Sightseeing Pass In NYC: 15 New York Sites Not To Miss
New York is the city that never sleeps, and with the vast amount of activities and sights on Manhattan, it is hard to know where to start, where to stop, and what to see. Having a tailored list of things to do or options to choose means that your visit will hit the highlights of this beautiful city. This list features the five best things that are included with the sightseeing pass. So take a look, plan your trip, and experience the city.
1. Zoos and Aquarium
Choose your own animal adventure with access to the Central Park Zoo, Bronx Zoo, and New York Aquarium. Whether you love the underwater worlds featured at the aquarium, or you want to see the animals around the world at the Central Park or Bronx Zoos, you can experience a wide array of wildlife on your visit to the city. Learn More.
2. 3-Day Access To The Metropolitan Museum of Art
One of the world's most renowned museums of art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art cannot be fully appreciated in a single day. The sightseeing pass includes 3-day access for you to take your time and enjoy all corners of the museum. Spend your time walking among works from European Masters, Egyptian Art, African Art, Modern Art, and Sculptures. This multi-day option allows you to take it all in. Learn More.
3. One World Observatory
At One World Observatory, you’ll have a memorable experience above the streets of New York. If you’ve already been sightseeing, you can scope out some of the spots that you walked through.
You can also have an experience that defies all expectations, beginning with a ride in the Sky Pod elevator. Before you enter the observatory, you’ll have access to the See Forever Theater, which will take your breath away before you view the skyline in person. The time-lapse story tells you about the evolution of the city in less than a minute.
The Sightseeing Pass grants you access to the Observatory. While you’re there, you can spend some time at One Dine, the bar and restaurant with sweeping views. Sightseeing Passes do not cover purchases made at the restaurant, though.
Let your imagination, creativity, and problem-solving skills be put to the test at this spy-craft based exhibit. Here you can learn about the history of spying and how the ingenuity of spies influenced political and military events. Learn More.
5. Shearwater Cruise
If you started your tour of Manhattan seeing it from above at the One World Observatory, why not end your visit with a view from the water? Take a cruise on the Shearwater sailing ship around New York Harbor, and choose from a day trip, happy hour sail. or even the Easy Like Sunday Morning brunch cruise. Learn More.
Overall, there is a wide array of walking tours, food experiences, and exhibits to visit using the sightseeing pass. Take a look at the various ways you can save money, see the city, and plan your next trip to New York City.
6. High-Speed RIB Tour
If a sailboat doesn’t get your adrenaline going enough, try the high speed harbor tour by RIBNewYork. It’s the only boat tour that’s small enough to circumvent the Statue of Liberty. You’ll get to skip the lines for the ferry and check her out from all angles as you ride an open boat that sits close to the surface of the water.
The 30-minute ride gets your heart pumping as you reach speeds of 50 miles per hour. It’s the fastest tourist boat on the water around NYC. You’ll probably get a little wet, but you won’t get drenched unless it’s raining.
The boat moves quickly, and you might not be able to take pictures while you’re in motion. However, you’ll stop to snap photos at Liberty Island and the Brooklyn Bridge. Because the boat fits only 16 passengers, the photo opps don’t take up a lot of time.
7. LOL Times Square Magic
With the Sightseeing Pass in NYC, you can get admission to LOL Times Square Magic for free. This family-friendly magic show takes place at LOL Times Square Comedy Club. It features magicians from America’s Got Talent and Last Comic Standing.
You’ll witness mind reading, juggling, modern magic and traditional illusions. Plus, you’ll get a chance to sit down and relax after a long day of touring the city.
Guests must purchase at least two food or drink items during their visit to qualify for the free entry. Shows are at 7 p.m. on Monday through Friday, 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and 6 p.m. on Sunday.
8. Madame Tussauds
New York is a great place to catch sight of famous people, but only if you’re lucky. If you want to snap a photo with your favorite celebrities, you’ll have the best chance of doing so at Madame Tussauds New York.
The museum has figures of sports heroes, movie stars, musicians and politicians. Plus, there are many interactive exhibits that give you a chance to immerse yourself in the fun.
Pretend that you’re part of the A-list by taking selfies with supermodels and superstars. This is a great experience for all ages.
9. National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey
Head under the sea without getting wet at the National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey. It’s a virtual reality experience that makes you feel as though you’re one with nature.
You’ll get to experience what it’s like to be up close and personal with sea lions, humpback whales and giant squid. The wonder is produced with lifelike, photorealistic animation and advanced technology. Giant screens and hologram displays make you feel as though you’re part of the action. This is a great way to learn more about our oceans and hear real-life stories from National Geographic photographers.
