Everywhere you turn during summer in New York City, something exciting is happening. There are free outdoor concerts and movies all around the five boroughs, and Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Food trucks and festivals pop up on every corner. It’s a great time to catch a ball game or US Open tennis matches, walk the High Line in short sleeves, head up to the Bronx Zoo to spot animals or head down to Coney Island for a ride on the wooden tracks of the Cyclone roller coaster—still thrilling after all these years.
A trip to New York City is the experience of a lifetime. With famous attractions like Times Square, Central Park, the Empire State Building and Yankee Stadium—to name just a few—NYC packs more to see and do into one compact area than any other place on earth. Each of the City’s five boroughs contains its own roster of must-see destinations, great restaurants, cultural hot spots and unforgettable activities. Start planning your trip with the guides on this page.
Things to See
Empire State Building - Located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building Experience is more than just a view. Embark on a journey through one of the most famous landmarks in the world, where you will experience the Art Deco lobby and murals, the historical “Dare to Dream” exhibit, and sustainability exhibit. Learn the fascinating history of the building's construction, restoration and industry-leading sustainability retrofit. Take in New York's most breathtaking views from its open-air observatory. See New York's world-famous skyline as it was meant to be seen—until 2am every night.
One World Observatory - There are a million things to experience in New York City and only one way to truly see them all. Start by ascending to the top of the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere in less than 60 seconds; look toward the horizon and feel the City’s invincible spirit. Explore three levels filled with innovation and inspiration at One World Observatory, located in the top three floors of One World Trade Center.
Time Square - Flashing neon lights and giant digital billboards. Brilliant Broadway marquees. Costumed characters and musicians. Times Square is big, bright and unforgettable. Its main junction is filled with popular retailers—plus the TKTS discount booth, which offers up to 50 percent off theater tickets. Walk to the top of its red steps—you may know them from the "Empire State of Mind" video—for a sweeping view of the area, including One Times Square, the building from which the ball drops on New Year's Eve. People-watchers will love the pedestrian-only zones furnished with tables and chairs.
Boardway - Broadway is the bright beating heart of the NYC’s performing arts scene. No visit to the City is complete without experiencing the rousing entertainment available in Midtown Manhattan’s Theatre District, where dozens of historic venues stage bold new musicals, long-running hits and fascinating dramas every night of the week.
Central Park - Central Park is an urban oasis. The 843-acre green space features rolling meadows, peaceful bodies of water and stunning vistas, bringing a sense of calm to the otherwise busy City. The range of activities you can take part in here is nearly unparalleled: hiking, biking, ice-skating, fishing, visiting the Central Park Zoo, seeing a formal English garden and, during the summer months, lounging on a picnic blanket and listening to a live concert.
The Met Fifth Avenue - Located on the border of Central Park on Museum Mile, the Metropolitan Museum is one of the largest and most comprehensive art museums in the world. With over two million works of art spanning 5,000 years, the Met presents the best of human creativity from around the globe. From the splendors of ancient Egypt, to the spectacular New American Wing, to the Met’s beloved Impressionist paintings, a world of great art awaits you at NYC’s most-visited attraction. The collection and exhibitions are free with Museum admission. Plus, enjoy dining, the Audio Guide, and shopping at the Met Store.
Rockefeller Center - A visit to New York City wouldn't be complete without a trip to Rockefeller Plaza, where skaters glide across the rink and thousands of lights gleam from the always-enormous Christmas tree in the winter, and outdoor dining options abound in the warmer months. No matter the season, come for the shops (from the FDNY Fire Zone store and museum to Swarovski), the eats (from Dean & DeLuca to Mendy's Kosher Deli) and the stargazing here in NBC Studios' backyard. The three observation decks at Top of the Rock showcase the City's spectacular skyline.
Places to Eat
Gato - GATO is Chef Bobby Flay's expression of Mediterranean food, drink, and design. The NoHo location is a 100-year-old building, and GATO is the first restaurant to reside there. GATO combines its NYC roots with a European sensibility and has a casual approach, a bustling environment, and a dedicated passion to its cuisine. The name GATO was inspired by a mysterious orange cat that walked through Mr. Flay's feet on Lafayette Street while he was waiting for a real estate broker to show him the space for the first time. The cat has not been seen since, but his initial appearance has made a permanent impression.
GATO is owned by Bobby Flay and Laurence Kretchmer who previously owned the Spanish restaurant, BOLO, together for 15 years.
Babu Ji - Jessi and Jennifer Singh, the team who created three acclaimed Australian restaurants, Dhaba at the Mill (sold in 2013), Horn Please and Babu Ji (both sold 2015) bring their signature creative and fun approach to Indian dining to NYC’s Alphabet City.
The Hindi term Babu Ji, when used playfully is what we New Yorkers might call the mayor of the block. In India, a Babu Ji is that self-appointed neighborhood ambassador who knows everyone and everything that’s happening the village. He’s a real character who always has a great story.
When it comes to food, he’s equally enthusiastic. A Babu Ji unashamedly indulges in food and hospitality. He laughs loudly and revels in his food, company and atmosphere. He absolutely loves being served.
We love this type of dining spirit. We have created Babu Ji, the restaurant with this dining ethos in mind, hoping to provoke this gregarious, spirited dining attitude in our guests.
The food at Babu Ji is simple yet remarkable in the general Indian dining scene as it’s made from high quality ingredients, cooked earnestly and offered in a considered and regularly changing menu that spans Indian street food, cross regional curries and tandoori specialties. We’ve stocked the beverage fridges well with a large selection of craft beer, imports and an approachable but interesting wine list.
Jessi is the man behind the pots, whose cooking has been celebrated by the most respected Australian publications such as The Age Good Food Guide, Broadsheet, Cheap Eats, and The Australian as well as America's cream of the crop, The New York Times, WSJ, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Time Out, Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, The Infatuation, and more. He grew up in a humble, North Indian village kitchen where his love of cooking for others emerged. Now, his village happily extends to New York City.
Come to Babu Ji ready to have fun with us. We hope as you pass through our doors, you will feel the hospitality spirit of our beloved India, where it is always an honor to feed a guest.
Blue Ribbon Brasserie - The Ribbon is Blue Ribbon Restaurants first restaurant on New York City's Upper West Side. The menu features delights for all palates, including spit-roasted meats, seafood and Blue Ribbon classics, in a comfortable environment, and an extensive bar and whisky program. Located on 72nd Street just West of Central Park, The Ribbon's industrial décor and outstanding spirits collection capture the grace of its 1920's predecessor - the infamous Hotel Franconia. The Ribbon is 2017 Zagat and Michelin recommended.
Bruce and Eric Bromberg opened the first Blue Ribbon restaurant in SoHo in 1992. For over 20 years, Blue Ribbon Restaurants have embodied the spirit of individuality born in that restaurant by offering truly authentic dining experiences. Each of our Blue Ribbon Restaurants is inspired by its surroundings as a modern neighborhood restaurant with no boundaries. We are proud and excited to continue our journey and bring our world and The Ribbon to the Upper West Side.