New York City’s iconic skyline, etched in the minds of people the world over, is a sight that never gets old. Even lifelong residents agree. But fantastic NYC views aren’t just found from afar. Stunning views within the city itself are abundant, from rooftop bars and observation decks to sky-high hidden gardens and penthouse discothèques. The trick is in narrowing down the options, a feat we’ve covered to get you started. Get out, go up, and enjoy the view with our list of the best NYC observation decks the city has to offer.
285 Fulton Street
NY, NY 10006
It’s no surprise that the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere would offer the most spectacular views of New York one could find. The experience itself is more than a view, it’s a journey. Beginning with an elevator ride that brings you to the 102nd floor in 47 seconds, the activities at the top abound. You can take a stroll on the Sky Portal, a glass disk with high definition footage of the streets 100 floors below; experience the excitement and life of the city through Forever Theater, an exciting audiovisual experience; or take part in an interactive presentation to learn more about the history and culture of New York. Whatever you choose to do, one thing is certain: the world’s sixth largest skyscraper won’t disappoint in its vista, a panoramic view of NYC, its iconic landmarks, and the surrounding waters.
1000 5th Avenue
NY, NY 10028
From the 102nd floor of One World Trade, we land on the fifth floor of the Met only to discover a view just as breathtaking. Never to be underestimated, the Metropolitan Museum of Art presents its extraordinary Roof Garden, a hidden gem which offers nearly 360-degree views of Fifth Avenue and Central Park. After wandering the exhibits all day, the Roof Garden is the perfect place to get some fresh air, have a drink, enjoy the sunset, and take in the city.
30 Rockefeller Plaza
NY, NY 10112
Take an elevator dubbed the “Sky Shuttle” up to the 67th and 69th floors of Rockefeller Center, and enjoy unobstructed views of the city you live in and love. Head up one more flight to the 70th floor, and discover an open-air roof deck with no glass or metal enclosures. It is here where you’ll get to take the best photos of iconic New York City sights, from natural to man-made: the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings, Grand Central Terminal, the Hudson and East Rivers, Central Park, and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. And remember that legendary photo of eleven construction workers eating lunch on a beam high above the city? Well, that was taken here. Pay tribute with a walk on the interactive Beam Walk and experience for a moment what it must have felt like for those brave workers.
444 West 13th Street
NY, NY 10014
If you’re looking for a little fun to complement your view, head over to Le Bain. Located on the top floor of the Standard Hotel in the Meatpacking District, this rooftop bar boasts a penthouse discothèque featuring world-famous DJ’s, a summertime plunge pool and crêperie, and many more events for the classy crowd. Add to this the spectacular views of downtown Manhattan and the Hudson River, and the experience is not to be forgotten. Just make sure you dress to impress—admission is not always guaranteed.
230 Fifth Avenue
NY, NY 10001
230 FIFTH has the feel of an open-air party on top of the city. Boasting the largest indoor/outdoor rooftop bar in New York, 230 FIFTH consists of a rooftop garden open to the sky and a fully enclosed penthouse lounge. From November to May, they offer igloos for your sitting, eating, drinking, and viewing pleasure. With 230 FIFTH’s expansive views of the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings, you’ll be happy to know these igloos are not only heated, but fully transparent, so you don’t miss a thing.
30 Hudson Yards
NY, NY 10001
The soon-to-be newest observation deck on the block is at 30 Hudson Yards, and when it opens this year, it will be one of the tallest observation decks in the city, second only to One World Observatory. One of the most fascinating components of this deck will be an extruded outdoor viewing platform. This platform will feature a partial glass floor looking down the eastern facade and 10th Avenue, 1,296 feet below. Additionally, a 10,000-square foot restaurant, bar, and event space will occupy the deck, making 30 Hudson Yards a truly visit-worthy spot to view the city from the high above.
After so much height and excitement, there are plenty of ways to get grounded again, and one of those ways is to simply work on your home. Check out our 7 Ways to Add 2019’s Color of the Year to Your Home. Let the colors of the sparkling city inspire you to bring more color to your own cozy abode.