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Six Must Have New York Experiences

Updated on February 12, 2013

Must Have New York City Experiences

 

A visit to New York City can be somewhat overwhelming.  The city is so big and offers so much to do that a normal tourist can sometimes forget to do some of the classic things that make the city famous.  When you are back home looking through your vacation photos is not the right time to think “Oh, I should have done that too!”.  With that in mind, here are six classic New York City experiences not to miss out on.

The New York Experience Video

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Buy Food From A Street Vendor

"Hey did you try that hot dog from a street vendor?"

New York City is home to some of the best restaurants and eateries on Earth. Dining out in this city is something many people who come here look forward to about their trip. One of the overlooked classic New York City experiences though is dining out without setting foot in a restaurant. In many parts of the city, especially in locations where crowds gather, you will find street vendors selling everything from the standard hot dog to a hard to find ethnic dish. The hot dog and roasted peanuts are common sellers among street vendors. Most street vendors are monitored by a consumer protection board, so you can be fairly safe in your eating experiences. Buying some hand held food from a New York City street vendor and then continuing to walk on down the road is an experience everyone should have.

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Get Your Picture Taken In Front Of The Statue Of Liberty

"Yes, that's the Statue of Liberty behind me"

New York City is filled with landmarks that are famous the world over. Don't be afraid of looking like a tourist when you visit the city, in fact... in a way you'll be blending right in. Get your photo taken in front of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, and everywhere else you can think of. The opinions of those people rolling their eyes at you won't be important once you return to your own hometown.

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Ride The Staten Island Ferry

"Yes, I rode the Staten Island Ferry."

One of the best ways to view the city also happens to be free of charge. The Staten Island Ferry takes passengers back and forth between Staten Island and Manhattan. Besides being a somewhat essential form of transportation for residents of the city, the ferry also provides a wonderful look at the New York City skyline as well as the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Central Park
Central Park

Central Park

"Oh yeah, I know Central Park."

The city planners from long ago made a wise decision to set aside a huge area in the center of the city to be left as park land. Visiting Central Park is one of the best ways for you to experience the city and see a segment of life that many urban New Yorkers count as part of their normal every day life. Buy lunch from a street vendor here, rent a canoe and paddle around the lake, play on the toys, do it all... this is New York City.

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View The NYC Skyline From As Many Places As Possible

"Yes, I've seen the view"

Yes its on postcards, in brochures, and splashed across the opening credits of a number of movies and television series, but there is nothing like seeing the New York City skyline up close and in person.

There are some wonderful places to get some great glimpses and photographs of the skyline too including the Empire State Building observation platform, The Top of the Rock at the very top of Rockefeller Center, and the Statue of Liberty too.

Times Square
Times Square

Time Square At Night

"Of Course, I've been to Times Square."

It may not be convenient, in fact it may be just plain annoying, to get to from your hotel, but one night of your visit needs to be spent walking around Time Square. The incredible neon signs and huge video monitors put off a one-of-a-kind glow over this part of the city and make it something that will be remembered forever. This area of the city is also much cleaner and safer than legend has it too thanks to a revitalization effort undertaken some years ago.

Visit New York and experience it for yourself!

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There are an incredible amount of things to do in New York City. Some things may see cliché or old hat, but don't let that stop you as they are also a large part of what makes the city what it is today. You may only get to visit the city once in your life, make it count and don't miss out on anything at all. Book your next flight to New York on Southwest, a low price leader. Use any additional southwest vacations promotional codes from couponloco for cheaper prices.

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Watch a Broadway Musical

"Mamma Mia, Little Mermaid.. yes, I watched them all."

While there are many big cities that offer Broadway plays, there is no place with such variety comes together. There are many popular Broadway musicals from Mamma Mia, Jersey Boys, Shrek the Musical and many more. A visit to New York would not be complete without having said that you "watched a musical on Broadway". If you are looking for discounted tickets make sure you look for the TKTS discount booths and you may be able to catch a musical at 50% off regular rates. TKTS discount booths are part of the Theater Development Fund, a non-profit organization created to expand the expression of theater as an art. If TKTS booths don't have the tickets you need, you can also try stubhub, they specialize in hard to find tickets for musicals, sporting events, and more. If you can find a stubhub fan code, you'll save additionally at stubhub.

New York City subway
New York City subway

Ride the Subway or Taxi

"Yes, I tried the Subway"

There is no better way to "feel" New York than going on a Subway ride. Get a local subway map and try going for an underground ride to experience what the locals go through every day. For good measure take a photo inside a subway station to let your friends know you've been there. The subway runs 24 hours, 365 days a year and is among one of the busiest subways in the world. If you are interested, the first subway opened on Oct. 27, 1904.

As an alternative to subways, ride the taxi. They're everywhere and it's an experience to have a crazy driver take you around the city. Just try not to let them know that you are a visitor or they may take advantage of you.

The New York Experience

What do you consider the most relevant "New York" experience? If you had to choose one, which one would you choose?

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Let me know if you've been to New York, what was your most memorable experience!

Comments on New York

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    • verymary profile image

      Mary 7 years ago from Chicago area

      we think alike on many of these "musts"! 5* and rolling this to squidoo.com/affordable-nyc-for-families

    • poptastic profile image

      Cynthia Arre 7 years ago from Quezon City

      I've done all those haha! Great lens! (: One of my most memorable NY experiences was going on a walking tour of all the pop culture spots (Seinfelds' diner, the restaurant Meg Ryan had that famous When Harry Met Sally sandwich in, etc) all alone. I had 6 months to do it since I was studying in the city at that time.

    • divacratus 2 profile image

      divacratus 2 7 years ago

      I have never been to New York! Sounds interesting.

    • Glhall profile image

      Glhall 7 years ago

      Those are the hot spots. Do you know any little known secret spots? Great lens.