New York City is one of those places where you know you will have an amazing time whatever the season is.
Whether you like to bask in the warmth of the sun at the top of the Empire State Building in summer, or watch the signs of spring appear in any of the 28,000 acres of municipal parkland or even wait in line to ice skate at the bottom of the Rockefeller Center before warming yourself up with a hot chocolate from one of the coffee shops along the route home, New York has something for everyone.
But to many, fall is the best season to visit the city that never sleeps. As the temperature slides slightly from a balmy 86 Fahrenheit to a more manageable 64 degrees and the leaves in Central Park display varying degrees of oranges, yellows and deep reds before floating to the ground, there are many areas you should visit.
If you have never visited New York City it can be quite overwhelming in the first instance as you try to decide on what famous landmark you should see first. We recommend you spend at least 3 nights in the city to ensure you get a good shot at visiting everywhere you want, although this will still never be enough!
The three most visited landmarks have to be the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the Rockefeller Center and of course, the Empire State Building. The best time to visit these is early in the morning or later in the evening. For those perfect Instagram photos we would also recommend visiting either the Empire State Building at night and the Rockefeller Center during the day – or vice versa – so you can get some amazing day and night shots. The Top of the Rock tour also includes a presentation that takes you through the history of the building and includes an amazing show in the elevator!
If you want to avoid the crowds at the Statue of Liberty, and do not mind not climbing the 354 steps to the top, why not take the Staten Island Ferry? The ferry takes you straight past one of the world’s most famous landmarks and is free to use.
One of the lesser known areas to visit is Governors Island which remains open until the end of October. Although once a secret, the island welcomes visitors to explore the area on bikes or visit some of the many events that are hosted there. It is also the perfect place to see the stunning views of Manhattan and a must for those that love a good photo opportunity.
If you prefer to stay in the main area of the city then a walk through Central Park is a must. Or even better, book a carriage ride through the park and find out some of the amazing facts or see the places some of your favorite movies were filmed – including Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Spider-Man 3, Friends With Benefits and The Avengers. One of our highlights is the detailed Alice in Wonderland sculpture, located on East 74th Street, which is based on the 1865 classic by Lewis Carroll.
Fall also means Halloween and New York’s Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze has opened a second location. As well as the original setting at Van Cortlandt Manor in the Hudson Valley, you can now get scared silly at the historic Old Bethpage Village Restoration on Long Island. Both locations will have around 7,000 hand carved jack o’lanterns as well as synchronized lights and scary music to complete the evening.
Many visitors to New York choose to visit The 9/11 Memorial Museum which not only honors all those who lost their lives due to the devastating events of that day 19 years ago as well as on February 26 1993. The visitor experience is one that humbles many, but is even more poignant in September. Although there are restrictions in place this is still a must-visit location for tourists and residents alike.
If the thought of Fall excites you as it is another step close to Christmas why not start your shopping for the big day? Christmas markets generally open around the beginning of November and an afternoon mooching around these stalls are the perfect way to get in the festive mood.
It is important to remember that we are still in the middle of one of the worst health emergencies that the country has ever experienced so when visiting anywhere please make sure you adhere to that location’s social distancing guidelines and stay safe.
New York is an amazing city to visit and you will want to visit time and time again, finding new areas to explore or a new favorite coffee shop or deli to have lunch. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you remember to take your thermals as the weather can change quickly!