Where to Find the Best Views in New York City
With a host of the world’s most iconic skyscrapers, New York's skyline is something not to miss. Whether by air, aboard a boat, or from atop a high-rise, here are some of the best places from which to take in the beauty of the Big Apple.
Empire State Building
102 stories up.
One of America's most iconic skyscrapers, the Empire State Building offers 360-degree views from its 86th-floor observatory. Climb to the top to visit its two indoor/outdoor decks, from which you can see Central Park, the Chrysler Building, the Statue of Liberty, and Times Square. Don't miss the art deco lobby at street level or the chance to admire the building itself—some tours offer access at sunrise for ideal lighting or dinnertime for a meal.
One World Observatory
The tallest observation deck in the city (for now).
If you're looking for an observation deck, you have to catch the views from One World Observatory at One World Trade Center, the Western Hemisphere's tallest building. A Sky Pod zips travelers up to the 102nd floor for views of up to 50 miles away in each direction on a clear day. Pre-book your tickets for priority admission and a direct elevator to the observatory.
Top of the Rock
For views of the Empire State Building.
From the Top of the Rock's three floors of indoor/outdoor viewing areas, it's possible to see the iconic Freedom Tower, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the Brooklyn Bridge. You can also take a Rockefeller Center tour to learn about the building's art and architecture.
See all of NYC from above.
There's no better way to get a bird's-eye view of New York City than by flying over it. On a 15-minute helicopter tour, you'll get a look at the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Central Park, the west side of Manhattan, and more.
Hudson River Cruises
Skyline views from the water.
Pass by Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty on a river cruise. Daytime sightseeing cruises offer crisp views of the city, while dinner cruises typically include a three-course meal and plenty of time to take in the city skyline at dusk and by night. Ferry tours to the Statue of Liberty also offer opportunities for great photos of the skyline from the water.