New York City has one of the most recognizable skylines in the world. From the Empire State Building to the Flatiron Building, New York is known for some of the most beautiful architecture. Ever since I was a little kid, I've been in love with just looking at the city. I could spend hours staring at pictures and videos of it.
But I digress. One of the things I'm really looking forward to with this bucket list is being able to sit and stare at the city. Call it "concrete jungle" or "the city that never sleeps," but to me it's always been magical. I've been to other cities in the world (Boston, San Francisco, Las Vegas, among others), and nothing compares to New York.
The first place to "sit and stare" wasn't really at the top of my list. But as I said in my Broadway trip, you have to take advantage of discounts whenever they're available. It's reaching the end of NYC Attractions Week (yes, this is a thing), so I had to take advantage of a BOGO deal for the One World Observatory. I asked my friend Kris to join me for the trip up 102 floors.
I was actually hesitant to do the Observatory because I heard the views are nothing compared to those at the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock. Still, a BOGO deal is a BOGO deal, so it was worth it to see the views for myself.
When you decide to visit the One World Observatory (OWO), you first have to decide whether you're going to go during the day or at night. Buying your tickets in advance (online) gets you a small discount, so I recommend taking advantage of that. I decided to go with a night visit. Taking pictures is easier during the day, but the city lights at night are on a whole different level.
Your visit starts (after security) with a presentation (called "Voices") featuring some of the people who make the new tower a reality.
You then walk through a short hallway with the same granite that anchors the tower to the ground. This was a pretty cool little addition, and a nice way to get to the elevators.
The elevators ("sky pods") are really something else. You go up 100 stories in 60 seconds while the elevators project a video of how NYC has grown from nothing but grass to the endless city that it is today. The video is a nice little distraction from the fact that you are now 100(!!!) stories up.
After you get off the elevators, you have the option of renting an iPad with information on all of the buildings/bridges/attractions that are visible from the observatory. You're then taken into another presentation. This is another little display of the skyline, but it ends with the screens lifting up and giving you your first look at the city below. Kris and I thought it was a really cool way to introduce you to everything, and it was a lot nicer than just riding an escalator to the observation room.
If you're hungry or you want to experience dining in the sky, there's a little cafe and dining area at this point. We weren't up for that (obviously, it's expensive), so we kept on going to the Observatory. I took plenty of pictures of the city below us, but I think it goes without saying that no photo could do the views justice. If you're coming up here to see the city, you'll see literally everything - the room is 360 degrees and offers views of Brooklyn, New Jersey, the Statue of Liberty, all of Manhattan, and everything in between. You'll also find a few cool features, like the Sky Portal and this...random thing pictured above.
Despite everything I heard about there being insanely long lines and boring views, this trip was 100% worth the price of admission. Maybe it's because we went later in the day (we had tickets for 6:15), but there were no lines waiting for us. During the day it may be a problem, but we had no problems whatsoever. I'd like to come back during the day (or maybe at sunset) to see how the views change. If you're on the fence about adding this to your to-do list, I would definitely recommend it. It's a great way to see the city, whether you're a tourist or a native. Here's some more shots of the view from 100+ floors up:
I'm Jenn! Welcome to my adventures through life! Feel free to check out my About section or follow me on social media!