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Beat the Crowds: New York

This month we’re giving away a luxury trip for two to New York, so the city that never sleeps has been at the top of the list of our watercooler chats recently! Over the next couple of weeks we thought we’d share the best and most interesting recommendations we’ve got for how to make the most out of a weekend in New York.

While bustling down 5th Avenue with the hordes of tourists is undoubtedly part of the authentic New York experience, our favourite recommendations have come from ways to experience those classic sites from a different angle.

Here are our recommendations for alternative ways to experience the city, while still grabbing the best holiday snaps.

 

Statue of Liberty:

 

 

Dedicated by the people of France in 1886 as a sign of friendship, the Statue of Liberty is probably New York’s most iconic landmark. The home of the statue, Liberty Island and the adjacent Ellis Island are both popular options for viewing the 305ft high landmark. However if you don’t fancy a crowded boat ride to either of these, why not head to Governors Island instead?

 

 

 

Located off the coast of lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, Governors Island is a repurposed military base turned park which has recently opened ‘the Hills’. These man-made, 70ft, hills offer new views of The Statue of Liberty and New York Harbour, while the rest of the island hosts art shows, cultural events and adventure golf. The island is easily accessible by ferry in the summer, with plans to increase accessibility to all year round, and is fast becoming one of the city’s best destinations.

 

Empire State Building:

 

 

It is often thought that no trip to New York is complete without heading to the top of the Empire State Building. With it standing at 443m, there is no doubt that the views of New York City are incredible. However, you will find that the one building you came to see, is missing from your skyline photos.

 

 

For a different perspective of the city, head to Top of the Rock above Rockefeller Centre. The 260m height of its 3 tiered observation deck cannot match that of the Empire State Building but we would argue the unobstructed views of Central Park and Midtown definitely do. The journey to the observation decks is also part of the experience with exhibits, theatres and shops along the way and the light show during the elevator ride is an added bonus!

 

Central Park:

 

 

Covering 3.4 km2 of New York, Central Park is a lot more than your average city park. Home to a variety of exotic animals in the Zoo, the famous Strawberry fields and multiple sites from legendary films, the list of places to explore is never ending. Despite its size, avoiding the crowds in America’s most visited urban park is tricky – luckily we’ve got a couple of tips!

 

 

Firstly, waking up early is key. After opening at 6:00am, the best way to see the park is cycling on any one of the three long distance routes available on rental bikes - starting at only $15. Another option is to head to the more underappreciated North end, which boasts the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, Conservatory Gardens and the Lasker rink, which offers ice-skating during the winter months. It doesn’t get any more perfectly New York than that.

 

Times Square:

 

 

One of the world’s most iconic urban locations, Times Square is a must see if you have never been to New York before. More than just a collection of neon signage (Leicester Square ain’t got nothing on this!), Times Square is bold, brash, noisy and always busy – it’s easy to see why some people call it the “crossroads of the world.” While it can be tourist packed the whole experience is unmissable as a distillation of every New York moment you’ve ever seen – yellow cabs bustling and beeping their way through the city, steam rising from the pavements on cold days, bright neon lights and the swarming crowds from every corner of the globe.

Joining the crowds here is part of the experience and while it might get a little quieter after 11pm, no matter what time of day you go it will always be busy. After all, this is the city that never sleeps!

 

 

 

The most obvious way to spend time in Times Square is to visit a Broadway show on offer at any of the 41 theatres in the area. If this isn’t for you, then consider getting above it all in The Roof, a secluded rooftop cocktail bar just ten minutes’ walk away from the bright lights of Times Square but a million miles away in terms of atmosphere. 

 

The chance to explore all of these site and more is within reach with our ‘Win a trip to New York’ competition. See our previous post for more information.

If you’re headed to New York this winter and take up any of our recommendations, be sure to tag us on Instagram or Facebook and don’t forget to sign up to our Newsletter to learn about future competitions as well as trend alerts and a first look at new arrivals!