The City That Never Sleeps is WOW air’s newest destination. If you have just one weekend in the Big Apple, we’ve got you covered – these six ideas are a must on any to-visit list.
photos: James Simpson & Leilah Connor
Explore a National Symbol
It’s one of the world’s most iconic monuments, seen towering over New York Harbor in regal representation of freedom and democracy since the late 19th century: the Statue of Liberty. The colossal robed female figure representing Libertas, a Roman goddess, was a goodwill gift from France in the 1800s. Approximately 12 million immigrants have sailed past the figure on Liberty Island between 1892 and 1954. Now, tourists can take a ferry and visit the historic statue and its island. Reserve tickets to get access to the statue’s crown – yes, you can walk all the way to the top – and pedestal balcony and museum. Adult tickets range from $18-$21.
Delve Into 5000 Years’ Worth of Art at the Met
One of the art capitals of the world, New York City boasts fine museums and exhibits, although the 5th Avenue Metropolitan Museum of Art may be one of its most diverse – and is the country’s largest museum. The Met’s permanent collection includes more than 2 million works and exhibits, like the Egyptian Temple of Dendur, the Arms and Armory Hall, and paintings like Vincent van Gogh’s Wheat Field with Cypresses and Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware. Claude Monet’s The Water Lily Pond, Antonio Canova’s renowned sculptures, King Henry VIII’s armor, the Astor Chinese Garden Court, the Medieval Sculpture Hall – representing 5,000 years of art, the Met is surely home to something of interest for visitors of all ages.
Visit Times Square & Catch a Broadway Show
Love it or hate it, we all know it from the movies – blaring taxi horns, flashing billboards and ads, the press of thousands zig-zagging through streets. Times Square! No wonder the hub is often referred to as “the heart of the world,” or at the very least, of the city. The major commercial intersection – which sees about 330,000 people a day, minimum – is also the center of the Broadway Theater District. While some theaters are, naturally, located on the iconic nearby street of Broadway, Times Square is filled with Broadway productions of all varieties.
At Coney Island, Grab a Hot Dog & Jump on a Ride
Nothing quite captures American nostalgia like a visit to Coney Island. The Brooklyn neighborhood, seaside resort and individually-run amusement park rides emanate an old-world carnival feel. The neighborhood was an East Coast go-to until right after World War II, when it fell into neglect, but thankfully in recent years, the area has undergone extensive renovations. This includes a stadium and new amusement park, successfully breathing new life into the neighborhood. While Coney Island’s beach, boardwalk and the New York Aquarium are accessible year-round, rides and attractions are open between spring and fall.
Coney Island is allegedly the birthplace of the American hot dog, so don’t leave the neighborhood without first trying a classic crowd-pleaser at the original Nathan's Hot Dogs at 1310 Surf Ave.
Also, fireworks are set off at the beach at 9:30 p.m. every Friday evening during the season.
Get Lost in Chinatown
Located in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Manhattan dating back to the 1800s when Chinese immigrants settled in the area, Chinatown offers a fascinating historical and cultural experience. Practice bargaining with street vendors, stroll down colorful Pell St. -- which today looks very different from the brothels, gambling houses, gang hideaways and opium dens that lined the streets in previous centuries -- or take a sightseeing break at Nom Wah Tea Parlor. The bakery and teashop is one of New York's first dim sum houses which opened in 1920, and is legendary for its almond cookies and moon cakes.
Kick Back in Central Park
The upper-Manhattan mainstay is one of the most filmed locations in the world, and it’s no wonder. At 843 acres, the grassy and wooded Central Park, which has faced many declines and renovations since its establishment in 1857, offers countless leisure options. Paddle around the park’s lake for $12 an hour and row to the Central Park Boathouse Restaurant to enjoy the lake view. Or visit the Central Park Zoo and its Tisch Children’s Zoo. Strolling through the Conservatory Garden is a favorite pastime of both locals and tourists, too, with its plethora of flowers, fountains, hedges and walkways.
Finally, grab a book, pack a picnic and watch the sunset over the New York City skyline.