New York City Travel Guide

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Recently Reviewed Hotels Around New York City

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New York City Travel Guide

New York City Local History

The Native Americans occupied the area now knownas New York City for 11,000 years, before European explorers set foot in New York Bay in 1524. In 1609 Henry Hudson came across the area while looking for the Northwest Passage, he claimed the place for the Dutch East India Company. Dutch settlers establish a fur trade in 1625 and called the area New Amsterdam. It was only in 1670 that New Amsterdam became a British colony.

By 1789 New York was a bustling seaport of 33,000 people. During the early 19th century New York boomed and its population swelled to 250,000 in 1820. By 1880 the population had swelled to over 1.1 million people and the city kept growing. The first 'skyscrapers were built along Broadway to house corporate headquarters.

After Word War 2 New York appeared to be the place to be, it was one of the few world-class cities which had been untouched by the war. It stood proud and ready for business. By the 1970's corporations began moving out of the city as communications technology made it easier to do business anywhere. By infusing massive amounts of federal cash New York starved off the threat of bankruptcy. By the 1990's the city became more prosperous and safer, unfortunately the gap between rich and poor widened. On 11 September 2001 thousands of people were killed when terrorists hijacked two passenger airlines and flew them into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre. Although badly shaken the city regained its normality and stated rebuilding its business district.

New York City Attractions

Top Attractions

American Museum of Natural History There is much to see in the museum which contains approximately 30 million artefacts. The three large dinosaur halls are of course what the museum is most famous for, but there are hands-on or interactive displays, which makes it popular with children.

Empire State Building The building stands 102 storeys and almost 449m (1472ft) tall. The best time to visit is early in the morning or very late at night. The view from the observation decks on the 102nd floor is absolutely breathtaking. Being so high up can make for a nice romantic interlude.

Times Square Having really bright lights it was known as the 'Great White Way'. In the 60's the square was the hangout of every crazy or dangerous character to be found. However, after a major clean-up the square is now a combination of colour, zipping message boards and a fairly safe place to wander. Of course the best time to be in Times Square is midnight of New Years' Eve. .

Orchard Beach This is a typically very nice beach that is part of a large park in the Bronx that is somewhat quieter in summer than the mad crowds at Coney Island. It is accessed easily by the subway and has many lovely features, including natural areas of shade.
submitted by MK Goode, 16/11/07

Bronx Zoo This zoo is one of the largest in the nation, and also one of the most respected. Taking a short train ride from Grand Central, a parent will find a wonderful place intertwining Beaux Arts architecture and natural habitats. It is a local favorite for kids to blow off a little energy and learn something in the process. The Bronx Zoo holds hundreds of species, many of them rare, and has had success in the past with preserving others-it even once notably helped save the American Bison from extinction.
submitted by MK Goode, 16/11/07

New York City Shopping

The shops in New York City have any combination of goods and cater to all tastes. They are in many shops open any time of the day and night. Even though there are many department stores and chain stores, you will nevertheless find some really odd and old stores who have managed to survive the modern city. Try some of the department stores such as:

Barney's - who concentrate particularly on men's clothing.

Bergdorf Goodman too rich for you? then just window browse.

Bloomingdale's - probably the most famous and has an atmosphere of a large, busy bazaar.

Macy's just as well-known as Bloomingdale's and is the largest department store in the word. Although the quality of goods is mediocre, real fashion is available steadily.

There is an 8.25% sales tax added to your bill.

New York City Activities

Children's Museum of Manhattan - 212 W 83rd St (between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave). Tues–Sun 10am–5pm; $6, under 1 free This highly recommended museum for children will enthral even the old. It is a participatory museum for children 1-12. Not to be overlooked is the 'Seuss' area where children can literally cook some green eggs and ham.

The Skyride - Found in the Empire State Building, the Skyride recommends a strong stomach as the seats tilt. You will ride through the best sights in the city via a big-screen and surround sound. Older children will more than likely enjoy the thrill of it all but younger ones may find it too much for them.

