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New York City Sightseeing

Places and Structures

Brooklyn Bridge
City Hall @ Trinity St. and Vescey St.
Great view of the city, plus a new waterfalls public art project.

Downtown Boathouse
(1, 2, 3 to Chambers St., go west to the river, 6 blocks north along the esplanade; or A, C, E to Canal St, go west to the river, then 5 blocks south along the esplanade). Kayak on the Hudson for free or take free classes! (Yes, the water is clean enough to do this.) Guided trips also available – this place is a great free resource!

Empire State Building
34th St. @ Fifth Ave., down the block from Penn station
By day, a clear cityscape and by night, a sparkling city.
You'll need tickets for ESB Observatory at the top, where you see the city. Tickets are $20.
NY Skyride - Like the Tower of Terror ride, minus the scary part. You can get a combo ticket for the Observatory+Ride for  approx. $47.

Rockefeller Center
The Christmas tree, ice skating, shopping, Radio City Music Hall, NBC, and another city observation deck.

Staten Island Ferry
(Broadway @ Whitehall St. – R. W to Whitehall St.)
First of all, it is 100% free and runs 24 hours a day. Second, a round-trip cruise will only take an hour of your time. Third, you've got the best view of the skyline coming and going, as well as a nice little glide past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

South Street Seaport
Water Street at South St. – By subway: A, C to Broadway Nassau or 4, 5, 1, 2, J, M, Z to Fulton Street. The Seaport offers window shopping, people watching, a decent food court, and a fabulous view of the rivers up the East River. It's also home to a historic museum and several huge, restored sailboats and other ships, some of which you can tour. Come in October for Octoberfest, or December to see the Living Caroling Tree.

Churches

St. John the Divine
112th St. & Amsterdam Ave. – By subway: 1, 2 to 110th St.; or A, B, C, D to Cathedral Parkway
This Gothic Cathedral is the largest cathedral in the world! It’s still being built over 150 years later, and rebuilding is ongoing after it caught fire in winter 2001. There are tours, special concerts and exhibits, and a fabulous vertical view. Check out the celebration of St. Francis Day on the first Sunday of October at 11 a.m. – it’s a huge (and free) animal blessing on the street.

St Patrick's Cathedral
460 Madison Ave (between E 50th and E 51St)
This is the seat of the Archbishop of New York. Its also the largest decorated gothic-style Catholic Cathedral in the US and has been recognized throughout its history as a center of Catholic life in this country.