What to expect from Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises?

Are you thinking about visiting New York City? If you want to go off the beaten path, get off from land and go on the water then. Seeing NYC from a different perspective is what you’ll get when you book a voyage with Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises.

What can you expect from the best Hudson River tour company in the country?

 

A tour-de-force by Circle Line

 

A two-hour tour with Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises covers all the bases. From the Hudson River, the boats head outward, and then take the a direct route to the East River, head northward, and then ends up on the other side of the Hudson River. A typical cruise brings tourists completely around the Hudson and under the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, and the George Washington Bridge.

 

Of course, you’ll be cruising by the world-famous Statue of Liberty, and seeing the famous bridges of the Big Apple up close. But that is not all there is to see. You will be seeing many other famous sports in the city from a place that is not familiar with many other tourists. You will see New York City from all angles. Seeing the city from outside gives you a wider perspective, and gives you a better idea why NYC is one of the key tourist destinations in America today.

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Beginnings

An unparalleled view of NYC landmarks

 

The iconic landmarks of NYC are hard to miss even if you’re on the water. Some of these landmarks tower above the skyline, and a 90-minuted sightseeing cruise is quite enough to provide tourists with a unique perspective of what the city has to offer. There is no better place to see them from but Circle Line’s state-of-the-art ships.

 

Seeing the Manhattan skyline from the Hudson River is quite exhilarating. Compared to seeing the sky-high buildings from the streets, or from an elevated view, looking at the impressive lineup of skyscrapers from a distant makes one appreciate the massive achievements in design, architecture, and engineering that they represent. Some of the important landmarks to see are the Empire State Building, the art-deco Chrysler Building, and World Trade Center’s Freedom Tower.

 

The water cruise also brings tourists close to Ellis Island in Upper New York Bay, and a view of the National Museum of Immigration from the boat. The island is a part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. The cruise brings tourists close to Liberty Island as well. Seeing the Statue of Liberty up close is an overwhelming experience for first-timers. The 93-metre tall Lady Liberty was a gift of France to the United Stated, which was bequeathed in 1886. While the statue is visible at quite a distance from other areas of the city, having an experience similar to the first immigrants that arrived in boatloads centuries ago makes tourists appreciate the very foundations of American culture.

 

Great service from experienced and professional Circle Line staff

 

Cruises by Circle Line run from one to three hours daily. All the boat of the cruise company leave from 42nd Street. Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises is an expert in hospitality. If you get very good seats they you will also be served with great drinks and delicious treats from a courteous and professional staff. A bar is available if you want to enjoy a variety of drinks while on tour.

 

The great service you will receive from cruise line employees is punctuated by knowledgeable and accommodating tour guides. An ongoing commentary keeps tourists informed of what they can see from the comfort of their seats. Live narration is available in English, but there is recorded narration in foreign languages, including French, German, Italian, Mandarin, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Some of the ship captains currently in service have been bringing tourists on boat rides for more than 10 years. Just because of the great service alone, booking a trip with Circle Line is highly recommended. Trip advisor gives Circle Line a 4 ½ out of 5 stars rating, FYI. If you can afford a VIP package, then you can expect premier seating and you won’t have to endure long lines. Moreover, an outdoor patio area with dedicated waiting services is available to you.

 

In addition, you can save money if you are touring as a group or as a family. Circle Line bookings are included for free in City Pass, Explorer Pass, and New York Pass. Tourist passes are a great way to save money!

 

Check out Circle Line’s “Best of NYC Cruise”

 

Circle Line’s signature offer to NYC tourists brings you to the most important, must-see landmarks of the Big Apple. The inspiring views of Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan skyline, and the Statue of Liberty are enriched by award-winning guides. The route will take you to the New York City landmarks on your bucket list. Some of these are the elevated park known as High Line, the former immigrant port of Ellis Island, and the South Street Seaport in downtown Manhattan. Also featured in the “Best of NYC Cruise” are the United Nations Headquarters, the Grace Mansion, and the Yankee Stadium. This cruise gives you an unparalleled view of all 20 bridges in NYC and all three rivers spanning the city.

 

Be adventurous with Circle Line’s “The Beast NYC”

Circle Line has an offer to tourists who are looking for something that is more exciting and adventurous. Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises operates “The Beast NYC,” which can be compared to taking a roller coaster ride for about 30 minutes. The jet powered speedboat experience is a unique way to experience New York City. It’s a thrill ride power by twin Hamilton Jets, which allows for a maximum speed of 40 knots or about 45 mph. Be ready with a wetsuit or extra clothes in a waterproof bag. The Beast is a boat that rocket across the water. Expect to get wet! It is definitely an extreme experience, but it’s one of the most fun attractions of New York City courtesy of Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises. You can reserve a boatful of tickets, or book The Beast for a private ride with your family and friends.

Expect only the best from Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises. Find out for yourself why the company is considered the best in New York City.

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Beginnings

Architecture of Guggenheim Museum

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009. When the museum opened to the public in October 21, 1959 it was deemed a monument to the incomparable Frank Lloyd Wright, the architect who designed the breathtaking structure.

Many consider the Guggenheim Museum in New York City as most beautiful building in the United States of America. The Guggenheim Museum is one of the museums located in different parts of the world that belong to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. The other two are The Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy, and the the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in northern Spain.

 

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Beginnings


A museum built in the memory of Solomon R. Guggenheim, American art collector, philanthropist, and entrepreneur broke ground in 1956. The land located between East 88th and 89th Streets, Fifth Avenue has been in the Guggenheim family for many years, but construction was delayed due to economic difficulties brought forth by the Second World War, and the death of Solomon in 1949. In 1943, the commission for the design was given to Architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and he spent more than a decade perfecting the design of the building.

 

Since its completion the Guggenheim Museum has been renovated, converted, and additional structures built. Yet, its unique charm remains, and its stands out as muse inspiration in an otherwise monotonous concrete jungle. The museum’s current holdings include early modern and contemporary works of art, as well as significant holdings of impressionist and post-impressionist art, which all belong to the private collection of the Guggenheim family.


