Be a Tourist in Your Own City: Must-See Attractions in New York

Most of us dash between some of the world’s most iconic landmarks and buildings every single day without batting an eyelash. It’s just daily life. There are still those moments, however rare, where you look up and see the Flatiron Building just a few steps away and you’re left with no choice but to pinch yourself to make sure you’re not dreaming. Recapture the sensation of seeing the New York skyline for the first time as your car barreled towards the city by checking out some of New York’s coolest tourist attractions— you’re bound to be as wide-eyed as the day you first stepped foot in this concrete jungle.

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Times Square— Think you’ve seen it all? Think again! Located in the heart of Times Square, this 18,000 square foot odditorium is home to more than 500 astonishing artifacts displayed in more than 20 uniquely themed galleries. You’ll be astounded by such oddities ranging from a replica of the world’s tallest man to the world’s largest collection of shrunken heads. Plus, if you’ve always wanted to be Catherine Zeta-Jones in Entrapment, your dream can become a reality as you dodge a labyrinth of laser beams in New York’s only LaseRace. Whoever said museums had to be boring has clearly not been to Ripley’s!
Staten Island Ferry— Looking to catch some great views of the city at no cost? Climb aboard the Staten Island Ferry at the Whitehall Terminal in downtown Manhattan which has been free to ride for over ten years. The panorama of the New York City harbor is unbeatable as are the stunning photo ops you’ll have with Lady Liberty as you sail past the famous statue.

TKTS Booth— The Theater Development Fund’s most well-known function is making otherwise pricey Broadway theater tickets available for half-price. Its booth, marked by a massive structure of red bleachers, is located in the heart of Times Square and draws throngs of savvy theater-goers, both tourists and natives, hoping to snag a seat to the Great White Way’s hottest new show.

Chinatown— Sure, knockoff tchotchkes may not be your thing, but Canal Street has a lot more to offer than faux-designer handbags and Asian-inspired home decor items. Pop into one of the restaurants with the whole roasted ducks hanging in the window for some of the best wontons you can get outside of the Far East or learn a thing or two about mah-jongg by joining in a game at Columbus Park.

Empire State Building— Anyone who hasn’t seen the city from the top of the Empire State Building really hasn’t seen anything yet. You’ll beat the notorious lines by showing up very early or very late in the day but the views are really the most magical at dusk, when you’ll see all of New York cloaked in shades of pink and cobalt, just as the city’s lights slowly flicker on.