Tuesday, August 20, 2013
As the busiest commuter rail hub in North America, Penn Station definitely has reasons why it serves 300,000 passengers a day. And if you’re a part of that number, you’re in luck because there are a dozen landmarks within walking distance from the station. Located right underneath Madison Square Garden, Penn Station serves as the gateway to the heart of the Big Apple. Do you have a few hours of layover at New York Penn Station? Well, you can explore Manhattan and see its world-famous tourist spots and still make it to your next train!
1. Empire State Building
This 102-story skyscraper has been in many classic Hollywood movies since it was built in 1931. King Kong (1933), An Affair to Remember (1957), and Sleepless in Seattle (1993) are just one of those movies that have established the Empire State as one of America’s favorite architecture. If you want to splurge and see New York from the highest observation deck in town, an adult ticket to the main deck (86th floor) costs $27, while a main deck plus top deck (102th floor) view is at $44.
2. Times Square
A major commercial intersection in Manhattan, Times Square has been called “The Crossroads of the World”, “The Center of the Universe”, and “The Great White Way”. In 2011, Travel + Leisure magazine has branded it as the world’s most visited tourist attraction, having over 39 million visitors every year. Since 1907, celebrations during New Year’s Eve have become an international event as the Times Square Ball drops at the stroke of midnight to signify the start of the New Year.
3. Central Park
I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about Central Park from the TV show Friends and the movie Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Make sure to visit this public park at the center of Manhattan and take part in any popular attractions there: rent a boat at the Loeb Boathouse, ride on a carriage horse, ice skate at the Wollman Rink, ride on the Central Park Carousel; or if you just want to relax, listen to the New York Philharmonic’s open-air concert available during summer on the Great Lawn.
Artistry is in the blood of New Yorkers, and SoHo in Lower Manhattan is the location of many artists’ lofts and art galleries. If you want to go shopping for some trendy or eclectic clothes, a variety of stores from boutiques to international chain stores have mushroomed in the area. If you’re wondering what “SoHo” is, it means “South of Houston (Street)” and refers to the London district of Soho.
5. Rockefeller Center
Another National Historic Landmark in New York City, the Rockefeller Center is a complex of 19 commercial buildings built by the Rockefeller family. You’ve probably heard of the Rockefeller in the music scene, contributed by the fact that the Radio City Music Hall was one of the complex’s first and most important tenants. And who could forget the TV show 30 Rock, which is named after the 70-story General Electric Building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The skyscraper is the NBC headquarters and home of many TV studios, such as The Dr. Oz Show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and Saturday Night Live.
From Asia to Europe to North America, Andrea can't wait to find out where her next travel adventures will be. While she saves up for her coming great escape, she is a contributing blogger for America by Rail. Plan your train vacations with America by Rail, a leader in the train tour and train vacation industry.