From Iconic Landmarks to Local Hotspots: New York Attractions You Can’t Miss
By Olivia Gilmore
New York City has always been a popular destination among tourists looking for a fun-filled experience in one of the most culturally and commercially diverse cities in the world.
The City, made up of five boroughs, offers endless opportunities for all its visitors, including Broadway shows, museums, historical attractions, and much more.
56 Million Visitors in 2022
In 2022, alone, New York City welcomed an estimated 56 million visitors, higher than any other U.S. city, but lower than the 2019 record of more than 63M.
Luckily, the city was prepared to welcome its visitors with its most active hotel development pipeline in the country. New York Attractions continue to bring more and more visitors into the city.
According to NYC and Company, New York City’s official marketing and tourism organization, new projects will result in 110,000 hotel rooms in the Big Apple by the end of 2022! That doesn’t include the thousands of New York City apartments that are owner-occupied and available on Airbnb!
In response to the yearly increase in tourists, in 2017 New York City opened plenty of new hotels to accompany the demand.
These hotels included The Times Square EDITION, Sister City, and TWA Hotel at JFK.
With the city always welcoming new New York attractions and expanding its entertainment options, it is no surprise that there are many new exciting projects planned for the future.
NYC Infrastructure Investments
With modern-day technology becoming so addictive, people are always itching to charge up their devices and use the internet, especially on visits to the city.
Free high-speed internet, phone calls, and charging devices are all available for guests and locals to use. 7,500 kiosks are expected to be installed by 2024, so say goodbye to pay-phones!
As of March 2020, more than 1,700 LinkNYC kiosks have been installed in New York City’s five boroughs in place of outdated public phone booths. All but 50, apparently, are working.
According to the NY Times, “The company behind LinkNYC, CityBridge, has installed just 1,774 of the 7,500 promised kiosks. LinkNYC’s map shows that kiosks are most densely clustered in Manhattan and in its bordering neighborhoods — places where people are not particularly desperate for their services, but where it may be easier for the company, which relies on advertising revenue, to sell ads. Many of the city’s poorest areas have few kiosks or none at all.”
Transit in NYC
Transportation is another crucial part of operating a highly functional city like New York. Many guests and residents choose to use the subway system, which is why in the MTA’s Second Avenue Subway opened to the public a few years ago.
The expanded Q line offers new stations at 72nd, 86th, and 96th Streets and will reduce travel time by 10 minutes. In the last couple of years, the MTA has also opened a station, 34 St-Hudson Yards, located in Manhattan’s newest neighborhood and a convenient station for anyone headed to the Jacob Javits Convention Center on the Westside.
Here is what’s going on below Grand Central Station, where the East Side Access Project means many new tracks and connections are being built and work continues apace. It’s now open so that Long Island Railroad passengers can now disembark at Grand Central Station or continue to Penn Station further south.
The magnificent Moynihan Train Hall opened in December 2020 as an addition to the iconic Penn Station on 8th Avenue. The Moynihan station features a sky-lit atrium approximately the size of the Grand Central Terminal’s Main Hall. With an ever-increasing population in New York City, this new train station will undoubtedly make traveling much easier.
If you prefer to see the city on bike, don’t forget about the bike-share program created by Citi Bike that has over 750 docking stations and 12,000 bikes in 55 neighborhoods. But in 2022, exciting news and a partnership with Lyft will expand the network to more than 40,000 bikes and roughly double the service area for the rental bikes.
JFK Expansion, Too
For frequent fliers or visitors traveling through John F. Kennedy International Airport, keep an eye out for new terminals, redesigned roadways, expansions of parking lots, and additional amenities. The $10 billion dollar investment will also feature a 178,000 square-foot pet terminal, equipped with post-travel animal care and an on-site veterinarian.
The new TWA Flight Center Hotel opened in 2019, in the iconic former terminal designed by Eero Saarinen in the 1960s. This swanky, retro hotel even has a heated rooftop pool. It’s the talk of the town these days!
