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Top 35 Tourist Attractions: Sight Seeing in New York City

a man riding on the back of a boat in a body of water

New York City is one of the most dynamic and exciting cities in the world, offering tourists a wide and diverse range of attractions to explore. From architectural wonders such as Grand Central Terminal and the Chrysler Building to bustling neighborhoods like SoHo and DUMBO, there’s something for everyone.

Here are 35 of the top places to visit in New York that you don’t want to miss:

Iconic New York Tourist Attractions

You may have seen them in movies or on TV, but seeing them in person is an entirely different experience.

1. The Statue of Liberty

jet skiing around statue of liberty

One of the most iconic landmarks in the United States, the Statue of Liberty, has stood proudly in New York’s harbor since 1886. The towering landmark is a gift from France and is a symbol of freedom around the world. Ellis Island, another hot attraction, is nearby if you wanted to catch it while you’re in the area.

2. Times Square

Times Square is one of the best places to go in NYC. Located in Midtown Manhattan, this electrifying intersection is one of the most visited places in the world. Times Square is home to many theaters, retail stores and electronic billboards, making it an exciting place to explore. You can also catch a Broadway show here.

3. Coney Island

Coney Island

Coney Island is one of the top tourist attractions in New York, and it is synonymous with fun when summertime rolls around. Located in Brooklyn, this amusement park is home to world-famous attractions such as the Coney Island Cyclone roller coaster and the Parachute Jump Tower ride. If you are in NYC during July, the annual Hot Dog Eating Contest should not be missed!

4. Central Park

Of course, no trip to NYC is complete without visiting Central Park. This 843-acre park is one of the most picturesque spots in Brooklyn. You can visit Strawberry Fields, take a horse-drawn carriage ride, or simply relax and enjoy the scenery.

Architectural Wonders

The Big Apple is home to some of the best architecture in the world. Check out these world-renowned examples for an unforgettable experience.

5. Grand Central Terminal

Opened in 1913, this Beaux-Arts-style railway station in midtown Manhattan is one of New York’s most recognizable landmarks and transports over 750,000 commuters daily. It is worth seeing for its impressive design and artwork alone. Inside, you’ll find a grand main concourse with its striking clock and constellations on the ceiling.

6. The Brooklyn Bridge

Jet skiing by the Brooklyn Bridge

Among our NYC famous places list is the Brooklyn Bridge. This popular tourist attraction is a stupendous feat of architecture that offers breathtaking views of New York City. Spanning 1,595 feet across the East River, this bridge connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Every day, 30,000 pedestrians and 116,000 vehicles travel over its span.

7. The Empire State Building

In 2022, this building was named the number one attraction in the US by the TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Awards. Located in Midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building is a must-see for New York tourists. Completed in 1931 and standing 1,454 feet tall, it was the tallest building in the world until 1972.

8. Chrysler Building

This iconic Art Deco-style skyscraper located in Midtown Manhattan was once the world’s tallest building until it was surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931. The Chrysler Building’s impressive structure is still one of New York’s most recognizable skyscrapers and is worth visiting. It features a stunning lobby adorned with aluminum, marble and granite.

9. Rockefeller Center

Located in Midtown Manhattan, this complex is home to many of New York City’s most iconic entertainment centers, such as Radio City Music Hall and NBC Studios. Also, the Top of the Rock Observatory is on top of the Rockefeller Center, and it offers some of the best views of the city.

What to do in New York when it rains

Sightseeing in New York City

New York sightseeing opportunities are beyond compare. From strolling through parks and gardens to cycling through hip neighborhoods, New York City has many ways to explore the city. 

10. See NYC With a Bike Tour

Uniquely experience NYC with a bike tour. You can take guided tours of Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge or Harlem. Or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, cycle through the city on your own with rental companies like Citi Bike, Ofo and Jump. If you don’t know where to bike in NYC, here are some recommendations.

11. Get Lost in Brooklyn Botanic Garden

This 52-acre urban oasis in Prospect Park offers visitors a chance to experience nature right in the heart of Brooklyn. Explore the Japanese Hill and Pond Garden, the Cranford Rose Garden and the Steinhardt Conservatory.

