New York City is a shopaholic’s dream, with shops in Times Square open until the early hours of the morning for late-night splurges. The one and only Bergdorf Goodman, a super-chic department store housed in a former Vanderbilt mansion, is the place to come for couture and fresh-off-the-runway style, while the Meatpacking District and SoHo are the places to be for boutiques and one-of-a-kind delights. Next, make a stop at the one of the most famous diamond shops in the world, Tiffany & Co. – even if you aren’t in the mood to buy, go to marvel at the spectacular yellow-hued Tiffany Diamond, unearthed in 1877 by the company’s founder, Charles Louis Tiffany.
Art and Museums
The Met Fifth Avenue is the largest museum in the United States and one of the most frequently visited in the world, ‘The Met’ houses a collection of more than two-million works, spanning over five-thousand years. Exhibitions change regularly, but each one offers a fascinating insight into culture, history and religion across the world in the form of beautifully preserved artworks and artefacts. On Fridays, the museum is open until 9pm for concerts, tours, discussions and wine-tastings, while EmptyMet Tours can be arranged before the museum opens its doors to the public for an intimate tour through the galleries. If your passion is fashion, the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art has a dedicated display of costume through the ages, while The American Museum of Natural History offers an interesting journey into the marvels of nature, our planet and conservation.
Parks and Zoos
Despite being a veritable concrete jungle, New York City has plenty of oases to seek out. Central Park needs no introduction, with countless events and activities held over summer, whether rowing around the lake, catching an outdoor concert, taking a traditional horse-drawn carriage ride or dining at the renowned Tavern on the Green Restaurant. In the Bronx, you will also find the Bronx Zoo and New York Botanical Garden. Located adjacent to each other, families will love the ‘Treetop Adventure Climb and Zipline’, meeting wild animals and trekking through the trees, while the botanical garden takes on a spectacular appearance across the seasons with colourful plants, petals and Victorian glasshouse making for very pretty pictures.
Sports and Events
New York City features some of the United States’ most impressive arenas and stadiums. Sports fans will rejoice here, with two major league baseball teams – the New York Yankees and the New York Mets – basing their home grounds in the city. See the Americana in action at the Yankee Stadium, with games typically running from April to September. You can also catch a game of basketball from the New York Knicks or ice hockey from the New York Rangers at Madison Square Gardens, along with New York’s biggest music events in the mammoth-sized arena.
Comprising 41 professional theatres, the Broadway district is considered the jackpot for the United States’ aspiring performers and a hallmark of quality for those looking to enjoy the finest of the American stage. There are long-standing favourites, Tony Award-winners,musicals and quirky comedies to take your pick from on any given week, making for a perfect way to spend the evening in New York City. Allow us to arrange your tickets in advance and prepare your pre-show dinner reservations to enjoy Broadway at its best.
Top of the Rock
The Rockefeller Center is one of the most popular stops for visitors to New York City. The plaza is home to one of the world’s most famous public ice rinks, NBC television studios and a number of shops and restaurants, plus Radio City Music Hall is just around the corner. The Rockefeller Observation Deck is, perhaps, the best place to see the city if you want a view of the Empire State Building and VIP tickets can be purchased. Make sure you also stop for a drink at Bar 65, an iconic institution opened at the end of the Prohibition era, where top mixologists shake and stir up phenomenal cocktails.
Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
The beacon of American freedom, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is the fascinating centre of New York’s history, as the world’s cultural melting pot. From Battery Park, take a ferry to visit the iconic ‘Lady Liberty’, who welcomed millions of hopeful immigrants over the centuries, before your second stop at Ellis Island, where the moving Immigration Museum allows you to walk in the footsteps of those who arrived for a new life a century ago, including Bob Hope and Albert Einstein.
Empire State Building
Once the tallest skyscraper in the world, the Empire State Building is the most characteristic figure in the NYC skyline. Open from dawn until the early hours of the morning, you can watch the sun both rise and set over this magical city. It’s not just about the views, though – take the time to appreciate the magnificent Art Deco lobby and learn about its fascinating history or head out to the sidewalk and admire the spectacular illuminations from below.
At Mandarin Oriental, New York you can take a dip in the pool where there are floor-to-ceiling windows offering amazing views over New York.
The Carlyle's Cafe in The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel is unequalled for its cabaret – performers have included Woody Allen, Eartha Kitt and Elaine Stritch.
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic direct from London Heathrow to JFK International. American Airways direct from London Heathrow and Manchester to JFK International. British Airways direct from London Heathrow to Newark International. United Airlines direct from London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast to Newark International.
From London Heathrow to JFK International: 7 hours, 40 minutes. London Heathrow to Newark International: 7 hours, 45 minutes.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Travel Advice Update
The FCO travel advice for the USA has been updated with an amendment to the Entry requirements section - on 18 December 2015, the US Congress passed a Bill updating the requirements for the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP); under the new rules, with effect from 1 April 2016 all travellers wishing to enter the US under the VWP will need to hold a passport with an integrated chip.
The web-based Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) requires all passengers (including infants) travelling via or to the USA to apply for authority to travel a minimum of 72 hours prior to travel. You may be denied boarding or refused entry to the US if you have not registered and obtained authorisation. To apply visit the official website: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ A charge of UD$14 per person (subject to change) will apply and must be paid by either credit or debit card.
Customs and Border Protection programme Global Entry gets pre-approved travellers through border control faster at some US airports. If you’re a British citizen and a frequent visitor to the USA you can now register to get a UK background check on www.gov.uk/apply-faster-entry-usa. If you pass the background checks, you’ll be invited to apply for Global Entry.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.