A View Not to Be Missed: The Top of the Rock and Observation Deck

No trip to New York City is complete without a visit to one of the city’s greatest spots to take in a full view of the most exciting place on the planet — the top of “The Rock” and observation deck. Located directly in midtown Manhattan, the top three floors of the 70-story Rockefeller Center building (yes, that’s the famous spot from the Tina Fey classic sitcom “30 Rock”) offer some of the most breathtaking views of the entire city — all from one of New York’s most vibrant neighborhoods.

What to Do at The Top of the Rock and Observation Deck

Getting to Rockefeller Center is the relative easy part; centrally located right in the middle of Manhattan, there are plenty of subway lines that lead right into the midtown neighborhood where 30 Rockefeller Plaza resides. Now, when you do decide you want to go to the Top of the Rock, you will need a ticket to get to the Top of the Rock and the observation deck. There are three options: a generic “Top of the Rock” ticket, which provides you access to all of the views and the indoor and outdoor viewing decks; the “VIP Access” ticket, which offers immediate entry and priority elevator access; and a combination “Rock Pass,” which allows you to tour both Rockefeller Center and go into the Top of the Rock to see the views. This is an excellent option — the Rockefeller Center tour is a nice, interesting trek, and you’ll have plenty of time to go explore the views afterwards.

Top of the Rock Observation Deck

Credit: Sean Pavon / Shutterstock

Once you’re done with gazing at the amazing city outside the windows of the Top of The Rock, wind down with a cocktail at Bar SixtyFive at the Rainbow Room in the Rockefeller Center. Down from the observation deck, Bar SixtyFive advertises the highest outdoor terrace views in the city; drinks are pricey, but the views make things well worth it. It’s an excellent place to relax after you’ve gazed out at the city for a while.

Top of the Rock Observation Deck

Credit: Rafael Xavier / Shutterstock

What to do after you’re done with exploring 30 Rockefeller Center?

Well, you’re right in midtown Manhattan, so there’s no shortage of things to do. Close your eyes and point and you’ll be able to see something cool. A few blocks away from 30 Rockefeller is the beautiful St. Patrick’s Cathedral, one of the most awe-inspiring places in the entire city. Right down the street from St. Patrick’s? Radio City Music Hall, which is actually part of the Rockefeller complex. There are plenty of shows to be seen at Radio City — if you’re in town around Christmas time, the Rockettes production is an absolute must-see.

Top of the Rock observation deck

Credit: gary yim / Shutterstock

If you’re a video gamer, the Nintendo NY store is a mere block away from Rockefeller Center, and stuffed to to the gills with video games and video game systems both old and new. Kid at heart? Well, right next to Rockefeller Center is the LEGO Store, an absolute joy to visit (just be sure to wear shoes). For hockey fans, the NHL Store (boasting an amazing selection of apparel, with even some defunct teams — RIP, Hartford Whalers) is on 47th and Sixth, a short walk away; and for those with a sweet tooth, the M&M’s World, with a massive selection of the famous candies, is on 49th and Seventh. There’s no shortage of excitement in this area, and a trip to the Top of the Rock and Observation Deck is the ideal way to kick it off!

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