Statue of Liberty: Take the free Staten Island Ferry to and from Staten Island. The ferry leaves quite often, however, I would avoid rush hour times due to heavy "local" traffic (many locals use this ferry). I would rather ride the ferry than pay to go stand and look at Lady Liberty. If you don't wish to stand outside, go inside and downstairs where there are less people!
Times Square: When a friend said, "The lights are so bright at night, it's like daylight," I didn't really believe her. But it's so true!!!!! Such an incredible amount of light blinds you at times! Don't fall for any tourist traps. Take your pics, people watch a bit, then leave. I recommend visiting during the day AND night.
|No flash needed!|
Brooklyn Bridge: It's not as long as you think and the panoramic view of the buildings on The Promenade is breathtaking! Be wary of the cyclists zooming by! I also suggest walking it at night to see the city lights.
Grand Central Station: This is the best place to people watch in the city. Thousands of people walk through this beautiful building. Take a moment to step aside, take pictures, and watch the beauty of humanity pass by.
Chrysler Building: You won't be able to go to the top floor and take pictures of the Manhattan skyline, however, check out the frescoes painted on the ceiling and read about the history of the building.
St. Patrick's Cathedral: This magnificent church rivals some that I've visited in Europe. If you are Catholic, I highly recommend going to mass in such a massive cathedral. If you are not, try to avoid going during mass times in respect to those worshipping. You can make a small donation when you first arrive in the church before touring. This church holds the Cardinal's chair, which is the highest officiant for the United States. I did not notice if shoulders must be covered or not (I just always tend to cover my shoulders when I go to mass).
Rockefeller Center: When visiting this iconic area, go early in the morning and go to the Today Show to try and get on the morning news!
Chelsea Market: The building that Chelsea Market is housed in is the old Nabisco factory! The Chelsea Market area was the meat packing district of Manhattan. There are lots of eateries and small grocery stores to choose from. The seafood market looked delish!
9/11 Memorial and Freedom Tower: This serene solute to the victims of 9/11 brought me back to where I was when our beautiful country was attacked. Sit and stay awhile, thinking positive thoughts sending positive vibes to the family members survived by the victims.
Other landmarks to take pictures in front of (for free): Radio City Hall, Carnegie Hall, Empire State Building (is it really worth paying $35 to go to the top where most of the views of the skyline are blocked by bars and high concrete walls?), and many more landmarks that I was not able to visit in this trip!