NYC & Company, New York City’s destination marketing organization, encourages visitors to experience the sights, sounds and bustle of the new Midtown Manhattan this year. Known for its world-famous icons and attractions, including the Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal, Rockefeller Center, Fifth Avenue, Broadway and Times Square, the area has gone through a complete transformation over the last several years and continues to be ever evolving.
“New York City invites the world to see the ‘new and iconic Midtown Manhattan, where the City’s unparalleled energy and lively spirit make all visitors feel welcome,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company. “New hotels, unmatched entertainment, world-class dining and new immersive attractions give first-time and repeat visitors more reasons to rediscover the heart of the City.”
For many visitors, Midtown Manhattan is the gateway to the start of a New York City vacation and is home to annual parades such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. While these events and iconic attractions are at the top of every visitor’s bucket list, there is now more that’s new to discover than ever before throughout the neighborhood.
With an estimated 74,500 hotel rooms in Midtown Manhattan, visitors can find several brand-name hotels such as Hilton, Sheraton, Hyatt, Marriott and others that are within walking distance of the area’s newest and most iconic attractions.
Open as of February 2017, The Whitby is the City’s second hotel from Firmdale Hotels and is located just off Fifth Avenue’s luxury shops. The contemporary art-inspired property features 86 individually designed rooms, some with picturesque skyline views.
The 612-room DoubleTree by Hilton New York City – Times Square West, which also opened in February, is one of the largest hotels to open in New York City in a number of years. The property features the 4,000-square-foot Lovage Rooftop and Indoor Lounge.
Several new properties are expected to open in the coming months, including the Times Square EDITION Hotel (2017), LUMA Hotel Times Square (Spring 2017), Embassy Suites New York – Midtown Manhattan (summer 2017) and Moxy Times Square (Late Summer 2017).
A visit to New York City is not complete without seeing the skyline from Midtown’s observation decks. The moment visitors step foot into the art-deco lobby of the Empire State Building, they are taken back to the glory days of the City’s first skyscrapers. Visitors can enjoy unparalleled 360-degree open-air views from the 86th floor observation deck as early as 5:30 a.m. with the brand-new Sunrise Experience, or enjoy spectacular night views until 2 a.m. Not too far away is Top of the Rock at historic 30 Rockefeller Plaza, providing unobstructed views of Central Park, Midtown and Lower Manhattan from 70 floors above street level. The observation deck is open daily from 8 a.m. to midnight.
At the crossroads of the world in Times Square, visitors walking 42nd Street will discover what’s old is new again. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Times Square invites visitors to their New Year’s Eve countdown exhibit, featuring the original ball from the year 2007. Nearby, Madame Tussauds New York recently unveiled an 18-foot-high interactive head of King Kong as part of their new permanent exhibit called the KONG: Skull Island Experience.
New York City is well known for its global cuisine, and Midtown Manhattan is home to hundreds of restaurants to suit any visitor’s appetite.
After taking in breathtaking views from above, visitors can dine at State Grill and Bar on the ground floor of the iconic Empire State Building, or enjoy lunch outdoors during the summer at Rock Center Café, located at The Concourse at Rockefeller Center, which also features several other dining establishments. Last October, James Beard award-winning chef Todd English opened The Stinger Cocktail Bar & Kitchen inside the InterContinental New York Times Square Hotel, featuring global cuisine and an inventive cocktail program by leading mixologist Francesco Lafranconi.
Inside the historic Grand Central Terminal, internationally acclaimed chef Claus Meyer opened his first food hall in summer 2016 called the Great Northern Food Hall, featuring Nordic-inspired cuisine spread out over 5,000 square feet. The food hall joins several others throughout Midtown, including Urbanspace Vanderbilt at nearby Grand Central Terminal, The Pennsy at Penn Station and Turnstyle, a new underground food court and market at Columbus Circle.
Celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, The Russian Tea Room continues to be a classic Midtown staple, offering a fine-dining experience with luxurious Russian-style decor. Meanwhile, the historic King Cole Bar at the St. Regis New York has seen its share of celebrity guests, including Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio. It was also the bar that brought the classic Bloody Mary cocktail to the US. Just across the street, the new Polo Bar is designer Ralph Lauren’s first restaurant in the City, featuring classic American steaks, seafood and sandwiches in a stylish atmosphere.
