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5 Historical Tourist Attractions in New York You Should Visit

New York City is without a doubt one of the best cities in the world. Everyone who has been to this great city dubbed the Big Apple, and even those planning a great family New York vacation can attest to this. From Broadway shows to museums and time capsule stations, the possibilities in this city are endless. But was it always like this? New York’s journey has been a long and troublesome one evident from the historical stories of war heroes, great business people, and ghosts haunting the city. The past infused in modern day New York has given it its beautiful state. Every landmark, be it a statue, bridge, haunted house or station has a story behind it which makes New York City all the more interesting. With such richness and depth, it is easy to get carried away and overlook some sights. To keep you on track, below are the top historical tourist attractions in New York you cannot, and should not miss.

The Apollo Theater

The Apollo Theater an iconic building in New York

Visitors to New York may feel as though they know all about the Apollo Theater since, after all, they have seen lots of events on TV held there. But understand that what you see on your screen is just but the tip of the iceberg. No scratch that, it doesn’t even begin to touch on the real meat that is the Apollo Theater. Other than being nice and cozy, the 78-year-old theater, home to the soul and R&B music of NYC, has more historical moments than the city’s natives care to remember. Ella Fitzgerald in 1934 held her very first performance while in 1962, after a live recording at the theater, James Brown went big and viral. Jimi Hendrix back when he was not the big name he is today, in 1964, won a night amateur contest.

Today, the theatre attracts big names in comedy the likes of Tracy Morgan, Aziz Ansari and Jim Gaffigan; and rock stars respected in the industry including Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney.

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge a view from the FDR Drive in Manhattan

This is just not a normal bridge connecting two cities. It is a grand reminder of the innovative architectural minds that lived in New York. The iconic bridge built nearly 125 years ago has great history enough to ground you for a day.

Constructing the bridge took a whole 13 years. Factoring in the design process, it took a total of 18 years. Speaking of design, John Augustus designed the bridge and came up with the idea of steel suspension bridges at a time when nothing else seemed to work. He however never saw the construction of the bridge start as he died from tetanus in 1869. His son took over and later on the son’s wife. To its completion, the bridge cost more than $15 million (translating to today’s $320 million and more) and involved a whopping 600 workers.

From the bridge, you can enjoy breathtaking views of Governors Island and the Statue of Liberty (other famous and iconic sights in New York).

The Chrysler Building


It is one of the most beloved skyscrapers in the city. Its décor and architecture pop out from miles away one can’t help but stand in awe. But while it may be the beloved skyscraper in New York, it has its fair share of historical secrets.

William Van Allen was the architect in charge of the building between 1928 and 1930. The design was inspired by the need for a sky-scraping building with a positive piercing tip. With the Art Deco and 77 floors (briefly the tallest building before the empire state building), the Chrysler building easily became the star in New York’s Sky.

The Empire state Building

New York City's Empire State Building

There is no thinking of New York without thinking of the empire state building. It is one of the most popular of all tourist attractions in New York. Over the years, the two have become synonymous. The building towers over all else in the city which makes it difficult to believe that it was completed in a mere 11 months back in 1931. On your tours of NYC, be sure to visit the lobby featuring the Art Deco design.

In 1945, a plane crashed into the building killing 14 tenants on the 79th floor.

At the 86th floor, 1050 ft. high is an observatory with the provision of viewing the splendor of New York through a glassed pavilion, or on open decks if you are daring enough.

The Flatiron building

The Flatiron Building in New York City a famous tourist attraction

Believe it or not, the Flatiron building back in the day, towered over all else. But since its completion, New York has undergone lots of changes since 1902. And now it is lost in the forest of tall buildings. When it was completed, many claimed it wouldn’t last long; that the winds would come and blow it away. Much to the surprise of many, it has lasted over a century.

But even while this is the case, it has over the years been forgotten by many. Today, it is probably one of the least visited attractions in New York City.

If you have watched The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, you must have seen the building. Of course, you won’t be sucked into the shiny surfaces along the street. But one thing is a given, you will want and should know the history making the building what it is today.

The next time you plan to visit NYC, be sure to check out the above tourist attractions in New York. You will learn something new about the city, feel proud and connected and possibly never want to leave. Yes, it is that serious.


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