Frank Lloyd Wright

 

In 1991, the American Institute of Architects bestowed on Frank Lloyd Wright the honor “the greatest American architect of all time.” Of the more than 1,000 physical structures designed by the American educator, interior designer, writer and architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, the Guggenheim Museum is a great representation of his philosophy, specifically organic architecture. Wright worked incessantly on numerous projects for 70 years in Europe and America, and he constantly sought and found harmony between human being and the environment. Wright’s unique perspective on urban development makes him one of the key innovators of the 20th century. Aside from museums he also designed skyscrapers, schools, churches, and hotels, among others.

Design permutations

 

The essential design for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is a spiral ramp where important works of art are on display for public viewing. The iconic building became an official landmark in New York City in 1990. Wright died in 1959 before the building he designed opened officially. He was 91 years old.

 

The design, which stands out from the predictable polygonal structure of Manhattan buildings took form after numerous revisions by Architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The basic configuration is that of two cones oriented in opposite directions. The helicoids space that came forth from his meanderings was dynamic, unique, and difficult to construct. Nonetheless, Wright worked incessantly and made the necessary adjustments to realize his vision. Some construction processes involved were unprecedented, and Wright worked closely with everyone involved, making compromises where admissible. It was a monumental task, which paid off. The Guggenheim museums became an inspiration to architects and designers who came afterward. Wright did not only break the mold. He made something entirely new and peerless.

 

Wright’s monument


Some architects spend their lives designing buildings that are useful and functional. There are a few who design building that do more than leave a lasting impression—they disobey known rules and redefine the game altogether. Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the few who changed American architecture with his compelling perspective of design.

 

Wright’s fruitful career produced some of the most iconic buildings in American architecture. His passion for nature and organic forms was expressed very eloquently in the buildings he designed. Wright was chosen by no other than Solomon R. Guggenheim himself, along with Hilla Rebay, art advisor to Solomon. They wanted a building unlike any other in the world, and that was exactly what they got from the tireless visionary. Interestingly, the building’s project managers had to work on overcoming numerous restrictions as referenced in the city’s building code.


The concept for the Guggenheim Museum could be seen as derived from some of Wright’s previous works. Nevertheless, the museum did not become just another expansion of an original thought. Wright totally broke free of the traditional layout for museums in the world. The original layout designed a continuous ramp to be the main gallery, extending upward toward a domed skylight. The central atrium serves as the axis for the ramp, which has a length of about a quarter of a mile. The skylight bathes the interior with natural light. The demand for a well lit interior was a note from Rebay. She also specified that the structure be uninterrupted by stairs. Wright embraced the challenges given to him and took the opportunity to create a structure that is unprecedented in more ways than one.

The organic shape and feel of the Guggenheim museum is anchored to the looping pathway at the very heart of the structure. In early conceptualization, Wright described his plan for the building as an inverted ziggurat. Some recall the shape of a nautilus shell in reference to the looping gallery. Viewed from the outside, the exterior hints at the basic internal structure with the conspicuous bands of reinforced concrete. Some describe the outside shell as a concrete ribbon, which stands out amid the squares and rectangles dominating the streets of Manhattan. Even today, Wright’s design is the subject of active discussions. Recently, an argument has arisen tying the Guggenheim to nonobjective or abstract art.

 

Today, many people visit the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum to marvel at it unique and arresting architecture. From its conception the museum has served as a pivotal point for the launching of new concepts. Although Wright has had many successful works prior to the Guggenheim, he is best remembered for it. Wright added one more jewel to New York City, and the museum is now touted as a must-visit landmark in the Big Apple.

 

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Recent issues surrounding the Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is known to art aficionados as “The Met.” It was founded in 1870. Its original purpose is to make art and art education more available to the American public.

The museum is the largest of its kind in the United States of America, and one of the most visited art exhibition space in the world. The main gallery is one of the largest anywhere. The institution boasts of more than two million works of art from many different cultures. Today, The Met has a collection that spans more than 5,000 years of art from all corners of the globe. Its permanent collection of art is extensive and priceless. Indeed, the Met is fortunate to have procured some of the most magnificent artworks and artifacts produced by human civilizations.

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The Met’s impressive collection of art and artifacts

 

Most people are unaware that aside from the main building near Central Park, the Met has satellite museums housing extensive works of classical and modern art as well as historical artifacts at The Cloisters and the Met Breur museum, both also located in The Big Apple.

 

Through the years, the people behind The Met have been working tirelessly to expand the museum’s holdings. When it first opened, not one of the items on display was owned by the institution. Now, it houses some of the most important historical artifacts in the world, and key works of art of European masters not found anywhere else in the world.

The Assyrian sculpture of a Human-headed winged bull and winged lion (lamassu) from the 9th century BCE is a must-see artifact housed at The Met. Another key cultural exhibit is the Dancing Celestial Deity (Devata), a sculpture made from sandstone from 12th century India.

Meanwhile, some of the most important paintings to see are works of art from Pablo Picasso (Spain), Vincent van Gogh (Netherlands), and Francisco Goya (Spain). Picasso’s “Gertrude Stein” was made between 1905 and 1906, and revealed a dramatic change in the style of the artist, which lent an expressive power on the subject. Stein bequeathed the portrait to the Metropolitan Museum of Art herself. Vincent van Gogh’s “Cypresses” was painted in 1889 and presented the energetic and dynamic brush strokes that set the Dutch painter apart. Another important work of art housed in the Met is Goya’s “Manuel Osorio Manrique de Zuñiga,” or Goya’s Red Boy, which was completed in 1787–1788. The contrast between the boy’s sweet innocence and the tension between the cats and the boy’s pet magpie allows of various interesting interpretations. This painting was displayed along with portraits of the boy’s siblings in an exhibit entitled, “Goya and the Altamira Family” in 2014.

