Big delights in the "Big Apple": what New York City has to offer you by Martin McAllister
New York City, located among a cluster of islands surrounding New York Harbour, has an immense amount to offer visitors. That said, many first-timers in the city often feel overwhelmed by its size and multitude of attractions. But rest assured that by keeping a few handy travel tips in mind, you'll be able to get the most out of your experience in the "Big Apple."
New York City, like many large cities, has a number of small, distinctive boroughs. Atmospheric neighbourhoods such as Greenwich Village, SoHo, Little Italy and Chinatown emanate the splendours of the city, yet stand on their own characteristically. Even relatively compact regions of the city are known for their unique attributes, such as the farmer's market in Union Square or the iconic lighted advertisements of Times Square. But one thing is certain: no matter where in the city you go, you're bound to encounter a host of treasures.
When organizing an outing in New York City, it's a good idea to arrange an approximate sightseeing route; after all, with a city that's so vast in size, sticking to some sort of plan might save time and help you get the most out of your visit. Getting around New York City is simple: the city's subway network is one of the most comprehensive in the world, connecting all parts of Manhattan in rapid time.
However, the best way to see New York is undoubtedly on foot. Central Park is an ideal place to start a walking tour of New York City: 843 acres of shimmering ponds and lush greenery beckon to locals and tourists alike as a haven alongside the concrete backdrop of the city. And apart from offering breathtaking scenery, the park is a centre for New York recreation. Visitors can listen to music groups, watch performers, walk along the trails and even take a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride. The Bronx Zoo, the New York Botanical Garden, Ellis Island and Coney Island also offer great opportunities for outdoor family fun in New York City.
If you're an art buff, you'll certainly want to take advantage of New York City's many museums and galleries. A section of Fifth Avenue has now been officially deemed the "Museum Mile" due to the number of famous museums located there. Among the most famous are: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Moreover, a trip to New York City simply isn't complete without a visit to its famous Theatre District. With world-class performances being staged year-round, visitors are always sure to find a show that suits their theatrical taste. Furthermore, half-price discounted tickets are available at the TKTS centre on Broadway - so you don't have to pay a fortune to see a fantastic show.
Avid shoppers will be thrilled with New York City's shopping scene - one of the most prominent in the world. With Stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York, Bloomingdales and Macy's, there's something to keep every shopper smiling. And children - as well as the young at heart - will enjoy visiting the world famous toy store, FAO Schwarz. New York also plays host to countless annual festivals and events, such as the International Food Festival, the New York State Fair, New York Film Festival and the New York City Marathon, the world's largest road race. So no matter what time of year you decide to visit, you're sure to come across some seasonal excitement.
If you're planning a trip to New York City, you'll find a number of superb hotels - like the Jumeirah Essex House - which offer first-class accommodation. And if you stay at a hotel near Central Park New York, you're guaranteed an experience which encompasses both the animated attractions and serene splendours of the city. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags - complete with a pair of walking shoes - and get ready to experience one of the most iconic cities in the world.
About the Author
Martin McAllister is an online freelance journalist. He lives in Scotland