New York City has many places that are on the must see list, but these 10 places must be visited by anyone going to New York City for the very first time.

10. The Statue of Liberty

The Statue that may be one of the most famous and recognizable symbols of freedom in the entire world. Show your patriotic colors and learn about early immigrants to our great Country at the Ellis Island Museum.

9. Times Square

Nothing says “New York” more than Times Square. The early 80’s had a rash of drugs and scantily clad women roaming the streets, but it has been totally redone in an attempt to clean up the city. You can now feel safe taking your family to Times Square and roaming around. Make sure you bring your camera!

8. Museum of Modern Art

Even if you are not an artistic person, you will feel compelled and inspired by the art attractions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Do not feel compelled to see everything this museum has to offer, because you will not be able to. The Museum of Modern Art has so many exhibits, lectures, and films that you can live next door to it, visit it every day, and you still will not be able to capture everything that it has to offer. The Museum of Modern Art is a must visit for anybody traveling to New York.

7. Chinatown

New York’s China Town has the highest concentration of Chinese people in one area in the Western World. It is like stepping into a new Country. Chinatown is a very fun place to spend a day eating, shopping, and taking pictures.

6. Empire State Building

The Empire State Building has been featured in countless movies, and it s must visit site in New York. When the Empire State Building was built it was the tallest building in the world. It remained the tallest building in the world until 1971 when the North Tower of the World Trade Center was built. After the 9/11 tragedy the Empire State Building once again regained it’s’ title as the tallest building in New York City.

In 1945 the Empire State Building was home to its’ own airplane crash tragedy. In heavy fog a pilot crashed into the Empire State Building, and one of the engines actually landed in the elevator shaft. 14 people were killed in this tragedy.

5. Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center is the iconic building of New York, especially during the Christmas Holidays. Lighting the tree and ice skating are always popular during the Holidays. A visit to Rockefeller Center during the Christmas holidays is a very special thing to do, but you do not have to wait for the holidays. Rockefeller Center is a pretty cool place to visit regardless of the month your are visiting New York City.

4. Fifth Avenue

The People, the shopping, the history, the bike messengers; these are all things that you can experience on 5th Avenue. How can you visit New York for the first time and not go to 5th Avenue?

3. Central Park

Central Park is home to a diverse group of people who visit. You can experience many different cultures by simply wandering around Central Park. The Chess players, the joggers, the cyclists, the funny looking people, the muscular people, and on and on. Central Park is the place for “people watchers”.

2. Subway

Not the Sandwich shop, but the actual subway. The subway and New York City are synonymous with each other. No trip to New York is complete without riding on the Subway. You do not need to have a destination, simply buy a pass, get on, ride for a while, get off, and then explore. Repeat this all day long and you are bound to have some memorable experiences. We always hear that New York is full of Jerks, but if you ride the subway you are bound to meet some really nice people.

1. Apollo Theatre

The Apollo is the historically black theatre, but you don’t have to have dark skin to see one of the shows. If you are lucky enough to snag some tickets then you are in for a treat. The Apollo is often overlooked by first time visitors to New York City.

I chose to put the Apollo Theatre first because this is a destination that is often overlooked by visitors to New York, especially white visitors. There are many other places you should visit in New York City, but depending on how much time you have it is very advisable you spend at least a day or two simply wandering the city. Each Borough of New York has something very special to offer.

Times Square New York

A Typical Street Scene on Times Square

Times Square
Credit: Flickr/DrWho