New York Tourist Activities
LaGuardia Airport is one of the important air gateways to New York City in the United States of America. It has a large number of domestic flights arriving from many of the country’s cities, and handles almost 25 million passengers per annum. It is the smallest of three major airports in New York, and it is therefore often preferred as a quicker point of entry. It is known by its airport code of LGA. The New York City attractions for tourists are endless, and include the world-famous Statue of Liberty. The city is also known as the ‘Big Apple’, and as one of the top tourist destinations in America.
New York City is found in the state of New Jersey, in Kings County, and has a population of over eight million people. It covers a large area of 300 square miles, or 780 square kilometres. The residents of the city mainly speak American English. Although January is cold in New York, with average temperatures of around four degrees Celsius, the summer months are much warmer, with average July temperatures of around twenty-nine degrees Celsius. The city lies alongside the Atlantic Ocean, and at the start of the Hudson River, and its many lovely coastal areas are of great appeal. The five main boroughs of the city are well connected by one of the largest and oldest of subway systems in the world, and are Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. Manhattan is considered as the heart of the city, where tourism is thriving, and Queens is where LaGuardia Airport is located. The airport is approximately eight miles from Midtown Manhattan.
Tourists will find plenty of hotels and other types of accommodation in New York, however, most are known to be quite pricy. It is recommended to browse several hotels for the best price, and to book your rooms well in advance of your visit. The hotels are usually very busy, even in the colder winter months. The hotels that are in the heart of the city are those that are the most expensive, but others further away could be of a more reasonable price.
New York’s Statue of Liberty is without a doubt one of the city’s biggest attractions. It is found on Liberty Island, and symbolizes the American dream of freedom. The huge statue was actually constructed in Paris, and stayed there from 1884 to 1885, whilst funds where being collected for its transport to New York. It was then planted on a 24,000 ton foundation built on Liberty Island, and was finally unveiled in 1886. The statue stands tall at 151 feet/46 metres, and it is possible to climb to the top and enjoy some wonderful views of New York. The Statue of Liberty has a metal framework on the inside that was created by Alexander Gustave Eiffel, the same person who was later famous for the creation of Paris’ biggest attraction, the Eiffel Tower. To reach the Statue of Liberty, visitors can take a ferry from Battery Island. The trip is just fifteen minutes.
Additional fascinating constructions in New York City are the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and Times Square in the Theatre District. The Chrysler Building was the world’s tallest when it was completed in 1930, but the Empire State Building took that title once it was completed. The Brooklyn Bridge is another iconic structure, said to be one of the most beautiful in the world. New York City is famous as well for Central Park, the huge green space located in the heart of Manhattan. The park was once just a marshland, with nothing to offer, but after sixteen years of work it became today’s beautiful Central Park. While it was being ‘renovated’ over four million trees and shrubs were planted, and five million cubic tons of soil was shifted. Central Park covers an area of almost 850 acres/345 hectares, was opened to the public in 1873 and features the Wildlife Conservation Zoo, a historic carousel ride, many fountains, statues and monuments, winter ice-skating rinks, lovely playground areas and Strawberry Fields, which is a place where John Lennon is remembered. It also has a track of about six miles, which is used by runners, skaters and cyclists. More green areas in New York include the New York Botanical Gardens, the Liberty State Park, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Washington Square Park and the Van Cortlandt Park.
Family attractions in New York City include the New York Aquarium, Luna Park at Coney Island, the Bronx Zoo and the Staten Island Zoo. The New York Aquarium is American’s longest continually operated aquarium and is filled with sea creatures of all varieties. There is a lovely ‘touch pool’ that children will like, where they can hold a number of sea animals, such as starfish, and regular dolphin and sea lion shows are held in the amphitheatre. The sharks of the aquarium are also always one of the main attractions. Exciting rides can be enjoyed at Luna Park, which was formerly known as the Astroland Amusement Park. It is found in the Brooklyn district and is a popular outing for families. Some of the main rides include the Circus Coaster, the Electro Spin and the Coney Tower. The two zoos of the city have some interesting residents, including lions, tigers, bears, gorillas, exotic birds and monkeys. The Staten Island Zoo also has the world’s largest group of rattlesnakes and a petting zoo with more friendly animals. Both zoos attract millions of visitors every year.
In New York City, many interesting museums can be found. Some of the favourites are the Museum of the City of New York, the Museum of Arts and Design, the Paley Centre for Media, South Street Seaport Museum, the Museum of American Finance, the NYC Fire Museum and the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. The last mentioned has an interesting location on a WWII aircraft carrier ship named the Intrepid.
One of the best ways to visit New York City attractions is on the Staten Island Ferry, which goes past the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. The ride is about twenty-five minutes and is free of charge. Several tourist centres are available for further information such as the Times Square Visitors Centre on Broadway and the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau on Seventh Avenue at 53rd Street. The Dairy Building (65th Street Parkway) at Central Park has an information centre as well. Tourists could also stop at one of the welcome centres at the airport before travelling into the city.