Manhattan Travel Guide

Manhattan Visitors Guide [y]

Manhattan is an island that is one of the boroughs of New York City. Manhattan is home to most of the well-known landmarks in New York City including the large majority of the skyscrapers in the area. Most images of New York City show the Manhattan skyline. Manhattan contains more people per square mile than any other part of the city. It is currently home to over 1.5 million people although the entire island covers less than 23 square miles of land. One of the reasons that some of the tallest buildings have been constructed in Manhattan is because of the underlying geology and bedrock.

Manhattan Fun Guide

The layout of Manhattan is a simple grid above 14th Street although the streets quickly become confusing and tangled as the island narrows in the south. Most of the streets running east to west are numbered outside of the downtown area. The streets that run north to south are sometimes numbers but include more recognizable names like Broadway and Columbus Avenue. The streets in the downtown area below 14th Street and especially below Canal Street are largely unnumbered. Navigating the city is very easy except in the downtown area.

Manhattan is made up of several distinct neighborhoods. The southernmost areas are known as the Business District and Battery Part on the west. Tribeca is located just north of the Business District. The name Tribeca is short for the triangle beneath Canal Street. On the east side is the neighborhood known as the Lower East Side where many artists and bohemian stores are located. The west side is called SoHo, which is short for south of Houston Street. The areas north of SoHo and the Lower East Side become less distinct but include Chelsea to the west and Gramercy to the east.

The numbered streets in the middle of Manhattan from the 30s up are considered Midtown. Midtown stops at 59th Street where Central Park begins. Central Park divides the upper part of Manhattan into the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side until 110th Street. North of 110th Street is considered Harlem until it turns into Inwood at the very tip of Manhattan.

Most families will want to visit the large buildings in Midtown such as the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. This is also near Radio City Music Hall where live performances are given. Times Square is located at 42nd Street on the west side of the city. Time Square has many restaurants and large stores as well as massive monitors that play entertainment or advertisements. The Museum Mile is located on the Upper East Side. This stretch includes the Natural History Museum, the Whitney, the Guggenheim, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Visitors will want to spend some time exploring Central Park in the middle of Manhattan. Central Park runs for nearly 60 blocks. There are skating rinks in the winter, Shakespeare in the Park in the summer, a zoo, and a carousel. Playgrounds and benches dot the park. A large manmade lake sits in the middle of the park where visitors can rent rowboats for an hour or more. Central Park also has fine dining options such as Tavern on the Green although these types of restaurants have strict dress codes and often require reservations.

Manhattan Downtown Hotels

Downtown Manhattan offers a medley of rich resources and attractions for leisure guests and business travelers alike. Second to none, the most historically significant neighborhood in New York, offers unique accommodations, places to eat and shop as well as a multitude of cultural institutions and landmarks. Located at the site of where the World Trade Center once stood, guests explore the National September 11 Memorial, a site established to commemorate the victims of the terrorist attacks that took place on September 11, 2001, as well as February 26, 1993. Guests enjoy the sights of the city on guided walking tours that take them throughout Lower Manhattan to see City Hall, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Woolworth Building and St. Paul’s Chapel, among other sites. Visitors choose from a medley of comfortable and hip hotel accommodations that meet the needs of every leisure and business traveler to lower Manhattan. The offerings of Downtown Manhattan enable a guest to take a bite of the Big Apple with a memorable sampling of cultural sites, cozy accommodations and recreational diversions. Downtown Hotel Service offers Hotels near Downtown Manhattan that are quality hotels at an affordable price. Use our Search box above or click here to see available hotels!

Manhattan Weather

Manhattan typically offers a humid continental climate with substantial variation over time. The urban density of New York City fosters the effect of an urban heat island resulting in warmer overnight temperatures during all seasons.

Spring

Springtime in the city lasts from March to May with often pleasant weather. Rainfall levels are highest during this time of year for the city with a maximum level of 60 inches. Temperatures average in the 50s °F from late March and reach in early June the lower 80s °F. Unpredictable swings in weather conditions can occur bringing snow in April.

Summer

The city enjoys warm summers with occasional bouts of extreme heat. Daytime temperatures traditionally range from the high 70s to the mid-80s °F. Levels of humidity reach high levels in July and August. The summer does see thunderstorms at times. The city also has some risk toward extreme weather patterns like hurricanes and tornadoes. The proximity to the Atlantic Ocean determines many of these weather patterns, namely the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, a warming and cooling cycle in the Atlantic that has taken place over the last 70 years.

Fall

The fall months run from September to November offering some of the city’s most pleasant climate conditions. Air at this time of year is typically crisp with frequent sunshine. In November, temperatures can fall below freezing levels.
The weather does swing to extremes at that time of year with occasional extreme heat and cold.

