If you are getting tired of looking up at the dizzying skyscrapers of Manhattan on your visit to New York City, why not find a place where you could look down at the streets of the city for a change? The best way to do just this in New York City is nowhere else but the Empire State Building.
The Empire State Building is one of the most recognizable landmarks of New York City, not to mention one of the most popular attractions that the city holds for its visitors. Once considered to be the tallest building in the entire world, the Empire State Building entertains ten to twenty thousand people a day and has catered to around 110 million visitors since it first opened its doors in 1931. Its prominence in the New York skyline has prompted many creative minds to feature the Empire State Building in such movies as An Affair to Remember, Sleepless in Seattle, and of course, King Kong and its subsequent remakes. The Empire State Building has also been featured in television, in written fiction, and even in video games.
The Empire State Building is located along Park Avenue in Manhattan. It stands on the site where the first Waldorf-Astoria Hotel used to be. The building itself, designed by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon Associates, is thought to be a prime example of Art Deco architecture, the prevailing architectural style during those years. Its total height is approximately 1,454 feet up to the top of the lightning rod. The Empire State Building has two observation decks, one being the 86th Floor Observatory and the other on the 102nd Floor. Tickets to the 102nd Floor Observatory are limited and more expensive than those for the 86th Floor.
What activities can you do when you are on one of the observatories of the Empire State Building? The main attraction of the Empire State Building is that it offers the visitor a 360-degree view of New York City. On a really clear day, it is possible to see 80 miles beyond from the viewing deck of the Empire State Building. If you find the view of New York City from below, you will certainly find the view from the top truly awesome.
But viewing the skyline of New York City are not the only things that you can do on the observation decks of the Empire State Building. After viewing the sights, you can enjoy a good meal from one of the restaurants at the 86th Floor Observation Deck, or refresh yourself with some coffee. The Empire State Building also has SKYRIDE, a simulated helicopter ride and virtual-reality theater.
The observatories of the Empire State Building are open from 8 AM to 2 AM, seven days a week. If you are planning to visit the Empire State Building, make sure that you allot ample time for waiting. The crowds lining up to get to the observatories can get really long, especially on weekends in the summer. Come early if you want to beat the crowds in going up to the Observatory, or at least be prepared to do some waiting. You can save a little time if you go to their website and order your tickets online.