New York City has no shortage of touristy spots - Times Square, Rockefeller Center, the list goes on and on. While some of them aren't worth the hype, others are. Here are just a few spots that you (and your camera) won't want to miss - some obvious, some delicious, but all special:
1. TOP OF THE ROCK
There are rooftop views, and then there is the Top of the Rock. Nothing quite compares to the sweeping, unobstructed views you get from atop the 67th, 69th and 70th floor open-air observation deck of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. From here you can see Central Park, Midtown Manhattan all around, and Downtown Manhattan. On a clear day, you can even see as far as the Statue of Liberty.
2. SHAKE SHACK @ MADISON SQUARE PARK
Shake Shack is an NYC institution, with nearly a dozen locations across all boroughs. But this is by far the best thanks to the picture perfect setting.
You know it's good when even locals are willing to wait in line for it (tip: check the Shack cam online to see what it looks like before you go).
With the whole menu available, including wine and beer, this location basically becomes a delicious beer garden. There's plenty of seating so even on busy days you should have no trouble finding a spot under the twinkling lights.
3. CENTRAL PARK
It's not hard to understand why Central Park is the most visited urban space in the US. Famous in every sense of the word, Central Park is an oasis for locals and visitors alike. The best way to experience the park is on foot or rented bike. To experience the city like a local, strap on your sneakers and do a lap along one of the park's dozen running paths! In the summer months check out listings by the Central Park website for free events. If you're visiting in the winter, don't let the snow stop you from enjoying a stroll in the park - it's actually one of the most amazing times to go. Less crowds means you get to enjoy the the winter wonderland all by yourself.
4. ROOFTOP BARS
While not a 'touristy spot' per say, Manhattan is known for its chic rooftop bars. And rubbing shoulders with the city dwellers makes you feel like you're a local. Most places are pretty pricey but worth it if the view is good! Places like Refinery Rooftop even have both indoor and outdoor spaces for year-around enjoyment.
5. BROOKLYN BRIDGE
Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is a must for any first-time NYC visitor. You're rewarded with great views as you cross in either direction, the wind sweeping through your hair. Unsurprisingly the bridge gets busy and crowded so it's best to go early!
6. THE HIGH LINE
The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long public park built on an elevated section of a disused New York freight rail line. Located on the west side of lower Manhattan, the park is home to unique views of the city and amazing art work - making it every designer's/photographer's dream. During the warmer months vendors set up shop selling souvenirs, food, and drinks so you can enjoy the park as long as you want.