Times Square | The World’s Most Famous Intersection

by Denise Marie

Times Square has been the commercial heart and soul of Midtown Manhattan since the early 20th century. From Broadway theaters and comedy clubs to shops and bars to New Year’s Eve and the annual ball drop event, this vibrant district offers seemingly endless urban amenities for tourists. More than 10 NYC Subway trains serve this important hub in the City That Never Sleeps.

Click for more details on the world's most famous intersection - Times Square

Click for more details on the world’s most famous intersection – Times Square

A Bit of History

Times Square was first named Longacre Square changing its name in 1904. The New York Times built the Times Tower in 1904 on 43rd street to replace its premises in the downtown area. Even after in 1913 when The New York Times moved once again across Broadway, the name stuck with the natives and never changed. There were more than 250 shows by 1928 and more than 75 theaters that developed.

Adolph Ochs, The New York Times publisher consulted with the mayor about the construction of a nearby subway station. This was when the rise to building boom accelerated and the electronic advertising began. After the Great Depression is when visitors stopped visiting. The next few decades were filled with tons of criminal activity giving visitors and locals a decline to visit.

The Embassy Theatre was built in 1925. Ran by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, this high society motion picture house made history by being the only theatre ran by solely woman. It was in 1929 when the Embassy sparked a trend that went national for becoming the very first newsreel theatre in the USA. When you visit the Embassy Theatre, which is now the Times Square Visitors Center, you will be able to watch the 5 minute documentary that tells the Times Square story presenting the stories over the past century.

Attractions and Highlights

Times Square is home to some of the most notable Broadway theaters, such as the Minskoff, Lyceum and Shubert. As you walk the district’s glamorous streets, you’ll probably see plenty of enormous billboards that promote the latest Broadway productions. You can also purchase tickets for shows at the official TKTS booth that’s centrally located in a high-traffic area. Your eyes will also be drawn to the dozens of other digital billboards that advertise everything from fashionable attire and gadgets to upcoming events and breaking news.

This vibrant neighborhood is also lined with souvenir shops and flagship stores with seemingly endless piles of goods. For example, M&M’s World and Hershey’s Chocolate World satisfy your cravings for chocolate treats in dozens of unique flavors. Would you like to pose with life-size figures of your favorite celebrities? Visit the Madame Tussauds New York Wax Museum in Times Square. This premium attraction features interactive exhibits, such as the Mission: Undead and Kong: Skull Island.

If you have a generous budget, you might be fortunate enough to reserve a room in one of the high-rise hotels that dominate the local skyline. Featuring more than 50 floors, the New York Marriott Marquis is one of the premier lodging venues in Midtown Manhattan. This skyscraper hotel even offers on-site entertainment at the Marquis Theater. Other notable hotel towers in the district include the Sheraton New York and Crowne Plaza.

The congestion of the crowds brings forth the true authenticity of what Times Square is all about. The Times Square Visitors Center is where to visit first as it provides services such as the ability to purchase tickets to all Broadway shows, tours, upcoming attractions and maps and free brochures of Times Square.

Transportation Options

Several New York City subway lines stop at a massive underground complex in Times Square. Some busy routes that serve this bustling part of Midtown Manhattan include the 1, A, 7 and Q lines. The subway station in this district has multiple entrances and exits on 42nd Street. You can also make smooth transfers from subway trains to dozens of bus routes at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Click to visit the Times Square official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.

Rockefeller Center – A National Historic Landmark in the Heart of Midtown Manhattan

by Denise Marie

Occupying several blocks in Midtown Manhattan, the Rockefeller Center is a mixed-used complex that offers great entertainment, sightseeing, dining and shopping. You can take the NYC subway or MTA buses to this historic center that has defined the city’s skyline and culture for generations. Home to Art Deco skyscrapers, the property is named after the wealthy Rockefeller family.

Rockefeller Center - A national historic landmark in the heart of Midtown Manhattan

Click for more details on the national historic landmark – the Rockefeller Center

Sightseeing, Shopping and Other Highlights

The Top of the Rock Observation Deck is one of the most visited attractions at the Rockefeller Center. Situated on top of the historic 30 Rockefeller Plaza, this multi-level observation area offers 360-degree views of the city’s five boroughs and other surrounding communities. During the winter season, the Rink at Rockefeller Center is open for freestyle ice skating with great views of the famous Christmas Tree. The rink is usually surrounded by an array of international flags and other banners that celebrate the neighborhood’s diverse character.

The annual lighting of the Christmas tree is one of the center’s most notable traditions. Additionally, a tour of the NBC studios is another popular sightseeing option at the center. You can also take a tour of the iconic Radio City Music Hall, which hosts the signature Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes.

