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The Empire State Building. Lady Liberty. The Brooklyn Bridge. Everywhere are marks of New York City’s constant expansion, looking upward for new ideas while still reaching out and embracing the uniqueness of each neighborhood. Though a world financial capital and home to Wall Street and the NYSE, The Big Apple knows how to have fun by hosting world-famous events, from opening Broadway shows and innovative Guggenheim exhibits to the ball-dropping excitement of New Years in Times Square.

City Tips

Facts & Fundamentals

Giovanni da Verrazano was the first European to sail into New York Bay. The year was 1524. The Dutch established New Amsterdam, today’s NYC, in 1625 after Peter Minuit purchased Manhattan Island from local Indians. The hood ornament on a 1929 Chrysler was the model for the eagles on the 61st floor of the Chrysler Building. No one really knows how the city got the nickname “The Big Apple.” Jazz musicians claim credit, implying there was the biggest “apple” (gig) around. Central Park’s 843 acres is larger than the principality of Monaco. King Kong wasn’t the only threat to the Empire State Building: On July 28, 1945 a B-25 crashed into the skyscraper. Musicians must pass a competitive audition process before they can play in the New York City subway system. The two marble lions in front of the New York Public Library, Patience and Fortitude, were named by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia during the Great Depression. President George Washington took the oath of office on the balcony of Federal Hall. New York City was the nation’s capital from 1789-1790. When it is finished, The Cathedral of St. John the Divine will be the world’s largest Gothic cathedral. Work was begun in 1892.

Weather

New York City and Orlando share the same type of climate: humid subtropical. NYC is the farthest north for this type of climate, and the rest of the state is classified as a humid continental climate.

During the winter, the average daily low generally won’t go below 27 degrees. Winter highs hover around the upper 30s and low 40s. Spring and fall are crisp and clear with lows in the 41-55 degree range and highs anywhere from 50-67. Summers are warm, with highs in the upper 80s.

And as a humid subtropical climate, there’s frequent precipitation year round, with an average of 44 inches annually. From snowy and windy to warm and humid, the city’s four seasons add further layers to the Big Apple.

City Detail

The Big Apple, Gotham, The City that Never Sleeps: no matter what you call it, New York City is special. Home to almost 19 million people and visited by more than 46 million, this world-class city has earned its status as the biggest, best and most important city in the US. Immortalized by Sinatra, familiar through its presence in scores of movies and television shows and the subject of songs, documentaries and musicals, NYC is larger than life and a neighborhood that’s hauntingly familiar.

Architectural landmarks are the first things that come to mind when New York City is mentioned. From Lady Liberty to the Empire State Building, this is a city of iconic structures. The Guggenheim, Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, and the Art Deco Chrysler Building are instantly recognizable. Other landmarks include the twin arched towers of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Met’s imposing facade and the Beaux Arts splendor of Grand Central Terminal. But TV fans will want to head to 30 Rock for the unparalleled view from Top of the Rock.

As befitting a world-class city, New York is home to some of the finest cultural treasure houses in the nation. From the two-million priceless artifacts at the Met to the Goethe Institute, one of the city’s smallest museums (and across the street from the Met), exhibits offer up insight and wonder on every subject imaginable. New York’s performing artists set the bar for performers everywhere. From Broadway’s signature theatres to Lincoln Center, the best call these stages home. Grand opera, classical ballet, jazz, American musicals, innovative dramas and television staples offer a steady stream of high-quality entertainment. For discounts on day-of-show Broadway tickets, head to the TKTS booth in Times Square or the one in Brooklyn for a shorter line. They even have an iPhone app!

Befitting a culturally diverse city that’s home to the United Nations, New York City may be the quintessential melting pot. Thanks to the indelible images of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, it’s no surprise that dining offers a veritable feast from around the world. Whether it is a street corner vendor or a chi-chi restaurant, dining is an art form in Gotham. Head to Little Italy, Chinatown, Spanish Harlem and the Lower East Side, and there’ll be dozens of ethnic eateries vying for attention. National celebrations, feast days and neighborhood pride form the basis for annual events that celebrate everyone from Cuba to Israel and their native sons’ favorite foods.

Unlike other cities that boast of historic deeds, marble monuments or athletic prowess, New York is all about people. As the center for finance, commerce, publishing and the arts, daily life hums at a furious pace. A visit to here runs at an equally fast pace. So take a moment to pause and look around when you can. Amid massive skyscrapers, historic brownstones and verdant parks, people are moving to the beat of Sinatra’s theme song: “If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere. It’s up to you, New York, New York!”