Ocean Odyssey is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. It’s a great place to have a romantic date or bring the kids. The exhilarating exhibits will take you far beyond the reaches of land and let you encounter a world that most people don’t get to see up close.
10. Top of the Rock Observation Deck
The Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center gives you sweeping views of Manhattan from one of the most famous landmarks in the city. Rockefeller center is one of the top tourist attractions during the holidays, but the views from Top of the Rock are fantastic any time.
Outdoor and indoor viewing decks make the experience comfortable no matter what the weather is like. You’ll be able to view the skyline from every angle.
This is an experience to remember. In addition to scoping out the city from above, you’ll get to walk through the Breezeway, which is a personalized light exhibit. Every visitor is assigned a certain color, and it follows them around the room.
You can also follow in the footsteps of the construction workers who ate lunch on a steel beam hundreds of feet above the city. It’s an iconic photograph that many people recognize, and it was taken at Rockefeller center.
The Mezzanine exhibit also contains interesting information about Rockefeller Center and New York City. You’ll get to view artifacts and photographs and learn about the creation of Top of the Rock.
Don’t miss the Radiance Wall. It was designed by Swarovski and features beautiful glass panels with crystals and fiber optic lighting. It’s a mesmerizing, one-of-a-kind experience.
11. American Museum of Natural History
The Sightseeing Pass in NYC will also get you into the American Museum of Natural History, which is so big that you can’t possibly take it all in during one visit. Therefore, you’ll discover something new every time you return.
The museum features more than 30 million artifacts and specimens, including immense dinosaurs, the largest collection of fossils in the world and the biggest blue star sapphire on the planet.
The planetarium is an excellent place to get romantic with a date. It also offers spectacular shows for children and adults. There is also a theater with a state-of-the-art sound system and enormous screen that shows 2D and 3D films. Screenings are offered every hour on the half hour from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The permanent exhibits include the Biodiversity and Environmental Halls, in which you can learn about a wide variety of ecosystems in North America. The Birds and Reptiles and Amphibians Halls depict these animals in their habitats.
Other permanent exhibits include:
• Earth and Planetary Sciences Halls
• Fossil Halls
• Grand Gallery
• Human Origins and Cultural Halls
• Mammal Halls
• Theodore Roosevelt Memorial
The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. every day except Christmas and Thanksgiving.
12. Brooklyn Unplugged Graffiti and Street Art Workshop
Have you ever noticed how much incredible street art there is in New York City? If you’ve been on a sightseeing tour, you’ve probably witnessed some. With the Sightseeing Pass, you can have the opportunity to learn how to make your own street art.
Join Brooklyn Unplugged Tours for a hands-on lesson that immerses you in the world of underground creativity. You’ll learn the basics of street art from an esteemed New York City graffiti artist before working on your own masterpiece.
These workshops are held almost every day at 1:15 p.m. They last approximately one hour.
13. Eat at Buffalo Wild Wings
The Sightseeing Pass in NYC gets you free food at a few select restaurants. One of those is Buffalo Wild Wings in Times Square, Harlem or Brooklyn. The Times Square location is Buffalo Wild Wings’ flagship location in New York City.
This restaurant features wings, craft beer, salads and burgers. You can enjoy the prix-fixe menu for free with the Sightseeing Pass. It includes ice cream for dessert, and you can enjoy your meal on the rooftop deck for breathtaking views of the city.
14. Coney Island
Coney Island offers thrills and history. It was the home to the first rollercoaster in the world. Luna Park originally opened in 1903, but it was destroyed by a fire in 1944. The modern version of Luna Park reopened in 2010. It is the first amusement park to have been built in Coney Island in 40 years.
A Sightseeing Pass in NYC gets you 24 ride passes. You can experience any of the mild, medium and high-thrill rides, including the famous Cyclone, which debuted in 1927 and still takes guests on an adventurous journey.
Some of the other exhilarating rides include Steeplechase, a horse-themed roller coaster, the Atlantic Aviator, which make you feel as though you’re on a runaway airplane ride, and the Coney Clipper, which is a pirate ship that swings back and forth, rising to dramatic heights before plunging you in the opposite direction.
15. Madison Square Garden All-Access Tour
Madison Square Garden is home to some of the best pro sports teams in New York. The arena also holds major events, such as concerts and boxing matches. When you visit The Garden for a tour, you’ll go behind the scenes and learn about the venue’s 150-year history.
Guests will get to immerse themselves in a virtual reality experience to feel what it’s like to be in the middle of an event at the arena. Tours last about 75 minutes.
(Updated January 23rd, 2020)