Winter

The winters are milder in the city compared to other regions of the state of New York. Temperatures traditionally reach near or slightly above freezing. During a traditional winter, there are usually 17 days where the temperature fails to exceed 32 °F. New York winters sometimes feature snowstorms powered by nor’easter that produce massive levels of winter precipitation. February is the driest month of the year.

Climate Records

The hottest day on record in Manhattan was in Central Park on July 9, 1936, where temperatures reached 106 °F. The coldest day was experienced on February 9, 1934, with a temperature reading of −15 °F. In a typical year, Manhattan experiences 70 days with low temperatures falling below freezing. The city has seen long stretches of weather inundated with rain or extreme dryness.

Manhattan offers weather patterns as diverse as the people who reside in it. Moderate springs and falls offer the most pleasant times of the year for guests to visit, despite the risk of fluctuations. Nevertheless, the weather experienced by Manhattan only adds to the city’s rich and intriguing allure.

Manhattan Transportation

With more than eight million residents calling the city home, New York City is full of people on the move. Nowhere is that truer than on the island of Manhattan, where commuters, city residents, and visitors all converge every day. Without planning ahead for transportation, it is easy to find oneself stuck in gridlock or completely lost. Fortunately, Manhattan has an assortment of transportation solutions that make it easy for anyone to move about the city and its neighboring boroughs.

Cabs

Perhaps one of the most iconic transportation methods in New York is the yellow cabs that dot every street. These vehicles are licensed by the city to transport individuals to and from locations in New York. Hailing a cab is simple, as one can either visit a taxi stand or wave at an available cabbie. Taxi stands are generally located outside of busy train stations, as well as near major hotels and entertainment venues.

Subway

If hitting the streets does not sound like the most convenient option, one may instead wish to travel via the subway system. Manhattan has several subway lines that take travelers up and down the island. There is a myriad of ticket and pass options, making it simple to gain access to the system. Subways also run 24 hours a day, making these trains an ideal solution for those traveling day or night.

Bus

While subway transport is certainly a quick way to move about Manhattan, buses are also a popular option. The bus system utilizes the same tickets and passes as the subway, meaning passengers can easily transfer between the two. Buses are particularly useful for those who wish to cross Manhattan horizontally, as no subway lines run in this direction. Specialty buses also run on a direct schedule between popular areas at peak periods, making these vehicles a popular solution with travelers who want to avoid stopping frequently.

Driving

In addition to the public transportation systems and taxi drivers in Manhattan, some brave voyagers choose to navigate the roads of the busy city in their own vehicles. New York is also home to many short-term vehicle rental companies, which allow anyone to easily rent a car at a moment’s notice for an hour or two. Of course, if all else fails, one of Central Park’s horse carriages or the pedicab drivers who congregate across the city will be happy to drive customers to their final destination.

Manhattan Attractions

When it comes to exploring the wonder of the Big Apple, few boroughs of the city are as exciting as Manhattan. From the bright lights of Broadway to the historic streets of Harlem, there is something for everyone on the island that forms the center of New York City. Whether visiting the city for the very first time or instead of spending some time getting reacquainted with the sights of the City That Never Sleeps, the many attractions of Manhattan should be more than enough to keep even the pickiest traveler satisfied.

Times Square

Known for its neon marquees, iconic flagship stores, and bustling crowds at all hours of the day, Times Square is arguably one of the world’s most famous neighborhoods. Nestled in the heart of Midtown, this dynamic area includes many Broadway theatres, restaurants, and shopping destinations. Tourists annually crowd the square for the New Year’s Eve celebrations, but it doesn’t have to be a holiday for visitors to stop by! The sights, smells and sounds of Times Square are something that shouldn’t be missed by any traveler passing through.

Central Park

For those interested in a more low key visit to New York, neighboring Central Park is a must-see. Comprising 843 acres of natural area, Central Park is an oasis for both visitors and New Yorkers alike. Take a ride through the park in one of the city’s famous horse carriages, or instead stop by in the winter months for ice skating on the rink where many films have been shot. Regardless of what one is looking for, Central Park is sure to fit the bill.

East Village

Of course, no trip to New York would be complete without a bit of shopping. From the department stores of Fifth Avenue to the boutiques and independent shops of the East Village, fashionistas have plenty to choose from in Manhattan. For those who are passionate about upcoming designers and the hottest trends, visiting during Fashion Week offers visitors the chance to see New York in an entirely new way.

New York’s many attractions and destinations are enough to fill several week’s worth of travel itineraries, meaning travelers will likely need to pick and choose what they want to do most. The Empire State Building, Plaza Hotel, and United Nations building might be on one’s list, or instead, visitors may simply wish to kill some time shopping in Macy’s. Regardless of what sounds like fun, Manhattan simply will not disappoint.

