By Jullienne Schaer, courtesy NYC & Co.
Take your bank group on a trip to New York state, and you’ll likely find yourself planning another — and another. A wealth of travel experiences, from New York City to Westchester County and the Finger Lakes region, make quick work when planning a New York itinerary. World-class museums, stellar wine and cuisine, gorgeous gardens and fascinating historical sites make for memorable moments for groups of all ages and interests.
New York City
The vibrancy and energy of New York City beckon groups back year after year. And there’s always something new to experience in the city’s five boroughs. This summer, several noteworthy attractions are reopening after recovering from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
The Statue of Liberty National Monument reopened July 4. Groups can board Statue Cruises at Battery Park or at Liberty State Park in new Jersey. Cruises stop at Ellis Island for security screening and then continue to Liberty Island. The Ellis Island Immigration Museum is still under repair from storm damage, and to date, there is no planned reopening. Sightseers who make the climb up 354 steps to the statue’s crown are rewarded with a spectacular view of lower Manhattan.
“Lady Liberty is one of the city’s most iconic attractions, and besides visiting this historic statue, New York City from the water is not to be missed,” said NYC & Company spokesman Christopher Heywood.
Also reopened are the city’s 14 miles of beaches, among them Brooklyn’s Coney Island — an amusement park and seaside resort — and Queens’ Rockaway, which draws swimmers and surfers.
At Pier 86’s Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, the sounds and stories of space exploration come alive at the Space Shuttle Pavilion, reopening in July. It replaces the original structure damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The pavilion houses Space Shuttle Enterprise, the original NASA orbiter that paved the way for America’s space shuttle program. Groups can walk underneath Enterprise, which sits 10 feet off the ground; view it from an observation platform; and watch a film narrated by Leonard Nimoy. The pavilion is also the new home to the Russian Soyuz space capsule.
New York City’s leading Latino cultural institution, El Museo del Barrio, recently announced La Bienal 2013: Here Is Where We Jump. This seventh biennial exhibition features 35 Latino, Caribbean and Latin American artists who call New York City home.
Lower Manhattan’s National September 11 Memorial captures the heart of anyone who visits. The memorial will be accompanied by an on-site museum opening next spring, as well as office and retail space in the new One World Trade Center tower. Upon completion in early 2015, the One World Observatory’s three-story observation deck will be atop the Western Hemisphere’s tallest building.
North of Manhattan, the Gray Line’s Bronx tour takes groups to legendary spots such as Yankee Stadium and the Malcolm Shabazz Market, which sells traditional African crafts and textiles, and to culinary gems such as the Lenox Lounge and the Red Rooster restaurant.
Brooklyn Bridge Park’s recently restored 1922 Jane’s Carousel is housed in a transparent pavilion that was designed by award-winning French architect Jean Nouvel. Unveiled in March, the W-shaped Squibb Bridge allows foot travel between Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. Visitors to the park can take in striking views of the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.