Ask Gray Line: “What are the top 5 things she must do?”

Top of the Rock

Jeny from Sydney asks:

“My sister is arriving to NYC on 4th July – she only has a day – what are the top 5 things she must do!!”

Thanks for the question, Jenny! First things first, I’m not sure if you are aware that here in the States the 4th of July is a pretty important day.  In honor of our Declaration of Independence in 1776, we take the day off work and launch colorful explosives (fireworks) into the sky.  The Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Show on the Hudson River is arguably the best in the world, so your sister chose a pretty good day to come.  That being said, the #1 thing she must do is watch the fireworks.  We’ve covered the best places to watch the show in a previous blog post.

After that, all else is secondary.  It’s really tough to narrow down 5 things to do in the city, especially when I have never met your sister.  Is she into art? –Museum Mile.  Does she like shopping? –SoHo, 5th Ave.  Does she want to be a tourist and see the sights? —Double Decker Bus Tour.

I’m not going to make a top 5 list, per se, but I will offer some quality suggestions based on a few assumptions.  1st assumption: She’s never been to New York.  2nd assumption: She won’t have time to visit the outer boroughs since she only has one day and she needs to watch the fireworks on the Hudson.

Be a tourist: There’s no shame in it. A double decker bus tour is the best way to see a lot in a short amount of time.  You’ll see and learn more than if you try to do the city on your own.

Buy something off the street: New York has street vendors everywhere.  Buy some fresh fruit, a hot dog, some fake Ray-Bans (If they’re being sold on the street, they’re not real).  Things are cheaper on the street, you can negotiate the price and are often just as good as the high priced items in our stores.

Go to the top of a tall building: Empire State Building or Top of the Rock, you need to stop by one of these two places.  They’re the best views in NYC, from high above the millions of people living their lives.

Bow Bridge, Central Park

Take a walk through Central Park: I love Central Park, I’ll admit it.  I’ve been to quite a few parks in quite a few cities, but nothing compares to Central Park.  It’s so peaceful and relaxing; direct contrast of the frenzied society outside its perimeter.  Just walk around and lose yourself or check a map for some specific sites within the park, but definitely stop by.

Now, in the span of one day, doing all four of these things and still making it someplace in time for a good view of the fireworks will be tough to do, so pick and choose. These are some very general suggestions, so don’t forget that NYC caters to its guests.  Whatever you’re into, you can find it in Manhattan.

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