See the city at its best from high up skyscrapers to waterfront vistas. All fun places to take visiting guests.
Play tourist at New York’s most famous open-air observatory. Take advantage of 360° views on the 86th Floor; see all of NYC including the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty and so much more.
For an extra $33, take a glass elevator to the reimagined 102nd floor with unmatched, floor-to-ceiling views stretching up to 80 miles on a clear day.
Also learn about the construction and history of the building – and see King Kong – at theEmpire State Building Museum on the 2nd floor.
Visit the highest viewing point in midtown Manhattan at a new immersive observatory experience featuring multiple unique experiences.
Experience a trippy mix of transparency and reflectivity in mirrored observatory ‘Air,’ an immersive art experience designed by Kenzo Digital. Sort of like an infinity room with cityscapes. See yourself above the clouds – literally and figuratively in ‘Unity,’ an immersive cloud projected room. Step out onto transparent glass 1,063 feet above Madison Avenue in ‘Levitation’ sky boxes. Take an all-glass elevator with a transparent glass floor (‘Ascent’)for $20 extra.
Bring sunglasses; the reflective materials used throughout can blind. Wear comfortable shoes (stiletto heels, steel toe boots, sports cleats, etc not permitted) and pants or shorts (the floor is mirrored).
Eat and drink at Après, a sky-high lounge and cafe with globally-inspired fare and innovative cocktails and mocktails. Choose from an indoor seating area with a fireplace and a stunning outdoor terrace with an open-air bar.
Look 100 stories down from the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere with with 360-degree views of the Statue of Liberty, Central Park and beyond. Lean out over the city on angled glass walls and relax in a large lounge with food and drinks available for purchase.
Brave teens & adults can scale the outside of the building, more than 1,200 feet above the ground with City Climb (ages 13+, $185).
See our guide to Hudson Yards.
Take a free ferry ride from Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan to Staten Island and back for great views of The Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan & Brooklyn skylines. 25 minute trips (1 hour round trip) depart every half hour (every fifteen minutes during rush hour). Masks required.
Oasis-with-a-view Governors Island is just a short ferry ride away. Lots of room to roam and play on this 172 acre former military post.
* Relax in Hammock Grove’s cozy hammocks (and say hello to sheep), find breathtaking 360-degree views in The Hills and camp out in Adirondack chairs at Picnic Point. Throughout the island find historic architecture and incredible Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty views.
* Kids love the playgrounds at Hammock Grove Play Area and Slide Hill’s collection of twist-y slides where kids can unleash their imaginations and build their own fun. Saturdays & Sunday 12-4 pm, get creative at play:groundNYC’s The Yard, 50,000 square-foot play area stocked with loose parts, tools and space.
* Seven miles of car-free paths make Governors Island a pedaler’s paradise. Bring your bike on the ferry for no charge or rent bikes, surreys, pedal cars, scooters and more from Blazing Saddles Bike Rentals, or from three Citi Bike stations across the Island.
* Look for public artworks plus rotating arts, culture and science programs in and around the historic houses of Nolan Park and Colonels Row.
* Spend the night with a unique glamping experience overlooking the harbor.
* Lots of food and beverage options across the Island including Island Oyster & Taco Vista at Soissons Landing by the ferry landing, Pizza Yard at the south end of Colonels Row, a diverse food court with a shared shaded garden at Liggett Terrace and People’s Pops’ and MELT ice cream roving carts. Or you can BYOB; grills available by reservation.
* Online advance reservations required for the 8-minute ferry ride from Battery Maritime Building (10 South Street). $3 for ages 13 & up; free for seniors & kids and everyone on Saturdays and Sundays before noon.
One of the most iconic features in Central Park, this miniature castle is located atop the huge rock outcrop known as Vista Rock, the second highest natural point in Central Park.
The whimsical structure, designed by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted in 1869, provides the highest and best views of the Park and the adjacent cityscape – plus has bathrooms, water fountains, some informational displays plus medieval-esque staircases and doorways for playing princess/knight.