12. Stroll Through the High Line

One of the most unique experiences in New York City is High Line Park. This elevated park runs along a disused railroad track in Manhattan’s West Side. It is perfect for those who want to explore NYC at their own pace while taking in the city’s skyline and river views. Visitors can explore art installations, gardens, food vendors and more while walking along the High Line.

13. Walk Along the Museum Mile

This famous stretch of Fifth Avenue houses some of the most iconic museums in NYC to visit. A walk along Museum Mile lets you visit the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cooper Hewitt and nine other amazing museums. Another nice treat is the tree-lined walkway that runs down the side of Central Park.

Best Places to Visit in New York

The five boroughs each have their own unique flavor and character, making it easy to find fun activities to do all over New York City. Try these on for size.

14. Greenwich Village

Known as “The Village” for short, this quaint neighborhood is full of character and is a great place to uncover some of the Big Apple’s hidden gems. You can stroll to Washington Square Park or visit unique boutiques and restaurants on Bleeker Street. On the other hand, jazz fans can take in legendary jazz venues there, like the Village Vanguard and Blue Note.

15. Chelsea Market

This food hall in the Meatpacking District is one of the most popular spots in the city. Sample a variety of international cuisines, explore local art galleries or pick up some unique souvenirs from these Chelsea shops.

16. SoHo Shopping

Shopping in SoHo is a must-do when visiting NYC. This chic neighborhood offers unique stores, specialty boutiques and trendy vintage shops. To make your shopping experience even more special, be sure to check out the area’s many art galleries and artist studios, as well as its historic cast-iron buildings.

17. Dumbo

Nicknamed for its location “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass,” DUMBO’s cobblestone streets are lined with galleries, cafes and boutiques. During your visit, be sure to visit the iconic Jane’s Carousel and Empire Stores, or just take in the stunning views of both Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges.

18. Nolita

The area of Nolita is a part of Little Italy, and the name even stands for “North of Little Italy.” The neighborhood has become quite popular in recent years because of all the fantastic points of interest it offers. But the real highlight of this area is the St. Basilica Chruch and its Catacombs. When you’re done touring them, you can grab a bite at one of the nearby top-rated pizzerias.

Unique New York City Experiences

The Big Apple has many unique experiences you can explore. The following will help you experience the city’s richness and diversity from varying perspectives.

19. Sea The City Jet Ski & Hot Tub Boat Tours

NYC Jetski Tour
hot tub boat tours NYC

Sea The City’s jet skis or hot tub boat tours let you enjoy an exciting and unique experience on the Hudson. You can cruise around Liberty Island, Ellis Island, Governors Island, and other NYC landmarks while taking in breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline. In fact, you’ll cruise around many of the landmarks and colorful places on this list! Both tours can be booked online and include all the necessary safety gear.

20. Food Crawls

New York City is home to some of the best restaurants in the world, so why not explore them all? Take a food crawl tour and experience the many flavors that NYC has to offer. A few that stand out include the Taste of Tribeca, The NYC Chinatown and Little Italy Food Tour and the Midtown Manhattan Street Food Walking Tour.

21. The Great Gatsby’s Gold Coast Mansions

Located on the North Shore of Long Island, these opulent, historic mansions have a unique charm that is only found here. Many were built in the early 20th century and are open for tours year-round. They are often featured as the backdrop to Hollywood movies such as The Great Gatsby.

22. Street Art Murals in Bushwick

Bushwick is one of NYC’s most vibrant neighborhoods, and it has been slowly growing. It’s also home to some lesser-known gems, like the largest concentration of street art murals in NYC. It has a thriving street art scene, with graffiti-covered walls, murals and other outdoor art installations, which can be found around the area.

Historical Sites in New York

What’s a visit to New York without a bit of history? The following lets you visit some of the city’s most iconic and historical sites.

23. African Burial Mound Ground National Monument

This memorial pays tribute to the estimated 15,000 free Africans and African-American slaves who were interred in an unmarked cemetery in Lower Manhattan. It is the largest and oldest known excavated burial ground for free and enslaved Africans in North America. The National Park Service manages the site and offers a variety of educational programs, events and tours to honor these forgotten lives.