The spring and summer seasons bring out the best of the Channel Gardens, which include colorful flowers and well-manicured shrubs along with European-inspired fountains. The skyscrapers and other structures at the Rockefeller Center are also decorated with stunning artistic elements, such as the famous Atlas and Prometheus statues that are inspired by Greek mythology. The Winged Mercury, Story of Mankind, Arms of England and Acts from Vaudeville are among dozens of Art Deco art pieces that are integrated into the facades of multiple buildings. Marble floors and walls with classic Italian designs also decorate the massive concourses at the Rockefeller Plaza.

Home to more than 100 shops, the Rockefeller Center is one of the premier retail hubs in Midtown Manhattan. From fashionable attire to Big Apple souvenirs, you can purchase a wide range of premium items at the center’s shopping concourse. From pizza and pasta to gourmet European dishes and authentic Asian bites, the center offers dozens of appetizing food options within walking distance of each other.

Location and Transportation

Several NYC subway trains stop at the Rockefeller Center Station, which is accessible from 6th Avenue. Some MTA bus routes that stop near the iconic center include the M2, M5 and M7. Additionally, the historic Grand Central Terminal is only several blocks south of this mixed-used property.

Click to visit the Rockefeller Center official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.

Empire State Building | On Top of the World!

by Denise Marie

Dominating New York City’s skyline since the early 1930’s, the Empire State Building is an iconic architectural landmark that has attracted countless visitors for generations. Standing more than 1,450 feet tall, this historic Art Deco property has two observation levels, a museum and gift shop. Open 365 days a year, the ESB offers one of the best ways to experience the City that Never Sleeps with friends and family.

The Great Building

The Empire State Building has been named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. It stands 103 stories high right on 5th Avenue in the heart of Midtown Manhattan. It was the tallest building in the world for almost 40 years, until the completion of New York’s World Trade Center in 1970. Aside from its height, it is also famous for its classic Art Deco architecture, which can be seen everywhere from the spectacular cathedral-like three story lobby, to the sleek railings and design of the observation deck.

The Empire State Building also acts as symbol to mark holidays and world events. Floodlights were added to the top of the building in the 1960’s, and now the building lights up in different colors depending in the occasion. The building is lit up red, white and blue for the 4th of July, green for St. Patrick’s Day and Christmas, and in 1998, it was bathed in a blue light when Frank Sinatra (Old Blue Eyes) passed away.

It is simply one of the most famous buildings in the entire world and it has come to symbolize the bold and majestic grandeur of the Big Apple itself. The ESB has been featured in countless movies, television shows and books set in New York, from King Kong to An Affair to Remember to Doctor Who to Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.

Book your Empire State Building Day and Night Admission Ticket

Click to book your Empire State Building Day and Night admission ticket

Highlights and Experience

The Visitors’ Center at the Empire State Building should be the first stop for all tourists heading to the upper levels. This facility has multiple automated kiosks that sell tickets for the observation decks. Covering nearly 10,000 sq feet, the 2nd Floor Museum has numerous galleries and other interactive displays for visitors. Some of the exhibits focus on the skyscraper’s influence on American and global pop culture. Of course, you’ll see cool presentations of the iconic King Kong, the giant ape that climbed to the top of the skyscraper in multiple films.

The museum on the second floor also has detailed scale models of the architectural marvel. Featuring indoor and outdoor areas, the Main Deck is located on the 86th floor. Visitors will enjoy 360-degree views of New York City from this observation level. Coin-operated binoculars are installed at the outdoor terraces for even better views of all attractions and other interesting points in sight.

Having an indoor observation area, the Top Deck is located on the 102nd level of the skyscraper. On a day with optimum visibility, you might see communities that are approximately 80 miles away from Manhattan. From Central Park and the Brooklyn Bridge to One World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty, hundreds of attractions are visible from the top of this landmark.

After admiring awesome aerial views of the Big Apple, you may stop at the official gift shop on the second floor. From stuffed animals and mugs to shirts and hardcover books, this store is stocked with cool NYC-themed souvenirs.

Tips for the Perfect Visit

Since the Empire State Building is at the top of everyone’s must-see list, expect long lines. Tickets do offer an express option which will let you skip the lines, but you can expect to line up long before you get to the ticket counter. Instead, it’s cheaper and more efficient to plan your visit for a time when lines might be a little less long.

The best times to visit are first thing in the morning, around 3 p.m., or at night, when the lines are shortest. Don’t let bad weather keep you away. A little rain or snow does nothing to dampen the incredible view, and it does a lot to speed up your trip to the top. The most romantic time to visit is at night, when the city that never sleeps is sparkling at your feet.

Location and Getting There

The Empire State Building is visible from virtually all points in Manhattan, so you’ll easily find a quick route to this landmark. Tourists may enter the skyscraper through a designated entrance near the corner of 34th Street and 5th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. Having exits and entrances on multiple blocks, the 33rd Street subway station is within walking distance of this famous building. Offering subway, intercity and commuter rail services, New York Penn Station is also situated just a few blocks west of the historic skyscraper.

Click to visit Empire State Building official website.

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.