Most of us don't have the luxury of taking a week long holiday around New Year's Eve. With the Christmas holiday having just ended, our vacation time at work has been all dried up and New Year's may even seem like a luxury to some people. So for those of you who want to get the most out of your New York City New Year's Eve experience, here is our Top 10 places to see, in travel order, before you hop the plane back home and back to reality.
1. Central Park: Start your tour through the park at 72nd Street and Central Park West, heading east toward 5th Avenue. You will pass Strawberry Fields where John Lennon played and through the meadow and past The Pond. You will get picturesque views of the Midtown skyline from all angles as you cut across the park.
2. Times Square: Exit the park at 7th Avenue and walk south away from the foot of Central Park. At 46th Street, you will feel like you have become part of cosmopolitan cyclone as the skyscrapers of Times Square begin to funnel you toward 42nd Street. Don't miss some of New York's best retail stores highlighted by the jumbo trons along Broadway.
3. Macy's: Using Broadway as your guide, keeping walking south to 34th Street. On the southwest corner, Macy's Department Store with all of its holiday windows will give you 13 floors of Christmas delight. If you are traveling with kids, they can stop on the 8th floor to visit Santa Claus. Macy's is considered the largest department store in the world.
4. Union Square: At 17th Street and Broadway, give yourself a little time to go shopping in the outdoor holiday marketplace in Union Square park. Also, check out some of the artwork around the edges of the park designed and sold by local New York City artists.
5. Chinatown: Take the 6 Train to Canal Street from the Union Square Subway Station. On the small streets and back alleyways of Chinatown, you will find some of NYC's best bargains. Shop for knock-off bags, sunglasses, hats and trinkets along Canal Street and stop in some of the local markets for fresh Asian cuisine.
6. Grand Central Terminal: Hop back on the 6 Train from Canal Street and head uptown to Grand Central/42nd Street. Grand Central Terminal is one of New York's oldest railroad stations and is reminiscent of the Gilded Age when train travel was one of the most elegant and aristocratic means of transportation. Take a moment to sit by the clock tower on the Main Concourse to get a glimpse of old New York history in motion.
7. The Chrysler Building: Art Deco at its finest. On the corner of 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue, the towering 77 floor architecture of the Chrysler Building will come into view. The light reflecting off of the building's facade is illuminating and almost blinding, but take a moment to gaze up at its majesty.
8. The Empire State Building: New York's tallest building and the crown jewel of Manhattan's skyscrapers. Take a walk down to 34th Street on 5th Avenue and, if you have time, buy a ticket to go up to the top of Midtown's marvel.
9. Pennsylvania Station: On 34th Street and 8th Avenue is the massive complex of Pennsylvania Station. You can hit Madison Square Garden and the New York City Post Office as well for a trip through NYC history.
10. Center Esplanades: From 46th Street to 33rd Street down Broadway is a place for you to take in the best of New York City's sites. You can sit on one of the picnic tables, in your coat of course, to get the best people watching views in New York.
This is, of course, far from the entire list of things to do and places to see. But, if you only have a short time with us, make it count and see as much of New York as you can.