New York City is full of iconic landmarks and attractions, but a big one that comes to mind is Times Square. The LED billboards, bright lights and hustle and bustle immediately puts you in the Empire State of Mind. But, on your way to Times Square there’s a lot to see and do. Look up at the architecture and take in the history of New York City or take a New York City tour for tourists. You never know what you might learn. So, as you’re on your way to Times Square, don’t forget there are lots to do along the way.
1.) Tudor City Tavern | The first step to any walking trip to Times Square should begin with a delicious cocktail. Westgate New York Grand Central has just the thing to take care of that need. Here you’ll find ice-cold Stella Artois poured perfectly, and a whole menu featuring several high-end Private Reserve Bourbons for you to try. Be sure to grab a seat before 5 pm, so you don't miss happy hour, and take advantage of the free drinks that are offered between then and 6 pm. Your time spent here will make your walk that much more enjoyable.
2.) Chrysler Building | During your walk to Times Square, you’ll find yourself passing the iconic Chrysler Building. This iconic Art Deco skyscraper is located at the intersection of 42nd and Lexington Avenue (the same street as Westgate New York Grand Central). Constructed in 1930, this skyscraper is 1,046 feet tall and is one of the tallest brick buildings in the world! The building is capped with an Art Deco crown, hood ornaments, and concrete Eagles guarding the four corners on the 61st floor. The Chrysler Building is awe-inspiring during the day, however, at night when lit up, even more beautiful. Be sure to stop here and take a photo while you’re on your way to Times Square!
3.) Baked by Melissa | Next on our list is the world-renowned cupcake joint, Baked by Melissa. Here you can find an insane variety of cupcakes with flavors like Chocolate Chip Pancakes, Mint Cookie, and Cookie Dough! These delicious little cake bites come in at just slightly larger than a quarter but pack a whole lot of flavor. Founded in 2008, Melissa left her job to follow her passion for baking, and now successfully operates 14 locations nationwide that even ship her cupcakes! This is absolutely one stop you won’t want to miss. Maybe during your stop, you’ll get to meet Melissa herself. Also, don’t feel too bad about indulging, you’re walking to Times Square after all and will most certainly walk off the calories!
4.) AKC Dog Museum | This attraction is my personal favorite on this list. Dog lovers rejoice (myself included) as you have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience stunning works of art featuring, that’s right, nothing but dogs. But it doesn’t stop with still art, there is a multitude of interactive exhibits as well. For example, “Meet the Breeds,” which allows you to select your favorite breeds and learn everything that you could ever want to know about them. However, the best is yet to come, they have an exhibit that matches your appearance to the breed that most looks like you. That’s right, if you ever pictured yourself as a dog, you could find out which you would be.
5.) New York Public Library | Probably the most well-known attraction featured in our list comes the New York Public Library. Coming in at over 53 million items, and the second-largest public library just behind the library of congress. Established in 1895 to serve as a philanthropy landmark, this gigantic collection of knowledge can’t be missed and is marked by its three lion statues by the grand staircase. Visitors can explore the library for free through guided tours throughout the week. Or, if you’d prefer to do a self-guided tour, maps are available in the gift shop. This is absolutely one landmark that you will not want to miss on your walk to Times Square.
6.) Bryant Park | Just across the street from our previous entry to our list, this 9.6-acre public park is probably the most beautiful park in the world. Take a scenic walk through this serene landscape and take a break from the traditional hustle and bustle of the busy streets. Not only can you experience an oasis of nature, but here you can also find a glass house with a huge variety of flowers. Depending on the time of your trip, you may be able to catch one of the many events that are held within the park. Be it ice bumper cars, ice skating, or a musical performance, be sure to stop by here and take it all in on the way to your destination!
7.) Met Life Building | Constructed in 1962, this 59-floor monumental skyscraper is located just north of Grand Central Terminal. At the time of construction, this building was advertised as the world’s largest commercial office space in sheer square footage. Today, it is still among the top 100 largest buildings in the United States. The building was constructed in an obscure elongated octagonal shape from materials like granite, and marble. What’s even cooler about this huge building? It resides atop two rails of the Grand Central line and even features a pedestrian entrance within the lobby. When the skyscraper was constructed, it was even used as a helipad for a while! Be sure to stop and snap a photo here as it’s one of the most unique buildings in the world.
8.) Grand Central Station | Of course, we must include Grand Central Station on our list. This commuter rail terminal serves over 67 million passengers a year, and during the morning, a train car pulls into the station every 53 seconds. Constructed in 1913, this mass public transit system can take you all over the city and even to some parts of the state. Featuring an amazing 35,000 square foot concourse that bustles with life, it is often used as a meeting space for people. You may even be surprised to know that this massive terminal also houses several halls that are used for events, restaurants, and even bars. In 2012, the championship for squash was held here in the terminal! Seriously, this isn’t just a transit terminal, and you should absolutely check it out!
9.) Ford Foundation Building | Located just directly in front of Westgate New York Grand Central is the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice. While this building is only 12 stories tall, it is stunning and offers views of Tudor City that you can’t miss. This building was established as a landmark in 1997 and is acclaimed for its construction and design. More specifically, the atrium is hailed as something you must see as it is entirely built out of large glass panels, red brick, and granite slabs. Be sure to stop here and take a second to be inspired by this marvel of architecture.
10.) United Nations Building | Lastly, we have the UN Building. By far the most important site on our list, this stunning glass building constructed in 1947, stands 39 floors high. It serves as the headquarters for ambassadors from around the world. From the atrium, you can see the entirety of the East River, and the many flags from nations around the world. Tours must be booked in advance, and you must arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled start time of your tour to ensure the proper security screening is completed. Please be advised that children under the age of five will not be permitted to tour the building. While the requirements to tour the building are tight, not many people can say they’ve toured one of the most important buildings in the world, so seize your chance!
Last Tips on New York City attractions near Time Square
As you can see, there is so much to do and see in New York City. In fact, the most common misconception about this world-renowned state is that everything is in Times Square. While there is so much to do in the Square, there are so many other attractions to see as well. Be sure to check out our Travel Blog for 51 things to do in NYC, plus more tips and ideas to make your New York City trip that much more memorable.