Published April 12, 2012
You can spend your entire life exploring New York City, but if you only have a few days, it's a good idea to prioritize. New York has stunning buildings, beautiful parks and astonishing museums.
To make sure you get the best of the Big Apple, here are three must-see sights in New York City:
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Schedule at least half a day for the Met, which spans over 2 million square feet. The museum houses works by the world's great artists, from Andy Warhol to Vincent van Gogh and everything in between. The Met has something for everyone, including arms and armor and musical instruments. Adventurous visitors can find small pockets of history and international culture throughout the museum.Tucked away between photographs and paintings, you can discover a Chinese garden court, a room excavated from Pompeii or a colonial American house. The Temple of Dendur provides a particularly amazing trip through time and place. In a glass-paneled room overlooking Central Park, this actual Egyptian temple rests on a marble island, bordered by water that is meant to evoke the Nile River. The views will whet your appetite for Central Park, another absolute must-see in New York City.If you loved the Met, you can also check out the Cloisters, a separate branch of the museum devoted to Medieval art. The Cloisters are a set of medieval-style buildings with a charming garden, and they feel like a castle right in the city. Both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cloisters close on Mondays. For more information, visit www.metmuseum.org.
The High Line Park
The High Line is one of the most recent additions to New York's unbeatable repertoire of parks. Built on a historic freight rail line, this elevated park offers clear views of the Hudson River. Plants growing out of old rail tracks remind visitors of the park's past, while the modern design shows what parks can look like in the future. Ample seating offers great opportunities to read, people-watch or simply rest your tired traveler's feet. If you're hungry, you can pick up gourmet grub at the nearby Chelsea Market -- a foodie's paradise. Diners can find anything from cupcakes to lobster and enjoy it in the building or bring it up to the park for a picnic. The High Line and Chelsea Market are both open seven days a week.
The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
Staggering pillars and stained glass windows line the nave, and the walls are alternately adorned with medieval tapestries or contemporary art. If you are willing to work out your calf muscles, the cathedral offers tours on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Spiral staircases take you upward for a spectacular view of Manhattan. For those who prefer to stay on the ground, the nearby gardens are well worth a look. Two peacocks live and wander freely around the gardens, just another two of New York's wilder residents. If you're lucky, you may get a glimpse of these feathered friends. For more information, visit www.stjohndivine.org.