Your Ultimate Guide to Exploring the Best of New York City

Things to Do in NYC

Whatever kind of vacation you are looking for, New York City has you covered!

If you are a museum-goer, then you will be busy visiting the 145 museums that NYC has to offer. Foodie? Yes, please! There are 72 Michelin star status restaurants in the Big Apple and if you don’t have time to visit all of them on your trip, reserve a table at the five scoring the maximum 3 stars.

New York City is the mecca of entertainment. Broadway shows cater to families, date nights, and those who want to enjoy some of the longest-running shows, such as Chicago or The Lion King. For you TV and movie lovers, take a tour and visit many of your favorite shows such as Friends, Sex and the City, Seinfeld & The Sopranos, as well as see the iconic places where famous movie scenes were made, including the 80’s classic Wall Street, Elf, and Home Alone 2.

Lastly, if you do not have a lot of time in NYC or are just an adrenaline junkie, then you must book one of our amazing helicopter tours and take in the wonderful sites of New York City in record time.

Couple in front of helicopter in Manhattan

Quick NYC Highlights

 There is so much more to NYC than Manhattan! From the beaches of the Rockaways to the hip hop history of the Bronx, make sure you explore beyond Times Square.

 NYC Subway is one of the oldest in the world and runs 24/7!

 Manhattan is designed on a grid – twice a year a phenomenon known as Manhattanhenge occurs where the sun sets directly between the NYC skyscrapers.

History & Culture

New York City’s history is a tapestry of diverse cultures, from its Dutch origins to its melting pot of immigration during the 19th century. 

Vibrant neighborhoods like Chinatown and Little Italy celebrate this mix. The city’s food scene mirrors this diversity, with global flavors, reflecting its lively cultural tapestry. 

Iconic cultural institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Broadway, the American Museum of Natural History, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island showcase New York’s rich arts, culture, and history scene.

Black and white photo of New York City

Geography & Boroughs

Located where the East and Hudson rivers meet, New York City is the largest and most recognized American city. NYC has five boroughs – Manhattan, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island, with each borough equally diverse. 

Experience what the each has to offer, from the iconic Manhattan skyscrapers like the Empire State Building to the diverse food scene in Queens, to Yankee Stadium for a baseball game or Coney Island to experience the thrills of Luna Park and relax on the beach.

Don’t forget about Staten Island: easily take the Staten Island Ferry near the Downtown Manhattan Heliport for great views of the Statue of Liberty and outlet shopping once you arrive!

Aerial photograph of downtown Manhattan
Brooklyn Bridge

Weather & Best Time to Visit

We experience four seasons in NYC and they all have their own breathtaking reasons to visit. 

The chill of the winter months from December to February will bring you the excitement of the holiday season with the enormous lighted Rockefeller Christmas Tree and the amazingly decorated store window displays. 

March through May is when NYC wakes up…the winter thaw brings on the blooms of Spring and everyone gets excited for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the unofficial beginning of summer. 

June through August no jackets are required! NYC comes alive with free outdoor events across the city for anyone to enjoy!

The unofficial beginning of fall is September and it really is a beautiful time to visit NYC.  The temperature is comfortable and the vibrant fall foliage is breathtaking. 

HeliNY is open all year around so whichever season fits you best we are here to show you the city from above!

Downtown Manhattan in the fall

Local Etiquette & Tips for Travelers

Don’t be fooled by the media, New Yorkers are some of the most generous and helpful people you could ever meet! Follow our simple tips to ensure you fit right in

Our number 1 tip – being pushy and rude is not the true New York spirit! In NYC, we walk on the right side of the sidewalk and we walk fast, so make sure that you don’t just stop in your tracks or take up the whole sidewalk while strolling!

You no longer need to purchase a MetroCard to enter the subway; since 2021, all NYC subways and buses can be paid for with ANY wave-enabled credit card (or Apple or Google Pay device)! No more need to decide if you should buy a weekly pass, the OMNY system will cap your payments after 12 rides in a week! Just make sure you have how you want to pay ready before entering the subway, we are still in a hurry!

Tipping is customary in restaurants and for services rendered (our Team will never complain about a tip given for good service), and it’s essential to greet others with a polite demeanor. In NYC a standard tip at a restaurant is 18-20%, if your server is exceptional you may want to tip more (this is an expensive city to live in and servers do not get a liveable base wage).

By following these tips, you’ll blend in like a seasoned New Yorker and fully immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant culture.

New York City Landmarks

Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty

It is a short 15 minute walk from the Downtown Manhattan Heliport to the ferry departure location to see the infamous Statue of Liberty.  You can purchase tickets that will take you to Liberty Island, inside the base of the statue or to visit inside Lady Liberty’s crown (these sell out months in advance). 

We are forever grateful to France for their gift in celebrating the centennial of the U.S. Independence in 1876. 

Visit the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in the morning and then take your helicopter tour for a bird’s-eye view!

Empire State Building

The Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is our most requested landmark. It was built in 1930 during the Great Depression and was the world’s first 100+ story building. In 1986, the Empire State Building was recognized as a National Historic Landmark by the National Parks Service. The ESB is known for its unique tradition of changing its tower lights to celebrate various events and causes. Go green for St. Patrick’s day!

Central Park

Central Park

Created in 1858, Central Park is one of the most visited urban parks in the United States. With amazing views everywhere you turn, Central Park became a National Historic Landscape in 1963. What other park bodes two ice skating rinks, a zoo and boat rentals to make for a great 1st date?! There are also numerous hidden gems, such as Belvedere Castle and the Obelisk to wow any visitor. In the summer, see what free concerts you could attend at the Central Park Summer Stage!

Times Square

Times Square

The history of Times Square dates back to the 1880’s. It was originally known as Long Acre Square, an ode to London’s carriage district. The famous intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue was renamed Times Square in 1904 when the Times Newspaper moved its office uptown. Times Square is the heart of Broadway and the theater district: the first TKTS booth opened in 1973 and Broadway on Times Square is stronger than ever, with shows for all ages. Up to one million people gather at Times Square every year to watch the crystal ball drop on New Year’s Eve.

One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower, is the tallest building in the United States, soaring to a symbolic 1,776 feet. Construction began in 2006 and the building officially opened in 2014 and overlooks the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. One World Trade Center functions as one of the most environmentally sustainable skyscrapers in the world. You can visit the One World Observatory for amazing views of the New York Harbor and watch helicopters fly by!

Day Trips & Excursions

Beach at the Hamptons

Plan an unforgettable trip to the Hamptons and get there in record time by booking a private helicopter charter. On your flight, you will have great views of the beaches and mansions, and once in the Hamptons, you can enjoy gourmet dining after a relaxing day of boutique shopping.

Carousel in Atlantic City

Want an unforgettable bachelorette or bachelor party? 

Take your closest friends on a 45 minute helicopter flight to Atlantic City. You will experience great entertainment, world-class casinos, amazing meals and memories to last a lifetime.

Wine bottles in Long Island

Retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city and take a short trip via helicopter to the North Fork of Long Island to explore one of New York’s wine regions. Enjoy wine tastings at the many wineries of the area, enjoy the peaceful views of the Long Island Sound, and sample the seafood available fresh from the ocean.