 

The Balthus painting controversy

 

As recently as 2017, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has been involved in controversy. A painting by the Polish French artist, Balthasar Klossowski de Rola (Balthus) was deemed “suggestive” as petitioned for removal. Known for the dream-like quality of his work, Balthus is also associated with paintings of pubescent girls in erotically charged poses. The artist has been accused of an artistic infatuation with adolescent girls.

 

An online petition to remove “Thérèse Dreaming” (1938) by Balthus put the spotlight on the Met. The subject of the painting was a 12 or 13 year old neighbor of Balthus named Thérèse Blanchard. The Met exhibited the painting in a 2013 collection entitled, “Balthus: Cats and Girls—Paintings and Provocations.” At the entrance, the exhibit contained a written warning to viewers of possibly disturbing works. “Thérèse Dreaming” was donated to the Met in 1998 from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. It was acquired by the Gelmans in 1979 from the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York City.

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The petition to remove the “suggestive” Balthus painting from the public eye gathered almost 10,000 signatures through Care2. The petitioners campaigned for the removal of the painting, which was described as a visual representation that “romanticizes the sexualization of a child.”

 

The petition targeting the 80-year old ….Balthus painting was initiated by a New York City resident, Mia Merrill. She worked in a financial firm in Manhattan as a human resources manager. The petition was entitled, “Metropolitan Museum of Art: Remove Balthus’s Suggestive Painting of a Pubescent Girl, Thérèse Dreaming.” In interviews, Merrill expressed a feeling of shock seeing the painting, which depicts a young girl in a sexually suggestive pose. She cited the escalating issues on sexual allegations and assault involving women. Merrill went so far as hinting that the Metropolitan Museum of Art may be unintentionally supporting objectification and voyeurism.

 

In late 2017 the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art released a bold statement saying that the controversial painting stays despite the petition criticizing the Met “proudly displaying” said work of art. Further, the Met stressed that its mission is to “…collect, study, conserve, and present significant works of art across all times and cultures in order to connect people to creativity, knowledge, and ideas.” The Met justified its decision to keep the controversial painting on display by stating that the petition can instead “provide an opportunity for conversation, and visual art is one of the most significant means we have for reflecting on both the past and the present, and encouraging the continuing evolution of existing culture through informed discussion and respect for creative expression.”

 

The Met facing financial challenges

In 2017, the Met’s financial challenges became evident when its $40 million in deficits was revealed. The museum had to postpone its plans to expand due to lack of funding. A new wing estimated to cost $600 million has to wait several years before fruition. Internal sources from the Metropolitan Museum of Art confirmed speculations of financial difficulties upon the institutions laying off of about 90 employees and controversial compensation cuts. Evidently, the Met’s aspiration to remaining competitive is in tune with its current issues with an uncertainty of available resources. Many critics went so far as to suggest that the Met is a great institution in decline, and attributed the financial crisis to over hiring in certain departments, overdrawing from endowment funds, and overspending.

 

Sample Itinerary for American Museum of Natural History

Many tourists are unsure how long it will take to complete a tour of the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Perhaps, it is more relevant to think about how long you have set aside for this important NYC landmark. The American Museum of Natural History is a cultural and scientific icon located in the Upper East Side. Since it was founded in 1869 it has been a favorite stopover for tourists of all ages.

The American Museum of Natural History has something for everyone. It is quite improbable to see all the exhibits in one visit. There are 45 permanent halls and just seeing all the exhibits in them will take a few days. To avoid museum fatigue, you must plan your visit very carefully. If you are visiting The Big Apple for the first time, allow us to help you plan an exciting, educational, and satisfying AMNH itinerary.

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An itinerary for earth and space enthusiasts

 

The Rose Center for Earth and Space is arguably the biggest tourist magnet in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

 

You can start exploring the massive space dedicated to space exploration at the second floor, which features The Scales of the Universe exhibit. The walkway is 400 feet long, and offers a visual experience of the size of the known Universe. The exhibit will give you a better idea of our place in this vast universe—among gas giants Jupiter and Saturn. It also offers a unique perspective of the subatomic world. The Scales of the Universe is a good place to start your adventure at the AMNH.

 

After you’ve had your fill of the Scale of the Universe, you can head over to the first floor, which has a number of interesting items. Located on the first floor of the Rose Center for Earth and Space is the 360-foot-long Harriet and Robert Heilbrunn Cosmic Pathway. This time, you’ll be taken to a journey of the history of the universe. Prepare yourself for a 13-billion year tour. This particular path starts near the exit of the Hayden Big Bang Theater and ends at the Hayden Sphere.

Another exhibit to add to your itinerary is an almost three billion year old banded iron formation that serves as evidence the earth did not have oxygen in its atmosphere in the past. The banded iron formation, which is now on permanent display at the David S. and Ruth L. Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth, was found in Canada. Meanwhile, the Willamette Meteorite will definitely catch your eye. It is believed to be a chunk of a protoplanet that orbited our sun billions of years ago while the solar system is still forming. The meteorite can be found at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Hall of the Universe. Another extraterrestrial object should be part of your AMNH itinerary; this time objects from space that came from somewhere closer to home—the Moon. There are four moon rocks on exhibit at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Hall of the Universe. All four were brought home to Earth by the Apollo astronauts in a series of moon landings in the 1970s. Only the Smithsonian has more moon rocks under its care than the American Museum of Natural History.

 

An itinerary for “Night at the Museum” fans

The “Night at the Museum” movies sparked interest on the American Museum of Natural History, and for good reason. The movies were popular among kids and adults alike. Many of the visitors who arrive at New York City are keen on seeing for themselves the museum exhibits that magically came to life in the movies.

 

Here is a list of key exhibits to visits so that you and your family can see for yourself your favorite characters from the movie series.

 

The Rapa Nui plaster cast is one of the museum’s most popular exhibits today, thanks to the “Night at the Museum” movies. The cast was secured by museum staff during their visit to remote Easter Island (Rapa Nui) in 1934-35. Rapa Nui is a Polynesia island that is a territory of Chile. The cast is a representation of the towering moai or figures of deified ancestors on Easter Island. There are 887 moai on the island, which are considered sacred by the locals. They were made from volcanic rock and brought to the water’s edge where they stand to this day. The Rapa Nui moai cast is on permanent display at the Margaret Mead Hall of Pacific Peoples.

