Niagara Falls sunrise panorama closeup

Things to do in  New York

The state that never sleeps

New York State’s number-one attraction is obvious: the Big Apple, one of the world’s great cities, is rightly celebrated for its cinematic scale and world-class culture, its multicultural feel and dynamite dining scene. But there are more things to do in New York than discovering its eponymous metropolis. From the wineries of the Finger Lakes to the beaches of Long Island, from the thunder of Niagara Falls to the splendor of the Hudson River Valley, the Empire State serves up just as much natural wonder as it does urban thrill.

Top 15 attractions in New York

Statue of Liberty

Designed by Frédéric Auguste Barthold and Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame), the Statue of Liberty came to the USA as a gift from France in honor of the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Today, this 305-foot (93-meter) statue guards the entrance to New York Harbor on Liberty Island. “Lady Liberty,” and the land surrounding her was declared the Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1924.More

Empire State Building

The Empire State Building has long been one of New York City’s best-known attractions. It was the world’s tallest building from the 1930s until the 1970s, surpassing the slightly older Chrysler building by a mere 20 feet (6 meters). The Empire State Building is among the taller buildings in Manhattan to this day (One World Trade Center is the tallest). A stepped Art Deco pinnacle at the top of the building is floodlit at night and displays holiday and commemorative colors throughout the year.More

Ellis Island

As the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the United States, New York City’s Ellis Island was America’s busiest immigrant inspection station for more than 60 years. Today, the island’s restored main building houses the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, which honors the US’s immigrant heritage, chronicles the island’s role in immigration history, and gives voice to the immigrants themselves.More

Central Park

The heart and soul of Manhattan, Central Park is 843 acres (341 hectares) of green space featuring running paths, a boating lake, ponds, a zoo, fountains, statues, gardens, and a skating rink. New Yorkers and visitors alike have gathered at this National Historic Landmark year-round since 1857 to enjoy a respite from Manhattan’s concrete jungle.More

National September 11 Memorial & Museum

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City stands as a place of remembrance and a somber tribute to those killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Reopened 10 years after the 2001 attacks, the 8-acre (3.2-hectare) plaza—built on the World Trade Center site—features two massive square reflecting pools whose waterfalls cascade down into the footprints of the former Twin Towers. The surrounding plaza is a peaceful and moving green space, while the museum, set beneath the plaza, lends a deeper understanding to the impact of that day. You’ll undoubtedly leave with a heavy heart.More

Flatiron Building

Both an architectural marvel and one of New York’s most recognizable landmarks, the Flatiron Building has been a city icon since its debut in 1902. Named for its uncommonly thin, triangular shape, the building was designed by architect Daniel Burnham and is a National Historic Landmark. It is not currently open to the public.More

The Dakota Apartments

One of Manhattan’s most storied—and macabre—buildings, the Dakota has pride of place on Central Park West. The architectural icon of the Upper West Side was a stand-in for the fictional Bramford in the horror film Rosemary’s Baby; it’s also where John Lennon was shot in 1980.More

Brooklyn Bridge

Extending for 1.3 miles (2 kilometers) across New York City's East River, this 19th-century bridge sees constant foot, bike, and car traffic thanks to commuters and sightseers alike. After a construction beset by tragedies—at least 20 people died during the building process—this steel-wire suspension bridge, then the world's largest, finally opened to the public in 1883.More

Madison Square Park

Madison Square Park is a bustling, leafy square that's packed with benches and tucked into New York's Flatiron District. Offices, trendy restaurants, and an architectural landmark—the Flatiron Building—surround Madison Square, situated at Broadway at 23rd Street. Stop for a rest in the park on a busy day exploring Manhattan.More

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is one of North America’s most majestic natural wonders. Its three waterfalls—American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Horseshoe Falls—plunge dramatically over the Niagara River. The falls straddle the border between Canada and the USA with viewpoints and falls-themed attractions on both sides.More

Rockefeller Center

Radiating art deco glory, Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan is where you'll find Radio City Music Hall, NBC Studios, the Top of the Rock observation deck, and in winter, New York City’s famous ice rink and Christmas tree. Opened by John D. Rockefeller Jr. during the Great Depression, it’s a classic NYC stop for its history as a cultural center and architectural icon.More

New York Harbor

One of the largest natural harbors in the world, New York Harbor is the gateway to Manhattan. It’s also a scenic spot to explore and a must for first-time visitors to New York City, with photo ops aplenty along its walking trails, bridges, and piers.More

