NYC VIEWS

See the city at its best from high up skyscrapers to waterfront vistas. All fun places to take visiting guests.

Get 2-for-1 tickets through Feb 13 through NYC Must-See Week.

Midtown

Top of the Rock

Experience incredible views from 70 floors up. Three indoor and outdoor viewing decks offer breathtaking 360-degree views of the city – you start on the lowest deck, then head up to the better, higher views so plan your photos accordingly.

One of the best places to take in Central Park.

Learn about the fascinating history of Rockefeller Center  in the lobby and take a green screen photo on a constriction beam (optional $27 to purchase).

The decks are mostly glass enclosed so visit toward dawn or dusk for better photos with less glare.

Also visit iconic shops and treats and look for public art around the plaza.

Edge

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.

Empire State Building

Play tourist – without the usual crowds – on New York’s most famous open-air observatory. Take advantage of 360° views & see all of NYC including the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty and so much more.

Also learn about the construction and history of the building – and see King Kong – at theEmpire State Building Museum on the 2nd floor.

Masks and timed reservations required.

 Summit One Vanderbilt

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).

Also dine at Après, the Danny Meyer’s Union Square Events new restaurant with an indoor seating area with fireplace and a stunning outdoor terrace with an open-air bar with globally-inspired food and beverage.

Downtown

Staten Island Ferry

Fidi

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.

For a quicker trip, take the $3 ferry ride to Governor’s Island, which has excellent views of the Statue of Liberty from Outlook Hill (or visit the actual Lady Liberty).

The Greens

Seaport

Book a socially distanced, heated rooftop cabin for seasonal food and signature cocktails on a lit-up rooftop overlooking the East River.

Cabins fit 2 to 10 and have classic winter cabin décor, tables and cozy benches, virtual fireplaces, and floor-to-ceiling NYC views (request a cabin facing the river for best views) . Menu ($15-$30) features starters, artisanal comfort food, cheese fondue, dessert & a kids menu.

New 90-minute time slots released Monday mornings at 10 am. The 3:30 pm slot on weekdays counts as a $20 lunch time and overlaps with the dramatic sunset. Once your cabin time is over you can hang out under the hanging lights and take in spectacular views (including the Statue of Liberty).

Reservations fees are not applied to food costs. A portion of each reservation fee will be donated to Toys for Tots.

Near the cobblestoned historic seaport district with a lovely tree, the Imagination Playground and the climbable sculpture Ziggy.

The Statue of Liberty

Fidi

Take a ferry to Liberty Island, home of the iconic statue. After a lovely 15-minute boat ride with amazing views and no crowds. Walk among paved, stroller-friendly paths  and relax in shady grassy areas.

At the Statue of Liberty Museum, explore the story of the Statue’s creation, her history, and her evolving meaning to people across the world. See Lady Liberty’s original torch and visit the vista roof to take in the spectacular 360 degree view of New York Harbor

Snack stands, restrooms and souvenirs shops are also open.

Take another short boat ride to Ellis Island for self-guided tours of the National Museum of Immigration. The library, interactive exhibits and theaters remain closed.

Stop by the American Family Immigration History Center to research your family’s immigration to America with access to more than 65 million passenger records from ship arrivals in the Port of New York from 1820 – 1957 (records availble for purchase).  Face masks mandatory

Ferries depart from Battery Park, NYC and Liberty State Park, NJ from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm daily; the islands are open until 5:00 pm. The free Staten Island Ferry is also an option for pretty close views.

Complimentary audio tours are available or hire a tour guide – we’ve heard great things about Amy at [email protected]

Gov­er­nors Island Win­ter Vil­lage

Fidi

Enjoy sea­son­al activ­i­ties, fes­tive win­ter lights, games and food and drinks along­side warm­ing fire pits. Friday through Sunday, spin on a 5,000-square foot skat­ing rink on his­toric Colonels Row.

Rent bikes or sleds from Blaz­ing Sad­dles NYC (see recommended hills), play lawn games like corn­hole, can jam and giant Jen­ga, explore win­ter arts and cul­tur­al pro­gram­ming and see a sparkling dis­play of hol­i­day lights and a his­toric Coast Guard-era fire truck photo-op.

Food available for purchase includes Lit­tle Eva’s new sea­son­al menu, with warm drinks and new takes on clas­sic com­fort food like brats, veg­an chili, fish and chips and more plus an eclec­tic array of week­end food trucks and Joe Cof­fee — open dai­ly inside LMCC’s Arts Cen­ter at Gov­er­nors Island and in the Bat­tery Mar­itime Build­ing fer­ry ter­mi­nal.

The ice rink is open Fri­days from noon to 5pm and Sat­ur­days, Sun­days and NYC pub­lic school hol­i­days from 10am to 5pm with free admis­sion on Fri­days ($11 admission, $8/skate rental).

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 World Observatory

Fidi

Elevators climb 102 stories in 47 seconds to the 102nd floor of the Freedom Tower, the tallest building in America at a symbolic 1,776 feet. Incredible views plus lots of interactive and digital features including immersive audiovisual experiences, a 14-foot wide circular glass disc with high definition footage of the streets 100 floors below and friendly city experts with info about NYC landmarks, neighborhoods, history, and culture.

Lunch and dinner with a view available Thursday-Sunday 1 pm – 9pm at ONE Dine with seasonally inspired plates, or great sit-down and to-go options and nearby Eataly Downtown .

Uptown/Bronx

Belvedere Castle

Central Park

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.

BROOKLYN/QUEENS

Socrates Sculpture Park: Sanctuary

Queens: LIC

The latest exhibit in this   community engaged New York City waterfront park with stunning Manhattan views features eleven projects representing a range of interpretations of ‘sanctuary.’

Unique sculptures and installations drawn from diverse communities, traditions, and artistic strategies feature sound, seashells, reflective services, baby deer and more interesting interactions with the gorgeous setting.

Excellent restaurants within easy walking distance include Château le WoofBel Aire DinerArepas GrillAstoria Provisions, and Flor de Azalea Cafe.

 

Domino Park

Williamsburg/Greenpoint

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.

Gantry Plaza State Park/Hunter’s Point Park South

Queens: LIC

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.