TRIP COACH

What are some must-see sights in New York City for first-time visitors?

You ask, we respond.

If this is your first trip to NYC and you have a few days, I definitely recommend the Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty trip. My key bit of advice is to book this online ahead of time, choosing the first boat of the day and most importantly—click the box for the free monument pass. It's the only way you can get into the statue's museum, see up into the statue itself and see the "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses..." poem.

Additionally, if you want to go up to the top of the Empire State Building, when you buy your ticket, tell them you want to spend the extra $15 to get the pass for the 102nd floor. The masses go to the 86th deck, blissfully unaware they could have gone higher. Also, you may want to invest in the fast pass here, which let's you skip much of the absurdity of the lines. But if you truly hate lines, head over to the Top of the Rock at the top of Rockefeller Center, as their timed-ticketing system will whisk you in and out, and give you a heads-and-shoulders view of the Empire State Building.

For couples, there's a great semi-secret thing to do down in Grand Central. Find the Oyster Bar and then stand under the wide archway. You and your significant other should then walk to diagonal corners and each get your nose deep into your respective corners. Then start in with the sweet nothings¿but just in a whisper. The design of the archway "telegraphs" your voice across the wide arch so that only your significant other can hear you.

Ice skating in Central Park or at Rock Center is always fun, and if you want to splurge, you can take a private before or after-hours tours of the Museum of Modern Art.

Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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