New York, New York – the greatest city in the entire world, some would say.
The home of Broadway, Times Square, Hip-hop, Niagara Falls and the New York Stock Exchange, New York City pays homage to the American dream.
From the streets of Brooklyn to the rooftops of Manhattan, New York is quite the metroplex. For some, the best views come from down below and for some the best views come from way up high. New York city offers an extreme amount of skyline for city dwellers to enjoy and bask in.
From sky-high perches to the Brooklyn Bridge, we are about to break down the best spots in the big apple to check out all the skyline goodness the big city has to offer.
Top 10 Places to See the New York Skyline
1. Top of the Rock
Top of the Rock offers one of the most spectacular views of New York City you could imagine. The view is located at the top of one of New York City’s most iconic buildings, the Rockefeller Center. The entire experience of making it to the Top of the Rock is worth the view in itself.
Take a walk in the historic footsteps of these men by checking out the interactive beam walk. Do not forget to pause for a tribute photo.
There are shops, restaurants, events and more offered at the Rockefeller Center. There is even an incredible breezeway section, where kids and adults alike can become lost in the lights and views.
There is a radiance wall created by Swarovski composed of incredible glass panels, blown glass, crystal clusters and fiber optic lighting. The sky shuttle takes you 850 above street level to arrive to the Top of the Rock.
2. Governors Island
Another tourist favorite, the Governors Island is a 172-acre island located in the heart of New York harbor. The island is accessible by ferry and open to the public May 1st to October 31st. Governors Island opened to the public in 2005 and serves as a cultural hub and venue for dynamic and unique art related events.
Governors Island offers incredible views of the entire Manhattan and New York skyline. The entire island offers amazing interactive and observational art pieces. There are certain site-specific, long-term artworks on Governors Island. The goal is to give the audience and artists the ability to engage in projects responding to the environment’s distinctive conditions.
The views from Governors Island are the main attraction of taking the ferry over to this amazing art filled island. The views are just incredible and you can see the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan. Brooklyn – the entire New York skyline.
With the quiet waters surrounding you, escape to Governors Island to get a truly unique and serene view of the city, without even being in the city.
3. Empire State Building
Taking on the Empire State Building is a New York must do. The building is so iconic – it has been featured in endless movies, shows and serves as a worldwide icon of the city and what it stands for.
Visiting the Empire State Building offers not just a spectacular view off of its observation decks, but an unforgettable experience.
The Empire State Building offers a recently restored lobby with stunning art deco throughout as well as ceiling murals, the iconic Dare To Dream Exhibit and the Sustainability Exhibit. There are multiple observation decks, including the main deck and the top deck.
The main deck is located on the 86th floor and is the highest open-air observation in all of New York. The main deck wraps around the building’s spire and gives visitors 360-degree views of the big apple.
The top floor of the Empire State Building is situated sixteen floors above the main deck, on the 102nd floor. The top deck allows for views so vast you can even see skyscrapers eighty miles away on a clear day.
Once you are up top, you can ride in the manually operated Otis elevator that shows your altitude as you ascend up, up and away.
4. Fort Tryon Park
Fort Tyron Park was a special gift by John D. Rockefeller that was dedicated to the public for its use in 1935. Fort Tyron Park hails as one of the most beautiful outdoor spaces and pieces of art the city holds dear.
Park goers love utilizing the park’s eight miles of pathways, whether it’s for a short stroll or long run. The park also offers open lawns and the city’s largest garden with unrestricted public access.
The Fort Tyron Park is home to Manhattan’s largest dog run, two playgrounds, volleyball courts, a relaxing gazebo and built in ping pong tables.
The best part about Fort Tyron Park though is the incredible New York skyline views it offers its visitors. Sit at a park bench with your loved one and soak up the incredibly brilliant skyline views.
The park is operated in collaboration with The Fort Tyron Park Trust, a non-profit focusing on sustainability and revitalization of all sixty-seven acres of this scenic landmark in New York. The Trust also provides supplemental staff for the park’s upkeep and provides over 250 programs for free in the park and their funds are used to target park improvements.
5. Liberty Helicopters
If you really want to see the city from a completely different view, take to the skies. Liberty Helicopters offers some of the best ways to see the city you could ever imagine.
Known as the largest and most experienced helicopter sightseeing and charter service in the Northeastern part of the United States, Liberty Helicopters will give you the best view of the city you will ever see.
Liberty Helicopters is perfectly located to create the most convenient and accessible helicopter sightseeing experience possible. Lift off happens at the Downtown Manhattan Heliport located within close proximity to mass transit stops and easy to find for anyone who is looking to take a helicopter ride.
Every single trip with Liberty Helicopters is an unforgettable experience. Soar high above the Hudson River and check out the big apple like you have never seen it before. You will even fly right over the State of Liberty to see her in all of her glory.
There are different packages you can buy including The Big Apple package and the New York, New York package. Each ride last anywhere from twelve to twenty minutes, depending on which package you choose.
Definitely do not forget your camera to partake in some of the most epic photography opportunities you might ever get.
6. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Roof Garden
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Roof Garden is one of the most spectacular views of the New York skyline available. The Met Fifth Avenue is an iconic spot for anyone visiting New York City or for those who have lived there forever. Their art roof garden is a beautiful slice of art and paradise located on the roof of this New York landmark.
The Museum opened its doors to the public in 1880 and since has expanded to cover more than two million square feet. The Museum is open daily but closed Thanksgiving Day, December 25, January 1, and the first Monday in May.
The fun is up top at the Met Roof Garden Café and Martini Bar. The rooftop bar offers extremely awesome views of Central Park and the New York skyline.
Enjoy strolling through the amazing art exhibits through the Museum and end your day up top with a refreshing martini and gorgeous views. The amazing panoramic views are worth the lack of seating and expensive drinks.
Definitely worth a trip to the fifth floor to at least check out the views and get a new perspective of the New York skyline.
7. Brooklyn Bridge Park
The Brooklyn Bridge Park is a wonderful place to hang, experiencing Brooklyn and check out epic views. Take a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge and then end the stroll at the iconic Brooklyn Bridge Park. The park offers places to play soccer, basketball courts, a playground, picnic tables and sand volleyball.
There are a multitude of park benches strewn throughout the Brooklyn Bridge Park, perfect to hang and watch the sunset and soak in the epic city views. The park offers amazing views of Manhattan and from a different perspective that is not usually talked about. The park runs quite a distance down the river and allows you to stroll along the river and really enjoy the scenery.
Brooklyn Bridge Park even features some really awesome events throughout the year and especially in the summer. Throughout the month of June, there are plenty of concerts and live music open to the public to kick back, relax and enjoy the show.
The Brooklyn Bridge Park offers an impeccably brilliant amount of green space, beach space, sightseeing space and events geared to have the entire family involved.
8. Belvedere Castle
Belvedere Castle is one of Central Park’s five visitor centers that was co-created by Calvert Vaux in 1869 as a whimsical structure looking out to the north where the Great Lawn is located. Belvedere Castle offers some of the highest and best views of Central Park and the surrounding cityscape.
Be sure to head to Belvedere Castle to check out some of the best views of the New York City skyline. After decades of the park deteriorating, the Central Park Conservancy has renovated and reopened the Belvedere Castle in 1983.
The Central Park Conservancy raises 75% of the Park’s annual budget and is accountable for the work essential to keeping Central Park alive and well. Belvedere Castle offers amazing views of the city and one of the highest points in Central Park.
Belvedere Castle is located in the mid park area of Central Park and the name actually translates to “beautiful view” in Italian. How fitting this name is because the views to be seen at the Castle are some of the best in the land.
If you are looking for a great view inside of Central Park, definitely add Belvedere Castle to your list.
9. Gantry Plaza State Park
Gantry Plaza State Park is located at 4-09 47th Road in Long Island City, New York. It is a twelve-acre park that features a riverside oasis that offers some incredible views of the midtown Manhattan skyline.
From the Gantry Plaza State Park, you can see the Empire State Building and the United Nations. There are four piers strewn throughout the park’s well-kept gardens and greenery. The park also has a unique mist fountain to keep you cool as you stroll along the piers.
The park’s centerpiece is found in the restored gantries that the park has revitalized. Enjoy a summer concert or enjoy a lunch with friends at one of the outdoor table spaces the park has.
Gantry Plaza State Park is dog friendly and offers a dog run on the corner of 48th Avenue and Vernon Boulevard. You can fish, play at the playgrounds, enjoy a picnic lunch and seriously soak up the epic New York skyline views.
The Gantry Plaza State Park charges a vehicle fee to enter the park and different fees for picnic permits and filed permits.
10. Green-Wood Cemetery
Green-Wood Cemetery is a National Historic Landmark that was one of the first rural cemeteries in the United States.
Founded in 1838, Green-Wood Cemetery has earned an international reputation for its incredible beauty and attracts half a million visitors every year. This iconic landmark is second behind Niagara Falls as the nation’s greatest tourist attraction.
The cemetery itself features 478 acres of hills, valleys, glacial ponds and pathways. The cemetery actually features the largest outdoor collection of 19th and 20th century statuary and mausoleums. The Green-Wood Cemetery offers wonderful bird watching and historical prowess. The Battle of Long Island also was fought here in 1776 across what are now the grounds of Green-Wood Cemetery.
To visit Green-Wood Cemetery, you can take yourself on a self-guided tour or use a mobile app to help guide you through the Cemetery and its landmarks.
Take in the Views
The views offered in New York City are unlike any other. There are so many ways to get different views of the big apple, whether from the water, sky or land, New York City is undeniably a spectacular city. The views are out of this world and all of these twenty spots offer a uniquely different view from its vantage point.
You can visit a skyscraper observation deck, take a ferry to different islands around the city or even charter a helicopter to get genuine birds eye views of the big apple. You will find a wide variety of options to soak in these views for a multitude of different prices and efforts needed to reach the view.
No matter where you choose to soak in the big city view, we guarantee you will have an unforgettable experience.