#4 The Easily Navigated Transportation System
To break down the organized chaos that is New York City and getting around, you'll need to understand its public transportation. The rail and bus system are run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and are the best way to move about NYC if walking is unreasonable to your next destination. We highly recommend you download the app “MTA” subway map app, trust me it takes all the stress out of moving around the city. For updated prices on tickets and fare click here.
We recommend the use of the subway as it runs 24/7 and is the easiest and quickest way to get around NYC. There is a trip planner that can help you get from one place to another most efficiently. Buses are also an option to get around, and are more scenic than the subway also running 24/7 as well. They generally stop every other block or two so it can be a more accurate than the subway which stops 8-10 blocks or so. There are also a plethora of taxis as well as other ride share options available at any time of the day.
#3 The 24/7 Energy
New York City is one of the most busiest places in the world. It is truly a city never sleeps. And with so much to do, eat and see you will understand why. It is perfectly normal to find many businesses open 24 hours a day and life extending way into the late hours of the night.
Its exciting pace is part of the intoxicating lifestyle that is just a part of NYC's draw. The never ending list of things to eat, see, watch and partake in makes anyone want to come back immediately after leaving to get another taste of the city. There is never quite enough time for all the things in New York City.
Granted this all means that people who live in NYC are generally more rude and impatient than people living in other cities. They are used to the constant speed and the efficiency of their way of life. Don’t take it personally but rather try to take it in stride as a part of the true New York experience.
#2 Beautiful Skyling
With so many iconic and historical buildings that make up the New York City skyline, it is hard to pick just one or two to focus on. There are beautiful scenic landmarks like Empire State Building, Chrysler Buildings, Brooklyn Bridge, The Statue of Liberty National Monument, the One World Trade Center and so many more. Click here to see the skyline of New York City in a map-styleEach special and unique in their own way but like a puzzle, together they they are something even more spectacular!
But this skyline is also constantly changing to transform with the life of the city. Here is an amazing collections of photos that show just how much NYC has seen in 9 years. As of 2011, New York City has 5,937 skyscrapers. Interested in seeing the skyline in a new way? See the views that NYC has to offer via the waterways from a boat tour.
For the best view of the skyline, here is a list of the best places to see the views of New York City. One of our favorites is the breathtaking view from the Top of the Rock where you can get some of the best panoramic sights of the city. The skyline from the Top of the Rock and other places like the Empire State Building are especially breathtaking if you're not the biggest fan of heights. Do not worry, there are some ground level options too!
#1 Appreciation of Arts and Culture
The breadth of attractions are endless and extend to into every borough of the city. There are over 55,000 living artists in the city make it a hub for creative enterprises, museums and galleries. It is also an amazing melting pot of ethnicities, cultures and traditions, honoring every person who called NYC home.
Additionally there is the internationally renowned MoMA. Identified as one of the most important and largest museums, the Museum of Modern Art plays an essential role in developing and collecting modern art. The idea for the museum was brought to life by Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (wife of John D. Rockefeller) and her two friends Lillie P. Bliss and Mary Quinn Sullivan in 1929.
New York City is also great for all of the TV networks and filming locations. It is the most filmed city in the world. Here is an essential filming list for movie and TV locations if you want to stop by an iconic spot from your favorite movie.
Fun fact, there aren’t actually as many alleys in NYC as many people have been led to believe by movies. There are only a limited number of alleys that are the gritty and dilapidated, 4 in fact, and you cannot film in 3 of them, leaving only one, Cortlandt Alley. They were not included in the Commissioner’s Plan of 1811 and is the reason the trash has to be left out in the front of the buildings, occasionally creating an unsightly eyesore. Charming!
To enjoy the art and cultures offered in New York we recommend you and your group make your own must-see list and prioritize your favorites. Need some ideas? Here is a list of the must-sees to enjoy arts and culture when you’re town.
Also called “the Magic Dragon” for its serpentine shape, the Lake of the Ozarks is a large reservoir created by the Osage River in central Missouri. Its surface covers a vast 54,000 acres and its shoreline stretches 1,150 miles.
The Lake of the Ozarks was created in 1929 when the construction of the Bagnell Dam by the Union Electrical Company of St. Louis impounded a much smaller lake. At the time of construction of the dam, Lake of the Ozarks was the largest man-made lake in the United States.
Renamed multiple times over the years as none of the officially chosen titles stuck, it became known by its location on the northern edge of the lake that is nearby the Ozarks.
Well known for being a popular tourist destination, Lake of the Ozarks the shoreline is relatively stable in comparison to other flood control lakes, creating ideal conditions for developments very close to the water’s edge.
Nearby is Bridal Cave, a natural cave system attraction that is names after an Osage Native American legend. Additionally, there is a national park called the Lake of the Ozarks State Park which covers 17,500 acres of the land and is the largest state park in Missouri.
