My favorite place for views in NYC: Top of the Rock

Y’all know how much I love a good observatory when I’m traveling. I saw Boston from the Prudential Tower and LA from the Getty, and tried to see NYC from One World Trade, though those efforts were foiled by fog.

Luckily, there is no shortage of places in NYC with views. My personal favorite is Top of the Rock, the three-story observatory at the peak of 30 Rockefeller Center. Rockefeller Center is hands-down my favorite part of the city for many reasons, including the fact that it’s a beacon for the best of the best in both journalism and comedy. The views – of the Empire State Building and Central Park especially – are just a bonus!

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I first visited Top of the Rock in 2008 as a wide-eyed teenager visiting the city. Most of that trip is a whirlwind in my memory, but I do remember pressing my nose against the glass, in awe of this city, while my mom hovered several feet from the edge and warned me not to fall. (Rest assured, mothers – the only open level is the top, and it only opens down to the floor below it.) Since moving here, I’ve itched to go back – but waited for a special occasion to justify the $30 price tag.

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Such an occasion presented itself in August in the form of my sister’s 19th birthday! As you know, she visited Brooklyn and we had the time of our lives, but we did venture into the city for a few special treats. I bought our tickets not knowing what she would think – and she loved it as much as I do! In fact, we stayed well over two hours so we could watch the sunset from arguably the very best spot.

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If you want to go: Tickets can be bought here in advance for $30, or purchased on arrival. There are several entrances to 30 Rock; you want the one on 50th Street. There’s a gift shop at the top. I highly recommend arriving about an hour before sunset to enjoy the best of all worlds – golden hour, sunset, and the twinkling lights. Have fun!

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