Manhattan Dining

Hudson Place

Hudson Place is one of the more affordable restaurants in Manhattan and serves progressive American cuisine. The dining establishment is beautifully decorated with wood-paneled walls, a fireplace and candles. Some of the foods you will find on the menu include organic roasted chicken, meatloaf, grilled shrimp risotto, and lobster. Make sure to have a glass of wine with your meal; there are a variety of different wines to choose from on the menu.

Ellen’s Stardust Diner

If you are in the mood to eat at a more casual restaurant, you should check out Ellen’s Stardust Diner. This unique diner has a 1950s theme and some of the friendliest wait staff you will meet. When you open up the menu, you will find grilled cheese sandwiches, fish tacos, pancakes, breakfast burritos and chicken pot pie. If you still have room for dessert after your meal, order a dessert. The dessert menu is filled with delicious sweets like coconut cream pie, brown sundaes and strawberry shortcake.

Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant

Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant is the place to go to if you enjoy seafood. It has been around since 1913 and is one of the most popular restaurants in Manhattan. At this dining establishment, you can eat a variety of different oysters that are prepared perfectly. Other dishes featured on the menu include lobster, salmon, tuna steak and sea bass. The portions are very big and the servers are very professional and quick.

Tom’s Restaurant

Tom’s Restaurant has been around for more than 70 years and even was used on the television show, Seinfeld. This dining establishment is very popular among college students because it is open very late. Some of the items you will find on the menu include tuna melt sandwiches, cheeseburgers, chicken strips and hot dogs. Make sure to order a milkshake with your meal because it is delicious. When you are done with your meal, stop by the gift shop and pick up a souvenir such as a t-shirt or coffee mug.

The Palm

The Palm has been around since 1926 and features some of the best steaks around. All of the steaks are cooked to perfection with the freshest ingredients. Whether you want filet mignon or rib-eye steak, you will find it at this restaurant. Other items on the menu include lobster, salmon filet, veal marsala, chicken parmigiana and crab cakes.

Manhattan Events

Many of the events held in Manhattan every year are free to the public or cost very little money. Most take place directly on the street or in Central Park. Visitors who are attending one of the many events in Manhattan should always arrive early and should bring along water and a snack since it can be hard to buy anything if a large crowd forms.

Shakespeare in the Park

Shakespeare in the Park occurs during the summer every year in Central Park at an open-air theater. Professional actors give performances of the plays of Shakespeare as well as other classical pieces. The performances are held at night and are free. Tickets are available just outside of the theater on the day of the performance. Families should arrive an hour before the giveaway starts since the tickets go very quickly.

Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Thanksgiving Day Parade starts outside of the main Macy’s store in Midtown Manhattan. The parade starts in the morning and ends by early afternoon. Some of the prime attractions include the large balloons floating over the streets and the many Broadway and dance performances given along the route. Families who are in Manhattan the night before the parade can go to the area to see the different balloons being inflated for the next day.

Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors festival

The Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors festival is held every year in the outdoor areas around the main building. The themes of these festivals vary from year to year. Some past festivals have included symphony orchestras, dance troupes from around the world and modern theatrical performances. The festival lasts for one to two weeks. Admission is generally free although there are special areas for members and paying customers.

New Year’s Eve

One of the most famous events in Manhattan is the ball drop on New Year’s Eve. A large ball made from crystal panels is lowered slowly at midnight to mark the start of the New Year. This happens at Times Square. In the hours leading up to the ball drop, there are many live musical performances. Anyone wanting to attend this free event will need to arrive very early in the day in order to get a good spot.

Tribeca Film Festival

The Tribeca Film Festival is an annual event that attracts some of the most famous stars in the world. This festival highlights new movies in all genres from drama to short experimental films. Many famous movies have premiered at this festival. Tickets should be purchased as far in advance as possible. There are also special passes available that allow access to limited screenings and discussion panels.

Feast of San Gennaro

The Feast of San Gennaro happens in September in the Little Italy neighborhood near the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The festival takes place on the street during the day and offers a variety of traditional Italian foods sold by street vendors. There are also games with prizes, street performers and live music. Some of the restaurants in Little Italy have special prix fix menus at night.

Family Fun near Downtown Manhattan

Central Park

You get a real slice of New York culture at Central Park. There’s plenty of fun for the entire family here. Children can visit animals at the petting zoo, and everyone can exercise together for a healthy life. There are plenty of opportunities for cycling, rollerblading, ice skating, running, and other physical activities. You also might find a picnic enjoyable at the end of a long day in Manhattan. Whatever your likes are, you’ll surely find a niche for you and your family at Central Park.

Children’s Museum of Manhattan

Even the youngest of children get involved at this interactive museum. The children splash and play outside while learning educational facts about water. They’ll learn that water is a chemical compound made of both hydrogen and oxygen, which many kids are excited to learn. There are plenty of hands-on features, including Alice in Wonderland, Dora the Explorer, and Clifford The Big Red Dog. Kids love the time they spend at this museum, and even the adults leave with smiles on their faces.

