What Is New York Known For?

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Mention New York and its iconic skyline pops into most people’s minds. You may think that the only place to visit is the iconic New York City, but there are plenty of places throughout the state to enjoy. What is New York known for? The state is a mosaic of nature and best-explored multiple times to appreciate it fully. From the Statue of Liberty and Times Square to Central Park and the Empire State Building, here’s what New York is famous for.

What Is New York Known For?

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1- The Statue Of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty In New York City
The Statue of Liberty is an instantly recognisable icon and what New York is known for.

Sculpted by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi who wanted to encompass the power of beauty and freedom, this statue still exudes that feeling.

Designed by Gustave Eiffel, the statue was gifted to the United States by France in 1886 to mark the relationships between the two countries and the the centennial of American independence.

It was placed on what is now known as Liberty Island, and was meant for new immigrants arriving towards Ellis Island (for immigration processing).

Immigrants would come from all parts of the world and this would be a symbol to remind them that they had made it, freedom and liberty were waiting for them, and more importantly they were home.

It was built back in 1886 but still holds relevance to this day.


It has been used by various activists to protest for freedom, as well as being a continued symbol to combat oppression and help refugees feel welcome.

You can take a boat ride to Liberty Island for the day to admire this copper statue and climb it for spectacular views of New York City itself.

Keep in mind that you want to plan this in advance as there are a limited number of ferry tickets and times available.

For history buffs there’s a statue of liberty museum that goes into more detail about this beautiful sculpture and what it has meant to represent to people who arrived to the island from afar.

2- Times Square

New York City Times Square Lights
Times Square is one of the places New York City is famous for.

At the turn of the century, Times Square started to become the epicenter of Broadway theatre, as well as numerous hotels.

It is well connected by the subway transportation system, with many trains running through Times Square.

As the years went on, Times Square started to dazzle with new marketing billboards that were electric, instead of static options.

They were also replacing all the gaslit signs with neon gas and all the various colour options that came with it.

Eventually its popularity allowed it to get the moniker as the “Crossroads of the World” and it started becoming more than just the theatre district, but a popular destination for anyone visiting New York City.

It’s embrace of innovation led it to also becoming a popular place for movie theatres, variety shows and even music halls as well, being a true hub for the Jazz musical movement.

Celebrating New Year’s Eve at Times Square is an experience to remember.

3- Central Park

Central Park In Autumn In Midtown Manhattan, New York City
Central Park is what New York is best known for.

The origins of this nearly 850 acres of green space lies in the fact that it was meant to be a place for everyone to enjoy, regardless of their social status.

Central Park is a significant example of modern-day urban planning, and many parks are now included in a similar way in future urban planning projects as a way to bring that level of equality.

The brains behind this were architects Calvert Vaux and Frederick Olmstead.

It’s been a hotbed of activism and events, as well as a shelter for soldiers during the Civil War.

It also is quite a popular artistic spot that is featured in many movies and TV shows that tend to center around New York City in general.

Today it the spot New Yorkers and visitors not only to get a reprieve from the chaos of the city but to soak up the New York vibe.

Recommended tour: Central Park Pedicab Guided Tours

4- Some Of The World’s Best Museums

Metropolitan Museum Of Art In New York City
Museums are what New York City is known for.

New York is home to some of the most world-renowned museums throughout the globe and you could spend weeks, if not months, exploring all the various options.

Museums represent New York as a true conglomeration of culture, history and everything in between.

There are some museums that are there to cater to the importance of history, such as the American Museum of Natural History.

Yet other museums are focused on both history and art through various cultures, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

There are even areas and forums that showcase the future of art and culture, such as the Museum of Modern Art.

These are just a sample of the overall tapestry of available museums.

5- The High Line

New York City High Line Famous Walkway View
High Line is an area New York is known for.

The High Line was a unique elevated train system that was specifically designed for freight trains.

It was built in the early 1930s and was elevated to prevent danger at a street-level crossing.

It was in service for nearly five decades before it was shut down in the early 1980s.

Yet instead of being demolished the local community pushed lobbied for something meaningful to be done with it and in 1999 it was finally approved be turned into a park.

It’s a fantastic urban oasis that provides a safe and wonderful walkway to urbanites, surrounding people by lush greenery and wildflowers.

It allows anyone using it to get away from the chaos of what’s below and has lured public art installations, exhibits and performance spaces.