Statue of Liberty Start out early as the climb to the statue's crown is steep with 354 steps to cover and it is always crowded with tourists. Children will probably enjoy the boat ride to the island and the more energetic the climb to the top.

Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular Get there before sunset and find a place on the banks of the East River. This is the best place to see 10,000 fireworks explode from barges along the west side of Manhattan. It is the biggest and best firework show in the country.

New York City Parks & Gardens

Central Park Compared to the concrete jungle of Manhattan this vast green space is a welcome relief. There are many skaters and joggers, musicians and tourists which make parts of the park very noisy. However there are quieter corners that can be enjoyed if you just want to relax. There is also a small zoo in the park which children will enjoy.

Gramercy Park What was once a swamp is now a pretty park, beautifully planted. Unfortunately as this is the city's last private park only those rich or lucky enough to live there are able to gain access. It has to be the prettiest square in the city and is empty for most of the day. Tragedy.

New York City Beaches

Jones Beach The sand is clean and it stretches for 6 miles (10km) and although not one of the exclusive beaches it is a welcome relief from the heat of the city. There is plenty of parking if you get there early.

Coney Island Although not the cleanest in or out of the water, the beach is always crowded on hot days. To witness one of the strangest small town festivals be there when the annual Mermaid Parade is held, you will certainly have a whole lot of fun. It is held on the first Saturday of Summer.

New York City Restaurants and Bars

Jewish food appears to be the most dominant and is considered archetypal of New York, especially specialities such as bagels, pastrami and cream cheese.

New York City Restaurants

New York is cosmopolitan and therefore the visitor will find anything from Italian to Russian, from Asian to Caribbean. Just walking down the streets will built up an appetite, due to the rich aromas emanating from just about every corner of the city. You won't have to go very far to find to find a good pace to eat. Try:

Ceci-Cela - 55 Spring St (at Mulberry St) For really good cannolli

Cafe Gitane - 242 Mott St (between Prince and Houston sts) A lovely sunny cafe which serves coffee and light lunches.

Uncle George's - 33-19 Broadway (at 34th St), Astoria - They sell ultra cheap authentic Greek food and some really great BBQ and spanakopita. They are open 24 hours

Chez Laurence - 245 Madison Ave (at 38th St) This friendly well situated cafe has cheap breakfasts and reasonably prices lunches. They serve really good coffee throughout the day. Unfortunately they are closed on Sundays.

New York City Bars & Clubs

Limelight 37W 20th St (at 6Ave) - This is one of the coolest clubs in the city. It offers great views, relaxed door policy and some very good parties. It definitely lends itself to a very good time out. $5–15.

Tunnel - 220 12th Ave (at W 27th St) This clubs plays host to DJ's like Paul Sevigny and is new and funky. It has a stage and chill out rooms. They also have parties on Wednesday nights which are popular.

Centro-Fly 45W 21st St The club boasts an outdoor roof deck. It is cute and the patrons are laid-back and unassuming. Thursday nights are Eighties nights and a lot more fun and entry is free.

New York City children's activities

Children's Museum of Manhattan - 212 W 83rd St (between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave). Tues–Sun 10am–5pm; $6, under 1 free This highly recommended museum for children will enthral even the old. It is a participatory museum for children 1-12. Not to be overlooked is the 'Seuss' area where children can literally cook some green eggs and ham.

The Skyride - Found in the Empire State Building, the Skyride recommends a strong stomach as the seats tilt. You will ride through the best sights in the city via a big-screen and surround sound. Older children will more than likely enjoy the thrill of it all but younger ones may find it too much for them.

Statue of Liberty Start out early as the climb to the statue's crown is steep with 354 steps to cover and it is always crowded with tourists. Children will probably enjoy the boat ride to the island and the more energetic the climb to the top.

Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular Get there before sunset and find a place on the banks of the East River. This is the best place to see 10,000 fireworks explode from barges along the west side of Manhattan. It is the biggest and best firework show in the country.

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