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Things to Do in New York

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Cave of the Winds
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37 Tours and Activities
For those who want to experience Niagara Falls up close, a tour of Cave of the Winds is a must. In fact, the excursion takes you as close to the falls as you can possibly get. Sporting a souvenir poncho, you’ll descend 175 feet (53 meters) via elevator into Niagara Gorge, where you’ll follow the Niagara River to the Hurricane Deck. Here you’ll learn where the platform gets its name, as Bridal Veil Falls creates conditions similar to a tropical storm, with winds reaching up to 68 mph (109 kph). Feel the torrents of water from the cascading falls wash over you from only 20 feet (6 meters) away as you truly experience the power of Niagara Falls. Many people even liken the experience to being inside of a hurricane. It’s safe to say you will get wet when experiencing the Cave of the Winds.
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Coney Island
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Located in southern Brooklyn, people head to Coney Island for its famous hot dogs, amusement park and popular beach and boardwalk. Coney Island has been attracting visitors since the 1830s -- especially Manhattan residents who thought it to be easily accessible but still far enough to be a getaway. The destination’s most notable feature is its many rides, circus sideshows and carnival games at Luna Park, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, Scream Zone, McCullough's Kiddie Park, Eldorado Bumper Cars & Arcade and Coney Island Arcade & Games.

The most iconic Coney Island ride is undoubtedly Luna Park’s Cyclone Rollercoaster, a wild wooden coaster so exciting Charles Lindbergh was quoted in Time Magazine as saying it was more thrilling than his first solo flight across the Atlantic. Along with adventurous rides, Coney Island also offers a boardwalk of shops and eateries along almost three miles of sand beach.

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Statue of Liberty
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The Statue of Liberty is one of New York City's (and the USA's) most iconic attractions. The monument was a gift from France in 1886, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The statue is 151 feet (46m) tall and stands, fittingly, on Liberty Island at the mouth of New York Harbor. Lady Liberty welcomes visitors and immigrants with the famous words, "Give me your tired, your poor / Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."
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Bridal Veil Falls
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30 Tours and Activities

One common misconception about Niagara Falls is that it is one large waterfall. The truth is, it is made up of three waterfalls: Bridal Veil Falls on the U.S. side, Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side, and American Falls on the U.S. side. Bridal Veil Falls is named for its appearance, as its gushing cascades appear similar to a bride’s white veil. During peak season from June through August, the falls experience the highest volume of water at 150,000 gallons (567,811 liters) per second.

Bridal Veil Falls -- situated between Luna Island and Goat Island -- features a vertical fall of 78 feet (24 meters) and a crest that’s 56 feet (17 m) wide. While this is impressive, it’s actually the smallest of the three waterfalls. That being said, it gets a lot of exposure as visitors can get very close to it due to a number of attractions. First of all, the Maid of the Mist takes you past Bridal Veil Falls for a unique view of its beauty.

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Buffalo Niagara Region
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3 Tours and Activities

Voted one of the top 10 most beautiful places in America, the Greater Niagara area is home to incredible sports fishing, a killer casino, the Niagara wine trail and of course, Niagara Falls State Park. And while a trip to this region in western New York isn’t complete without a stop at the roaring falls, there’s certainly more to do, see and experience than just the rushing waters.

Visitors can take a relaxing cruise along the historic Erie Canal, visit the Anchor Bar where the famous buffalo wings were invented, hike the awe-inspiring gorge of scenic Letchworth State Park or tour one of the impressive art museums in the heart of Buffalo. While the region is certainly home to plenty of outdoor adventure and iconic New York state scenery, history buffs and art lovers will find plenty of reasons to visit, too.

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Ellis Island
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114 Tours and Activities
New York City’s Ellis Island was America’s busiest immigrant inspection station for more than 60 years, from 1892 to 1954. As the gateway for over 12 million immigrants to the United States, it processed more than 50 percent of the nation’s current ancestors.
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Maid of the Mist Steamboat
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A ride on the Maid of the Mist steamboat is a must-do on a visit to Niagara Falls, especially for first timers. These brave little boats have been ploughing headlong into the Falls' misty veil since 1846. It's loud and wet and lots of fun. Before you begin your ride on the Maid of the Mist, you’ll be given a large blue rain poncho, which is essential as you will get wet from the spray. Everyone heads for the boat's upper deck, but views from either end of the lower deck are just as good. Once leaving the dock, the boat slowly approaches Horseshoe Falls. Her starboard side comes closest to the falls, so the best views are on that side. The Maid of the Mist then veers left and heads back to the dock. On its way back, she gives her passengers a sweeping panoramic view of the American Falls. You’ll want to stay on deck for the whole trip; if you go below deck, you’ll miss the action.
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More Things to Do in New York

Brookfield Place

Brookfield Place

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19 Tours and Activities
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Empire State Building

Empire State Building

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131 Tours and Activities
When it comes to buildings, New York's Empire State Building is top of the heap. The 102-story iconic skyscraper, completed in 1931, is not only an architectural wonder but it offers wondrous 360-degree views of Gotham from its two observation decks. Glass-enclosed high-speed elevators shuttle visitors to both decks, where high-powered binoculars allow for zeroing in on favorite New York attractions from above. The art deco skyscraper stands at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and W. 34th St.
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National September 11 Memorial & Museum

National September 11 Memorial & Museum

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110 Tours and Activities
It is a rare greenscape in lower Manhattan, shaded by rustling white oaks that were chosen for their muted yellow hue come autumn. Two enormous fountains, designed by architects Michael Arad and Peter Walker, mark the footprints of the fallen towers with plunging waterfalls. These are surrounded by bronze parapets, engraved with the names of those lost. Personal tributes are welcome, and may be incorporated into the Memorial Museum, due to open in 2012.  
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Central Park

Central Park

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181 Tours and Activities

Central Park, a huge rectangular slice of oxygenating greenness, is New York City's lungs and soul. Taking up a mammoth 843 acres (341 hectares) in Uptown Manhattan, Central Park is laced with walkways, jogging paths, and woodlands.

