5 Things to do on a Trip to New York

The High Line allows you to get away from the New York traffic - Photo © Rich Ward
The High Line allows you to get away from the New York traffic - Photo © Rich Ward

As one of the world’s premier city break destinations, there are enough attractions in New York to keep you busy for weeks, let alone a few days. While everyone has heard of Central Park and the Empire State Building, I’ve put together a list of five things to do in the Big Apple that you might not have heard of scoped on out on a recent getaway from London.

Admire the ceiling conveyor belts in B&H Photo

Even if you’re not into electronics, it’s worth a visit to B&H Photo on the corner of 9th Avenue and West 34th to admire the ceiling conveyer belt system used to ferry goods around the store – it’s like something out of Monster Inc. There also can’t be many stores in the US with an indoor drone testing facility.

Take in the city across the East River at night

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset –  a treat in itself – and then turn down onto the footpath alongside the East River to admire spectacular night time views of the Manhattan skyline and the span over which you’ve just walked, twinkling with the glow of thousands of lights. The foreshore makes a great place for some long exposure photography if you’ve got a tripod with you.

Enjoy sunset from the Top of the Rock

The open-air viewing deck of the Rockefeller Building affords magnificent views of Central Park and the Empire State Building – made all the better by the setting sun. Also try to spot the hundreds of yellow taxis snaking through the streets around Times Square 70 floors below. Get there around 30 minutes before sunset if you want a prime spot on the railings for those unobstructed photo opportunities.

View the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry – it’s free!

Not many things in New York are cheap, so it’s a pleasant surprise to be able to board a tourist attraction like the Staten Island Ferry, which allows you to enjoy great views of the Statue of Liberty on both the outward and return journeys, without parting with a single dime. The ferry terminal is only a short walk from the moving World Trade Center memorial, so you can visit that too when you get back to dry land.

Have a paddle on the High Line

Another brilliant free attraction is the High Line – a 1.5-mile long aerial walkway along the route of an old railway track, which runs from West 34th to Gansevoort Street. Attractively landscaped with plants and, towards its southern end, a water feature which makes a great place to dip your toes, there are plenty of places to cool off a little from the intense New York heat and humidity. Also look between the buildings as you walk to spot landmarks like the Empire State and Statue of Liberty in the distance.

That lot should keep you busy for a day, and then there’s the museums, the shopping on 5th Avenue, the cool bars and restaurants of Greenwich Village… did I mention there’s a lot to do in New York?