Top 10 Favorite Cities Visited – #3 New York, United States of America

Top 10 Favorite Cities Visited

With 33 countries under my belt, I’ve experienced some of the most amazing cities that the world has to offer. From great beaches, climate, friendly people, personal interests, world-famous attractions, architecture, history, and culture, there are many different factors that make a city great, let alone top ten!

#3 New York, United States of America 

New York has nearly 47 million visitors per year.

New York City is a melting pot of cultures moving in unity on 305 square miles of land. During the day, Central Park, Wall Street, United Nations, the Empire State Building, and the Statue of Liberty, along with Ellis Island, capture the attention of every tourist. However, the city is alive 24-hours a day and nightlife is thriving. Times Square lights up while Broadway displays some of the best theater options the world has to offer. From Times Square and Central Park to the Empire State Building and Broadway, New York City is one of the world’s most exciting places to visit.

No monument symbolizes the nation’s beliefs of political freedom better than the Statue of Liberty. Though she also stands proudly in Israel, Japan, France, and Las Vegas, none compare to the majesty she holds over New York City. We were able to appreciate her grandeur without the long wait times and impatient crowds by arriving early. We caught one of the first ferries from Battery Park to the statue on Liberty Island, then made a stop on Ellis Island before returning to the mainland. The airport-like security screenings and the $12 ferry fee were well worth the historic, awe-inspiring journey. The Statue of Liberty stood proud and tall over our heads and reminded us that we are free to experience the world and revel in all its beauty. The Ellis Island Immigration Museum offered us a fascinating look into the immigrant experience. With interactive exhibits, photos, and movies, the hardships and challenges faced by immigrants passing through Ellis Island were revealed. As our day began fresh in New York City, we felt grateful for the opportunity to explore the streets freely. All of downtown Manhattan lay before us as we embarked on a full day of New York City adventures.

The Charging Bull, created and installed following the 1987 stock market crash as a symbol of the strength and power of the American people, was a good indication that we were near Wall Street. The amount of money exchanged in the New York financial district is overwhelming. Sights like Federal Hall, the site of Washington’s inauguration as first President, and the New York Stock Exchange, a global marketplace, gave me a sense of wonder at the vast possibilities in the world, while the bull provided a funny photo opportunity.

Rows and rows of skyscrapers sprawled before us but it was impossible not to notice this landmark structure in Midtown Manhattan – the Empire State Building. It offers unmatched views of New York and neighboring states from its world-famous 86th and 102nd floor observatories. By buying our tickets online in advance, we once again avoided the ticket line. Taking a trip to the top of the Empire State Building was the perfect way to continue our New York excursion on foot. We could see the city’s major highlights some 1,050 feet beneath us and we easily mapped out our day. The Chrysler Building, Times Square, Central Park, and Broadway, some of the most famous landmarks in the world, were all at our feet.

Technically, the Chrysler Building is an office building open Monday through Friday, but we didn’t need to go inside to appreciate its appeal. This 1,046-foot high skyscraper was one of my favorite buildings in the city. Its menacing gargoyles and triangular openings reminded me of neoclassical France and its sheer magnitude was all encompassing.  Unlike the Empire State Building, we didn’t need an expensive ticket or a patience for long lines to enjoy its beauty.

We couldn’t visit New York City without touring the amazing neon spectacle that is Times Square. Although congested, the people seemed to move in harmony, creating one massive, multicultural conglomeration. Each city block of people flowed with the lights and the traffic with perfect timing. In a sea of faces, I felt part of something bigger. When I looked into the street, the harmony was broken by a single man. Better known as the Naked Cowboy, this busker is a legendary fixture on the corner of 45th and Seventh Avenue. Dressed in cowboy boots, boxer briefs and a hat, he was the only walking, talking, and singing tourist attraction of New York. As stereotypical as it was, I enviably took his picture. The lights, density, and sights of Times Square definitely astounded me.

The hour long United Nations guided tour instilled a life-changing desire within me.  During the tour, we saw an ivory carving from China, drums from the Caribbean, and a replica of the Royal Thai barge – all gifts donated to the United Nations from members of the Organization over the years. We viewed the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, followed by an exhibit on disarmament. Among the artifacts presented were remnants of the nuclear explosion in Nagasaki and Hiroshima and landmines of various types and shapes. In The General Assembly Hall, we sat where the 192 members of the Organization convene to discuss global issues. The final part of our visit included a presentation of the Security Council, the contributions of peacekeepers, and the work of the United Nations system. Learning about the UN’s peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts peeked an interest in me to do more. I wanted to become an active volunteer who helped to improve the welfare and happiness of other people. It was this tour, more than any other single event in my life, that encouraged me to coach sports, volunteer at local hospitals and orphanages, tutor students, and organize charity events. I’ve since gained over 5000 volunteer hours all sparked by visiting the United Nations Headquarters.

Central Park offered a relaxing escape from a day of concrete and skyscrapers. We took a stroll through the park while eating our dinner and discovered why Central Park is so popular. Its 843 acres of landscape was like stepping into the country. The landmarks in the park were vast; we found everything from sparking waters, luscious gardens, and green fields to stunning bridges and performance centers. Its picturesque beauty was an escape in the heart of one of the busiest cities in the world. It gave us time to come down from the heights of Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty.

Although I only witnessed one show, I could easily have spent my entire trip on Broadway. The Lion King was a fantastic experience. Broadway was alive and suddenly I was a child again. The parade of elephants, hippopotamuses, zebras, gazzeles, giraffes… the entire show was breathtaking and the playhouse was enchanting.

