1. Walk around Times Square at night
Broadway and 42nd Street, , 10036
What an amazing experience! The lights, the advertisements, the energy…New York City's number one tourist destination is an amazing place that you simply must see for yourself in person.
2. Visit Ellis Island & take in amazing views from the Statue of Liberty
Liberty Island, , 10017
Ellis Island, home of the Statue of Liberty, is a must see on your trip to New York! The ferry ride over is pretty beautiful itself. As one of the most iconic landmarks in the US, The Statue of Liberty should be near the top of your New York bucket list. 154 steps are required to go from the pedestal to the head and 354 to the crown - the stairs are steep, but it's worth it in the end for the tremendous views!
The views from the top of the Statue of Liberty are simply grand. While views from the crown are the best, you must make reservations well in advance due to the immense popularity.
On a historical side note, "The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World" was a gift to the US from France. Today, it is a universal symbol of democracy and freedom.
3. Hike to Kaaterskill Falls
Route 23A, , 12463
One of the most amazing hikes in the Catskills region is the short 1/2 mile stroll to Kaaterskill Falls, a scenic 2 tiered waterfall. At 260 feet tall, this waterfall stands as one of the tallest in the Eastern US.
On your next vacation to the Catskills, make some room for this relaxing journey into nature. With serene views of the forest and 2 beautiful waterfalls, you can't help but feel relaxed and refreshed post-hike.
4. Be part of the audience at The Today Show
30 Rockefellar Plz, , 10012
The Today Show tapes live, Mondays-Fridays, from 7am to 11am. Tickets are not required and tourists begin lining up really early in the morning at 49th and Rockefeller Center. It's best to arrive by 6am to ensure a good spot.
Here is your chance to get your 15 minutes of fame! If you arrive early enough (several hours before start) you can get in the front row and have a better chance of getting on TV. Even if you do not get on TV, it's a fun once-in-a-lifetime experience! The Today Show made its' debut in 1952, making it the longest running show on network television.
5. Book tickets for the Cave of the Winds experience at Niagara Falls
Prospect Street & Old Falls Street, , 14303
There are more ways than one to take in the beauty of Niagara Falls, one of the wonders of the world. Cave of the Winds, an exciting once in a lifetime nature experience, is your best bet for getting up close and personal with this spectacular natural wonder.
You will be given a yellow poncho before making your way onto a little path that takes you within a mere 20 feet of the falls!
This incredible adventure is so much more memorable than simply gazing at the falls from above. Prepare to get soaking wet in exchange for this unique experience!
6. Walk Across the Hudson
61 Parker Ave, , 12601
The Walkway Over the Hudson, at 1.28 miles long, is the highest elevated pedestrian bridge. It's quite a sight to walk across it, with picturesque views of the river and mountains surrounding you in every direction.
Best of all, it is open year-round, so you can enjoy different views along with the changing seasons. For the most picturesque views, plan your visit around the peak of fall.
7. Plan a Catskills vacation
Various, , 12457
The Catskills Mountains is a breathtaking area known for its' natural beauty and many waterfalls. It's no wonder that city dwellers have been flocking here for years to enjoy the natural surroundings, peace and quiet, and the charming small towns which populate the region. There are many gorgeous resorts to choose amongst in the area. The Emerson Resort is one particularly gorgeous choice which lies on the beautiful Esopus Creek.
8. Visit Rockefeller Center
30 Rockefeller Plz, , 10012
Famous for being home to Radio City Music Hall and the popular ice rink during the winter months, Rockefeller Center should be on everyone’s to do list. Restaurants, shops, The Lego Store, and NBC Studio tours are just some of the other things you can do and see during your visit.
In general, Rockefeller is just the best area in the city for sightseeing and tourist photographs. I got to see “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” filmed here! Don't pass up any chance to see your favorite shows as they may not always be there!
If you happen to be visiting over the holidays, you will definitely want to see the biggest and most iconic Christmas tree in the country. Really, nothing is as grand as Christmas in New York City. The grand Rockefeller tree has served as the backdrop in many of our favorite holiday films, most notably Home Alone 2.
9. Attend a live taping of your favorite NY based talk show
Various, , 10012
Most of the best talk shows film in New York City. Because tapings are free, this is a great budget friendly activity to add to your itinerary. We lucked out and got tickets to “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” (no longer filmed in NY). However, other great talk shows like “Live! with Kelly and Ryan” and “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” currently film in the area. Try to get tickets in advance as they sell out quickly!
10. Take a scenic stroll around the Ashokan Reservoir
13 miles west of Kingston on Dike Road, , 12401
A unique sight to see if you find yourself traveling through Ulster County is the gorgeous Ashokan Reservoir, which provides most of the drinking water for NYC. There is a short mile and a half path offering gorgeous views of the water, along with the beautiful Catskill mountains in the background.