Top 10 Things to Do in New York
1. Times Square
It's so good, we couldn't even get through the intro without talking about it. Times Square is, as many have said, the center of the universe: and it feels that way, too. You can watch Good Morning America being broadcast live there in the morning, or walk over to MTV Studios and see if there's a crowd gathered outside watching a taping on the 2nd floor. You're surrounded by banners for all the big Broadway shows and can score half-price tickets at the TKTS booth. Add to that the glory that is the enormous Toys R Us, the great big Hershey's and M&M stores and the world-class dining options like Ruby Foo's, Carmine's, Bubba Gump Shrimp and Blue Fin, and it's easy to spend a whole day in Times Square alone.
2. The American Museum of Natural History
This legendary museum was founded in 1869 and is one of the most important scientific and educational facilities in the world today. If you're not amazed by the endless halls of fossils, stones and animals, wait until you visit the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life, an unforgettable "underwater" experience, and the yearly special Butterflies exhibit where you'll be surrounded by fluttering butterflies.
3. The Staten Island Ferry
Take an unexpected jaunt from South Ferry in Manhattan on the Staten Island Ferry to get a taste of real New York. The Statue of Liberty is a must-see, but only from the outside, and on the Staten Island Ferry, you'll float right past it for free. You'll love riding and people watching with the commuters, and you can enjoy the elements on the outer decks in warmer months. It's a fun and free attraction, even if all you do when you get to Staten Island is turn around and come back.
4. Ground Zero
Though it may still be a construction zone, a trip to Ground Zero is a pilgrimage most Americans want to make anyway. Return visitors will be struck by the absence of the towers, but soothed by the hustle and bustle all around -- New York goes on.
5. Central Park
There is so much to do in Central Park, one hardly knows where to begin! You probably can't do it all, so here are a couple of ideas: grab a horse-drawn carriage from Central Park South for a romantic, old-timey tour; visit the Zoo and finish with a stop at the Carousel; have a leisurely drink or meal at the Boathouse, then wander over to Belvedere Castle -- did you know that there's a castle in Central Park? There is, and it's one of the top 10 things to see in New York, for sure.
6. Henri Bendel
Sorry men, this one's for the girls: no trip to New York is complete without a 5th Avenue shopping experience and Henri Bendel is a treasure trove like no other. You'll squeal with delight as you wander the nooks and crannies of this institution filled with the most beautiful and always trendy things; some affordable, some deliciously extravagant.
7. The Met (The Metropolitan Opera)
Seeing the opera in New York City is an experience you'll cherish forever. Even if you're not into that, head to The Met for a look at the fantastic fountains -- and then you can catch an IMAX movie in Lincoln Square.
8. The Other Met (The Metropolitan Museum)
New York has three Mets, actually (one is the baseball team) and "which Met?" is a common question among elite New Yorkers making plans. New York's Metropolitan Museum, founded in 1870, is one of the world's largest museums and houses a collection of classics only New York money could buy (or even borrow).
If you're more into modern art than classical, definitely visit The MoMa, where there's always something interesting going on, whether it's a special exhibit of live performance art or a fabulous film event. The permanent collection here is inspiring, thought-provoking and sure to lead to some unexpected conversations.
10. Cruise Around Manhattan
There are a lot of companies which offer cruises around the isle of Manhattan, and for good reason: it's one of the best ways to get away from the intensity for a bit and to scout out places you'd like to explore. Google away to find cruises that offer drinks, dinner, sunsets, dancing and more.