Meetings In New York City
As a result of New York City’s unique venues and world-class hotels, there is no shortage of locations to hold meetings. In 2016, the city had 6.1 million meetings and conventions, making it the perfect place to host its guests.
The city’s major convention center completed $1.5 billion expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center added more than one million square feet of space.
The project began on March 1, 2017, features a 500,000 square foot exhibition hall, rooftop terrace, and the largest ballroom in the Northeast.
It also includes a rooftop garden and many new energy-saving improvements to the vast building. It’s finally been completed.
The Statue of Liberty in New York City is a top spot for visitors, but it is about to draw even more attention to its $70 million museums.
The Statue of Liberty Museum opened in May 2019 and hosted over 4.3 million visitors over that year.
The Museum is open to anyone with an interest in Lady Liberty and features an expansive gallery as well as the original model of the torch that was replaced in 1980.
If you plan on visiting the World Trade Center in the next couple of years, expect to see the new Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center, which opened in 2020.
Space will allow for cultural dance, music, and art displays as well as a lobby restaurant and bar space.
Constructed with translucent marble and glass, even people outside the building will be able to see the glow of the theater lights inside.
If you’re looking to attend your favorite Broadway show at the last minute, then the TKTS discount booth at the Lincoln Center is the official place to get access to same-day discounted tickets.
Theatergoers can find these bargains at three other locations throughout the city, including Downtown Brooklyn, Times Square and Street Seaport.
With the number of alluring attractions the city offers, it can be troublesome trying to decide exactly what to see. If you’re having a difficult time trying to choose, why not get the New York C3 CityPASS? The mobile pass allows visitors to pick three iconic attractions from a list of ten.
You can choose from three of the following ten: The Empire State Building, Top of the Rock Observation Deck, American Museum of Natural History, 9/11 Memorial & Museum, Ferry access to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Guggenheim Museum and Hornblower Sightseeing Cruises.
Pier 55 and Hudson Yards
As the construction of Pier 55 broke ground in the summer of 2016, 2.7 acres of lawns and pathways were built on the pier that will run alongside Manhattan’s lower west side.
The pier is now a public park with a state-of-the-art performance space for musicians, dancers, public art, and more.
Just a short walk north will take you to the Hudson Yards neighborhood which, according to the New York Times, is “the largest mixed-use private real estate venture in American history.” It features a wealth of living, dining, working, and shopping opportunities.
Its massive, seven-story shopping mall opened in March 2019 along with its 600-ton, 16-story high art centerpiece: the Vessel.
Sadly, after it was discovered that too many tourists decided to jump off the large tall structure the pedestrians are no longer allowed to walk up on the Vessel, it’s for eyes only.
It features a plaza, thousands of stairs, and a beautiful public garden. Thomas Heatherwick, the British designer who has also conceptualized Pier 55 and moveable bridges, designed the structure.
Darker Stories in Hudson Yards
Unfortunately, the Vessel and the Hudson Yards shopping mall have become part of some darker stories. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the mall closed down for months starting in March 2020.
Then, in September 2020, Nieman Marcus, its three-story anchor store vacated the space after filing for bankruptcy. For the time being, the space is being used as corporate offices. Additionally, the Vessel has been closed multiple times due to suicides, most recently in July 2021.
However, hope is on the horizon. Hudson Yards is opening many more high-end restaurants and stores and plans to host an in-person New York Fashion Week, the first since the pandemic, in Spring 2022. Another promising feature is its observation deck.
Featuring panoramic river views of the city’s skyline, The Observation Deck at Hudson Yards called The Edge NYC. draws visitors who are looking for a spectacular glimpse of the city.
This is New York City’s, and even the Western Hemisphere’s, highest outdoor observation deck yet, standing at 1,296 feet tall.
Dining & Good Eats in New York City
If you love to eat food like the rest of us, not to mention Italian food, stop by the second New York City location of Eataly NYC Downtown in the 4 World Trade Center.
The 40,000-square-foot marketplace offers its hungry visitors an array of different places to either grab a quick bite to eat or sit down at an upscale restaurant and enjoy a glass of wine. Catch a view of the 9/11 memorial while you are there.