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  • Writer's pictureRobin Gilmore

Fun in the Big Apple

One of the most famous cities in the world, New York City is such a fun place to visit. Whether you’re going to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, the giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, the cherry blossoms, or anything in between, there are things to do and see for everyone no matter when you travel.

Melanie & Ken just visited and shared some of their experiences.

They stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn New York/Central Park South-Midtown West on W. 54th Street. It’s far enough from Times Square that you don’t hear the noise, but it’s still within a 10-minute walk.

This super busy pedestrian area is one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions. Even if you’re not a fan of the crowds, you have to walk around and explore Times Square. It’s so fun and there’s always something different going on.

The Big Bus Tour is a great introduction to Manhattan. The bus has an open top for pictures and you’ll see many landmarks, so you’ll get a better idea of what you want to see and how to get there.

If you’re going in the winter, you have to check out Rockefeller Center. This year they’re planning to light the tree on November 29. It will be lit daily until January 13, 2024. In addition, you can go ice skating, hang out in a rink-side chalet, or head up to the observation decks.

A few of the other can’t-miss sites are the Statue of Liberty / Ellis Island, the 9/11 Memorial, and Grand Central Terminal. Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty are only accessible by ferry. You can purchase ferry tickets and explore on your own or you can book a tour and a guide will take you around. While somber, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum honors those killed in the attacks while documenting its impact and examining its continuing significance.

Some other famous sites to fill up your itinerary are the Empire State Building, Central Park, the New York Public Library (the library in Ghostbusters), and Grand Central Terminal. The Empire State Building was ranked #1 for the Top Attractions in the U.S. by Tripadvisor’s 2023 Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best. In addition to being the largest train station in the world, Grand Central Terminal has beautiful architecture and some great food.

There are approximately 2,000 churches in New York City. While you can’t possibly see them all on your trip, some of the most beautiful churches are St. Patrick's Cathedral, St. Paul's Chapel (the oldest surviving church building in Manhattan), and Trinity Church (home to the gravesite of Alexander Hamilton).

If you’re looking for some food recommendations, check out Le Pain Quotidien or Applejack Diner for breakfast or Kevin’s Pub for dinner.

Whether you’re looking for a custom trip to New York City, a group tour to South America, or a relaxing cruise on the Mediterranean, give us a call. We look forward to helping you create your next great vacation.

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