24. Brooklyn Heights Promenade

Also known as the Esplanade, this park’s beginnings go all the way back to WWII. Started as a way to connect an expressway through Queens and Brooklyn, the historic site is now one of the most frequented spots in Gotham. Filled with lush parkland and spectacular views of the NYC skyline that you can view from one of its many benches or a stroll-by, this is definitely one place that’s for the books.

25. 9/11 Memorial and Museum

Honor those who were lost on September 11th at this memorial site located at the former World Trade Center site. The museum features artifacts from that day, a survivor tree and interactive exhibits that bring visitors closer to the events of 9/11. Pay your respects at this solemn site and learn more about the tragedy and its impact on our nation.

26. Governors Island

Located in New York Harbor just south of Manhattan, Governors Island offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of NYC. Visitors can explore the island’s many attractions, such as Fort Jay, Castle Williams, The Hills and Victorian Gardens. During the summer, outdoor concerts, art installations, festivals and food vendors are also available.

27. Bronx Zoo

One of the largest metropolitan zoos in the U.S., the Bronx Zoo has proudly welcomed visitors since 1899. The zoo is home to over 4,000 animals from around the world and offers a range of interactive experiences for visitors of all ages. It also has an Aquarium and Conservation Hall that houses some endangered species.

28. Ellis Island

Ellis Island jet ski tour

Ellis Island is where nearly 12 million immigrants first set foot in America between 1892 and 1954. The island is now a national monument and museum where visitors can explore its rich history and learn more about the immigrants who shaped America. In addition to interactive exhibits, there are also guided tours of the site available.

Upstate New York Tourist Attractions

When you finish with the hustle and bustle of the New York City attractions, you can book a BNB and head out to gorgeous Upstate New York to relax. The area consists of the Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley, which offer some glorious scenery and stellar places for sightseeing. 

These places to visit near New York pull out all the stops!

29. WAAM

If you want to immerse yourself in some culture, the Woodstock Artists Association & Museum, or WAAM, is an art museum dedicated to preserving the legacy of Woodstock, NY and its vibrant music scene. It features rotating exhibits from some of the most iconic musicians who have graced the stage at this legendary venue.

30. Lake George

Lake George is one of New York’s most popular vacation spots, with plenty to offer visitors. From its pristine waters to the nearby Saratoga Springs and Lake Placid, there are plenty of things to do and discover in this area.

31. Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is one of the most breathtaking places to visit in Upstate New York, which is why it’s no wonder that it is one of the natural wonders of the world. Along with its mesmerizing views and thunderous roar, you can explore nearby attractions, such as the Niagara Aerospace Museum, Niagara Sky Wheel, Goat Island and Whirlpool State Park.

32. Adirondack Park

The Adirondack Mountains are a stunning area located in North-Eastern New York that’s filled with lush forests, crystal clear lakes and gorgeous mountain views. It’s great for camping, hiking and other outdoor activities, as well as sightseeing.

33. The Catskill Mountain House

Built in 1823, the Catskill Mountain House is a landmark that stands atop South Mountain – the highest of seven peaks in the region. It offers breathtaking views of the Hudson Valley and surrounding mountains, as well as a variety of activities such as hiking, fishing, skiing and snowshoeing.

34. Kaaterskill Falls

Kaaterskill Falls is a two-tiered waterfall located in Greene County at the eastern edge of the Catskills. It is one of the most famous waterfalls in New York State and has been featured in numerous paintings and photographs throughout history. The falls are accessible via a short hike on a marked trail.

35. The Finger Lakes

The Finger Lakes are a group of 11 long, narrow glacial lakes in western Upstate New York. The area is known for its stunning natural beauty and outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing and kayaking. It’s an ideal getaway spot that’s filled with resorts, hotels and bed & breakfasts. Don’t miss out on visiting many of the local wineries – the region is one of the top wine-producing regions in the country. Be sure not to miss the many sights and landmarks along the Hudson River. that can be viewed by boat or jet ski.

Starting at $169

Sea the City Jet Ski tours offer a unique way for tourists and New Yorkers alike to get up close to the sights and attractions on their very own Jet Ski. Book online today!

What you’ll see: Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, Governor’s Island, Ellis Island, Freedom Tower, Janes Carousel, One Brooklyn Park, South Street Seaport, Empire State Building, and more!