New York City has diversity, energy, and culture and it’s available 24 hours a day. The entire city is covered in some of the most recognizable icons in the country, including the unmistakable Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and Times Square. Ending our day with the Lion King completed the circle of tourist life in New York City. If I returned a thousand times, there would always be something new to discover and explore. New York will always hold a place in my top five favorite cities in the world.

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148 thoughts on “Top 10 Favorite Cities Visited – #3 New York, United States of America

  1. I LOVED NYC. I’m pretty sure that Central park is the best park in the world 🙂 I was only sad I didn’t run in it while I was there.

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  2. Liked the fun picture of you with the bull – but what effect did it have on the markets?

    Department of false facts: the spikes on the crown of the statue of liberty were installed in 1941 to deter Japanese paratroopers.

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  3. ahh New York looks incredible! A city dreamed of going too 🙂 it’s great to read your blog of this place – it makes me more keen to go! 🙂

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  4. Ah! The city where I grew up and spent 20 something odd years. Grateful for it, always a good place to visit but I’m so glad I don’t live there anymore. 🙂 It is however, very nice to see all the familiar places you’ve posted. Glad you enjoyed it 🙂 Safe travels Lesley 🙂

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  5. I love NYC. It’s such an amazing spectacle of people and architecture. I’ve now been there three times and every time there’s something new to see. I highly suggest the bus tours (as corny as they may be) simply because you get to see many things really quickly. Then go off an explore the areas that interested you on the tours during the rest of your trip.

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  6. Great read.
    Makes me even more determined to go back there again someday. It’s about as far away from where I am that anything could be.
    New York and Western Australia (where I live) are pretty well on opposites sides of the world.

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  7. I love New York , and I felt safe where ever I was. I went there for a week, my sister was working there and all day I did my own thing then in the evening we had so much fun, so much choice! Fond memories thanks for sharing!

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  8. Yes, I have to agree with Cyclingrandma – it truly is nice “seeing” and reading about NYC from a tourist point of view.

    Ashamed to admit I have never been to the United Nations nor have I seen that area before – so thank you for the photos and write-up.

    Safe travels!

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  9. Thanks for reading in. I couldn’t help being curious and take a look at your blog. And I really like what I found!! Also like your story of NY. I lived in Williamsburg for a year and always think of NY as my second home! Ps. I’ll be battling the skinny regime this year and promoting strong joy and health! 😉

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  10. Very fun! 33 countries! So awesome, I’ve been to like 15 and I thought THAT was a lot! I STILL have not been to NY and would LOVE to! It looks like you hit it all while you were there. That bull is just WOW! Did you see how shiny his junk was from all the tourist hand rubbing! INSANE!

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  11. Glad to see you have the Bull by the “Horns”. Used to live between Macys and Empire State Building in the McAlpin Towers (former Marriott Business residence) till my daughter was born…Did you get to Taste Korea in K-Town one block down from Empire State Building? Great Cuisine from Vegiterian to BBQ!

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  12. Like the other New Yorkers have said … Yay for my home town!! If you make it back, some of the best highlights are off the beaten path – including some of best restaurants I have ever been to!!

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  13. Lesley, thank you for the ‘Like’. I’ve been reading your blog and what a treat! As to this post, I’ve spent lots of time in New York over the years and lived there one summer. I also have two daughters who now live and go to school in Manhattan (one lives in Harlem, the other on the line of Upper East Side and Spanish Harlem), so I’ve spent just a little bit of time there since then too. LOL!

    Your post pretty much hits the high points. But if you ever go back, let me know. I know of some great ‘non-tourist’ places.

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  14. It’s nice to see pictures of different places in different countries, it’s being able to experince the place without being there. New York is a very busy city like what I usually see in Sex in the city. It’s a nice place and hoping one day I can get to visit this place.

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  15. Just saw this post. Yes, I love NYC. I’ve been there a couple of times. I’m surprised you didn’t go to the 911 memorial or maybe this trip was done before that happened. I can’t wait to go back and see it.

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  16. Lesey, my daughter and son-in-law live in the East Village. My daughter is a professor at NYU and my son-in-law is a documentary filmmaker. This city is truly like no other. It is indeed where the world meets. And I love your boldness at “funny picture taking” time!

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  17. … brilliant treatment of one of the greatest cities in our world! I think I have never seen it quite like this… you obviously enjoy not only traveling but appreciating and exploring the places you visit. Well done. I, like many here, can’t wait to see which places make the number two and one spots respectively!

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  18. I was in New Rochelle as a nanny just under 20 years ago. It was a short train trip into New York City and I had an opportunity arise where I got to stay in an apartement on weekends with a woman my age. The apartment was Downtown – very close to Soho and the University. The energy of the streets in NY is outstanding and one truly does get a natural high on life in that environment. We young Canadian women got a full immersion in that experience for the course of 6 months.
    Funny because I do not think of myself as a city person but I do recommend a visit to NY for everybody. Love the picture of the bull balls!!!!!
    PS all is smooth for loading on this page and my typing is normal???

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  19. Wow, you didn’t miss anything while you were there. I like that NYC looks just like it does on tv. It seemed familiar when I finally went there, down the people who get mad at tourists for looking around at everything.

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  20. 33 countries is a very impressive tally, and New York is definitely worth its 3rd top spot! I did not see the UN building unfortunately, but made up for it with the number of art galleries I managed to squeeze in!

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