This is how you get the jaw-dropping views of the "Crossroads of the World" ... without having to fight the crowds.
By Mackenzie Allison for Where
Nothing beats the impact of your first trip to Times Square. It's a must-visit destination for visitors, a place of larger-than-life establishments and illuminated billboards. Even jaded and die-hard New Yorkers are drawn to the energy there.
There's no question: It's an amazing experience to be amid the crowds as they vie for the perfect photo of themselves and friends with the dizzying array of electronic signboards and Broadway show promotions as the backdrop. But here's the inside travel tip: There are a few high-perched places nearby where you can relax in solace while taking in a scenic view of what's often called "The Crossroads of the World."
To find some of these perches that have such amazing views of Times Square, we went to Jarrod Mejia. Mejia has been a concierge in New York City for years, and he works at the W New York Times Square hotel (right there at the famed square), so we couldn't think of anyone better to ask for picks on where to enjoy "Kodak moment" views of the area. Here's where he directed us:
"R Lounge at Two Times Square has one of my favorite views of Times Square," said Mejia. Located on the third floor of the Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel, this lounge offers a "panoramic view that overlooks the red glowing staircase in Duffy Square -- allowing full immersion into the setting without getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of the streets."
The view is impeccable, explains Mejia. "The sightline from here follows down Broadway and leads right up to the building at One Times Square, which is where once a year more than a million people gather to ring in the new year and see the ball drop."
"Another spectacular view in Times Square is from atop the New York Marriott Marquis at The View Restaurant & Lounge," he says. Spanning the 47th and 48th floors of the hotel, the revolving space completes a 360-degree turn once an hour, "ensuring the diners at this contemporary American hotspot some of the most wonderful views of the New York City skyline."
"Lastly, we go up into the clouds on the 57th floor of the W New York Times Square Hotel's Extreme WOW Suite, where the views will definitely take your breath away," Mejia says. "The room's oversized windows frame out a picturesque scene of Times Square all the way to Central Park, allowing a bird's-eye-view perspective of one of the most beautiful cities in the world."
That two-bedroom suite's rate is $4,500 a night, so depending on your budget, it might be better to keep your feet planted firmly on the ground at street level. Regardless which view you choose (perch or pedestrian), you won't be disappointed.
Explore more of New York City (and plan your trip) at www.wheretraveler.com/new-york-city.
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Photo credits: ©Andrey Bayda/Shutterstock, Courtesy R Lounge at Two Times Square, Courtesy The View Restaurant & Lounge, Courtesy W New York