New York City St. Patrick's Cathedral

The largest neo-Gothic, Roman Catholic cathedral in the United States, New York City's St. Patrick’s Cathedral occupies an entire city block, and welcomes millions of visitors annually. First built in 1879, the Manhattan landmark is renowned for its soaring spires, colossal organ, and exemplary rose window, and is the seat of the Archbishop of New York.More

One World Observatory

Admire New York City from on high at the One World Observatory, the 100th-floor viewing deck reachable in just 47 seconds by high-speed elevator. On the ride up, time-lapse technology showcases the city’s transformation from the 1500s to the present in immersive floor-to-ceiling screens. At the top, enjoy panoramic views of the city’s waterways, iconic skyline, and renowned landmarks.More

Times Square

With its neon lights and video billboards, Times Square is one of New York City's best-known landmarks. It's near many of the Big Apple's famous theaters and hosts the annual New Year's Eve ball drop—an essential Manhattan experience.More

Top activities in New York

Empire State Building Ticket

Empire State Building Ticket

New York Helicopter Tour: City Lights Skyline Experience
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
The Manhattan Helicopter Tour of New York
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
9/11 Memorial Museum Admission Ticket
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
The Big Apple Helicopter Tour of New York City
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
New York Helicopter Tour: Ultimate Manhattan Sightseeing
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
New York Helicopter Tour: Manhattan Highlights
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
New York CityPASS

New York CityPASS

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

All about New York

When to visit

Fall is an excellent time to visit New York State. In the Adirondacks and Catskills, the leaves are ripe for peeping. In the Finger Lakes, it’s harvest season. And in the Big Apple, events like the New York Marathon are making the city buzz even more than usual. But summer is also enchanting—if you can stand the heat. Whether you escape to Fire Island and the Hamptons or prefer to stay in NYC for Fourth of July events, Pride, and the US Open, there’s so much to do in New York in the summer.

Getting around

Transit options abound for those navigating New York City, from hopping on the subway to hailing one of those iconic yellow cabs. From Grand Central Station, Amtrak and local train services link the city with northerly destinations, while Greyhound and Megabus services offer passage to cities like Albany, Rochester, Syracuse, and Buffalo. It’s also possible to hop on a short-haul flight to state highlights like Niagara Falls for a quicker trip.

Traveler tips

New York City may be known for its cultural scene, but one of the state’s best art destinations is located north of the city, in the Hudson Valley. The Storm King Art Center is a 500-acre sculpture park that offsets its artworks against the beauty of the landscape. For any visiting culture lovers, it’s worth making a pilgrimage.

Local Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
EST (UTC -5)
Country Code

People Also Ask

What is the number one attraction in New York State?

The Statue of Liberty is New York State’s number-one attraction. Not just symbolic of the Big Apple but of the United States—and American democracy—itself, the statue has been a fixture of the New York Harbor since 1886. The statue (and neighboring Ellis Island) are accessible by ferry.

What is the most beautiful part of New York State?

New York State has a wealth of beauty spots, and some of its loveliest locales include the Adirondack Mountains, the Catskill Mountains, the Hudson River Valley, and the Finger Lakes region. Montauk’s idyllic beaches are picture-perfect, while the thundering might of Niagara Falls is hard to compete with.

Is four days enough to spend in New York?

Four days is just enough time if you want to visit New York City’s highlight attractions, explore its dynamic neighborhoods, attend a Broadway show, and indulge in its eclectic dining scene. If you wish to see more of New York State, however, at least one week is recommended.

What is the most beautiful month to visit New York?

October is one of the best months to visit New York State. Early in the month, it’s still warm enough for comfortable outdoor hikes and excursions; later the state’s mountain ranges and nature reserves erupt into a riot of fall colors. The month’s festive feel is another bonus.

What is the hottest month in New York State?

July is the hottest month in New York State, with an average temperature of 77°F (25°C). However, temperatures can quickly rise when a heatwave strikes; particularly in the concrete jungle that is New York City, the heat and humidity can be extreme. Record highs have hit 106°F (41°C).

What is New York the state famous for?

Beyond New York City, New York State is famous for natural wonders like Niagara Falls; major hubs like Buffalo, Albany, and Ithaca; and upstate ski resorts in the Catskill and Adirondack mountains. It’s also renowned for the beachy scenery of Long Island and the charming towns of the Hudson Valley.

Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the top things to do in New York?
What are the top activities in New York?
What are the top things to do near New York?
Check out things to do near New York: