If you checked out my previous blog on my 5 most overrated and underrated NYC attractions, you know that I’m all about efficiency when you’re traveling on a short amount of time. NYC in four days? It’s insane! You’re exhausted by the end of it, as you should be, but you want to make sure every minute counts.
While there were some items that’d I’d personally drop, here are the attractions that I believe are worth the hype (both in terms of cost and popularity).
The High Line
Last year I started to see photos of The High Line, a park built on a former elevated freight train line. It blew my mind to think that people were considering tearing down the line and essentially throwing it in the landfill. Thank goodness for the passionate Friends of the High Line who had a vision of creating a public park. You really can make something beautiful out of anything. The park is stunning and spans one mile. An extension to it is underway, but is not yet open to the public. While you can exit the park at multiple points, I highly recommend the whole walk, and it’s FREE! I was a big fan of how they kept the old tracks as part of the garden. Stunning.
A Broadway Musical
Everyone says go see a show. Now, the line ups for discounted tickets (TKTS) are enormous! If you’re not there a good hour before they open, you’re probably out of luck. Depending on what show you want to see, it’s honestly worth it to either book in advance online, or to go directly to the theatre and pay the full cost. We were interested in seeing Wicked, and I guarantee you we wouldn’t have gotten discounted tickets. Was it worth the $150 ticket cost? Um, ABSOLUTELY! These shows have a high cost for a reason. The music, the sets, the costumes, the performance… sigh. I may still be singing Popular and Defying Gravity in the shower. Maybe…
Walking the Brooklyn Bridge
Walking the Brooklyn Bridge was definitely a highlight for my Mum and I. We got an incredible view of the city, could marvel at the architecture and the breeze was refreshing. If you have a nice day, there’s nothing better. My advice, however, watch for the stairs at the end of the bridge, otherwise you’re forced into a walkway that doesn’t let you out for quite a few blocks into Brooklyn. My favourite part of the bridge? That people are using it as the American Lover’s Bridge, attaching locks with the names of the couples on them and throwing away the key. Sigh.
MoMa and the Met
Caveat – these are only worth it IF you are a true art enthusiast. I loved both these museums, but I also couldn’t have done both in the space of one trip. I visited the MoMa in 2012 and the Met in 2014. Personally, I think I preferred the MoMa, but I gravitate more towards Modern Art. The Met, however, is an incredible place to see these timeless, infamous paintings in the flesh. Both have extremely long line ups to get in and both are packed. PACKED.
Staten Island Ferry
I’d heard people talk about jumping on the Staten Island Ferry, the FREE ferry that goes from Lower Manhattan to Staten Island. The journey is maybe 15 minutes, but you get a great view of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Governor’s Island, and Manhattan on your return. Note: You cannot stay on the ferry. You must get off at the end, even if you’re hoping to return immediately. There are five or six of the ferries, so the one you dock in won’t be the one you launch from. It can be a quick turn around – don’t wear heals! For the ladies, I also suggest a hat or tying your hair in a ponytail. Even on a sunny day, the wind can get chilly, so be prepared.
It’s a given, I think, that you need to experience Central Park. If at all possible, take half a day to do so. Surprise, surprise, the park is enormous, so take your time to explore all the different areas of it. Rain or shine, it’s stunning. But on a warm, spring day…
There you have it. These were my “worth the hype” attractions. Any that you would add to the list?