It has also motivated other similar projects throughout the world, showing we can repurpose industrial areas into something for the local community.

Recommended tour: High Line and Chelsea Small Group Tour

6- The Empire State Building

Empire State Building With Beautiful Sky In Manhattan
The Empire State Building is a famous building New York is known for.

At 102 stories tall, this building is the personification of resilience and innovation at a time where it was needed the most.

It’s a physical reminder showcasing what can happen with the dedication of the human spirit.

It was designed in an Art Deco style and was completed in one year and 45 days, which itself was a record.

It came in under budget and ahead of schedule as well.

The lobby itself is also in an Art Deco style and is dazzling to those who venture inside it.

At the time of its construction it was the tallest building in the world and held on to that record until the world trade center was built.

It was meant to be a stopping point for airships when they were in vogue, and is an iconic image for films and shows based in New York City.

Of course none are more famous than when King Kong himself took to the skyscraper for his final scenes.

The Empire State Building is at 20 W 34th St., New York, NY 10001, USA. Skip the lines and book your tickets here.

7- Long Island

East of New York City, away from the Urban Sprawl, is Long Island, a section that couldn’t be more different than the city itself.

Long Island was farmland that the rich and famous turned into their luxury playground.

While there are still some places that are still simple suburbs, there are other parts that are constantly featured as some of the wealthiest places on earth.

It is home to numerous world class vineyards, as well as sandy long beaches, and has been an escape for those living in New York, as the summer would approach.

Those who could afford it would spend the entire summers there.

None are more famous than The Hamptons, which are at the eastern most part of the island and home to mansions and lavish estates.

It’s also been inspiration to numerous books and shows, including The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Recommended tour: New York in One Day Guided Sightseeing Tour

8- The Cloisters

Head back in time in this Medieval setup that’s overlooking the Hudson River and where you won’t hear any honking noise, or really, much of any kind of noise in this area.

That’s one of the main reasons its such a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike.

The Cloisters is a blend of five monasteries that have been reconstructed and reconnected to create this unique village-like experience.

It’s the perfect blend of peacefulness and history, making it a must see place on your visit to the area.

There’s manuscripts in gold, as well as some wonderful pieces crafted by master goldsmiths from the past.

There’s also a slew of murals that are beyond ancient that are right next to tapestries that weave history through them.

It was commissioned by John D. Rockefeller Jr for sculptor George Barnard to develop this unique conclave.

It also become home to Barnard’s vast collection of items that he had obtained throughout the years.

9- The Catskills

Waterfall In The Catskill Mountains
The Catskills is an escape from the city in New York.

The Catskills are known for many things, beyond just being a beautiful place to explore and escape from.

For one thing it can be called the ‘Borscht Belt’ as Jewish immigrants settled here in the early 20th century.

They created a slew of hotels and bungalows as well as offered comedic entertainment and recreation.

It was also home to both the Beat Generation and the Counterculture movement.

Writers such as Jack Kerouac were known to create some of their greatest works here.

It is also home to the famous counterculture event known as Woodstock, making it a place for social progress, diversity and experimentation.

Before all this, it was a major timber and agricultural center that helped with the development and construction of New York City, and the ability to offer some of the freshest farm to table options till this day.

It is a bread basket for the surrounding region.

10- Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls And Rainbow Bridge In Winter, New York
Niagara Falls is what New York is known for.

When first discovered, this was a place of spirituality and the foundation for many myths with the local Haudenosaunee natives.

Even when European explorers first set foot in the 17th century, they were in awe themselves and even named it ‘thunder of waters’.

It has since become a true expression of the raw power that nature can provide and captivates numerous visitors on an annual basis.

It has inspired artists to capture its beauty in both works of art, and the written word.

There’s just something that leaves so many people speechless when it comes to seeing Niagara Falls.

It is also a popular destination for proposals and weddings as the sheer power of the waterfalls causes a mist to form that is in the colour of the rainbow.

It also has been a part of industrial and innovative activities as there are those that look to harness it’s power through hydroelectricity.

Recommended tour: Niagara Falls NY Express Tour

11- The Finger Lakes

Finger Lakes Region, New York
The Finger Lakes in New York State.

In upstate New York, there are about 11 bodies of water that make up what is known as The Finger Lakes and it was once home of the Iroquois Tribe.

It is a true trove of wisdom, history and modern vibrancy.

