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Observation Decks with the Best Views in NYC

Observation Decks with the Best Views in NYC

Some of the best views in NYC (and debatably, the world) can be seen from these observation decks.

Updated Nov. 8: Throughout the tough times, it’s easy to lose sight of the beauty and amazement that surrounds us in NYC. It is the greatest city in the world, after all. NYC’s observation decks will remind you of that wonder when you can feast your eyes on some of the best views in NYC. Whether you’re venturing up to get the perfect sunset shot for Instagram or simply looking for a moment of peace and quiet from the chaos that surrounds us, the new perspective might just give you a much-needed new outlook on the concrete jungle right in your backyard.

The Empire State Building
Currently open
20 N. 34th St., Midtown
Hours: July 8am-11pm (last elevator at 10:15pm; August 8am-12am (last elevator 11:15pm); September 8am-11pm (last elevator 10:15pm).
Admission: 86th floor observatory (main deck): $42 adult; $36 child; $40 senior. 102nd and 86th floor observatories (top deck): $72 adult; $66 child; $70 senior. Express pass 86th floor: $78. Express pass 86th and 102nd floor: $103. Sunrise on the 86th floor: $114.81. ESB all access tour: $460.06. AM/PM Experience: $61 adult; $52 child.
What you need to know: Admissions are by appointment only. A face covering is required and you will be temperature screened. Social distancing is required and capacity is reduced by over 50 percent. For more information about what the Empire State Building is doing to keep you safe visit the website.

View from the top of the Empire State Building observation deck.

The world’s most famous building is filled with history and provides a unique New York experience unlike any other. You’ll learn about the building’s construction, architecture, and of course the famous tower lights during your visit.

Top of the Rock
Currently open
30 Rockefeller Plaza,
Hours: Sunday-Saturday, 8am-12am (last elevator up at 11pm)
Admission: $38 adults; Free with the purchase of an adult ticket; $36 seniors ages 62+. Sunset visits are an additional $10 each. Essential workers free with one guest Aug. 14-16.
What you need to know: The website will continue to be updated with the latest news of reopening. All advanced tickets are eligible for a refund.

Top of the Rock has both indoor and outdoor viewing decks with 360 degree views of the city.

The High Line 10th Avenue Square & Overlook
The High Line is currently open
17th Street and 10th Avenue on the High Line (only operating entrance is at Gansevoort and Washington Street)
Hours: Daily, 12-8pm.
Admission: Free, timed-entry.
What you need to know: Free, timed-entry passes can be reserved prior to visit. Face coverings and social distancing is required.

The 10th Avenue Overlook on the High Line.

This window down to the street allows you to get a clear view from above of the hustle and bustle of 10th Avenue.

Statue of Liberty
Crown, interior, base, and pedestal are currently closed
Liberty Island
Hours: Daily, 8:30am-6:30pm
Admission: Free. Advanced reservations are necessary to visit the crown and pedestal when they are open.
What you need to know: The grounds of Liberty Island are open. Limited food service, gift shop, and public restroom services are available. Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty interior, base, pedestal, crown, and museum will be part of a later reopening phase.

One World Trade
Open on weekends
117 West Street, Entrance on West Street, Financial District
Hours: Weekends, 11am-7pm
Admission: General: $38; Upgraded: 48; Experience the Best: $58; Mastercard Member Exclusive: $68
What you need to know: Attendance will be limited through timed ticketing and reduced elevator capacity. Contactless payments will be increased throughout the building. Advanced/ online mobile ticket purchase is encouraged. Social distancing will be enforced in lines. Seating in the bar/cafe will be regulated. Associates are required to wear masks and gloves and guests are required to wear masks. Sanitation and disinfection will be increased. Guests temperatures will be read on a thermal camera.

Family taking a selfie in the One World Trade Observatory (photo taken pre-COVID-19).

The views at the top (the 102nd floor) of One World Observatory are like no other and the building itself offers hours of exploration and interaction with NYC through an educational, historical, and innovative lens. Before you reach the top, you’ll encounter the Global Welcome Center, stories from the engineers who built One World Trade, and you’ll take a SkyPod to the top. The best part of One World Observatory is that it represents freedom in New York City and stands tall and proud in the place of the former Twin Towers.

The Edge
Currently open
30 Hudson Yards, Hudson Yards
Hours: 10am-10pm
Admission: General admission: $36 ages 13-61; $31 children ages 6-12; $34 seniors 62+. Flex pass: $56 ages 13-61; $51 children ages 6-12; $54 seniors 62+. Champagne admission: $52 ages 21+; $36 ages 13-20; $31 children 6-12; $50 seniors 62+. Premium admission: $90 ages 21+; $56 ages 13-20; $88 seniors 62+
What you need to know: Operating at 75 percent reduced capacity with pre-booked time slots, temperature screenings, flexible ticket policies, social distancing, one-way travel, face coverings, and protective screens. Touchless elevators are operating at reduced capacity. Self-service stations from outdoor Edge Bar are removed. Staff will be fully trained in new safety protocol. Visit the website for more safety information.

Rendering of The Edge outdoor sky deck.

The Edge is the highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere, 1,100 feet in the air. Stand on top of the glass floor and look 100 stories down to see city streets below you, stand on the outdoor stairs and seating area for an even higher perspective, stand at The Eastern point, or enjoy a glass of champagne at the Sky Bar.

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Melissa Wickes

Author: Melissa Wickes is a graduate of Binghamton University and the NYU Summer Publishing Institute. She's written hundreds of articles to help New York parents make better decisions for their families. When she's not writing, you can find her eating pasta, playing guitar, or watching reality TV. See More

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