Here’s a Super Bowl bet we’re willing to take: If you’re staying in New York for the week leading up to the big game, you’re going to spend a total of one hour in your hotel room per day. That’s it.
That’s because there’s just too much to see and do in the area. Here’s a breakdown of some of the sights you might want to pencil into your itinerary before the Broncos and Seahawks kick off:
Central Park: No trip to New York City is complete without walking around the 2.5-mile long, 0.5 mile wide park that has something for everybody – a zoo (at 64th St. and 5th Ave.), art (Bethesda Fountain at 72nd St.),roads to bike and run on, woods and water. Though temperatures may drop and – despite what the NFL probably wants – potential snow, it’s worth it to bundle up and explore. Hey, it’s good training for the elements you’ll deal with at MetLife Stadium.
Statue of Liberty: You’ve heard “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…” seen movies shoot Lady Liberty from all angles and even seen her walk in “Ghostbusters II.” But there’s nothing like seeing the statue in person. The catch – you need to get on a ferry to get there and back. Check out Statue Cruises’ website for fees and schedules (http://www.statuecruises.com/schedule.aspx).
Times Square: Normally, we might tell you to steer clear given the crush of humanity that will descend on one of New York City’s most popular spots and all its glittering lights and billboards. But from 34th to 47th street, it’s the home of Super Bowl Boulevard, which will have concerts, activities, a chance to take a photo with the Lombardi Trophy and one very-hyped toboggan run.
Empire State Building: You can actually buy your tickets online [http://www.esbnyc.com/buy_tickets.asp] beforehand to save time. There might be increased wait times with the number of visitors in the area, so be prepared if you want to see one of the city’s most spectacular views.
Museum Mile: One stretch of 5th Avenue is filled with some of the world’s most famous spaces for art, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. You could spend hours in the area and still not see all the incredible relics, paintings, sculptures, photographs and videos they have to offer.
Museum of Modern Art: MoMA, as it’s known to locals, is actually catering to the Super Bowl coming to town with an exhibit of football cards including one of Knute Rockne.
Museum of Natural History: You don’t need to be a little kid to marvel at dinosaur skeletons, dioramas, or an enormous 94 foot-long fiberglass blue whale.
Brooklyn Bridge: Again, we know the weather might keep visitors from enjoying anything that requires walking outside. But a trek across the bridge from Manhattan is worth it for the view and the experience…not to mention the dining options waiting for you in Brooklyn.
High Line: The park built on a rail line above the west side of Manhattan is an achievement to behold.
Bryant Park: During the winter months, it’s transformed in to an ice rink for skating. But there will also be a Super Bowl event called PepCity under a 10,000-square foot dome that’s open to the public and worth checking out between Jan. 29 and Feb. 1.
Greenwich Village: Funky boutiques, jazz clubs, experimental art, food and bars galore. Day or night, “the Village” is perfect for a long walk. One tip: Once you’re down there, don’t worry about getting lost. You never know what you’ll find on an out-of-the-way street you didn’t intend on visiting. Only use your cell phone’s GPS to get back when you’re done.
9/11 Memorial: Make sure to reserve a pass in advance [http://www.911memorial.org/visitor-passes] to visit the reconstructed plaza that features twin reflecting pools and a moving tribute.