Download the Belvedere Castle Audio Guide (available in English, Spanish and American Sign Language for info about the architecture and history of the castle.
Take in stunning views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline from the roof of the Met. Logistics prevented this year’s installation dues, but it is a still a lovely spot for fresh air and snacks. Purchase fancy popcorn, nuts, chips, prosciutto skewers and more plus fruity adults beverages from the rooftop cafe or bring your own food.
Closed on rainy days.
See our guide to the Met.
Cross the East River in the most modern aerial tramway in the world, running every 7-15 minutes from 60th Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan to Tramway Plaza on Roosevelt Island.
Passengers must exit the tram at each stop (either Manhattan bound or Roosevelt Island bound) and pay again to return to the other side.
Pay with a MTA MetroCards; free transfers accepted. Vending machines availble at the Tram Stations. Up to three children 44-inches tall and under ride for free on the Tram when accompanied by a fare-paying adult.
On Roosevelt Island, take in amazing city views from Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms State Park.
Explore 28-acre of gardens and woodlands with more than 4,000 varieties of trees, shrubs, vines, and herbaceous plants and dramatic views of the Hudson River.
* Join nature-inspired outdoor family art projects on Saturday & Sunday mornings.
* Visit indoor rotating nature-inspired multimedia art exhibits in the Glyndor Gallery.
* Free admission on Thursdays.
* Wave Hill’s newly renovated onsite parking lot is open, and the offsite lot—the Riverdale Park Parking Lot—is only two minutes from Wave Hill’s front entrance by car if the onsite lot is full when you arrive. Riverdale Metro North Station is a 15 minute walk.
🍽 The delicious Café has grab-and-go items, snacks and beverages and outdoor seating on a lovely terrace. Or bing your own food to a picnic area by the art gallery.
This large waterfront park has cool design and amazing bridge and Manhattan views.
* The playground, designed by the artist Mark Reigelman, has fun features like spinning valve wheels cast from Domino Sugar originals and a 26-foot-high silo with ladders, webbing and slides pay homage to the manufacturing process of the refinery.
* Pick up tacos, margaritas and more from counter-service Tacocina with colorful outdoor seating.
* Stroll on an elevated walkway cantilevered off of 21 columns preserved from the Domino factory’s original Raw Sugar Warehouse for pretty perspectives of the river, skyline and park. ADA/stroller access by ramp near the Gantry Cranes.
* Shop fresh, local produce and products back at the Domino Park Greenmarket every Sunday 9 am to 3 pm.
* In warm weather, frolic in waterfront fountains, near remaining elements of the former Domino Sugar Factory. In the evening, the fountains are illuminated in pretty colors.
* Take the NYC ferry from Wall Street, East 34th Street and elsewhere to the North Williamsburg landing for a special arrival. The L train Bedford Station is a 15-20 minute walk away.
Visit two Long Island City playgrounds within walking distance of each other set in a large riverside oasis with spectacular Manhattan views.
Lots of places to climb and spin (and splash in the summer) at the playground at Gantry Plaza State Park with a cushioned rainbow floor and groovy design. Stroll along the park’s four piers or through the park’s manicured gardens and unique mist fountain and check out restored gantries, industrial monuments once used to load and unload rail car floats and barges.
Head south to the well equipped Hunter’s Point Playground and explore the city’s new park with large fields, benches, trees, the iconic Pepsi-Cola sign and a 30-foot-tall cantilevered platform for viewing the skyline and waterfront. Pizza, burgers, coffee, ice cream and more available at outdoor LIC Landing Cafe.
Travel to and from Manhattan and Brooklyn on the East River Ferry.
New York-based artist Maren Hassinger returns to this waterfront park with stunning Manhattan views with a series of new steel sculptures. Examining the complications of human interrelation and affinity, identity and collectiveness, through abstraction in the outdoors, these steel silhouettes take forms of various iconic vessels drawing types not only from her current practice, but from the ancient Western world, non-Western cultures, and various Craft traditions. Amplified to larger than human height, the public is invited to walk around and among them, experiencing new perspectives through the skeletal frame.