Wow, can you believe it’s almost August? This summer is going faster than I expected it to! To all my fellow adventure-seekers out there, I hope your summer has been filled with many travels and fun memories. For those of you who are still searching for a fun last-minute travel destination, I have the perfect one for you: my second favorite place in the world (London being the first), the “City That Never Sleeps”… New York. Yes, the wonderful New York City—full of lights, tourists, yellow taxis, and food. My best friend moved to New York a year ago, so I’ve been using him as a perfect excuse to travel and see one of the greatest cities in the United States.
Here are a few of the best attractions and some of my favorite spots to visit in New York City, especially nice in the summer:
This is the home of the greatest light show you’ll see in your life. Times Square is famous for its massive billboards with bright lights that make it look like it’s the daytime instead of nighttime. You can see billboards of Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, art and jewelry stands, the giant Toys “R” Us (where you can ride an indoor ferris wheel), Madame Tussaud’s, and many restaurants of different cultures. There is also a chance to see the famous Naked Cowboy who dances around with his guitar and lets you take pictures with him. Don’t worry, he’s not completely naked—he’s wearing his underwear. Once you’re in Times Square, you’ll spend hours trying to go through every bit of it, trust me. Visit the stores, meet people, find entertainment, and most importantly, have fun.
If you’re a music fanatic like me, New York is the perfect place for you. It is filled with Broadway shows, theater productions, street performers, and art shows. My favorite musical has always been Rent, so I was excited to find last-minute tickets for a good price. You’re better off buying tickets online rather than on the spot, as most websites offer a total of up to 50% off! What a bargain for some great theater. Some popular shows playing on and off Broadway this summer are Wicked, Chicago, Cinderella, If/Then, Mamma Mia, Once, Violet, and more. Check out Theater Mania to find out about prices and descriptions of each show. You can also go visit the TKTS Discount Booth located in Times Square to get reduced-price tickets. Usually if you go in large groups of four or five, the price of each ticket is lower.
A total of 843 square acres, right in the center of Manhattan, Central Park is one of the world’s greatest-known parks, and it is especially beautiful during the summer. The attraction is full of smaller attractions, making it a great place in which to wander around. Some of the spots within the park include Central Park Zoo, Friedsam Memorial Carousel, Belvedere Castle, Sheep Meadow, and the Great Lawn. In the summer, there is the Rumsey Playfield, home of the SummerStage—a performing arts festival featuring dance, theater, music, and more. If you’re visiting New York in the winter, go and ice skate at the Trump Rink. My favorite part of Central Park is the Strawberry Fields attraction, which pays tribute to the wonderful John Lennon. Being a Beatles fan myself, I found it an obligation to go visit this beautiful memorial. There is an ‘Imagine’ mosaic that lies in the center of Strawberry Fields in honor of Lennon’s famous song. The area has been seen as a “Garden of Peace” by many visitors.
Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
The Statue of Liberty on Ellis Island is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the United States. It is known to be a beacon of hope for generations of immigrants who wanted to pursue a better life in America. The Ellis Island Immigration Museum shows you the historic crossroads that occurred back in the day. The best part of visiting the Lady Liberty is the way to get there: a short ferry to the Liberty Island, which takes you up close and personal to the statue. The ferry runs from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., shuttling back and forth every few minutes. Make sure to take pictures of New York City’s landscape with the warm summer sun shining on it as well!
These are just a few ideas of what to do in the great city, but don’t let me stop you there! There are many other popular attractions, like Coney Island, Yankee Stadium (go Yankees!), Rockefeller Plaza, and more places to discover. If I wrote everything I liked about New York, I’d probably write three pages worth of my favorite places. For now, these are just some ideas of what to add to your bucket list. What are you waiting for? Summer is almost over and StudentUniverse is having a huge sale for all domestic flights! Take advantage of this great opportunity and discover the world. Who said summer had to be boring and expensive?
For more information on New York City, check out the New York travel guide StudentUniverse has put up to see special deals, attractions, tours and more.