Sony Wonder Technology Lab

Once you need even more Manhattan family fun, check out this place. You’ll be blown away by how real some of the exhibits seem to be. You can sample robotic exhibits, fly around the world in a virtual airplane, experience time travel, reach for the stars in outer space, and even have fun inside high-tech sound labs. You can even make your own unique sounds using your voice, clapping noises, and just about anything else you would like to use. The possibilities truly are endless.

F.A.O Schwarz

If you can think of any type of toy, you can probably find it here. Gigantic clocks, fairy princesses, toy soldiers, and many more fantastic creations await you. Your kids will particularly enjoy the huge stuffed teddy bears. You can find almost any doll you’ve ever heard of and hundreds that you’ve never heard of as well. The giant piano that Tom Hanks played in “Big” can also be found there. Exploring F.A.O Schwarz is a highlight in the lives of many adults and children alike.

American Museum of Natural History

Most kids enjoy dinosaurs, don’t they? Even if the dinosaur exhibits don’t keep the children busy long enough, the others certainly will. You could come here at ten different times and enjoy your experiences each time. The outer space exhibits are particularly appealing for everyone in the family. All age groups enjoy exploring the vast unknowns of outer space. This trip will be a real highlight once you’re in Manhattan.

Shopping near Downtown Manhattan

Manhattan is not only divided into neighborhoods but has also several shopping districts. In the vicinity of Ninth Avenue to Fifth Avenue and between 34th and 42nd Street, the Fashion District is a densely concentrated area that features top-notch designers and manufactured fashion. This area, also known as the Garment District or Fashion Center, maintains a vibrant atmosphere in midtown Manhattan with unique lofts, retail stores, and historic warehouses.

Crystal District

For anything that sparkles, shoppers can find everything from home decor to tableware and jewelry in the Crystal District. This five-block territory spans the area between 63rd and 58th along with Madison. The stores here include Cristal Baccarat, Stuben’s, Swarovski’s, Daum and Lalique. Diamond and jewelry buyers will find the sector along 47th Street/Fifth Avenue/Sixth Avenue to their liking. Stores like Tiffany & Co., Wempe, and Fortunoff are part of the over 2,500 businesses in this area that is known as the Diamond District.

SoHo

In addition, neighborhoods also offer various options. SoHo, located just north of Lower Manhattan, is one of the most eclectic global shopping destinations. Because SoHo features a unique mix of shops from high-end boutiques to artsy shops, it is a good place to start for travelers who are not sure what they are looking for. The area includes some cobblestone streets, so be prepared by wearing appropriate footwear when going on long shopping excursions.

Union Square

Located in a college neighborhood, Union Square has a young vibe and is ideal for shopping away from stereotypical crowds. However, its farmer’s market attracts tens of thousands of visitors each day. Travelers will also find discount chains and big-name retail stores mixed in with boutiques as well as pop up shops set up by young artists and local designers.

Upper East Side

Manhattan’s Upper East Side, home to Park Avenue and Madison Mile, is known for its world-class shopping. Along this stretch, shoppers will find the finest boutiques and one-of-a-kind stores, including shops owned by celebrities.

34th Street

Shopping in Manhattan would not be complete without stopping at any of the major department stores: Saks Fifth Avenue, Barney’s & Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdales, and the famous Macy’s on 34th Street. While these chains operate stores all over the country, the iconic Manhattan locations are housed in especially impressive buildings and encompass as many as ten floors on a whole city block.

For shoppers who are looking for bargains and inventory that changes daily, Century 21 in Lower Manhattan, near the World Trade Center site, is a discount department store haven. Another popular downtown shopping destination is Pier 17, which is a mall with a historic ambiance that provides stunning Brooklyn Bridge vistas from its high outdoor deck.

Map of Hotels in Manhattan

  1. Manhattan Regional Airport – Find hotels near Fort Riley & Ogden.
  2. Manhattan Downtown – Find Hotel Near Hobby Center, Minute Maid Park & Houston Park
  3. Kansas State University – Find hotels near Memorial Stadium & RV Christian Track
  4. Tuttle Creek Lake – Find hotels near Randolph & Stockdale Recreation Area
  5. Manhattan Sunset Zoo – Find hotels near Sunset Cemetery & Boulevard Bend Shopping Center
  6. Tuttle Creek State Park – Find hotels near Spillway State Park & Rocky Ford State Fishing Area
  7. Stagg Hill Golf Club – Find hotels near Manhattan Regional Airport & Warner Memorial Park
  8. McCain Auditorium – Find hotels near Memorial Stadium & Manhattan Christian College
  9. Beach Art Museum – Find hotels near McCain Auditorium & Manhattan Christian College