on February 24, 2010
I live in New York and whenever I have visitors from out of town I always take them to the Top of the Rock. It doesn't have the name or the plethora of movie references, but it's cheaper than the Empire State Building, it's newer, there's less people, and for me the views are better. Look to the south to see the Empire State rise above, and peer further over lower Manhattan - on a good day you can see the statue of Liberty and beyond. To the north is Central Park, and up to the George Washington Bridge. I've been there in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the night, all are good but I'd recommend not going too late for the best views, once you lose the light to the north there's not much to see.The viewing area isn't huge and you can't see the Chrysler Building, so keep that in mind, but this still my pick. Also, if you grab one of those tourist bus maps of the city they usually have a discount coupon/ code on the front.
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