 

The Tyrannosaurus rex fossil exhibit is already popular among dinosaur enthusiasts, but it fame quadrupled when the “Night at the Museum” movies came out. Located at the Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs on the fourth floor, the complete skeleton is a marvelous exhibition of sheer power and dominance. The Tyrannosaurus rex was a powerful therapod that walked the earth about 90 to 66 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous period. The Tyrannosaurus rex dominated as the main predator of this geologic period, with its six-inch teeth and four-foot jaw. The stalking position—one foot raised, tail extended, head low–chosen by museum staff gives the skeleton a menacing look that makes it life-like and fearsome. The skeleton of a carnivore that is ready to take down its prey is truly amazing to behold. A tour of the American Museum of Natural History will not be complete without making the T-rex a part of your itinerary.

 

There are other familiar faces to see and these are the capuchin monkey from the Hall of Primates, the American bison and pronghorn from the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals, and African lions, which are found at the Akeley Hall of African Mammals. It will definitely be a treat to see all these creatures and recall the parts they played in the “Night of the Museum” movie series. If you are keen on seeing more animals in their native habitat, check out the Dzanga-Sangha Rain Forest in the Hall of Biodiversity.

The American Museum of Natural History is a must-see place to visit on your maiden voyage to New York City. Be part of a global community that has seen for itself some of the most excellent museum exhibits you’ll find anywhere in America.

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Shops and restaurants found in Empire State Building

The world famous Empire State Building which stands tall above Midtown Manhattan’s commercial and business district is one of the most iconic symbols of New York City. For Americans it is a reminder of the country’s resilience amid hardship—a symbol of hope and prosperity. The observation decks at the 86th (Main) and 102nd floors offer unparalleled views of The Big Apple. From high above the city, you can take in magnificent view of the Statue of Liberty and Hudson River, as well as Central Park and the unforgettable Manhattan skyline. The art deco murals at the building’s lobby are a sight to behold.

 

Key exhibits inside Empire State

The Empire State Building was built in 1931 and from then on it has become one of NYCs top tourist magnets. There are numerous places to visit inside the building that will give you a better idea of why New York City is one of the most important urban centers in the United States. Visitors are welcome to view the Dare to Dream exhibit at the 80th floor, and the Sustainability exhibit at the 2nd floor.

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The Official Store

Keepsakes are available from the official store of the Empire State Building. The gift shop is located high above the busy avenues at the 80th floor. Ornaments, memorabilia, and branded apparel are some of the options available to tourists who wish to bring home something of Empire State to their loved ones left at home. Exquisitely crafted souvenirs can be the perfect gift for someone dear. Allot enough time in your itinerary to enjoy browsing the shelves of merchandise kept in impeccable condition at the official store. To learn more about the shopping experience awaiting visitors, browse the online listing of gifts and souvenirs at the Empire State Building Official Store website.

 

An iconic dining experience

Being a tourist in NYC is not a walk in the park. You must eat especially after the energized exploration of the observation decks. If you plan to experience dining inside the Empire State Building, then the best place to be is State Grill and Bar. The updated menu of State Grill and Bar offers some of the most tasty and elegant selections in the city. The reviews are positive and inviting. The modern grill is located at the 33rd Street Lobby and features the same art deco interiors that Empire State Building is famous for. State Grill and Bar is a dine-in place and bar that offers office catering as well.

 

The restaurant opened in 2015 at the ground floor. Since then, the classic atmosphere has attracted diners keen on an all-encompassing experience inside the Empire State Building.

 

What can you expect from Empire State’s iconic dining location? There is a wide choice of food items for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. American cuisine is their strength. If you are wondering about the expense, expect reasonable price tags for the delicious meals intended to satisfy both local New Yorkers and tourists. First rate service will give you the lasting impression that State Grill and Bar will be on your list of NYC restaurants to visit again upon your return.

 

Where to dine nearby

 

If you are looking for alternate fare, there are numerous places nearby to dine and enjoy a relaxing meal with friends and family. Visitors need only to go downstairs in order to find delicious and affordable meals. One of the top choices located at 350 Fifth Ave is Heartland Brewery and Rotisserie, which is famous for its eclectic menu. American favorites right off the grill lead the list of most popular customer orders. Some of the most delicious menu items at Heartland Brewery and Rotisserie are the Angus steak, the barbecue chicken, and the iconic macaroni and cheese.

 

Tourists who need to replenish their energy reserves may also find delicious and affordable fare at the Royal 35 Steakhouse.It is a great place to spend lunchtime, and is located near the very heart of Koreatown. This area is quite near the Empire State Building. The steak selections of Royal 35 Steakhouse are to die for. When you need to fill an empty stomach with good NYC food then this is the place to visit. When planning a visit to NYC, remember to pencil this place in as an option for a satisfying lunch or dinner.  

 

Another dining establishment located nearby imbibes Mexican themes and flavors. Aptly named, Salvation Taco is the haven of NYC finger food. If you are craving for flavorful and textural tortillas, then check out Salvation Taco near Empire State Building. It may look like just any other after-work dining place, but their menu is excellent, and a tourist must-try. The colorful and vibrant décor might even be sufficient in energizing you to complete your list of places to visit in The Big Apple.

 

UrbanSpace Vanderbilt is food hall worth visiting. They offer an eclectic selection as well, and you will find their food to be comforting. The 12,000-square-foot venue can accommodate as many as 200 people in one time. This sprawling mini-megapolis of good food offers hundreds of options for tourists including New York pizza, crepes, and intriguing street side favorites. UrbanSpace Vanderbilt is quite near Grand Central Station, another historic landmark in The Big Apple.

 

If you expand your scope some more, you can explore dining options at Times Square, which by itself is a tourist attraction. The shops and dining places there will make your mouths water, and you may have to get a better grip on your wallet lest you spend beyond your intended budget.

