The Empire State Building, which has been seen in over 250 movies – including “King Kong,” “An Affair to Remember,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Elf,” “Shaft” and “On the Waterfront” – is one of the most iconic sites in a city that is full of them.
A National Historic Landmark, the Empire State Building has observatories on the 86th and 102nd floors that offer views of New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania on clear days. The building towers more than a quarter of a mile above the heart of Manhattan and has been welcoming millions of annual visitors since it opened in 1931. The building, which is more than 1,453-feet-tall (including the tip of the broadcast tower), weighs 365,000 tons and was built out of approximately 10 million bricks.
The ESB is open 365 days a year from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. with the last elevators heading up into the sky at 1:15 a.m. If you want to take the stairs, there are 1,872 of them on the way up to the 103rd floor. If not, it won’t be hard to get a spot on an elevator because the Empire State Building has 73.
In addition to the observatories, the ESB also has a permanent exhibition on the building’s 80th floor. Curated by Carol Willis of New York City’s SkyscraperMuseum, The Dare to Dream Exhibit celebrates the “unprecedented and unmatched feats of engineering and construction of the EmpireStateBuilding.” The 80th floor is also home to “Empire: The Store.”
Want to save time during your visit? The ESB recommends that guests “visit us either first thing in the morning (8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.) or after 9:00 p.m…The night views are spectacular!”
If you want to grab a bite during your visit, the ESB offers local dining options like the Europa Café and Heartland Brewery, as well as more familiar fare from Chipotle and Starbucks.
Looking for other things to do in New York? The New York Attractions Pass is your ticket to seeing 59 of the top sites in the city including the Museum of Sex, Rockefeller Center Tour and the NYC Multilingual Tour.