A regular feature on LandLopers is the Interactive Travel Guide. The idea is to highlight one city or country every week and then get the best recommendations from you all. By the end of the week, we hopefully will have created the best tips not from guide books, but from real people.
To continue this social media experiment, this week I want to highlight New York City.
Simply said, New York is truly one of the great cities of the world and the urban heart of the United States. More than just a mega-city, New York is a special place with a constant energy the likes of which are found no where else in the world. There are many great experiences and restaurants in the Big Apple, but one of my favorite activities is visiting Ellis Island.
I last visited New York in the middle of a hot, sweltering summer and the heat and humidity were almost too much to take. To escape the intense weather, I walked down to the water for a tour of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
It probably isn’t the fault of the National Park Service, more likely it was my poor navigational skills, but I couldn’t figure out how to queue up for the Statue of Liberty tour. After 20 minutes of wandering around the park, I finally found the reserve line, one of the perks of using the City Pass. While the reserve line wasn’t short, the normal line appeared as if it required overnight accommodations. Once I made it through the security station, I boarded the boat and was eager to finally see the Statue of Liberty up close and personal.
There’s nothing I enjoy more than being on the water, and the slight breeze as the tourist boat ambled slowly to the Statue was a welcome relief from the hectic and hot New York afternoon. I was pressed for time, so contented myself with observing Lady Liberty from the ship, but Ellis Island was another matter. I was one of the first off the docked boat, and slowly walked around the main building, admiring the stunning architecture of the island’s receiving area. It’s hard to believe that millions of immigrants filed through this monument, waiting their turn to live the American dream. I meandered around the museum, enjoying the displays and completing some half-hearted research into my family tree.
A quick glance at my watch told me time was up, and as we sailed away I looked back with pride at Ellis Island. More than anything, that simple building represents one of the many qualities that makes America such a great country.
NOW it’s your turn. Please comment and tell us your favorite thing to do, see or eat in New York City. If you haven’t been yet, please let us know what you would most like to do.