A Local’s Guide To The Best Views In New York City

Forget the guidebooks with their generic recommendations. This is your guide to the best views in New York City.

New York is known as the city that never sleeps. The city is a concrete jungle of urban residents whose dreams rise higher than the city’s skyscrapers. New York City can overwhelm your senses — the honking cabs, the steam rising from hot dog stands to the diversity of cultures throughout the city. 

But there’s another side to NYC, a side that lets you breathe and allows you to see the city sprawled out before you in all its chaotic glory. This is all about the views, the breathtaking panoramas that remind you why they call this place the Big Apple. 

Forget the guidebooks with their generic recommendations. This is your guide to the best views in New York City, spots that’ll have you reaching for your camera and leaving your friends back home speechless. 

From iconic landmarks to rooftop terraces, we’re about to show you the city from a whole new perspective. So, lace up your walking shoes, grab your shades, and get ready to be amazed.

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Iconic Sights from New Heights

You haven’t truly experienced the best of New York until you’ve seen it from the clouds. Sure, the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock are legendary for a reason. But there’s more to it than just the view.

The Empire State Building isn’t just about King Kong anymore. Soar 1,050 feet up and witness the city sprawl out before you like a glittering sea of lights. Time it right, and you might even catch the sunset—the colors painting the sky are unforgettable.

Top of the Rock offers a whole different vibe. Head to Rockefeller Center and ascend to the 70th floor for a breathtaking 360-degree view. 

Unlike the Empire State Building, you won’t be looking up at its own spire. Instead, you get an unobstructed view of Central Park, the Chrysler Building, and everything in between. 

Craving a breath of fresh air but still dreaming of that iconic NYC skyline view? Escape the crowded streets and head to one of these incredible parks.

Verdant Vistas and Cityscapes

Craving a breath of fresh air but still dreaming of that iconic NYC skyline view? Escape the crowded streets and head to one of these incredible parks. 

Central Park’s Reservoir offers a jogger’s paradise with a view. Run or stroll the loop and watch the skyscrapers shimmer in the reflection of the water. Feeling peckish? Pack a picnic and find a bench—the perfect escape from urban chaos.

Over in Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Bridge Park is your waterfront escape. Spread out a blanket on the expansive lawn, grab a coffee from a nearby vendor, and soak in the stunning vista of lower Manhattan.  

📖 Recommended Reading: If you’re looking for more useful information, check out How to Stay Safe When Traveling to New York City.

Hidden Gems and Viewpoints

New York City is a master of disguise. Skyscrapers cast long shadows, hiding quirky pockets of the city that most tourists miss.

Ever had a picnic with a skyline view that rivals Central Park? Head to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir for a joggers-eye view of the city. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, take a ride on the Roosevelt Island Tram.

Feeling artsy? The High Line isn’t just a scenic walkway—it’s also a hidden viewpoint treasure trove. Stroll through the greenery and admire the urban gardens and art installations. These are the kind of views that make you feel like you’re in a New York postcard, come to life.

Breathtaking Vistas from Iconic Structures

Ever feel like you’re just another face in the New York City crowd? Not anymore. These architectural ascents will have you soaring above the crowds, granting you a superhero-worthy perspective of the city.

Imagine scaling the gothic spires of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Three hundred thirty steps might sound daunting, but the panoramic view of Midtown Manhattan from the top is worth every step.

Spot the Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, and even Central Park from a whole new angle. Feeling fancy? Head to The Met Cloisters. This museum perched on a hill overlooking the Hudson River isn’t just about medieval art.

The real star of the show here is the unbeatable view of the George Washington Bridge and the Palisades cliffs. Art and jaw-dropping vistas? Now that’s a winning combination.

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Panoramic Views with Cocktails

The city stretches out before you, a glittering tapestry of twinkling lights and iconic skyscrapers.  You clink glasses with friends, laughter rising above the gentle hum of conversation. This is the rooftop revelry in New York City.

Rooftop bars are the crown jewels of New York City’s nightlife scene. They’re not just about the drinks, though those can be amazing, too—handcrafted cocktails with inventive flavors, curated wine lists, and frosty beers on tap. It’s the ambiance that truly sets them apart. 

Final Thoughts

So, ditch the tourist traps and explore these hidden gems and local favorites. With this guide, you’re sure to capture unforgettable views and discover a whole new side of New York City.  Now, get out there and explore!

Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission for any purchases made through the links. Your trust is important to us, and we ensure that all products or services we recommend meet or exceed our editorial standards.

Last Updated on April 3, 2024

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