Can I confess something...I love visiting tourist sites in cities. I feel like there is a reason many of these attractions are known worldwide. When I visited New York for the Carnival Vista Event I just had to visit the Empire State Building. I have been there before but it has been at least ten years. So we decided we had to make a visit happen.
Empire State Building in New York City
We decided to head to the 86th-floor observatory for our visit. You can go to the 102nd-floor observatory for an additional fee. The day we were in NYC it was cold and windy so we decided another few floors would probably be freezing cold.
Plus the view from the 86th floor is pretty darn amazing!
The 86th-floor observatory sits 1,050 feet above street level. EEK!
Did you know that more than 3.8 million visitors visit the Empire State Building each year? Make sure and give yourself enough time if there are lines during your visit. We were there in January and did not encounter any lines during our visit.
On a clear day, you can see up to 80 miles in each direction! The views of New York City are truly amazing. You get a wonderful perspective of just how big the city really is.
Make sure and bring some quarters so you can use the high powered binoculars that are found on the observation deck. Plus they make for a great photo op.
Right as we were about to leave the staff roped off a corner area near one of the binoculars. We tried asking if it was for someone important and the staff told us that it was just for a photo opp.
Hmm.....we should have trusted our gut and stayed for 5 more minutes. As we were getting on the elevator down they were holding the area for a special guest. When we got home we found out that Hugh Jackman was there for Australia day to take pics. We were so close to getting to see him.
There are great interpretive panels with the history of the Empire State Building and the surrounding area on the 86th floor.
Included with your admission ticket is a handheld multi-media guide. The guide serves as an audiovisual companion as you visit the Empire State Building. You can learn about the historical and sustainability exhibits, hear a narrated guide to the views you are seeing from the 86th or 102nd-floor observatories, and enjoy videos, quizzes, and maps showing points of interest in the area.
The Otis High-Speed elevators whisk you to the 80th floor in less than one minute!
The gift shop offers everything you can imagine and some things you might not have thought of for the Empire State Building. Everything from Christmas Ornaments to teddy bears are available.
If you enjoy celebrity photos there is a huge wall of celebrities at the Empire State Building as you walk towards the exit.
For more information on the Empire State Building visit their website. Pre-warning their website has auto background music so if you are at work or someplace you don't want to announce you are on the internet it is best to wait until you get home 🙂
The Empire State Building is the perfect attraction if you are visiting New York City with kids.
Additional New York Travel Guides
Hamilton Grange National Memorial
General Grant National Memorial
Castle Clinton National Monument
Whats sad is I live just a few short hours from NY and I never go. One of my best friends lives in NY and I really need to make the time to head out there to see her. I haven't been to NY in years. It's so amazing there and so much to do and browse! Love this and your photos are beautiful!
Thank you for sharing your wonderful post! It brings me back to the time when I visited the Empire State Building for the first time. I was in complete awe!
Oh, wow. This is not only a breathtakingly beautiful view, it's a famous one at that! I can't wait to visit for myself. It sounds like your travel companions were amazing too, I love Jennifer from The Rebel Chick! You guys are so blessed to get to travel and write about the experiences, I love following along and living vicariously for now. 🙂
Oh wow that's a great view when you're on the 86th floor. You feel like you're once on top of everyone in the world. I could have felt like royalty that time. My boyfriend is afraid of heights, so we probably would not visit this building and go up that high. This is an unforgettable experience!
I love going to NYC and touring the city. I have never been to the Empire State building and plan on going this summer. Your photos are really nice and showcase the city. I can not believe that you can go all the way to the 102nd story. That sounds like so much fun.
When I was in New York, I wanted to see the Empire State Building. I was only there for a few days and did not have the time to check it out. I have a fear of heights, so I am not sure if I would have the courage to actually go up!
As a native NYC girl, it has been years since I have gone to the top of the Empire State Building. I think this summer I should plan some staycation days and make a trip with my girls. The views are amazing and it looks like you had a great experience.
Ah how fun, the city that never sleeps. Or is that Las Vegas?! I still haven't made it to NYC yet. One of my girl friends and I want to go there and just have a girls weekend shopping trip, and of course do the touristy things.
As a full time blogger and grandmother, I rarely get a chance to go on vacation. I've spent my entire life living on the West Coast but reading your article made me feel like I was actually visiting New York! Thank you for this wonderful share!
I haven't been to the Empire State Building in years! I grew up in the NYC metro area and spent a lot of time in the city as a child and young adult. This post brought back a lot of memories, and made me a little bit homesick.
NYC is such a great city, it's a place where it feels like anything is possible... even meeting Hugh Jackman 😉
I would love to visit the Empire State Building someday! Your pictures turned out amazing! It sounds like you had a wonderful trip, and I so want that teddy bear!! That 50 cents for the binoculars sounds like money well spent! 😉