By Teresa Moon
I’m convinced that it’s physically impossible to explore every corner of NYC, even if you live there for fifty years. It’s no wonder it’s one of the top travel destinations in the world. I’ve personally visited at least once a year since I was a kid, and I ain’t slowing down. New York City has my heart.
So yeah, it’s not impossible to see everything in one trip. And honestly, narrowing it down to just 8 places for this list almost gave me a heart attack because I wanted to include, like, a hundred. But without further ado, here are my top 8 must-sees for first-timers. It’s mostly NYC-classics mixed with some lesser-known gems. And I’ve featured my personal photos of some of the spots so you can get some photo inspiration!
also known as the World Trade Center subway station. Modern, clean, bright architecture. There’s nothing else like it in New York.
THE HIGH LINE
-a 1.5-mile-long-abandoned railroad elevated above the west side of Manhattan. Enter at Gansevoort Street, enjoying the views at every stop, and walk all the way to the end, and it’ll bring you to the next place on our list:
-an absolutely extraordinary new landmark in Hudson Yards in Manhattan. Make sure to get tickets to go inside, they’re free! It’ll take you breath away.; you’ll quickly see why it’s becoming an Instagram hotspot.
-Because no trip to New York is complete without experiencing the chaos of Times Square. Call me crazy, but my favorite time to visit is actually after midnight…. there are zero crowds, all the lights are glowing vibrantly in the darkness and you get it all to yourself. It’s magical.
-Okay so Central Park is absolutely massive so this is vague. But I had to include it. I like to enter at Columbus Circle (59th & 8th) and then just roam around mindlessly for a few hours. Some classic spots are The Ramble, The Boat Pond, and The Strawberry Field. Just walk around and enjoy, and the skyscrapers make for amazing photos.
-A total NYC icon, but also completely worth the hype. Get there early, it gets very crowded. Start in Manhattan and walk all the way to Brooklyn right to the next spot on our list:
It’s an adorable neighborhood in Brooklyn and another classic NYC hotspot. It’s home to one of the most iconic photo spots on social media, so it’s another one to try and hit up earlier in the day. Oh, and get brunch at 1 Hotel’s Rooftop Lounge, the floor-to-ceiling windows make for insane views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
STATUE OF LIBERTY. -Via the Staten Island Ferry. I personally don’t think the day trip to the island is worth the time or money. For a different experience, take the Staten Island Ferry (it’s free!) & stand out on the back deck (the Manhattan side) or the Northside. You’ll pass right by it on the water! The ride in total takes about 25 minutes, then you can go explore Staten Island if you want, or just get back on the next ferry back to Manhattan.