New York City, New York
“Concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do now you’re in New York!” Well if Alicia Keys, sang about it, then it must be true right? The Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Wall Street, the Empire state building and Central Park come to mind. What’s not to love? No wonder New York City is famous for being the city that never sleeps, with its vibrant, bright lights and stunning skyscrapers. New York is featured so often in movies; you would be hard-pressed to find a place or a landscape that is totally unfamiliar. Even the Grand Central Station was shown in scenes from Madagascar and Gossip Girl.
Whilst visiting New York, one definitely has to pay homage to the amazing monument that is The Statue of Liberty. Lady Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture that was a gift of friendship from France. Plus, it’s on its own island (Ellis Island), which means an exciting boat ride out! You can even climb up to her crown for some sweet views of the city.
When in New York, you got to live it up! Or if you can’t, at least pretend to. I guess everyone’s got to fake it till you make it at some point. Strutting into a fancy hotel, whilst pretending you are rich enough to belong there, is an experience in New York. Hotels situated a stone’s throw away from Fifth Avenue would be adorned with glamorous décor, chandeliers and aesthetic architecture. Get ready to be awe-struck.
After all the hustle and bustle and you feel like you want to get away from it all. It is time to hit the serene and peaceful Central Park. Best part is, it’s right in the heart of Manhatten! Grab your coffee and it’s time to explore the huge park. Or if you’re tired, station yourself on a bench and people watch in beautifully multicultural New York.
Want to get the best view? It is time to climb the Empire State Building! But wait, how do we get the view of the tallest building if you are standing on it? Head to the Rockfeller Centre, which is the second tallest building to get the best views of everything including the Empire State Building. Speaking of views, another great spot is Brooklyn bridge. Brooklyn bridge spans across Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan and gives breath-taking views of the Manhattan skyline. If you can catch the sunrise and sunset, it would be even more spectacular.
Anybody up for some Boston lobster? Boston is world famous for serving up the freshest and most skilfully prepared seafood. In fact, lobster rolls in Boston are a staple. Besides sumptuous food, Boston is rich in history, being one of the oldest cities in the US. Hence, it is coined the “Cradle of Modern America”. After all, it is the birthplace of the American Revolution, but also another significant events, such as the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. A highly recommended way to experience 16 famous historical sites dotted across the city, is to embark on the Freedom Trail. The location of the Boston Tea Party, the USS Constitution and the Old State House, are just some of the highlights. What better way to learn about the historical figures and their stories than to join a ghost tour and go on an adventure!
On the East of Massachusetts Avenue, Newbury Street is a mile-long street lined with historic 19th-century brownstones. This stretch is filled with “high-end boutiques”, cafes and restaurants, perfect for a chill day of eating and shopping. There are over 60 museums varying in types and sizes spread across Boston, so you can be sure there is something for everyone. Famous institutions include the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), known for its extensive collection, and the Museum of Science. Modern-art fanatics rejoice! Perched beside the harbour and housed in an exquisite glass edifice is the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) that has a large range of modern artworks. Prefer something fancier? The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is where horticulture meets fantastic architecture. Get lost in this grand mansion with beautifully maintained gardens, while admiring European, Asian, and American art. Its collection includes paintings, sculpture, tapestries, and decorative arts.
West Palm Beach, Florida
Oh, sunny Florida! Think awesome weather all year round, with surrounding coastal islands that allow you to bask in the sun beside the sparkling Atlantic Ocean. The unending supply of beautiful beaches mean that you just need to check in to one of their resorts, hit their exclusive golf courses, high-end boutiques and relax! One of the best beaches to visit is Jensen Beach, which is relatively near to West Palm Beach. It is famous for its annual pineapple festival. This festival occurs from 22nd of November to the 24th of November. Expect pineapple themed food, drinks and contests! This family event features world class concerts, arts, crafts, street performers, local bands and midway rides. Don’t forget to hit up the Bahamian Market for some island grooves and culture appreciation. Scrumptious seafood, boating, fishing, and even sea turtle viewing during nesting season occur at Jensen Beach. What more can you ask for?
There you have it! Our top 3 places to visit before you kick the bucket. With all the exciting activities these places have to offer, there’s no doubt these holidays would be etched in your memory for a lifetime. But before you get whisked away in the excitement, here is a friendly reminder: if you are a foreigner, do not forget to apply for your ESTA (mandatory travel authorisation to the US without visa) early! It usually takes a maximum of 3 days to process, but it is always better to be safe than sorry. And don’t worry about doing it early as an ESTA is valid for 2 years. Now you are all set. Nay, you are jet set!