Midtown Manhattan offers entertainment options for every traveler’s budget and interest. Visitors can see the Rockettes and big-name concerts at the iconic Radio City Music Hall, as well as cheer on the New York Knicks and New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, the world’s most famous arena. Right in the heart of Times Square, the PlayStation Theater is a go-to spot for rock band concerts and other live entertainment.
A must-see for classical and world music enthusiasts, Carnegie Hall is a Midtown landmark that has hosted some of the world’s finest musical artists, including Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Gustav Mahler and Judy Garland.
Many popular television shows are filmed in Midtown and offer free standby tickets, such as The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at the Ed Sullivan Theater, as well as The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
Along the Great White Way, several new Broadway shows have opened or will be debuting this year, such as Miss Saigon, Hello Dolly!, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (March 28) and Anastasia (April 24).
Window shopping and the latest in fashion trends can be found along Fifth Avenue, home to luxurious shopping brands such as Tiffany & Co., Bergdorf Goodman, Gucci, Saks Fifth Avenue, Tommy Hilfiger, the new Coach House and the newly renovated Cartier Fifth Avenue Mansion. Along nearby Madison Avenue, extravagant shopping meets designer brands at retailers such as Barneys New York, as well as Tory Burch, Calvin Klein, Emporio Armani, Brioni’s new flagship store and more.
Visitors looking for diamonds and fine jewelry can also explore Midtown’s Diamond District on 47th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, where individually owned businesses offer a wide variety of jewelry styles and settings that make great gifts.
Right outside the 59th Street entrance to Central Park, visitors can head to the Shops at Columbus Circle, with more than 50 retail shops and boutiques, as well as Michelin-star restaurants. These shops are part of the Time Warner Center, which includes the luxurious Mandarin Oriental New York hotel and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
While double-decker tour buses such as Big Bus Tours, Gray Line New York and Open Loop are great ways to sightsee around Midtown, there’s no better free way to see the parks, landmarks and gems than taking a stroll through the area.
Starting at Grand Central Terminal, the world-famous landmark is a hub of activity filled with bustling commuters, stunning architecture, dining, shopping and hidden gems. It’s home to an Apple Store and the New York Transit Museum Gallery Annex & Store. Visitors can often be seen taking photographs of the massive mural across the ceiling of the main concourse.
Construction of Times Square’s pedestrian plazas wrapped up in December 2016, allowing visitors to walk freely from 42nd to 47th Streets without disruption from vehicular traffic.
As the largest neo-gothic-style Roman Catholic cathedral in the country, St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue welcomes thousands of visitors every year. Its architecture and beautiful stained glass windows make it a must-see for everyone.
Visitors looking for a quiet and relaxing break from the Midtown rush can head to Bryant Park on 42nd Street. Open year-round, the park features a holiday market and ice-skating rink during the winter, as well as outdoor movies and entertainment along its sprawling lawn during the warmer months. While only beginning in Midtown Manhattan, Central Park starts at 59th Street and extends all the way uptown to 110th Street in Harlem.
New and exciting developments will continue to open in Midtown Manhattan in the months to come. Opening early April, Gulliver’s Gate will be an interactive and immersive miniature world in the heart of Times Square. Located on 44th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, the attraction will feature more than 300 miniature buildings and 3-D printed replicas of some of the world’s biggest cities, including New York City gulliversgate.com
In July, the four-story, 27,000-square-foot Opry City Stage will bring a taste of Nashville’s Southern culture and the famous Grand Ole Opry to Midtown. Located on Broadway between West 48th and 49th Streets, the venue will feature a restaurant, bar, listening room and live musical performances oprycitystage.com
This November, NFL Experience Times Square will bring the world of professional football to life. Including a 4D film with exclusive footage, interactive displays that dive into the NFL training regimen and game plan, physical challenges that allow guests to measure up against the pros, and championship memorabilia, the first-of-its-kind attraction will take fans from the stands to the field nflexperience.com
Later this fall, National Geographic ENCOUNTER: Ocean Odyssey will transport visitors below the depths of the Pacific Ocean, where they can interact with virtual marine wildlife combined with new technologies to create a groundbreaking walk-through experience. The new experience will be located on West 43rd Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue natgeoencounter.com
For more information on Midtown Manhattan, check out our guide to Midtown at nycgo.com/midtown
About NYC & Company: NYC & Company is the official destination marketing organization for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide. For all there is to do and see in New York City, visit nycgo.com
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