Top 5 things to do in NYC

Top 5 things to do in NYC

There truly is something so special about New York City. I had the pleasure of living in Brooklyn for a year and a half. It was an exceptional experience. I’m excited to share my favorite top 5 things to do in NYC.

Let me start of by saying, if you go to New York for the 4th of July, you are in for a treat. I was fortunate enough to have attended the 40th Anniversary of the Macy’s 4th of July fireworks show in 2016! It was incredible.

I can’t believe I’m saying this next, but if you can believe it, in 2017 we saw the Coney Island 4th of July fireworks show from the boardwalk and that was phenomenal. Hands down, best firework show I’ve ever seen!

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge is my #1 favorite attraction because this hybrid cable/suspension bridge just beautiful. The skyline and river views are something you won’t ever forget. The bridge is 1.1 miles in walking distance. There is a walking path and a bike path in each direction.

I have walked and biked the bridge! That was one of the scariest days in my life. Biking from Bayridge to the Brooklyn Bridge! If you think city traffic is crazy to drive through, imagine being on a bike!!

Off the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge, makes plans to visit the Brooklyn Bridge Park and Dumbo. Off the Manhattan side of the Bridge is City Hall Park. This area is quite beautiful, the architecture of the buildings from the 1800’s and the tree covered walkways give you a break from the sun.

Empire State Building

Did you know “Empire State” is the nickname for New York?

The 360 degree views of New York City and beyond are breathtaking. If you’re given the opportunity, I wouldn’t miss it.

There are 2 observatory decks one on the 86th floor and the other on the 102nd floor. The elevator ride up is so fast! You can’t feel the speed but you’ll find yourself surprised by how quickly you get to the top, it’s under a minute.

Something else that’s interesting is that there is a run every year from the bottom staircase to the 86th floor observation deck! I couldn’t imagine.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral & Atlas

These pictures don’t give justice to the magnificence of this 1800’s cathedral. The architecture is stunning. You could sit for hours and admire it’s majesty. This is the largest neo-Gothic (style of architecture) Roman Catholic cathedral in the world.

We are not Roman Catholic but what an experience. My husband and I actually came for a Christmas Eve service, it was packed seat to seat wall to wall.

Across from the Cathedral is Rockefeller Center. I imagine this area is on everyone’s top 5 things to do in NYC. You can’t miss the Atlas statue. They have an art exhibit if you’re into that sort of thing. You have to visit the ice skating rink and Christmas tree (if it’s that time of year). I’ve never been to Top of the Rock but hear it’s fantastic. You can tour NBC studios and check out the Radio City music hall where we saw the Rockette’s perform as well as Dave Chapelle.


Broadway is amazing!!! We were blessed enough to see a few shows through USO Manhattan who gives tickets to military families. Every show we saw was just spectacular and I recommend every single one.

Family friendly shows:

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

School of Rock


Adult shows:

Phantom of the Opera

Something Rotten

World Trade Center, 911 Memorial & Museum

One World Tower
World Trade Center
World Trade Center

I remember the morning of September 11, 2001 so vividly. My husband and I were in our 1997 little red rodeo driving to work. We were listening to Howard Stern on the radio when he began to describe the smoke he was seeing from the towers and from there chaos would ensue.

I still get chills remembering that moment. Being at the World Trade Center is something everyone should do, if given the opportunity. It’s a somber experience walking through the museum and really stirs up emotion.

It’s incredible that my husband was able to have been a part of the Tunnel to Towers 5k to bring honor to the memory of every single person that lost their lives that day.

New York City is a very special place. There is so much to see and do and can be a little overwhelming. Especially if it’s your first visit or if your visit is limited in time. I hope you found some clarity in the top 5 things to do in NYC that I’ve shared with you today! And I hope your trip is extraordinary!

Thanks for reading! Leave a question or comment below, I love hearing from you! Spread the love and share with a friend!

Traveling with kids? Here are the best things to do in NYC with kids.

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