Not just a place for relaxation, Central Park is also home to a zoo, skating rink, theater, reservoir, boating lake, fountains, bridle paths, and a carousel. If you’re feeling peckish after all that activity, drop into the Loeb Boathouse for a buffet brunch or dinner.

Popular photo stops in Central Park include the Alice in Wonderland and Balto the Malamute statues, the Belvedere Castle atop Vista Rock and the John Lennon memorial gardens at Strawberry Fields, opposite Lennon’s former home in the Dakota apartment building.

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Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

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201 Tours and Activities

New York's most famous bridge crosses the East River from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Taking a walk across this historic suspension bridge is a must-do NYC activity, with fabulous views on every side.

Built in the 1870s and '80s, the Brooklyn Bridge was one of the first suspension bridges to be constructed in the USA. At the time, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. The soaring Gothic towers at either end are particularly dramatic when floodlit at night, their tall elongated arches an iconic New York sight.

Check out the observation points under the support towers, with panoramic illustrations depicting the history of New York's waterfront, then stay on to watch as the city lights of Manhattan and Brooklyn switch on at dusk.

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Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn Museum

6 Tours and Activities
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Three Sisters Islands

Three Sisters Islands

18 Tours and Activities
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Dyker Heights

Dyker Heights

17 Tours and Activities
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Dumbo

Dumbo

77 Tours and Activities

Located in Brooklyn, Dumbo, or “Down Under The Manhattan Bridge,” is a small, artsy neighborhood offering clear views of Manhattan, the New York Harbor and Statue of Liberty, as well as creative galleries and quirky shops. For the best views from Dumbo, stroll down Front Street to snap memorable photos from different perspectives, or walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. To experience the neighborhood’s creative side, take in an innovative performance at St. Ann's Warehouse or walk down Front Street and browse the many art museums and galleries like the Dumbo Arts Center, the Nelson Hancock Gallery and 5+5 Gallery. For artsy eats, ReBar is an indie movie theater with an extensive food and drink menu, while the Archway Cafe is like an eatery and gallery in one.

To get to Dumbo there are various options. One scenic way, as mentioned above, is to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and follow the pedestrian path to Dumbo. Another option is to take the subway.

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Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center

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102 Tours and Activities

For a memorable dose of Art Deco design in all its glory, immerse yourself in the 1930s Rockefeller Center. A complex of 19 buildings and gardens, the Rockefeller Center is where you'll find the famous ice rink and Christmas tree, Radio City Music Hall, the NBC Studios, and the Top of the Rock observation deck atop the soaring Art Deco GE Building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. (Fans of the television show '30 Rock' will also recognize this as the TGS studio offices.)

For shopping and dining there are more than 100 stores, 40 eateries, and an underground shopping concourse.

Go behind the scenes on an NBC Studios tour, stopping off to have your photo taken at the news desk or give an impromptu weather report. Rockefeller Center tours highlight the rich assortment of Art Deco statues, sculptures, and murals on display, including the famous gilt statue of Prometheus in the Lower Plaza and Atlas on Fifth Avenue.

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Williamsburg

Williamsburg

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36 Tours and Activities

Well-known as the hipster-hub of Brooklyn, Williamsburg is full of creative types and indie venues. It’s safest and most vibrant areas lie near the L train stops, with the main street of the neighborhood being Bedford Avenue and having shops, bars, restaurants, galleries, performance spaces and museums extending out from there. It’s the type of neighborhood where you’ll forever be stumbling across unusual, eclectic and ironically hip spaces. For example, The Brooklyn Flea Market sells vintage clothes, antiques and a variety of artwork, while Buffalo Exchange allows you to buy and trade your clothing for trendy outfits and vintage duds. If you like music and performance, the Knitting Factory puts on concerts and comedy shows and offers old-school video games, cheap beer and quirky art. Artsy folk enjoy one of Williamsburg’s newest additions, Nitehawk Cinema, which shows independent films and serves fluffy homemade popcorn.

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Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum

Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum

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1 Tour and Activity
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Times Square

Times Square

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125 Tours and Activities

Times Square is a legendary NYC landmark, synonymous with all the glam and glitz of the Big Apple. It’s New York’s hub for flashing neon advertisements, Broadway’s famous theaters, rubbernecking tourists, and the ball drop on New Year’s Eve.

Of course, Times Square isn’t a square at all, but the triangular intersection of several main thoroughfares. Thankfully, Broadway is pedestrianised as it passes through Times Square, from 42nd to 47th Streets, with plaza seating allowing visitors to actually stop, look, and relax.

A visit to Times Square is an essential part of the New York experience, whether you come here to shop, dine, drink, see a show, or just gawp at the flurry of different architectural styles, spectacular neon signs, and bustling New Yorkers.

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