Restaurants

Babbo Ristorante

110 Waverly Pl # A

New York City, NY 10011

As famous for its celebrity chef, Mario Batali, as it is for reinventing the classic Italian fare, this eatery is a must for diners who value the New York experience. Take a chance as a walk-in or make reservations well in advance to sample the pasta tasting menu.

Phone

+1-212-777-0303


Le Bernardin

155 West 51st Street

New York City, NY 10020

Crowned by Zagat and awarded three stars by the Michelin Guide, Le Bernardin does not disappoint. Towering floral displays, original art and quiet elegance provide the perfect backdrop for the superb seafood, succulent Kobe beef and flawless service. Chef Ripert has raised fresh fish to an art form, which one taste confirms.

Phone

+1-212-554-1515


Per Se

10 Columbus Circle

New York City, NY 10019

One of the world’s top 50 restaurants is just behind the blue door on the fourth floor of Time Warner Center. The open and intimate dining room overlooks Central Park and seats 64 for the dinner prix fixe menus that earned three stars from the Michelin Guide and four from the New York Times.

Phone

+1-212-823-9335


Peter Luger

178 Broadway

New York City, NY 11211

This eatery in Brooklyn is the near unanimous pick for the best steak house in the entire country. Established in 1887, the sizzle is the real deal. Carnivores love the stripped-down menu, the perfect dry-aged porterhouse and the best burger in town, which is served only at lunch.

Phone

+1-718-387-7400


Wafels & Dinges

Check Twitter for current location

New York City, NY

Treat your taste buds to what Zagat calls the best street food in NYC: real Belgian waffles and toppings (dinges) from a canary-yellow truck. While they offer sweet and savory options, don’t miss the Liege wafel topped with spekuloos (a traditional Belgian gingerbread-cinnamon spread) and strawberries.

Phone

+1-866-429-7329


With more than 15,000 restaurants throughout New York City, visitors can be overwhelmed. And asking where to find the best slice of pizza and the number-one French or Italian restaurant can start a ruckus. But with so many possibilities, there really are great choices everywhere for every taste.

Certain enclaves, like Little Italy, Spanish Harlem and Chinatown, offer ethnic restaurants that reflect the neighborhood, but the restaurant scene has exploded beyond these traditional boundaries. Babbo Ristorante is now the place to go for Mario Batali’s famous beef cheek ravioli in Greenwich Village. Once the haven of artists, today the Village is home to trendy and affluent professionals. Leading SoHo tastebuds prefer Salt’s impressive seasonal menu, Keith McNally’s Francophile entrees at Balthazar and fried clams at Ed’s Lobster Bar.

Midtown, home to Hell’s Kitchen, Koreatown, Times Square and Broadway, welcomes commerce and tourists equally. Karaoke bars, ethnic restaurants and clubs dominate the Koreatown neighborhood. Hell’s Kitchen, the eponymous restaurant for the neighborhood, is the place locals choose for its flavorful nouvelle Mexican cuisine. This neighborhood is considered by many to have the best selection of restaurants, so don’t let the name throw you. Around Broadway, plenty of places offer pre-show menus to get you to your seat on time. Restaurant Row alone has 30 options in one block. But head to Bobby Flay’s Times Square Bar Americain for Tex-Mex if you aren’t worried about the show. And Daniel Boulud’s DB Bistro Moderne is a Midtown West standard, too.

The bulls and the bears may rule the financial district, but one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city is also the place to head for historic buildings, cobblestone streets and restaurants that cater to movers and shakers. There are stuffy bastions for the moneyed like Les Halles, the perfect Irish pub and nifty ethnic spots serving sushi, falafel and Thai options like Alfanoose and Haru Wall Street.

The traditional gateway for immigrants, the Lower East Side (LES) is the antithesis of the Upper East Side, with its socialites, politicos and celebs. LES offers energetic nightlife, mom-and-pop joints, cool restaurants and cheap eats. In terms of cuisine, diners can opt for small-plate Italian, Cantonese, Southeast Asian, Austrian and many of the best delicatessen’s in the entire city.

Whether the day’s agenda is a business meeting or sightseeing, grabbing a bite to eat isn’t an issue when delicacies from some of the best street vendors on the planet are on the menu. On-the-go diners can choose from such diverse offerings as sweet or savory Belgium waffles, soul food, jerk chicken, schnitzel, Indian kati rolls, mouthwatering hot dogs and dessert. Street food is so popular here, the best sidewalk chefs annually vie for the Vendy Awards in one of five categories.

At the end of the day, dining in New York City is an adventure. While the city may not claim a distinctive cuisine as its own, there’s no doubt that by embracing all food, it offers some of the best in the world.