 

This is the best time to plan your itinerary for New York City. The Empire State Building should be right on top of the list. Dining within or near the Empire State Building is an experience to enjoy, and something of a necessity if you wish to be a certified New York City tourist. No other building is as popular as the Empire State Building, and you should count yourself lucky if you have the opportunity to enjoy its amazing features as well as the spectacular view of NYC.

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What you need to know about 9/11 Memorial & Museum

The shocking and highly emotional events of September 11, 2001 are etched in the memory of most Americans living today. The rest of the world became involved as well—united in the tragedy as one human community. Even now many people remember where they were and what they were doing when the events transpired. The tragic day and its consequences are tied with deep-seated emotions, which have been lovingly and respectfully immortalized in the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City.

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Every year, Americans spend a moment of silence to commemorate the lives lost in September 11, 2001. You can do the same any day of the week by visiting the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Here are some important guidelines to help you make the most of your visit to what is becoming the most important landmark at The Big Apple.

Featured exhibits at the 9/11 Museum

 

The location of the museum is below ground between the spaces where the original Twin Towers stood. If you are planning to set aside an hour for the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, you might be stretching it a bit. The entirety of the museum space alone would take a while to cover. For starters, there is a 15-minute must-watch introductory film. The museum is a factual and solemn dedication to the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the hijacked passenger airplanes that transpired on September 11, 2001. The terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 is part of the museum’s coverage as well. The museum itself is a memorial to the events and the victims of terrorism—a global threat to peace, families, and nations today.

 

The key displays will catch your attention, and you might find yourself lingering in the North and South Tower galleries. Artifacts of all shapes and sizes will catch your eye. You have to set aside tome for Last Column, which towers above all at the Foundation Hall. Stairs from one tower used by survivors of the attack are part of the museum as well. Biographical information of the almost 3,000 people who lost their lives is on display. Tiles of various shades of blue cover the encased wall, which contains the unidentifiable remains of 9/11 victims. There are additional features you might want to experience with your family and friends, such as the Ground Zero and Rebirth films. There are restricted areas of the museum where only members of the victims and the lost rescue and recovery workers may enter.

An emotionally-charged experience at the 9/11 Museum

 

The overall feedback from many visitors is that the exhibits in the museum evoke intense emotions—a moving experience all in all. Not surprisingly, boxes of tissues are placed by personnel throughout the museum space.

 

You must think about allowing yourself to process these emotions while you are moving about in the space, and sharing in the moments they represent.  The 9/11 Museum is a deeply personal experience in itself. You must also allow your emotions to settle before moving onward to the Memorial, which might even be more overwhelming.

 

The historical exhibition tells the story not only of the events of the day of the terrorist attacks, but events leading to it, and the aftermath as well. Parents must consider the appropriateness of the exhibits to children younger than 10 years old, who may not yet have the capacity to understand and process the information they will gather from viewing the exhibits and artifacts.

 

Visitors are encouraged to see the museum exhibits at their own pace. If your tour itinerary is a bit tight, but you still want to make the most of your visit, then set aside a couple of yours for the museum. It will be an unforgettable experience for sure.

 

The National September 11 Memorial 

The 9/11 Memorial is a physical tribute consisting of sunken twin pools—the largest manmade structure of its kind in North America. The pools begin at ground level and fall downward to bottom that is not visible. Each pool is almost one acre in its entirety. The architects who designed the memorial took the winning prize from a competition participated by 63 nations. The One World Trade Center building is clearly visible from the Memorial Plaza.

 

The peaceful flow of water may be relaxing, but the emotional content of the space is difficult to miss. It can be a gripping and intense experience for people visiting the memorial for the first time. The space is especially dedicated to the 2,977 persons killed by the terrorists attacks which occurred at the World Trade Center in 1993 and 2001, the Pentagon, and near Shanksville, Pa., where one of the hijacked airliners crashed in September 11, 2001.

 

Inscriptions of names of persons killed in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are inscribed on the waist-high walls encasing the pools, which are built at the very foundations of the original Twin Towers. Do not be surprised to see tributes left by families and friends of the victims of the terrorist attacks. You may bring tributes yourself if you wish to pay your respects to the victims of the attacks.

 

Museum and Memorial Visitor Tips

Be prepared for a security check before being admitted. A fully operational magnetometer is at hand. Check out the list of items that are not allowed inside at the 9/11 Museum and Memorial website.

 

You may bring a camera to take photographs at the Memorial Plaza. Before entering, put your mobile phones in silent mode as a gesture of respect. Throwing items into the pools at the Memorial Plaza is absolutely prohibited. There are no public restrooms in the immediate vicinity, the nearest being at Wagner Park or Battery Park, which are not too far to walk.

 

Lastly, you must know that you have to secure entrance ticket for the 9/11 Museum and Memorial. Only family members of 9/11 victims and first responders can enter without admission tickets. Discounts are available for children, students, veterans, and seniors. The New York City Pass features the museum on its list, and you might want to explore other admission tickets offering discounts. Browse online for information and cost and purchase tickets in advance.

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5 Reasons to Love Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises

New York is an amazing destination to explore on foot, but the city is an entirely different experience on the water. Tours and cruises offering an incomparable view of the NYC skyline is available to tourists. Seeing The Big Apple from a modern cruise line offers a unique experience that you and your family will never forget.

Circle Line Cruises is a veteran in the business and operates on the Hudson River offering sightseeing opportunities for tourists keen on experiencing New York’s finest. The company has a rating of 4 ½ out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor. Overall, feedback varies, but a good representative of the reviews online make the company a good choice. Circle Line Cruises is quite popular among couples and families looking for a relaxing and informative way to tour New York City.

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Here are five reasons why you should book a trip with Circle Line Cruises on your maiden visit to NYC.

