When Cunard revealed that passengers booking a balcony cabin or above would receive a free stay in New York as part of their exclusive Transatlantic sailing offer, we knew it was the perfect time to show you what the city has to offer.
From your base at the Doubletree Metropolitan New York or The Langham New York you’ll be in prime position to soak up the sights of the city that never sleeps, racking up the New York minutes and taking an almighty bite out of the Big Apple. So, here are our pick of six things you absolutely must do in New York.
Lazing in Washington Square Park
Come spring, summer, autumn or winter, Washington Square Park attracts a mix of locals and tourists alike. Grab a coffee in winter or a Snow Cone in summer and plant yourself in the perfect spot to people watch. On any given day you can expect to see musicians practicing their craft, artists sketching the passing crowds, chess masters waging war on the opposition and tourists snapping Washington Square Arch.
Saturdays and Sundays see encores from one of New York City’s most famous residents, the Crazy Piano Man. Though he isn’t actually crazy, he most certainly deserves his Piano Man moniker; each day he wheels his grand piano along the streets to Washington Square Park, where he spends the whole day busking for his eager crowd. Anywhere else in the world this may be considered a little strange, but here in New York it’s oh-so-normal.
Getting to know Lady Liberty
What began as a gift symbolising the friendship between France and the United States has gone on to become a true New York icon. Seeing the Statue of Liberty close up, along with the Manhattan skyline stretched out before her, is a must do in New York.
Ferries to Liberty Island depart from Battery Park throughout the day, seven days a week. General entry tickets cover access to the pedestal, Liberty Island and Ellis Island, but plan ahead and you can get even closer to Lady Liberty herself. Crown access tickets sell out weeks in advance but the experience makes booking ahead and climbing the 377 steps to the top worthwhile. The ferry will take you to Ellis Island next, where Park Ranger of over 20 years, Charles Walker, will give you the most interesting history lesson you’ve ever had.
Boating on the Lake in Central Park
Central Park welcomes over 37 million visitors every year but from your rowing boat in the middle of the Lake you can escape the crowds and see the city from a brand new vantage point. Spanning 20 acres and filled with turtles, Central Park’s peaceful lake feels a million miles away from the frenetic city streets. Don’t worry though, look up and the skyscrapers that peek out above the surrounding trees are an instant reminder that you’re in the Big Apple.
Walking the High Line
Only New York would think to convert a decrepit railway line into an elevated parkway filled with modern art, street vendors and the kind of Manhattan street views you see in the movies. The High Line sits above Manhattan’s West Side, running from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street. The amphitheatre-like 10th Avenue Overlook puts just a sheet of glass between you and the hustle and bustle of the city street below, and you’ll find endless viewing platforms, art installations and planted gardens along the High Line’s 1.45 miles of parkway.
Chelsea Market is located so close to the High Line that you can almost smell the foods that fill its stall; take the steps down from the High Line at West 16th Street to get your fill.
Shopping in Soho
In years gone by, Soho served as the creative heart of New York City, with newly-vacated factories serving as cheap accommodation for the gathering artists and musicians. Today, those iconic cobbled streets are home to some of the world’s most expensive apartments and some of fashion’s biggest designers.
Whilst we can’t yet afford the million-dollar loft, we can splash the cash in some of the immaculate stores that line the sidewalks. It’s not all about the shopping though; multi-storey murals, incredibly talented buskers and the world’s greatest collection of cast-iron (and expensive!) buildings will satisfy budding photographers looking for the typical New York street shot.
Getting outta the city
Whilst there’s so much to see in Manhattan, there’s just as much to miss if you fail to venture across the river.
Catch the train to Coney Island or jump in a cable car to Roosevelt Island (don’t forget to look behind you for amazing views of Manhattan on route). Brooklyn has become a destination in its own right and there is enough here to keep you occupied for days. Ride Jane’s Carousel, shop the Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasbord food market or scope out a restaurant spot beneath the bridge for dinner with a view.