We recommend this spot to our nature and outdoor lovers. It is the perfect destination for a weeklong family getaway close to the water but nearly a stone’s throw away from other fun things like plenty of restaurants, stores for shopping and even a water park.
Come and visit the former mansion estate of the King of Rock and Roll. Purchased by Elvis Presley in 1957 for just over $100,000, the former cattle farm turned renovated home is where Elvis lived for over twenty years.
Named after the original estate owner, Stephen C. Toof’s daughter, Grace. The estate features five sets of staircases, three grand fireplaces and a kidney-shaped pool. The famous music-themed gates were installed in April of 1957.
Graceland became the center hub for Elvis and his life. It is where Elvis lived with his wife, Priscilla Beaulieu, in the first years of their marriage and where Lisa Maria, Elvis’s daughter spent the first years of her life.
While on tour, Elvis would have his hotel rooms “renovated” to the same configurations as Graceland with the same furniture for his complete comfort.
Elvis’s tombstone is in the Meditation Garden next to the estate and is viewable on mansion tours.
In 1991, Graceland was added to the American National Register of Historic Places and is the first landmark that is related to rock and roll to be included on the register. It is the second most-visited house in the country, after to the White House of course, with over 600,000 visitors each year.
The grounds feature exhibits like a new car museum, Presley Motors, including the famous pink Cadillac, a radio studio that plays all Elvis music around the clock, his two planes, the Lisa Marie and Hound Dog II. Graceland also includes the personal effects of the musician like his wardrobe, costumes, awards and furniture.
We highly recommend this attraction to all music and rock and roll fans and allot for 2-3 hours to fully immerse yourself in all the property has to offer.
The Forbidden City, The Great Smoky Mountains, The Sydney Opera House, The Taj Mahal and Versailles are some of the world’s most visited UNESCO Heritage Sites. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s aim is to “build the defenses of peace in the minds of men and women.”
In addition to helping to facilitate collaboration and cooperation between countries the UNESCO organization determines World Heritage Sites. These sites are deemed important, unique, educational and beautiful and are protected from being destroyed by receiving the honor.
This week a special committee is looking into adding more sites to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. The contenders include sites like a bird-filled estuary in China’s Yalu River, Frank Lloyd Wright’s 20th-century architecture, Alpine road in Austria, Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland and Jaipur city in India among others.
In order to be added to the World Heritage Site list, the sites must pass a series of evaluations where experts evaluate the destinations and report on their preservation.
If accepted, the UNESCO stamp of approval will most definitely help increase the valuable tourism dollars for the sites. If denied, the sites can still be nominated in subsequent years and go through the process again.
To see the complete list of World Heritage Site click here.
Also known as the Alamo Mission in what is now San Antonio, Texas, it is a fortress and compound founded by Roman Catholic missionaries in the 18th century. Famous for the Battle of the Alamo in 1836 and for being the pivotal battle in the Texas Revolution.
The battle was fought between the Republic of Texas and Mexico from February 23rd to March 6th, 1836. In the end, the Mexican army won and ultimately killed the estimated 200 Texans including the national hero and “King of the Frontier,” Davy Crockett.
Built initially for the education of the converted Native Americans, it was later transformed to a fortress to house the military unit, the Second Flying Company of San Carlos de Parras.
Now it is part of a museum in the Alamo Historic District and a World Heritage Site.
The Alamo calls to all interested in history, the military, and politics. We recommend allotting around 2 hours to explore the museum, fortress and gardens available at this attraction.
With the Grand Canyon National Park turning 100 in 2019, they have a lot to celebrate. But the festivities shouldn’t just applaud the age of the park.
It is now certified as an International Dark Sky Park.
Now the Grand Canyon is joining the ranks of 60 other esteemed parks and reserves that are Dark Sky Parks. It is now one of 9 other U.S. National Parks to qualify out of the 61 total U.S. National Parks.
Efforts to attain this achievement began in 2016. The Grand Canyon National Park was outfitted with thousands of exterior lights to reduce the light pollution as more and more of the nights are being polluted by lights.
The famous American country music stage was founded in 1925 by George D. Hay. Back then it was known for the one-hour “barn dance” segment on the radio but now it is the longest-running radio broadcast in U.S. history.
The Grand Ole Opry is “The Show That Made Country Music Famous,” and aims to honor the music genre and its history along with bluegrass and gospel music too.
Membership in the Opry is one of the most prestigious accomplishments for country musicians. In order to be inducted, regular performers must be asked by current members on stage during a live performance. Membership must be maintained for the entire career of the musician with frequent performances and ends when the artists pass away.
The Grand Ole Opry attracts thousands of its listeners from all over and is a crowning achievement to the “country music capital” of the nation. Visit to see a backstage tour or buy tickets to a one of a kind live music show.