With its world-famous landmarks and the numerous references to it in film, television programmes and songs, New York is one of the most instantly recognisable cities in the world. It is also one of the best city break destinations around.
Lou Reed famously sang, New York City is the place where they say, ‘Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side’ – and he wasn’t wrong. Bursting with museums, galleries, shops, restaurants, clubs and attractions, you’ll need plenty of stamina to make the most of your stay.
Bear in mind too that if you book your holiday during one of the city’s 70 US public holidays, you can make almost 50 per cent savings on your hotel. Opting to stay in Brooklyn, only 10 mins from Manhattan, is another way of saving your dollars.
Getting there, getting around New York
New York has two main airports, JFK and LaGuardia, and is also served by the nearby Newark International in New Jersey. Most flights from the UK arrive at JFK, and take about seven hours.
There are lots of ways to travel around the city, such as the subway, which operates round the clock, or the many yellow cabs which, for a city of New York’s position and stature, are pleasantly affordable. It’s easy enough to get around but remember to allow time for the crowds who are likely to get in your way.
New York beaches
Probably New York’s most popular area for beaches is Long Island, which often holds fairs and festivals along its proms. Fire Island, off the southern shore of Long Island, has some great sand dunes, views and shopping facilities.
Not all of the beaches in New York are open to the general public. For instance, most of the ones in the exclusive Hamptons area require permits to get on to.
Sightseeing in New York
New York is crammed with well-known landmarks, so if you want to see most of them you’ll either need to have a lot of time on your hands or a well thought-out itinerary. Sights to behold include the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, while Central Park is an ideal place to relax.
Whilst a visit to Ground Zero, the site of the former World Trade Center will be emotional, it will also help you to appreciate the effort the city has made to overcome the attacks on the Twin Towers.
Family attractions in New York
Children are often happy just walking round New York and taking in the amazing sights, but they might also like to take in one of the many museums in the city. If the Metropolitan Museum of Art doesn’t take their fancy, the Children’s Museum of the Arts might.
There are often Broadway shows that the kids will love, such as The Lion King or Beauty And The Beast. Due to the size of the city, it may be worth arranging a few stops throughout the day, in places such as Central Park (where there is also a zoo), or on one of the city’s many boat rides.
Day trips around New York
If you’re feeling lucky, the gambling haven that is Atlantic City is about 100 miles or so down the coast. Or if you would prefer to escape the hustle and bustle, the Catskill Mountains are an ideal retreat and offer some stunning views of New York State.
The Hudson Valley, also upstate, has some wonderful scenery too. Thrill-seekers may prefer to tackle the slopes at nearby Mountain Creek, or the rides at the Six Flags amusement park.
Eating out in New York
As you can probably imagine, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to dining out in New York – especially if you’re a fan of Italian, Chinese or Jewish food. It’s estimated, that there are more than 18,000 places to dine out in in the city.
There are delis galore, while you’re never far away from a burger and fries with a shake. You can even have breakfast at Tiffany’s, or grab a bite to eat in Tom’s Restaurant, the subject of the Suzanne Vega hit Tom’s Diner and featured regularly in Seinfeld.
Nightlife in New York
Unsurprisingly, there are countless ways to spend an evening in the city that never sleeps. Times Square comes to life in the evening, and you should catch a show on Broadway while you’re in the area.
New York is also a significant place in the world of jazz – take in some of the local atmosphere in one of the city’s jazz clubs, in areas such as SoHo and Greenwich. Up-and-coming Brooklyn is also overtaking the Meatpacking district in terms of popularity.
Shopping in New York
Due to the bargains on offer and falling flight costs, New York has become a very popular weekend shopping destination for many Britons in recent times. Items such as clothes and jewellery can be bought for a fraction of the prices paid this side of the pond, particularly in the large stores along Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue.
There are also many bargains to be had at Market NYC, while Chelsea Market is a great place to pick up local culinary delicacies.