Events

9/11 Memorial Dedication

20 Vesey St

New York City, NY 10007

[September 11] On the 10th anniversary, New Yorkers and visitors with advance passes will dedicate the impressive 9/11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan. Two reflecting pools with waterfalls trace the footprints of the twin towers and are a backdrop for the victims’ names. The memorial opens to the public on September 12th.


Feast of San Gennaro

Little Italy

New York City, NY 10013

[Mid-September] Begun in 1926, this is Little Italy’s 11-day celebration of the patron saint of Naples, St. Gennaro. More than one million will enjoy the parades, free concerts, tasty food and even a cannoli-eating contest. Mulberry Street and the Most Precious Blood Church are the heart of this family-friendly extravaganza.


Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Central Park West at 77th St to 7th Ave and 34th St

New York City, NY 10023

[November] This annual parade promises an abundance of fun, awe-inspiring giant helium balloons of beloved characters, marching bands by the busload, world-renowned musical guests and about 3.5 million onlookers lining the streets of Gotham. Arrive early and pick a spot between Times Square and Macy’s for the best view.


Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

30 Rockefeller Plaza

New York City, NY 10020

[Last week of November] The Big Apple starts the Christmas Season off by lighting 30,000 LED lights on a giant Norway Spruce that is the pride of Rockefeller Plaza. Enter from Fifth Avenue to pass by the iconic angels and enjoy the live musical performances as this breathtaking sight springs to life.


New Year’s Eve in Times Square

1475 Broadway

New York City, NY 10010

[December 31] While the Waterford Crystal ball is there year-round, it’s only at 11:59 on December 31st that it starts to move. The party begins for one million revelers at 6pm with musical performances and celebrities. Bundle up and welcome the New Year with a frenetic crowd, showers of confetti and mesmerizing pyrotechnics.


Festivals and events are never in short supply in New York City. Holidays, marathons and 5Ks, feast days, food, fashion and sailors have created some of the most popular celebrations around the world. Year-round, every season ushers in something special that brings New Yorkers together in celebration.
 
Summer is known for warm, sunny days that are perfect for visitors who want to stroll through Central Park before a performance of Shakespeare, if they’re lucky enough to have tickets. There’s also the Museum Mile Festival with free access to nine cultural institutions. Macy’s hosts a glorious Fourth of July fireworks display that lights up approximately two miles of sky over the Hudson River in the west side of Manhattan. Or you can gather with locals along the shores of Coney Island and be dazzled by the pyrotechnics after the afternoon’s International Hot Dog Eating Content. Jones Beach, a popular summer destination, is also a concert venue destination. Tennis fans will be counting the days until the U.S. Open begins in Queens. And fans of the network morning shows can catch a free concert at various spots in Midtown, depending on the network.
 
The boys of summer might make the autumn play-offs, and that’s always a reason to celebrate, but visitors can always count on gala openings for major cultural landmarks like the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, Broadway musicals and New York City Ballet. Fashionistas look forward to September’s Fashion Week and don their best couture to see as many of the 70+ shows as possible. Those who enjoy outdoor festivals ought to mark the calendar for the annual Feast of San Gennaro, NYC’s longest-running and biggest festival held in the streets of Little Italy. The mouthwatering food alone is reason enough to attend! There’s also the New York Chocolate Show for those with a sweet tooth, and the festivities celebrating Halloween and Columbus Day are great reasons for a visit to Gotham. But the undeniable star of the fall season is Macy’s, with their annual Thanksgiving Day parade and those beloved helium balloons. Balloon fans can see their favorites the afternoon before the parade when the giant wonders are inflated!
 
Bridging autumn and winter, the holiday season gets a glowing kick off with the lighting of New York City’s Christmas tree at Rockefeller Plaza and the huge Menorah on Central Park South. This is a city that fully embraces the holiday season, and the elaborate window displays by major retailers, including Lord & Taylor, Saks, Henri Bendel, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s and Barneys, create magical wonderlands that delight visitors and locals alike. Dog-lovers cheer for the best at the Westminster Kennel Club Show. High kicks and unbelievable symmetry are why Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular really is spectacular and perennial crowd favorite. The year draws to a close with the classic dropping of the ball—in this case a Waterford crystal ball—in Times Square as more than one million revelers celebrate out with the old and welcome in the New Year.


John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK): New York, New York

Airport Address
Keahole Airport Rd
Jamaica, NY 11430 USA

Ticket Counter Location
Terminal 4, Sun Country Ticket Counter / Ticket counter closes 45 minutes prior to flight departure.

Click here for John F. Kennedy International Airport Terminal 4 map.


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