 

#1- Different cruise types for everyone to enjoy

 

A Full Island Cruise is the tour to book if your goal is to see all of the island of Manhattan. If you’ll be satisfied with half of the island, there is a specific tool for that as well. There is a particular offering—the Harbor Lights Cruise that takes visitors to a tour of half of Manhattan at sunset. Ask them about their other themed tours and tell your friends. It is rather popular among the romantic and the sentimental. Meanwhile, if you want to experience Ellis Island and Staten Island, ask a Circle Line Cruises booking agent about the Liberty Cruise.

Circle Line is a cruise service company that tries its best to cover all bases. For your information, there are special events cruises for notable occasions such as New Year’s Eve. You can also book kids cruises for birthday parties, group cruises, and private charters.


#4 – Circle Line Cruises to the rescue

 

In 2001, as the terrible events of 9/11 were unfolding, Circle Line vessels assisted in transporting victims of the terrorist attacks across the river to New Jersey. The company remains proud to this day to have played a role in helping people during one of America’s darkest hours.


Circle Line Tours was also on hand to assist the passengers of US Airways Flight 1549. The amazing real-life events, which were featured in the full-length film, “Sully” took place on the Hudson River in 2009. Faced with no other option, airline Captain Chesley Sullenberger opted to land his plane on the freezing river, saving all 155 passengers and crew after multiple bird strikes disabled both engines of the commercial jet plane. Circle Line vessels were some of the first responders. At that time, people on the cruise had the unique and unforgettable experience of being participants in a successful rescue operation.

 

If you book a cruise on the Hudson, you’ll learn from the crew that the Hudson River landing occurred near the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Watch out for that landmark!

#3 – Adequate onboard amenities

 

Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises leave from 42nd Street. Every day, cruises run from the harbor on Hudson River and run from one to three hours at a time.

Being on a cruise entails relaxation and comfort food. You can expect great service from the hospitable and highly trained crew of Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises. For starters, you can pick a great spot at the outdoor deck space if you do not mind having the sun on your face. Remember that you cannot bring outside beverage and food, but there are plenty of options on board for you and everyone in your party.

 

There is a full bar with cold beer and other beverage, such as cocktails and wine for adult passengers. Hot beverages are available as well. The full bar is a place you might find yourself drawn to if you like to drink. The onboard café offers a wide range of snacks, as well as salads and sandwiches.

 

Indoor seating with air-conditioning awaits passengers who just want to spend the day relaxing and unwinding.

 

#4 – Awesome sights!

 

Perhaps you should know by now that there is only one Cruise Company in New York City that goes through five boroughs and three rivers. Every tour offers a full narration for tourists keen on learning while sightseeing. The narration is available in languages other than English as well.

 

What are the sights you can expect to see? The Statue of Liberty, The Empire State Building and the Manhattan Skyline and the United Nations complex are some of the key landmarks to see from the river. When you are touring Manhattan Island, you have to watch out for One World Trade Center, and try to get a glimpse of the busy streets within New York City’s world famous Financial District.

 

Only the Bronx is part of the mainland, and the rest of the boroughs are islands themselves, or on an island. There are more than 20 bridges connecting the five boroughs of NYC. One of the highlights of Circle Line Tours is the opportunity to see the many spans linking New York’s famous neighborhoods.

 

A cruise on the river is a great opportunity to learn about fun and interesting facts America’s most famous and most visited city. Do not hesitate to ask questions from the highly competent tour guides that accompany every Cruise Line tour. You will learn a lot from them, and you might bring home information that most people do not know about NYC.

#5 – Tours that are well within budget

 

The best thing about Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises is that they offer affordable tickets and bundled packages. For example, the combo tickets for other New York City offer opportunities for tourists on a budget to come on a tour and see The Empire State Building or the Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum. You can search online for these combos and learn about admission policies, as well as when and where to purchase them. Discounts are available for seniors, veterans, and military personnel in active duty in the United States as well.

 

What are you waiting for? Book your Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises and see New York from a unique perspective.

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Empire State Building vs Top of the Rock Observation Deck

Spending a few days in New York City entails good planning, and challenges you to make good choices. The city is one of the most visited places in America, and covering all tourist attractions may not be possible with just a few days’ stay. For sure, you have to find time to see NYC from high above street level—where the view can be too stunning to put into words.

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At sky level

 

New York City tourists are lining up to see the city from the amazing heights of its most famous skyscrapers. Two of the notable viewing platforms in The Big Apple are found at the Empire State Building, and The Rockefeller Center, or 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Stunning views are available for locals and tourists alike from these landmark venues.

 

This guide will help you make the choice if you have no time to check out both buildings. Hopefully, this guide will also make you realize why your time is better spend climbing up to the Top of the Rock for a view of NYC that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

 

The Empire State Building Observation Deck

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the observation deck of the world-famous Empire State Building is its sheer height. The deck sits high above Manhattan at 1200 feet above sea level. Do you want to feel on top of the world? This is the place to be. On a clear day, you can see all to way to the surrounding states. You should pause for a bit and realize that you are not just viewing a significant chunk of the East Coast, but that you are also looking down on surrounding skyscrapers, which from street level look like the giants that they are.

 

The Main Deck is located on the 86th floor, while the Top Deck is located at the 102nd floor. The Empire State Observation Deck is open daily and until the late hours. The observatory is an outdoors viewing deck that offers visitors an incomparable view of the sunset. As the city rolls into the night, you can stay there and watch the landscape change from day to night. Despite the fact the Empire State Building is no longer the tallest skyscraper in New York City, the view is still awesome, and that is why it retains a high priority spot on the “must-see” list. Bring a pair of binoculars so that you may enjoy New York City from one of its highest landmarks.

 

The admission ticket for the observation deck is quite affordable. If you have no time to line up for admission, premium ticket for the 102nd floor is still reasonably priced. You must be patient at the lines for the elevators. Upon reaching the 80th floor, there’s another line, which may be as long as the line you’ve already managed downstairs.

