01 March 2012

Top Things to Do in New York City

Guest post from Megan Gates who is an active blogger who provides written work to the blogosphere pertaining to Elliman.com, Hamptons Homes for Sale, home improvement and the latest architecture, design, fashion and travel. Follow her on twitter @MEGatesDesign.

It seems that everyone wants to travel to the Big Apple and breathe in the excitement and cosmopolitan atmosphere of this city. And who can blame them? New York is one of the most exciting cities in the entire world and its siren song attracts visitors from every corner of the globe. Unfortunately, once these visitors arrive in this city they often don't have the slightest idea of where to begin.



New York is a big city that is also one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the entire world. It also has thousands of restaurants, shops and attractions that are crammed into an area of just 500 square miles. This makes it easy for the first-time visitor to lose their bearings and miss out on some of the more spectacular attractions the city has to offer. That doesn't have to be the case, however. With a little planning, and perhaps a little help, the first-time visitor can hit all of the prime attractions of the city without feeling like they missed out on something

With that purpose in mind we have compiled the must-see attractions that visitors to New York absolutely must-see. These attractions are the best of what the city has to offer and will leave the first-time visitor with the feeling that they got the true essence of the city.

Empire State Building

One of the most popular attractions in New York City is the Empire State Building. This 102-story building is considered to be the cultural icon of the city and is visited by over 111 million people since it was erected. It was built in 1931 and is considered to be one of the finest examples of art deco architecture in the world.

Visitors can take in a breathtaking view of the city from one of its main observation decks. The observation decks are open 7 days a week from 8 am-2 am and are only closed for a few hours for maintenance and cleaning. This allows visitors to take in a panoramic view of the city both during the day and at night. Admission price is about $22 for adults and $16 for children over the age of 5. Children under the age of 5 get in for free.

American Museum Of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History is one of the most celebrated, and certainly the largest museum in the entire world. This museum was built in 1869 and is located directly across from Central Park. It contains a gigantic collection of over 30 million specimens spread out over 26 inter-connected buildings. These exhibits cover a wide diversity of subjects on everything from space exploration and weather sciences to plants and animals.

The American Museum Of Natural History is open every day from 10 am-6 pm daily with the only exceptions being Thanksgiving and Christmas when the museum is closed. Tickets are $19 for adults, $14.50 for seniors and $10.50 for children.

Central Park

Central Park is the flagship of New York's public park system and covers an area of 843 acres. It is known as the ultimate man-made oasis in the center of Manhattan and contains beautiful trees, peaceful streams and beautiful walking trails. It also contains a fine assortment of amenities which include the Central Park Zoo, Shakespearean plays hosted at Delacorte Theater and free performing arts festivals at SummerStage.

Staten Island Ferry

Most first-time visitors to New York consider the Staten Island Ferry to be just a form of transportation from Lower Manhattan to Staten Island, but it is actually an attraction in and of itself. This ferry is the perfect location to enjoy a fabulous view of the Statue of Liberty and the New York Harbor. This ferry runs 24 hours a day, which allows visitors to see the city and the harbor lit up at night. As an added bonus, the Staten Island Ferry serves beer until midnight and there has been no fare to ride this ferry since 1997.

Grimaldi's Pizzeria

Grimaldi's Pizzeria isn't just a pizzeria, it is a New York institution. It is located by the Brooklyn Bridge and is known for its authentic New York Style pizza that is coal-fired in a brick oven. It is a pizzeria that is well loved by residents of the Big Apple, including famous ones such as former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani and singer Frank Sinatra.

The Lower East Side

Anyone wanting to get a taste of true New York nightlife has to pay a visit to the Lower East Side. This neighborhood, which is bounded by Allen Street and Canal Street, is filled with a wide range of entertainment venues. It contains a number of bars that run the gamut from piano bars and high class lounges to dancing halls and neighborhood dives. It is also home to a number of live music venues such as Mercury Lounge and the Bowery Ballroom. This neighborhood also has a large immigrant population so visitors also have access to some great ethnic grocery stores, bakeries and restaurants.

The Bronx Zoo

The Bronx Zoo has the distinction of being the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States. This zoo covers an area of 265 acres and contains over 4000 animals from 650 different species. Some of the major exhibits at the Bronx Zoo include The World of Birds, World of Reptiles, Monkey World and the Madagascar Exhibit which features exotic wildlife such as the Nile crocodile and the Madagascar hissing cockroach. Tickets to this zoo cost about $17.95 for adults, $16.15 for seniors and $14.35 for children.

Times Square

Times Square is called “The Crossroads of the World” and it is easy to see why that is the case. It is also full with people from around the world and has a number of amazing attractions which include Times Square Studios (current home of ABC's Good Morning America), the Chevrolet Clock, the Bertelsmann Building and the New York Times Tower. It is also home to first rate hotels, restaurants and store fronts. It is one of the most visited attractions in the city and is known for its vibrant and electrically charged atmosphere.

There are still so many things to do and places to visit that are not listed here! Share your favorite New York City tourist spot here!

Family Attractions in Northampton

Northampton has an excellent shopping centre full of quality stores, there are plenty of interesting museums and galleries and the town is packed with great walks and trails to explore. What makes Northampton an ideal place for families is its proximity to great kiddie friendly attractions.
Families on holiday are always on the look out for dynamic, exciting and engaging places where kids are safe and entertained. There are a number of fabulous days out within easy reach of central Northampton that are guaranteed to entertain and wear out the kids.

Welcome to Northampton


In Northampton itself there is the Frank Newhall Look Memorial Park a couple of miles outside the city centre is a world of outdoor adventure, featuring a mini zoo, train, pitch & putt golf course and loads of open spaces to run, explore and have a picnic.

Holden House and Gardens, while having wide open spaces for kids to run and play they also have the falconry centre where they can watch trained birds of pray fly and feed. The site also has a souvenir shop, museum and traditional Victorian tearoom.

Rockingham Castle in Northampton provides all the realism and excitement of a civil war battle during its festival days. The fortifications have over 900 years worth of history to their name and the visitor’s centre brings to life what it was like to live within its sturdy walls.

Wicksteed Park has 147 acres worth of fun for all the family. Wicksteed Park is a theme park with traditional rides like the rollercoaster, log flume and pirate ship. While younger or nervous visitors can enjoy such rides as the ladybird ride, carousel and the dodgems. Adults can also look around the vintage car collection or take pleasant strolls in the beautiful sunken gardens.

Bezerk Leisure Park is Northampton’s large indoor play area, here kids can enjoy climbing, jumping and sliding around the activity centre. There are ball ponds, bouncy castles, slides and climbing frames for them to work out their energies on while parents take a five minute break in the café.

The Splash Leisure Pool in Rushden is an exciting combination of three swimming pools with a beach area, fountains and bubbles, along with a separate flume and splash pool. The complex also has a sauna and a crèche,

Accommodation

Northampton Park Inn hotel by Radisson is a modern centrally located hotel with 146 spacious and well-appointed rooms. Their family friendly restaurant caters for all and there is a health centre with sauna, weights room and swimming pool where the family can have fun together.
“The round Norman Church in Northampton" - Locally this ancient church is known as Holy Sepulchre or St Sepulchre's. But more fondly known as St Seps.

There are ample attractions for all the family in Northampton, whether you like wandering around country houses and their grounds such as Althorp House or the excitement of motor racing at Silverstone. There are also specialist museums like the Canal Museum and designer Charles Rennie Macintosh’s house, 78 Derngate to visit. Northampton definitely has fun for all the family.