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Unforgettable New York Experiences

If you’ve never been to New York City then you’re likely to find nearly everything unforgettable the first time around. But certain quintessentially New York experiences or things you never thought you’d do should be on your “thrilling experiences” list. This collection of Unforgettable New York Experiences will intrigue everyone, whether you’re a visitor from abroad or a city resident who just never took advantage of what’s right outside the door. Having moved a lot myself, I often marvel at what I didn’t do when I was right there! Begin now to discover the most unforgettable things about the city that never sleeps.

SoHo’s narrow, cobblestone streets with cast iron buildings and designer boutiques draw the crowds. Here you’ll find the piers along the Hudson and the Hudson River Parkway, a beautiful place for views of the downtown Manhattan skyline. As the largest surviving cast iron district in the world, it became the center of the lower Manhattan art scene, followed by new trends in stylish boutiques, galleries and cafes.

Helicopter Tours

It would be hard to top the experience of soaring above the Big Apple, looking down on the Empire State Building, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty and everything that makes New York City the unforgettable place that it is. NYC Helicopter Tours offers more than a dozen options for high-in-the-sky sightseeing from the comfort of a luxurious helicopter. Sit back and enjoy the ride as you see iconic New York from a once in a lifetime vantage point. You’ll have breathtaking, panoramic views whether you choose a flight around downtown or throughout the entire Hudson Valley. Your photos will be dramatic and your memories sublime. This is really the most exciting way to get an overview of the city and it will be an experience you’ll treasure forever. The duration of the flights last anywhere from 15 minutes to a half hour, or you can even choose a private tour for a special occasion.


What makes Broadway so special? If you’ve been, you know. It’s an immersive experience with live actors, real emotions, anything-can-happen moments. At its best, theater reflects your own thoughts and experiences in life, often putting into words what you know but can’t say. With veteran stars alongside aspiring newbies it’s a level playing field when they are out there on the stage. Hundreds of fellow travelers in life flock to see shows for the same reasons and there’s camaraderie as well as entertainment. The first electric marquee was lit on Broadway in 1891 but it wasn’t until around 1910 when all the theaters were ablaze in bright lights, lining the streets and prompting Broadway to be called “the Great White Way.” The theater district has brought hit musicals and classic modern dramas to the stage for millions of people each year, and it’s easy to get your New York Broadway tickets at the same time you get tickets for other attractions.

  • Broadway is the name of a street and this fact confuses people. Today there are only three “Broadway” theaters actually on that street: The Winter Garden, The Marquis, and Broadway Theater. About 40 additional large theaters are located near Times Square.
  • The term Broadway in general usage refers to a theater that seats at least 500 people. Smaller theaters are known as “Off-Broadway” and “Off-off-Broadway” as the seating capacity lowers.
  • There are exceptions to every rule, so find the show you like and don’t worry whether it is on or off Broadway!

Cruises with View of Statue of Liberty

Another great way to see New York is from the vantage point of the waterways. Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises opened in 1945 and is dedicated solely to sightseeing. With vessels made of steel and oversized glass windows, with first-class service and both indoor and outdoor seating, you can sail in any weather on one of the most famous boat rides in the world. Sail down the Hudson River on a 1.5 hour Landmark Cruise where you’ll have a close encounter with the Statue of Liberty. This cruise passes by all the landmarks twice, both coming and going, so you’re sure to get the perfect picture wherever you are on the boat, and from various angles. A few of the highlights include Ellis Island, United Nations Building, Battery Park, Wall Street, Pier 54 and the Brooklyn Bridge. You can take a similar cruise for one hour or up the ante with a High Speed Harbor Tour in a RIB (rigid inflatable boat,) the same kind used by Navy Seals. You’ll thrill at the rush of the wind as you speed down the river toward the iconic sights. The speed boat stops to circle the Statue of Liberty and slows down at other points as well so that you can get those pics. With speeds reaching 50 mph, this thrilling tour of NYC is sure to be unforgettable!

United Nations

Are you interested in world peacekeeping and human rights? The United Nations headquarters is located along the East River on an 18-acre site. More than a million visitors from around the world visit each year to learn more about how this dynamic institution with more than 193-member states works tirelessly to promote these very ideals. Take a one-hour guided tour through the corridors of international diplomacy and visit the General Assembly Hall which holds about 1800 people, the Trusteeship Council Chamber, and the Economic and Social Council Chambers. The building received an extensive overhaul in 2015 in celebration of the United Nations’ 70th Anniversary so this is a great time to visit. Sculpture and other art work given as gifts by other countries are also on display, making this free tour totally worth your time. A point of interest is that this 18-acre parcel of land is considered international territory and therefore, not technically part of the United States.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Not just for the religious and certainly not just for Catholics, St. Patrick’s Cathedral inspires awe and wonder at its beauty both inside and out. This international landmark has 330-foot spires and is one of the city’s most spectacular architectural sights, and indeed, rivals many of the old cathedrals in Europe. Located across from Rockefeller Center, the sanctuary is the largest Gothic Catholic cathedral in the U.S. and is the Mother Church of the Archdiocese of New York. Inside, you’ll see stained glass windows, several altars, one with a 57 foot tall bronze canopy, and a giant organ with 7,855 pipes. Multiple services are held daily and all are welcome to attend, and this would be a great (and probably only) way to hear music, although some visitors have been treated to choirs practicing or special occasions. If you’re not inclined to attend a service, you can take either a guided tour of the cathedral or download a self-guided audio app. There is no charge to go in but a donation is welcome.

Yankee Stadium

Take Me Out to the Ball Game is a 1908 tin pan alley song which has become the official anthem of North American baseball and is traditionally sung during the break in the middle of the seventh inning. Curiously, neither of the writers of this song (Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer) had ever been to a baseball game before! The New York Yankees franchise has had more success than any other pro baseball team, winning 27 championships. The Yankees brand with its pinstripes and NY emblem are instantly recognizable in many parts of the world. One could write an entire article about how the insignia became a fashion statement symbolizing quality, but that’s already been done. If you’d love to see a whole lot of Yankee hats in one place, or better yet, see a Yankees game, then Yankee Stadium is the ultimate New York destination. The stadium in the Bronx is about a 25-minute taxi, uber or subway ride from downtown Manhattan and a tour of the museum before the game adds an extra punch to the experience. Classic tour highlights include baseball artifacts and memorabilia, Monument Park, the Press Box and/or the Dugout.