Exploring NYC 101: A Tourist’s Guide to Uptown, Midtown, and Downtown Manhattan

First-time visitors will want to see each of Manhattan’s three principal tourism districts—Uptown, Midtown, and Downtown.  The following is a guide for choosing hotel accommodations in the areas proximate to the landmarks and attractions of the most interest to them.  

Midtown Manhattan pulsates with energy, skyscrapers, and iconic, world-famous landmarks. Times Square (embed Times Square image here), often referred to as the “Crossroads of the World,” dazzles visitors with its bright lights, Broadway theaters. Nearby, the Empire State Building, The Edge, and SUMMIT One offer breathtaking views of the city skyline from their observation decks.  Rockefeller Center is just a stone’s throw away, inviting visitors to its ice-skating rink, and nearby St Patrick’s Cathedral, and to its NBC Studios tours.

Families or couples or solo travelers may want to sleep near Times Square and the Theater District in Midtown and travel Uptown to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art and/or the American Museum of Natural History on opposite sides of Central Park, and then Downtown to visit the Statue of Liberty, the World Trade Center Observatory and the September 11 Memorial and Museum.  Our editors feel that the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel is one of the top handful of hotels in the City, for its amenities, Marriott-standard accommodations, and not least for its location at the very heart of Times Square, and we are happy to recommend the more moderately priced Embassy Suites Times Square on West 37th Street (a great option for families) or the Hilton Garden Inn Times Square on 42nd Street. 

Downtown (aka Lower Manhattan) is the home of Wall Street, the Financial District, the New York Stock Exchange, and the iconic Charging Bull statue.  Nearby, the poignant 9/11 Memorial and Museum(embed 911 Memorial image here) honors the memory of the victims of the September 11th attacks.  And, Battery Park, a short walk along the Hudson River from the beautiful 9/11Memorial is the gateway to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, beckoning visitors to explore their rich history and significance as symbols of freedom and immigration.

Thus, another very good option is to sleep in marginally less hectic Downtown, and travel by subway to Midtown and Uptown.  This is much easier than might sound, though it may be best to avoid traveling by subway with small children during rush hour … in any case, your hotel front desk staff or concierge will be eager to advise you. The Millennium Downtown Hotel with many rooms overlooking the September 11 Memorial and the Oculus is also one of the top two or three hotels in New York City, and is highly recommended for its proximity to the Transportation Hub and everything visitors will want to see Downtown.

Uptown is synonymous with elegance, history, and cultural richness. Here, you’ll find the iconic Central Park (embed central park image here), a sprawling oasis in the midst of the city, perfect for leisurely strolls, picnics, and outdoor activities the Museum Mile offering a treasure trove of institutions, including the Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of the City of New York.  

The Meadowlands …  short blurb & avatar here.

Finally, it may be noted here that visitors do not need to sleep in Manhattan to visit New York, and that there are multiple, modern and deluxe, but more affordable options for families arriving by car from the North and East in Greenwich, Connecticut and from the South and West and Jersey City, New Jersey respectively.

 Exploring Manhattan 101: A Tourist’s Guide to Uptown, Midtown, and Downtown

As most regular visitors know, Manhattan, the heart of New York City, is a vibrant and diverse borough that offers something for everyone. First-time visitors will want to see each of its three principal districts—Uptown, Midtown, and Downtown, and thus will need to choose hotel accommodations in the areas proximate to the landmarks and attractions of the most interest to them.

Tourists may want to sleep near Times Square and the Theater District in Midtown and travel Uptown to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art and/or the American Museum of Natural History on opposite sides of Central Park, and then Downtown to visit the Statue of Liberty, the World Trade Center Observatory and the September 11 Memorial and Museum.  Our editors feel that the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel is one of the top handful of hotels in the City, for its amenities, Marriott-standard accommodations, and not least for its location at the very heart of Times Square, and we are happy to recommend the more moderately priced Embassy Suites Times Square on West 37th Street (a great option for families) or the Hilton Garden Inn Times Square on 42nd Street. 

Another popular option is to sleep in marginally less hectic Downtown, and travel by subway to Midtown and Uptown.  This is much easier than might sound, though it may be best to avoid traveling by subway with small children during rush hour … in any case, your hotel front desk staff or concierge will be eager to advise you. The Millennium Downtown Hotel with many rooms overlooking the September 11 Memorial and the Oculus is also one of the top two or three hotels in New York City, and is highly recommended for its proximity to the Transportation Hub and everything visitors will want to see Downtown.

It may be noted here that visitors do not need to sleep in Manhattan to visit New York, and that there are several very interesting options for families arriving by car from the North and East and the South and West in Greenwich, Connecticut and Jersey City, New Jersey respectively.

Uptown Manhattan is synonymous with elegance, history, and cultural richness. Here, you’ll find the iconic Central Park (embed central park image here), a sprawling oasis in the midst of the city, perfect for leisurely strolls, picnics, and outdoor activities the Museum Mile offering a treasure trove of institutions, including the Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of the City of New York.  

Midtown Manhattan pulsates with energy, towering skyscrapers, and world-famous landmarks. Times Square (embed Times Square image here), often referred to as the “Crossroads of the World,” dazzles visitors with its bright lights, Broadway theaters. Nearby, the Empire State Building, The Edge, and SUMMIT One offer breathtaking views of the city skyline from their observation decks.  Rockefeller Center is just a stone’s throw away, inviting visitors to its ice-skating rink, and nearby St Patrick’s Cathedral, and to its NBC Studios tours.

Downtown (aka Lower Manhattan) is the home of Wall Street, the Financial District, the New York Stock Exchange, and the iconic Charging Bull statue.  Nearby, the poignant 9/11 Memorial and Museum(embed 911 Memorial image here) honors the memory of the victims of the September 11th attacks.  And, Battery Park, a short walk along the Hudson River from the beautiful 9/11Memorial is the gateway to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, beckoning visitors to explore their rich history and significance as symbols of freedom and immigration.