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U.S Travel Diaries - Viewing New York City from 86th Floor of the Empire State Building

During our stay in Chicago, IL we went on a tour to Niagara Falls, Washington D.C and New York City in July 2010. It is peak summer in the U.S and is the best time to go on tours.
Empire State Building, NYC
We have seen Empire State Building (ESB) in many English / Bollywood and Indian regional movies. Well, it reminds us the famous King Kong movie wherein Kong - the giant guerrilla climbs the top of the building.

During our visit to New York City (NYC), as a part of visiting the important attractions like the UN guided / audio tour that was very much interesting and informative, we were much thrilled and equally enjoyed the night view of NYC from the 86th floor of Empire State Building.
Model of ESB in the lobby
We reached ESB before sunset as we wanted to watch the bird's eye view of the illuminated city. We did not pre-planned anything so we had to stand in long lines for getting the tickets. Well, I am not giving the location of ESB as this is a world famous building and can be readily located in Google map. We walked through the lobby, of course, clicking snaps all the way. We reached the Visitor's Center in the 2nd floor to buy tickets. Though there was a long line, it moved fast as there were pretty number of counters for sale of tickets. While in queue we watched the videos showcasing entirely on ESB, its state-of-art technology, its renovation process, scenes from King Kong movie and many more. For avoiding the long lines, you can purchase tickets online from the official website of ESB.

After purchasing tickets we made our way through the hallway to reach the elevator. It's simply an awesome experience to smoothly go up to 86th floor in the elevator.

Ah! there we are, on the 86th floor of Empire State Building which is the highest Open-Air observatory in the New York city. We had a 360 degree outdoor stroll and had a wonderful thrilling experience of viewing of NYC from the observation deck.

In fact, I was too excited to see River Hudson, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square and the other towers which looked too small from the top. Gradually, the sky turned dark and it was night. Wow! what a view of the illuminated New York city from the top. It's awesome.
Night view of NYC from 86th floor
You can even have a 360 degree stroll indoors in this floor. We spent around 40 minutes strolling round and round and round, enjoying the view of NYC from atop. You can even go to the topmost 102nd floor. Somehow, I didn't dare to go to the top floor and was contented with viewing NYC from 86th floor.

After a while we came down and as always I was attracted towards the gift shop. I made few purchase like a glass paper weight, T shirt etc. And returned with a satisfied feeling.

General Information

Well, I need not explain much about the once-upon-a-time tallest building of NYC. This is a 102-storeyed building which is 1454 feet tall to the top of antenna . Visitors for the Observation Deck must enter ESB on the 5th Avenue between 33rd and 34th Streets. It's at a walkable distance from Midtown Manhattan. You will find parking problem in this busy streets, so better to reach the place through other means of commutation. You can take the sub-ways or book a cab which would be easier for you than going in your own car.

Before you get into the elevator make sure to use the restrooms in the 2nd floor. You can find uniformed persons in the sidewalks whom you can readily contact for any kind of assistance. ESB is open round the year from 8 a.m to 2 a.m (mid night). The last elevator for going up is at 1.15 a.m (mid night).
102nd Floor shot from 86th floor
If you dare to experience viewing NYC from 102nd floor, you can buy tickets for the same.

On the whole, it was a wonderful experience going up to the top of the building and viewing the illuminated skyline from the deck.

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