Visitors to the city of New York often expect the best of the best in food, entertainment, nightlife and shopping. Sight-seeing is no exception to this rule so when it comes to getting the best view, the crème de la crème of observation deck throwdowns boils down to heavyweights Empire State Building (Fifth Avenue at 34th Street), and Top of the Rock (30 Rockefeller Center).
The images most often associated with the Empire State Building are the great King Kong epics and sweeping romantic affairs like Carey Grant breathlessly awaiting Deborah Kerr and Meg Ryan holding Jonah's backpack, hoping to unite with the dreamy Tom Hanks. Today however, the real question remains, which building plays host to the best views and offers the most all-inclusive experience. From atop the infamous art deco building's glass encased Empire State Building observation deck, visitors can get a complete panoramic view of the world beneath them hidden amongst the tiny streets and miniscule cars. According to mixed reviews, Empire also has some serious pitfalls. No one can deny the long lines, souvenir hounds and somewhat less enthusiastic workers (ah, all in true New York spirit). Tickets average around $15 and can be purchased online to speed up the excruciating check in time.
Tough competitor Top of the Rock also offers a tempting observation package which ensures a nice, solid customer experience. The personalized Rockefeller experience is possibly what may trump Empire with their sweet and chatty attendants who offer a plethora of New York knowledge and are well versed in Rockefeller history. Additional perks include limited lines, waits and crowds since visitors are asked to purchase tickets online and are admitted during specific times. The view from atop the 70 floor observation deck is equally breathtaking and as an added bonus, Top of the Rock also includes a view of the Empire State Building.
Both of these sights are classic stops on Onboard New York Tours and are definitely worth the visit especially if you have time for both.