In a New York State of Mind

| A New York City Guide of Places to Visit

A visit to New York City is on many people’s bucket list. I was lucky to grow up in this electrifying city. I have enjoyed the views from the top of New York's iconic skyscrapers, eaten dim sum in Chinatown, played in Central Park as a child, and watched the U.S. Open in Queens. I have since moved away but still become excited when I get to return and be a tourist in my hometown.

Whether you are an art lover, sports fan, foodie, or fashionista, there are so many more things to do and see than you will have time for and it can be overwhelming. To help get you in a New York state of mind, I’ve compiled a guide of the top places to visit.

When to Visit New York City?

There really isn’t a bad time to visit New York City. If you like cooler weather, then fall or spring are great times to visit. The city is quieter, and it is more budget-friendly. Central Park is especially bursting with color during these seasons. Summer is hot and humid, but there are festivals, street fairs, outdoor movies and performances that make it bearable.

I love New York at Christmastime. Visit between Thanksgiving and New Year when the city comes to life with holiday magic. One of my favorite things to do is ice skating at Rockefeller Center under the enormous Rockefeller Christmas Tree. The highlight of the season are the dramatic displays in the department store windows along Fifth Avenue starting at Central Park.

Tip: The busiest times to visit the city are the months from June to August and November to December. Expect higher prices for flights and accommodations during these months. The cheapest times are during the colder months of January and February.

Navigating the City

New York City has five boroughs: Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. It is easy to get around the city via public transportation, taxi, ferry, and walking. Of course you can also take an Uber or Lyft.

A subway and bus ride costs $2.75. A seven-day pass with unlimited swipes on both is available for $33. Purchase and pay your fare with a MetroCard. A refillable card costs $1. Up to three children under 44" rides for free. Purchase a card outside the turnstile at most subway stations. You can transfer for free from subway to local bus or vice versa within two hours of using your MetroCard.

To hail a taxi, look for one that has its numbers lit up on top of the cab and raise your hand. All taxis accept cash, credit, and debit cards.

The NYC City ferry runs to all boroughs. You can purchase single-ride tickets for $2.75.

New York City streets run on a grid east to west. Most streets are numbered. Avenues run south to north, with numbers beginning on the east side.