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New York City's Entertainment Scene

New York City’s Entertainment Scene

There are a lot of different reasons to travel to New York City. Some go for the sights, some for the food and drink, some for specific events, and most for the total experience. But in the midst of New York’s unlimited appeals is one of the busiest and most incredible entertainment scenes anywhere, which is enough of a reason to head to the Big Apple.

Simply put, New York tends to attract the biggest names in show business and sports, and it has the venues to support them. If this is part of what you look for in picking a destination, read on for a few words on some of the city’s best entertainment venues.

For Shows

New Amsterdam Theatre

Boasting internal décor reminiscent of European royal opera houses and a name that harkens back to New York’s origins, the New Amsterdam Theatre is full of historical atmosphere. It’s located just a few blocks south of bustling, ultra-modern Times Square and yet, according to a city theater guide, it’s one of the two oldest surviving Broadway venues. It’s the perfect spot for those fascinated with the history of theater in the city.

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The Belasco Theatre

It’s nowhere near as old as the New Amsterdam (which was originally constructed in 1903), but The Belasco is still among the older Broadway theaters. It offers the same old-world, vaguely European atmosphere with a slightly cleaner, more modern touch. For my money, this is the most beautiful of the New York theaters.

The St. James Theatre

Located in the heart of the theater district and having hosted shows off and on since opening in 1927 (as The Erlanger), The St. James has long been among the more popular venues. It’s reached new levels of fame lately after serving as the primary filming location for the Oscar-winning 2014 film Birdman.

For Music

Claire Tow Theater

If you’re looking for a state-of-the-art venue at which to enjoy a top-notch musical, symphony performance, or opera, the Claire Tow Theater at Lincoln Center is tough to beat. Its gorgeous, ultra-modern design is a pleasure in itself, and as discussed here, its terrace sets it apart from other theaters by providing a unique place to congregate between shows and acts.

Radio City Music Hall

If you’re more interested in catching a big act traveling through the city, look no further than Radio City Music Hall. The biggest concerts often take place at the major sports arenas (which I’ll cover below), but this is arguably the busiest and most spectacular music-first venue in the city for popular acts.

BB King Blues Club

New York’s Jazz and Blues clubs, and increasingly even the Rock clubs downtown, are renowned for attracting incredible talent—sometimes established, sometimes unknown, and sometimes on the way up. This page on New York travel highlights the BB King Blues Club, along with the Apollo Theatre, as one of the best venues in this category for a memorable live music performance.

New York City’s Entertainment Scene

For Sports

Yankee Stadium

It may not be as special as the historic ballpark that was abandoned after 2008 and eventually torn down, but the new Yankee Stadium is in some ways a replica of that historic site. It stands across the street from the old stadium grounds and, history aside, is as stunning a venue as there is in the country to watch a baseball game.

Madison Square Garden

Near the top of this list of sports venues to visit before you die, Madison Square Garden is a treat no matter what you see there. It’s probably best known as the home of the New York Knicks, and despite the franchise’s rocky history of late, the arena tends to be packed for home games. MSG is also a stellar concert venue and the home stadium for the NHL’s New York Rangers and the WNBA’s New York Liberty.

These are some of the highlights for those drawn to New York City for its reputation for live events. Each of these destinations offers an incredible and memorable experience, and can be worth the whole trip to New York.

Why You Can't Miss New York City in the Summer

Why You Can’t Miss New York City in the Summer

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There are few cities in the world that carry a simply magical feeling to them which I dare any traveler to truly define. We have been lucky to travel to some pretty wonderful cities around the world and have experienced them all as best we can, but still we have only felt the true magic in a small handful of cities. Its nearly impossible to not fall in love with Paris and Venice took our breath away but New York City has, without a doubt, the most electrifying feeling of them all, especially in the summer time.

You know from the second you arrive that there is just something special about New York City. Hard to define and impossible to describe, New York is a city like no other and this is why you can’t miss New York City, especially in the summer.