With the formation of the Erie Canal which itself was a fantastic form of innovation in the 19th century, it helped with transforming the region into a major hub for commerce and trade.

That only helped to put it on the map but it also become an inspiration of creativity as well.

Literary masters such as Harriet Tubman and Mark Twain have been said to be inspired by the raw beauty when they were crafting some of their works.

It is also an extremely fertile land allowing for a diverse set of foods to grow, but at the same time boasting some of the best vineyards in the region as well.

12- The Adirondack Mountains

Saranac River Flows Through Multi-Colored Fall Landscape
The Adirondack Mountains is a natural area New York is most known for.

Originally home to the Algonquin tribes, who still remain through the naming of some of the major areas, it became an economic stronghold during the colonial era.

There was a wealth of timber leading to the rise of the Lumber Barons who had massive work camps and estates that still can be seen when exploring this region.

Their towering mansions are primarily what’s left of the time.

It is a lush region and still helped writers such as Robert Frost, find the muse inside of themselves when they were creating their greatest works.

Even presidents such as Theodore Roosevelt, sought sanctuary and refuge when possible.

He later was able to create Adirondack Park, which is still one of the largest protected reserves in the United States.

Since these times, it has not been overindustrialized, meaning that it still preserves most of its natural beauty, and is a modern day place for escapism, especially denizens coming from New York City.

13- Hunter Mountain

Originally home to the Lenape People for quite some time this was nothing more than just a farming region.

The name of the mountain originally roughly translated to mean ‘sky high’.

At the dawn of the 20th century, Hunter Mountain was transformed into the Winter Wonderland it is known for today.

It was home to the first mechanical lift all the way back in 1942 and this was a calling for skiers and snowboarders alike.

Shortly afterwards, amenities such as lodges and other ski resort related items followed, creating the famous resort that we know today, that is always constantly evolving.

It is home to nearly 70 slopes ready for all skill levels. Book your lift passes and transport to Hunter here.

14- Apple Picking In The Fall

Amazing Green Apple Trees Garden
Apple picking is one of the activities New York State is known for.

Apples are a big part of New York and even New York City is called The Big Apple.

Apple picking can start as early as late August and easily run through early November.

It’s quite a fun activity, especially with the kids, where you can explore one of the dozens of orchards that are just an hour or two away from New York City.

You can walk around enjoying the fall foliage and get first pick of all the apples you can fit into your bag.

You’ll also get some excellent pricing and be able to enjoy some delicious goodies afterwards.

There will be plenty of options to get beyond the apples, such as freshly baked apple pie, apple cider, apple sauce and even pumpkin related food items depending on when you arrive at the orchids themselves.

15- Wall Street – The Headquarters Of Commerce

New York Wall Street And Stars And Stripes
Wall Street is what New York is known for.

If you’ve seen the movie “Wall Street”, walk in the footsteps of Gordon Gekko when in New York.

Originally named because there was an actual wall here, it is the heart of the American financial system and where you will find many of the country’s largest financial institutions, including the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs are other names you might recognise.

The NYSE started under a buttonwood tree, where two dozen brokers signed the Buttonwood Agreement that eventually led to the formation of the New York Stock Exchange in 1792 at 68 Wall Street.

As the epicentre of commerce, Wall Street grew rapidly to house brokerage firms, investment banks and hedge funds as well as grow transportation networks to get people around.

It was also the home of what was known as Black Friday, which was the day where the markets crashed prior to the Great Depression.

After it recovered, it also was the first place to start electronic trading with the formation of NASDAQ.

While markets can have their ups and downs, Wall Street is still a symbol of trade, economic growth and the history behind it.

Recommended tour: How Money Was Made Wall Street Walking Tour

Map Of United States With New York Highlight

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Roger Szlatiner
Born and raised in New York City, Roger has always had the desire to see what the world had to offer. After building out his career in the corporate world and obtaining his Master of Science in Technology, Roger felt that his true passion came from writing and sharing his experiences with others. He is currently working on publishing his first book which is a mixture of his travels and working within different industries and cultures, and the crazy that comes with that. He’s spent the past couple of years writing content and poetry as well. When asked where his favourite travel locations are, he’ll immediately reply ‘anywhere in Southeast Asia’. Everything from the controlled chaos to the variety of places to see and food to eat kept him in the region often. When he’s not on his next trip, you can find him living between Indonesia and Vietnam.