 

Top of the Rock Observation Deck

The Rockefeller Center is New York City skyscraper that is home to key companies and brands that are based in the East Coast. While the skyscraper itself is not as high as the Empire State Building, its viewing deck is no less impressive at 850 feet above sea level. The GE Building is the 14th tallest building in NYC. Known as the Top of the Rock, the highest observation deck is located at the 70th floor. It is accessible to young and old, and very affordable. If you have a slight fear of heights, there is less worry for you at the Top of the Rock. The observation decks are designed so that the view of the street below is mostly obstructed.

 

One of the key landmarks you will see from GE Building of the Rockefeller Center is the Empire State Building and the Upper West Side is visible as well. From up there you will also see Bank of America Tower, One World Trade Center, Flatiron Building, and Chrysler Building. Another important area to watch out for is Central Park, which looks awesome from a height. The beautiful scenery is not as high as the Empire State Building, but its view of Central Park is definitely more unforgettable. When you want to get a good view of New York City from the Top of the Rock, you have to know there are three observation decks, which are located at floors 67, 69, and 70. The glass boundaries that surround the deck allow for an unobstructed view.

 

Top of the Rock is not as busy as Empire State Building when tourists are concerned, and the lines are not as long. If you really want to enjoy the view with not as many people, go to the Rockefeller Center early in the morning and on a weekday. Of course, nothing beats the view at sunset. Head out early so that you won’t miss the best time to take photos at the observation deck. The photography opportunities you will get from high above the city streets are truly amazing. Be prepared and bring your best camera. You might even want to search online to search for tips on where to get the best shots from the Top of the Rock.

 

Choosing Top of the Rock

Both the Empire State Building and the GE Building of the Rockefeller Center are important landmarks of New York City. Both offer an incomparable view of one of the most visited metropolis in America. If you have to choose between the two locations, we highly recommend spending your time at Top of the Rock. While the view is not as high as that of the Empire State building observation deck, you have a more intimate experience of the city that never sleeps from high above street level. The lines are not as long, which gives you time to do touristy things within the building, and also visit other key attractions of the building complex.

 

Make sure to include the Top of the Rock in your bucket list. It is definitely a must-see attraction in New York City.

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4 Hidden Gems Found The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, or the Met to New Yorkers is one of the most visited in the world. The annals of history revealed in the exhibits reflect the richness of art and cultural traditions around the world. The museum provides an atmosphere where visitors and art and history enthusiasts can get lost in the wonders of civilization.

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When it is time to plan a visit to The Met, there are hidden gems worth seeking out. This master list of must-sees should make it to your itinerary.

 

The Van Gogh treasury

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a glorious collection of European paintings. On top of our must-see gems is the Vincent Van Gogh exhibit on Gallery, which showcases some of the famous artist’s best works. Some of Van Gogh’s early works are on display. Upon close observation, one can see the transformation of the artist’s approach to painting. The brushstroke that became his signature was not evident in these early works. Some of the titles on exhibit are “Self-Portrait with Straw Hat” (1887-1888), “Still Life: Vase with Oleanders and Books,” (1888), “Cypresses” (1889), “Wheat Field with Cypresses at the Haute Galline Near Eygalieres, and “First Steps (After Millet) (1890).

 

If one is interested in Impressionist art, nearby galleries offer a glimpse at the supreme artistry of Impressionist masters like Monet (Water Lilies, 1919), Cezanne (The Card Players, 1890-92), and some of the famous works of Picasso and Degas can be found at The Met as well. New York’s most famous museum now houses more than two million artworks, and the Van Gogh collection is definitely some of its most treasured possessions.

 

A court of Greek and Roman sculptures

On a busy day, the crowds can be overwhelming. If you have to choose from all the exhibits, look for the Greek and Roman Sculpture Court in Gallery 162. The extensive collection of Greek and Roman works of art are displayed in a hall comprising two floors. There are more than 17,000 items on exhibit. There is a fountain with a bench nearby and you can sit in contentment while imbibing the relaxing and flourishing ambience of the hall. The sculptures would have filled ancient Roman and Greek gardens, and you will no doubt get the same feeling sitting in the hall and letting the sculptures speak for themselves.

 

Of particular interest is the statue of the Three Graces. Aside from sculptures and over-life-size statues, your exploration will take you to prehistory, from around 4500 B.C to A.D. 312, at the time of Emperor Constantine. The wonders of the classical world is clearly revealed in gemstones, figurines, vases, portraits, reliefs and sculptures made from the finest precious metals, natural stones, amber, and wood.

 

One of the highlights of the collection is a nearly complete Etruscan chariot. You will see it in Gallery 170. Indeed, The Met is proud to house what is perhaps the most comprehensive collection of Greek and Roman art in North America. The Greek and Roman Department are continuously adding valuable items to the collection since its first acquisition of a Roman sarcophagus in 1870.

 

William–the standing hippo

The unofficial mascot of The Met is a standing faience hippopotamus, a glazed ceramic figurine. “William,” an Egyptian Faience from the Middle Kingdom, is described as “Hippopotamus with Lotus Flowers, Buds and Leaves.” The material used to make the faience is ground quartz. It is dyed blue with indigo. William figures consistently in museum publicity and merchandise offered by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the public. Cast reproductions of William are also available at the museum.

 

The glazed ceramic was found at Meir, Upper Egypt and is said to be an exemplary representative of the art and craftsmanship of its period—the 12th Dynasty, during the reign of Senwosret I to Senwosret II. It is one of the many finds associated with the tomb of “The Steward, Senbi.” The small faience was found along with other items in the wrappings at the back of a mummy. When it was found, there of its legs were broken intentionally. The Egyptians considered the hippopotamus to be dangerous creatures, and so the legs were broken to prevent it from harming the deceased it accompanied to the afterlife. Today, with restored limbs, you will see William proudly wearing his lotus flowers, buds, and leaves—which are plants found in the natural marshy habitat of the hippopotamus, at the museums Gallery 107.

