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New York City A Whistlestop Tour

New York, New York, so good, they named it twice. Corny, I know but it sums up pretty neatly, a city with something for everyone on vacation, whether a weekend break or a full two weeks. There is so much to see and do that it's hard to pick out the top hits but here's a selection to choose from.Must See.Central Park - There's so much going on here that you can take a full length holiday without ever leaving the park.

It's so huge (843 acres) with playgrounds, sports grounds, nature conservancy, fountains, fortifications, a reservoir with walking/jogging track, sculptures, gardens and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There are exhibitions, Tai Chi and Yoga classes, concerts and tours and you can even get married there.The Empire State Building - Located on 5th Avenue, the Empire State Building is the tallest in New York at approximately 1,453 feet (443 meters).

From the 86th floor observation deck you can see the whole of New York City spread out below and on a clear day you can see for as far as 80 miles into the neighbouring states of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey and Massachusetts as well as New York State itself.Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island - Situated on Liberty Island, in New York Harbour, the statue stands at 305 feet (93 meters) tall and was a gift from the people of France to the people of the United States and is only accessible by boat. Guided tours of the island and monument are available and this symbol of freedom and democracy must be seen.

The Ellis Island Immigration Museum forms part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and preserves the history of the twelve million immigrants who arrived in America seeking their fortunes.Metropolitan Museum of Art (Central Park) - A must for art lovers, the museum contains permanently over two million works of art, ancient and modern, from all over the world as well as American paintings and sculpture as well as featured specialist exhibitions.Museum of Modern Art - As you might expect, the exhibits here are not restricted to paintings, drawings and sculpture but include film and media, photography and architecture and design.Times Square - Famous for it's coloured neon signs, Times Square is best seen at night. There are restaurants, theatres, cinemas and clubs galore - enough for even the most hardened night-lifer.Must Do.

Shopping - New York is renowned for its shopping, particularly at Christmas, when it takes on a magical quality. Fifth Avenue is THE place to shop in New York. All the big names are here including, of course, Saks Fifth Avenue and Trump Tower.

See a show on Broadway - Broadway is the street in New York which means "theatre" to most people so seeing a show here is essential. There are only four theatres actually ON Broadway, which only covers the twelve blocks from West 41st Street to West 53rd Street but there are plenty more east and west of here.Eat pastrami and/or salt beef sandwiches - New York has a fabulous selection of delis so don't forget to try one of these typical sandwiches or how about a bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese or potato pancakes - never mind the waistline, you're on holiday.Hear some jazz - Harlem to Greenwich Village is an area full of jazz clubs - so many in fact that you might do well to get a guided tour.Visit Ground Zero - the site of the World Trade Center - now a memorial to those who died in the terrible tragedy of 9th September, 2001.Absorb the financial atmosphere of Wall Street, home of the New York Stock Exchange - unfortunately, you can't visit the Stock Exchange at the moment but take in the architecture of the old banks and buildings here.

Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to New York Vacation

By: Michael Russell


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