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Destinations: New York

Here's your essential guide to getting the best out of a city-break in New York.

Location nickname: The Big Apple

Don't miss: Central Park

Best avoid: Times Square

Don't miss: Pizza

Best avoid: McDonalds

Apollo:  Lou Reed famously included Harlem's Apollo Theatre in his 'Walk on the Wild Side'.  As well as big name gigs, regular amateur nights allow a chance to see all comers 'go, go, go...' for prizes of up to $10,000, critical audiences determining those to 'be good or be gone.'

Broadway:  About 40 major theatres comprise New York's Broadway theatreland, performances ranging from commercial musicals to comedies and hard hitting social commentary.  Many shows and stars will be familiar to UK audiences whilst others have a distinctly US twang.  Ticket prices can be eye-wateringly high but discounts are available either online or last minute via the box office.

Central Park: A city's best attributes can be its green spaces.  Combining boating lakes, ice rinks, forests, castles and sculptures, New York's 843 acre lungs are a fine place to relax.  Weekends see cars prohibited from the park's traverses and concerts and performances are often on offer.

9/11 Memorial Museum:  An appropriate memorial to very public mass murder amongst some of the world's most valuable commercial real estate was never going to be easy, and the jury is still out on Manhattan's recently-opened 9/11 museum.  That said, ripples from the World Trade Center attacks are still spreading, and a visit to this infamous epicentre is obligatory.

The Empire State Building:  Part of Manhattan's skyline since 1931, at 103 floors this most recognisable of skyscrapers has become one with the city's soul.  On a clear day views from the observation decks towards Downtown, over the Hudson River and across Central Park are mesmerising.  Skip often lengthy elevator queues for a fee - this is America…

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum Complex:  At Pier 86 on the Hudson, this museum of military and technological endeavour has 'gone large'.  A WW2 aircraft carrier, more than 30 aircraft, a guided missile submarine, a Space Shuttle and, though they never much liked it, a Concorde, all form part of a fascinating display.

Metropolitan Museum of Art:  On the east side of Central Park The Met's two million exhibits makes it the country's largest museum.  As well as Ancient Egyptian and the classical artefacts, art works from the US and worldwide combine with musical instruments, armour, clothing and interior design to create world beating permanent displays.

The Guggenheim:  Designed by acclaimed modernist architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the museum's unique Upper East Side building is a worthy exhibit in its own right.  Impressionists, modernists, surrealists, together with various schisms of contemporary visual art unfurl organically during a dreamy descent of the museum's spiral galleries.

Staten Island Ferry:  New York has flotillas of tourist boats all offering sightseeing cruises but excellent views of Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty available for free.  Eight distinctive yellow commuter ferries regularly ply the five mile crossing from Whitehall Terminal near Battery Park, to Staten island, taking around 25 minutes each way. Bargain.

The High Line:  Reinventing abandoned railways as walking routes isn't a new idea.  However, New York's High Line is an historic elevated urban freight track.  Faced with demolition, public-spirited New Yorkers saved the structure and have created an innovative and quirky aerial park that runs for over a mile, connecting three neighbourhoods on Manhattan's West Side.

This article has been produced in association with www.talkholiday.com

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