Photos: Take a Bite Out of The Big Apple

loading photos...
  1. A full moon rises over the skyline of New York City, as seen across the Hudson River in Weehawken, N.J., on April 25, 2013. (Gary Hershorn / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Commuters move through the grand hall of Grand Central Terminal in New York City on Jan. 25, 2013. Since its grand beginnings in 1913, when it was dubbed the greatest railway terminal in the world with an $80 million price tag, Grand Central has been an integral part of New York City. (Brendan Mcdermid / REUTERS) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Revelers cheers under falling confetti at the stroke of midnight during the New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square on Jan. 1, 2014. (John Minchillo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. One World Trade Center overlooks the wedge-shaped pavilion entrance of the National September 11 Museum, lower right, and the square outlines of the memorial waterfalls in New York. (Mark Lennihan / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees walks back to the dugout after flying out in the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians on June 13, 2011, at Yankee Stadium. Located in the South Bronx, the new stadium opened in 2009. (Jim Mcisaac / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Central Park was the first public park built in America. Its 843 acres include woodlands, lawns and water. Central Park was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965 and a New York City Landmark in 1974. More than 25 million visitors enjoy Central Park each year. (Mario Tama / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Saint Patrick's Cathedral is the largest decorated gothic-style Catholic cathedral in the U.S. The cathedral's construction began in 1858, and it opened its doors in 1879. (Vincenzo Pinto / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Skaters glide around the rink at the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink. The ice rink, open between October and April, has attracted more than 250,000 people a year since it first opened on Dec. 25, 1936. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Patrons line up outside the Apollo Theater in Harlem to see Amateur Night. Since 1934, Amateur Night at the Apollo has launched the careers of famous entertainers such as Billie Holiday, James Brown, The Isley Brothers, Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, Lauryn Hill, and many others. (Jonathan D. Woods / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. The South Pool at the National September 11 Memorial in New York City commemorates those who died in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks after two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center. (Justin Lane / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Pedestrians pass along a walkway under falling snow on the Brooklyn Bridge on Jan. 3, 2014, in New York. One of the oldest suspension bridges in the U.S., the Brooklyn Bridge connects Manhattan and Brooklyn. (John Minchillo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. The Statue of Liberty looms over a visitor as he uses binoculars to look out onto New York Harbor on Oct. 13, 2013, in New York. About 4 million people visit the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island each year. (John Minchillo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Coney Island features entertainment parks, rides, an aquarium, a public beach, a boardwalk, fishing and Nathan's restaurant. (John Minchillo / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. New York City Subway dancer Marcus Walden aka "Mr Wiggles" performs acrobatic tricks on the subway while passengers watch Nov. 23, 2010. More than 4.3 million people ride the New York subway system every day. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP/Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. The Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on the southern tip of two-mile-long Roosevelt Island - between Manhattan and Queens - was dedicated in 2012. (Paul Warchol / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York has been around since 1924 and includes large balloons, floats and performances. (Gary Hershorn / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Visitors view the Manhattan skyline from Rockefeller Center's "Top of the Rock" observation deck. (Mario Tama / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Pedestrians walk along a path on the High Line park on June 7, 2011, in New York City. The High Line was formerly an elevated railway 30 feet above the city's West Side that was built in 1934 for freight trains. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. The moon rises at sunset behind New York's Empire State building, which opened in 1931. At 102 stories high, the Empire State Building is the fourth tallest skyscraper in America. (Gary Hershorn / REUTERS) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

By
Special to msnbc.com
updated 12/14/2009 3:49:13 PM ET 2009-12-14T20:49:13

The holiday travel season is upon us and New York City remains at the top of may people’s list. With easy transportation options like the subway, a never-ending selection of restaurants and the world’s greatest selection of live theater, New York should be at the top of your holiday travel list. Here are a few ideas to make your holiday trip to New York extra special.

What to do?
The holidays are an amazing time in New York City. The Big Apple shines in Christmas lights and tinsel. One of the mandatory first stops has to be the giant Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center (601 5th Ave., Between 49th and 50th Street). This tradition has been in place since 1931 and will continue well into the future. While you’re checking out the tree, be sure to walk around Rockefeller Center, visit its shops and restaurants, check out the skaters on the famous ice rink and treat yourself to a tour of NBC Studios, located at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

Another neat thing to do in New York is look at the window displays around the city. The holiday shopping season gives every store an excuse to go all out and decorate their windows with animated figures, amazing costumes and fantastic scenery.  Sacks Fifth Avenue at 611 5th Ave, between 49th and 50th streets and Macy’s at 151 W 34th St, between 34th and 35th Street offer the best windows.