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The city truly comes alive as the cold starts to flee around April, and while there might still be some cold days through May, New York City blossoms as the trees and flowers do and is filled with a vibrance few cities have ever felt. The people come alive with an energy you cannot ignore, life is good and the city knows it.

The food is a good enough reason to visit the city no matter the time of year, but come to New York in the summer and you are in for a special treat. Home to some of the most delicious and well known restaurants in the world, New York is a place many famous chefs also call home and where many of them have opened smaller, more home like restaurants and tasting rooms. These, almost boutique, restaurants and cafes serve some of the best food around, and during the warm summer months they often feature special menus, social events and outdoor patios which fill with life well into the night.

Well known for its eclectic and ever changing art scene, the summer brings a renewed wave of artistic endeavors to the city and you’d be hard pressed not to find a new gallery opening, art show or other creative outlet being showed off on any weekend in the city, no matter where you found yourself. Get lost, follow the music, follow the color and you’ll be sure to find yourself making an unforgettable memory in no time.

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Not only does the nightlife blossom in the summer time, but the activities during the day do as well. If you are an active person and want to get in some exercise while in the city, there is simply nothing better to do than to explore central park. Social running groups are common and easy to link up with as well as free yoga classes, kickball, frisbee and softball leagues, the opportunities are truly endless.

There is nothing like packing a picnic, grabbing the cooler and and blanket and heading to Central Park with a group of friends on a beautiful summer day. Don’t fear the humidity, find some shade, bring the sunscreen and relax in one of the most unique and vibrant cities in the world.

No trip would be complete without a visit to Times Square, eating at the world Katz Deli and seeing the Empire State building for the first time. But make sure to also save time to visit Lincoln Center and see a performance, the New York Philharmonic used to mesmerize me as a child. Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, visit the Brooklyn Zoo and visit the Museum of Natural History, all will be amazing. And if you like shopping? Don’t even get us started, the choices are endless – everything is at your fingertips.

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If sports are your thing you’ve got many options, and while the Knicks and Giants don’t play in the summer months (Unless the Knicks make the playoffs… yea right.) you’ve got not one, but two baseball teams to watch. There is nothing quite as American as watching a baseball game in the summer and with the legacies of both the New York Mets and New York Yankees, there is hardly a better city in America to watch a baseball game.

Traveling to the big apple is easy as pie and there are endless ways to get there. Flights to New York are always popular and there are constantly deals on weekend getaways and holiday trips. Even if you don’t take the train to the city, a visit to Grand Central Station will not disappoint as it is one of the most beautiful and iconic buildings in the whole city. Busses have always run routes to and from New York City from nearby cities like Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC and in recent years the newer busses often offer free wifi, electrical plugs and bathrooms, a huge upgrade from when I was growing up.

While visiting New York is an amazing experience any time of year, the city truly has something special for those who visit in the summer. So pack your bags, jump on the plane, train or bus and make your way to what might be the most magical and fascinating city in the world. And once you do, come back and tell us about your adventures and see if you can describe the magical feeling the city has to our readers better than we could. Up, up and away, the big apple awaits!

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Images provided from Flickr via Premshree PillaiJoey Lax-SalinasDan Nguyen and Kamran Aslam

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.H . jeffjohnsheadshotJeff Johns is the co-founder and editor of Latitude 34 Travel Blog. Through 65 countries on 6 continents he has accumulated a seemingly endless stream of odd information, interesting stories and helpful tips and tricks to better travel. Jeff’s goal is to visit all 204 countries on Earth before he is too senile to remember them all. A graduate of the Visual Journalism program at the Brooks Institute, his true passions lay in honest visual storytelling, documentary filmmaking, Thai food and a good laugh. Together with his girlfriend Marina, they run Latitude 34 Travel Blog as a source of helpful information for those who love to travel or those who simply dream of it. If you have a comment or suggestion, send them an email at hello@latitudethirtyfour.com and they’ll respond super fast!

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