 

The origin of the name of The Met’s Standing Hippopotamus is unknown to most museum visitors. The name was given by the family of Captain H.M. Raleigh, who make their private moniker known to the world in an article published in 1932 in Punch Magazine. The name was acknowledged by The Met by reprinting the Punch article in its Bulletin, and henceforth the faience hippo became known as William. The item was acquired by the Met in 1917, a gift of Edward S. Harkness.l

 

The Buddha Shakyamuni

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is New York City’s most famous museum. It has one of the most impressive collections of Asian art outside of Asia. Of the many articles from ancient China, India, and Mesopotamia, one of the most iconic is the 11th -12th century Buddha Shakyamuni or Akshobhya, the Buddha of the East. The gilt copper statue is an Early Tibetan Buddha manifesting the moment of enlightenment. The sculpture presents features derived from 7th-8th century North Indian art.

 

The positions of the Buddha’s hands make it difficult to be certain about its identification. The gestures suggest associations with various iconographies of the Buddha, but most strongly with the Historic Buddha, the Shakyamuni. The introspective face of the figure, as well as the details of the fingers and toes makes the article one of the most important masterpieces housed in the Met.

 

There are many museums in New York City, so why must you spend time at the Met? Perhaps these four hidden gems have convinced you why the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a very important institution. Local and international tourists only have good things to say about the Met. You should find out for yourself why it is a respected, important, and enduring landmark in New York City.

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8 Highlights to see in American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History has 28 interconnected buildings, 33 million specimens, and 45 exhibition halls. It is one of the most popular attractions in New York City. Founded in 1869, It is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the world today, so much so that a year of exploring will not be adequate for a person to see everything the museum has to offer.

Over the years, its holdings have grown exponentially housed in 1.2 million square feet and four floors. Visitors of all ages find many things to fascinate, and the museum has been designed to present the most interesting things about the past, as well as the future of the human race.

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Since you do not have a year to see every single item of the 33 million specimens housed in the American Museum of Natural History, we have put together a guide featuring five of the most significant and compelling displays in the museum.

 

#1. The Giant Sequoia Tree

A slice of a giant sequoia tree felled in 1891 is on display at the America Museum of Natural History. The tree is of the species, Sequoiadendron giganteum, the only living species of the genus. When it was still a living tree in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California it stood 300 feet tall. Sequoias are giant tree species that are known to be resistant to fire and to various diseases. The sequoia was felled by lumberjacks, but now it is illegal to cut down the giant trees. The cross section of the tree on display reveals 1,400 years of history for botanists.

 

#2. The Dzanga-Sangha Rainforest

The Dzanga-Sangha Rainforest exhibit can be found in the Hall of Biodiversity. It is a replica of a rainforest of the same name that is located in Africa. The beautiful collection of wildlife and vegetation also teaches visitors about the importance of protecting nature and its many wonders. The Dzanga-Sangha Rainforest is known for its high populations of lowland gorillas and African elephants.

 

#3. The Rose Center for Earth and Space

The Rose Center for Earth and Space is a massive section of the American Museum of Natural History. It is a multi-exhibition exhibit is a grand and magnificent area of the museum which seeks to present findings of astronomical observations and research to the public. Some of the notable sections within the Rose Center for Earth and Space are the Hayden Planetarium, which has its own Space Theater, and the Cosmic Pathway. The Rose Center for Earth and Space has an audio tour that you might want to check out.

 

#4. Lucy

The anthropological exhibits in the American Museum of Natural History comprise some of the most impressive archeological finds of the past few hundred years. The Hall of Human Origins features “Lucy, a four-foot skeleton of an early hominid species, Australopithecus afarensis that is 3.3 million years old. The name given to the find was taken from the Beatles hit, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” The discovery of the hundreds of bone fossils comprising 40 percent of a complete skeleton is credited to Donald Johanson, a paleoanthropologist from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Lucy was discovered in the Afar Triangle’s Awash Valley in Ethiopia.

 

#5: The Great Blue Whale

One of the occupants of the first floor of the American Museum of Natural History is the Hall of Ocean Life. The spacious area offers the public some of the most panoramic displays in the entire museum. The most dominant feature of the hall is a full-scale replica of a Blue Whale. The replica weighs a massive 21,000 pounds. The length of the Blue Whale is 94 feet. If it is your first time visiting the museum, this exhibit is worth your time.

 

#6. The Fossil Hall

Any kid who is fascinated with dinosaurs will have a great time exploring the giants of the Fossil Halls—extinct dinosaurs. A full skeleton of the Tyrannosaurus rex, perhaps the most famous species of all can be found in the Hall of Saurician Dinosaurs. Many other exciting finds await children and adults alike in the Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs. The American Museum of Natural History houses an awe-inspiring array of dinosaur fossils, and a well-preserved duck-billed dinosaur mummy.

 

#7. Special Exhibits

No visit to the American Museum of Natural History will be complete without a viewing of one of a number of special exhibitions. Special exhibits are displayed for a limited amount of time. These exhibits are brought to different parts of the world. In the past, some of the special exhibits offered by the Department of Astrophysics are entitled, “Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration,” “Exoplanets,” and “Einstein.” Another special exhibition featured in the American Museum of Natural History is The Butterfly Conservatory, which houses hundreds of different species of butterflies.


Currently, four special exhibits are open for public viewing, namely “Unseen Oceans,” “Our Senses,” “Amazon Adventure,” and “Dark Universe.” You can learn how to avail of discounts for admission tickets for these and other current exhibits in the museum.

 

#8: The IMAX experience

The IMAX Theater of the American Museum of Natural History features an enormous high definition screen where films are shown in both 2D and 3D. The films shown offer viewers a never before seen perspective of how the world and its many inhabitants live and thrive. The films are eye-openers into the richness of world cultures and the diversity of life on planet Earth.

 

The American Museum of Natural History is always a worthwhile part of the itinerary for anyone visiting New York City for the first time. The museum is open daily from 10am–5:45pm. It is located in Central Park West at 79th Street, Manhattan, and accessible by subway. Plan your visit carefully so that you will see the best exhibits the museum has to offer. The American Museum of Natural History’s website is accessible 24/7. Admission and exhibition information is periodically updated on the website. If you are in New York City, visit the American Museum of Natural History today!

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