York is a sports mecca, with teams in every pro league often competing at the highest levels. To others, it's a capital of culture, from the bright lights of Broadway to its great museums. And to still others, it's home to some of the most instantly recognizable landmarks on earth, such as the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building.
The New York City area is home to two Major League Baseball teams, three NHL hockey teams, two NBA basketball teams and two NFL football teams. Of them, only two play inside the city of New York. The Yankees' new home in the Bronx opened in 2009, and is a shrine to team history, with all the comforts of a modern ballpark. When the team is not in town, you can often arrange for a tour.
One of the problems Mets fans have had over the years is defending their old home ballpark, Shea Stadium. You can't. It was ugly and uncomfortable. With the cozy and quirky Citi Field now open, Mets fans no longer have to defend their ballpark. It's one of the best things to see in New York.
Madison Square Garden
Home to both the New York Rangers hockey team and the New York Knicks basketball team, Madison Square Garden is also one of the world's premiere concert venues. If a major act is in town, you'll usually find them at The Garden.
The Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo is one of the world's top wildlife conservatories. Unlike many urban zoos, the Bronx Zoo sets out to recreate habitats, allowing visitors to see them in something closer to their natural environment. The gorilla exhibit alone covers nearly 7 acres and features more than 300 animals.
Since most New Yorkers live in apartments and co-ops, Central Park is considered everyone's backyard. It's a place for a picnic, for a pickup game of ball, for jogging and biking, and, of course, for some classic people-watching. Don't miss the Central Park Zoo.
American Museum of Natural History
Housing one of the largest natural history collections in the world, the American Museum of Natural History contains everything from dinosaur fossils to a world-class planetarium. It's easy to lose all track of time here, so plan your trip to this museum accordingly.
Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York is filled with art museums, but the Met sets the standard that few will ever approach. This museum contains art going back 8,000 years to ancient Mesopotamia. An entire Egyptian temple -- the Temple of Dendur -- was moved here, along with a 4,300-year-old tomb from Saqqara. You'll also find sculptures, paintings and decorative artwork from long-ago ages to the modern times.
Times Square & Broadway
Much of the "Crossroads of the World" has been closed to traffic, leading to the remarkable sight of these famously busy city streets now filled with people lounging in beach chairs and wandering freely in a vast pedestrian playground. While you're here, visit the TKTS booth for last-minute discount tickets to a top Broadway show.
The Empire State Building
Long one of the top tourist destinations in New York City, the Empire State Building features that famous art deco exterior and some of the best views of the city and the surrounding area. Pay extra to skip the line and head right up.
The Statue of Liberty
Lady Liberty has been welcoming visitors and immigrants to New York City since 1886. The Statue of Liberty is instantly recognizable -- and often duplicated -- around the world. It's also the city's only World Heritage Site. The lines for the boat, and the lines on Liberty Island, are some of the longest in the city, so get there early if you can. You can visit just the Statue of Liberty, or add Ellis Island to your itinerary.
Edward Drummond has been writing for newspapers, magazines and the Web since 1992. He's been a first-hand witness to some of history's biggest events, and written about some of the world's most remote and unique places from Asia to Antarctica for publications around the world. Drummond has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and political science from SUNY New Paltz.