What to eat?
New York can be expensive. Hotel rooms run, on average, around $300 a night, and Broadway tickets can cost as much as $125, but surprisingly, New York offers a whole slew of affordable, yet very delicious restaurants. New York has restaurant week, where lunch’s and dinner’s cost a set amount, but most people don’t know that many restaurants around the city offer this special prix fixe menu year-round. The Gotham Bar and Grill, located at 12 E 12th St is one of New York’s top restaurants offers their three-course lunch for $31.00 lunch all year long. Look around and you’ll find more restaurants offering spectacular deals including pre-theater dinners and special early-bird menus.

What to see?
The Broadway season is in full swing, and this year offers up an amazing selection of new and old that is sure to entertain just about anyone. 

Ten things not to do in New York City A little hint when getting tickets ... check out the new and improved TKTS booth right in the center of Times Square. This booth has discounted tickets often for the top shows. While it’s risky, if you go within 30 minutes of show time you can get great seats for top shows at half the price — but there is no telling what shows will be available. 

The booth also has locations in Brooklyn and at the South Street Seaport, where lines are always shorter.

Here are a few show suggestions:

“Memphis”
One of the newest additions to the Broadway stage is “Memphis”, a musical about the changing times of Memphis in the late 50’s. With soul music as its base and the civil rights movement as its core, this show has a great story, fantastic music and a cast that makes you want to shout for more. If you’re looking for a good time check out “Memphis”.

“Hair”
The Tony Award-winner for best revival will allow you to relive the 60’s, for at least 2 hours.  This production brings the true spirit of the era with the songs we all know, a story that is as relevant now as it was back then, and the warm feeling that harmony and understanding are all around us.

This show does have a few adult themes and brief moments of nudity so please use discretion if buying tickets for young children.

  1. Don't miss these Travel stories
    1. Lords of the gourd compete for Punkin Chunkin honors

      With teams using more than 100 unique apparatuses to launch globular projectiles a half-mile or more, the 27th annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin event is our pick as November’s Weird Festival of the Month.

    2. Airports, airlines work hard to return your lost items
    3. Expert: Tourist hordes threaten Sistine Chapel's art
    4. MGM Grand wants Las Vegas guests to Stay Well
    5. Report: Airlines collecting $36.1B in fees this year

“Ragtime”
Not gone for long, this revival (the original just closed in 2000), an import from London is even better than the original. Based on the 1975 E. L. Doctorow book of the same name, this musical has a great, heart-warming story centered around three very different families at the start of the 20th century, and stunning music which will stay with you long after the curtain falls.

New York food trucks go gourmet This show is sure to be a favorite for families and couples alike. Do yourself a favor and put “Ragtime” at the top of your must see list!

“Next To Normal”
A show about a bi-polar mother and her family doesn’t sound like it would be a hit but it is and it won the Tony Award for best score! Audiences are flocking to see this emotional musical with true heart and soul. This show isn’t for everyone, and doesn’t put a catchy tune in your head, but if you’re willing to see something a little different you will be pleasantly surprised at how much you'll like it.

“Jersey Boys”
This show has now been around for a few years but it still feels fresh. The true story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, this show has the music we all love. From “Sherry Baby” and “Walk Like a Man”, to “You’re Just to Good to be True” and “Oh What a Night”, you will be on your feet dancing and singing to a great selection of the Four Seasons hits.

“Mama Mia!”
This show was a hit from the day it started, and with the movie allowing more people to learn the story of Sophie and Sky’s wedding, it continues to be a hit. If you’re a fan of ABBA and want to have fun, this is the show to see. A simply story that doesn’t really have an ending this show is family friendly, goofy and a rocking good time.

“The Royal Family”
If you’re not looking for a musical you might want to check out “The Royal Family”, a comedy about a theatrical family akin to the Barrymore’s. This show has outrageous characters, a clever plot and truly laugh out loud moments sure to please even the most experienced theatergoer. The show has stood the test of time (it was originally produced in 1927) and is as good today, if not better, than it has ever been.

Well, there you have it — some things to do, places to eat, and shows to see. I encourage you to book your tickets, search for the best hotel rate and get you and your family to New York. There is nothing more exciting that walking down the street, bundled up in your winter coat and scarf and looking up to see the beautiful Empire State Building or catching a great Broadway Show. Do yourself a favor ... book the trip now for the time of your life!

© 2013 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments