NileGuide Expert Says:
For views that rival the Empire State Building's famous 86th-floor observatory, head to Top of the Rock, which boasts a more spacious observation deck and equally stunning views (from a slightly lower height).
47th to 51st streets
Btwn 48th and 50th sts., from Fifth to Sixth aves
New York City, NY 10112
tel: +1 212 332 6868 / +1 212 632 3975
NileGuide Expert tip:
The Rink at Rockefeller Center, a small but picturesque skating rink, is open from mid-October to mid-March.
A major commercial center covering 22 acres between 48th and 51st Streets and 5th and 7th Avenues in Midtown Manhattan, Rockefeller Center is one of the city's foremost shopping and entertainment destinations. Oil billionaire and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr. leased the site from Columbia University in 1929 with plans to build a new home for the Metropolitan Opera. After the stock market crash of that year, plans were changed. Now, 19 buildings constructed in the Art Deco style house shops, restaurants, and offices, along with Radio City Music Hall.
The centerpiece of Rockefeller Center is the 70-floor, 872-foot GE Building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza (aka "30 Rock") - formerly known as the RCA Building - centered behind the complex's sunken plaza. The building is the headquarters of NBC and houses most of the network's New York studios, including the legendary Studio 8H, home of Saturday Night Live. The windows of the studio where NBC's Today Show is filmed are usually mobbed by crowd jostling for a look of the show's hosts and guests. Tours of the NBC studios are also available, and many visitors choose to wait in line for tickets to one of the many shows taped in the building.