New York's 'Off Season' Has Attractions, Tours, and Plenty to Do
Though New York receives visitors throughout the year, the least popular time to visit is in the hot months of the summer season, when the temperatures can rise into the upper nineties. At that time of year, indoor activities are your best bet (and don't forget to confirm that your hotel has air conditioning).
- Ripley's Believe It or Not Times Square: This attraction is a great place for the entire family. Here, guests can explore the famous Ripley's Odditorium to see everything from shrunken heads to replicas of monuments. There are so many cool things to explore, so be sure to visit!
- All Loops Double Decker Tour. This is a great way to get around the city without the worries of parking and traffic. On nicer days, you can sit on the top level and take in the sounds and sunshine of New York (or enjoy the air conditioned interior level) while your guide narrates over 30 sites. Hop off at any of the stops and explore at your own pace. When the next bus comes around, you can start the tour where you left off. (Stops include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, American Museum of Natural History, St. John the Divine, and more.)
- Empire State Building Observatory. See the New York skyline from the top of this famed building. The observation deck has both an indoor area (cooled in summer, heated in winter) and an outdoor deck that provides views from all four directions.
- Planet Hollywood. Right in the heart of Times Square, this themed restaurant has movie memorabilia from some of your favorite movies, great California-style cuisine, and an extensive gift shop. Since no reservations are accepted, the best way to grab a bite without waiting in line is to pre-purchase a VIP Meal Ticket, which allows you to order from the menu - after you're seated at their first available table.
- Rockefeller Center. Rockefeller Center is the creation of John D. Rockefeller and the home to over 100 pieces of art. NBC, Christie's Auction House and Radio City Music Hall all call Rockefeller Center their home. It also houses the most famous skating rink in the world. The center features the beautiful Channel Gardens, the statues of Atlas and Prometheus, and the prestigious Rainbow Room.
- American Museum of Natural History. The American Museum of Natural History is home to over 30 million items including dinosaur fossils, Indian artifacts, and many other interesting and educational exhibits. The Human Biology and Evolution section and the Millstein Family Hall of Ocean Life are just two of the exhibits the museum has to offer. The museum offers a wide array of dining options as well; from sushi to pizza, there's enough variety to suit anyone's tastes.
- Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is the largest cathedral in the world and is the seat of New York's bishop. The cathedral is open from seven in the morning until six in the evening on Mondays through Saturdays and from seven in the morning until seven in the evening on Sundays. The Cathedral features a gift shop and guided tours are available.
- Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is home to over two million pieces of art. The museum was formed in 1870 and displays American decorative arts, American paintings and sculptures, ancient Near-Eastern art, Asian art, African art, and artwork from all over the world.
- Guggenheim. Guggenheim Museum was established in 1939, and was at that time known as the Museum of Non-Objective Painting. What used to be an automobile showroom is now the museum, which houses work from over 169 different artists.
- Museum Mile. Museum Mile is the stretch of museums and art institutions along Fifth Avenue. The museums found along the strip include El Museo del Barrio, Museum of the City of New York, International Center of Photography, Jewish Museum, Cooper-Hewitt National Museum of Design, National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Goethe House German Cultural Center.
For the Shopper...
- Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. This village-like outlet, located one hour from Manhattan, offers 220 stores that bring shoppers the best name brands at discounted prices as well as an array of dining opportunities. Find names like Nautica, Gucci, Versace, Coach, DKNY, and Banana Republic at savings of up to 65% off every day.
For the History Lover...
- Grant's Tomb. Grant's Tomb is where Ulysses S. Grant and his wife Julia are laid to rest. The tomb is made of over 8,000 tons of granite and features marble floors, railings and trimmings. The tomb displays statues that portray Grant's childhood, military service and death. There are mosaics that explain some of Grant's battles and there are two small rooms that display maps of battle sites of the civil war.
- Flatiron Building. The Flatiron Building is the oldest remaining skyscraper in New York City. The building was built in 1902 and stands at approximately 285 feet tall.