You Haven’t Truly Seen NYC Until You’ve Seen it From SUMMIT One Vanderbilt

As a born and bred New Yorker, I fancy myself somewhat of a city expert. I know all the best hole-in-the-wall pizza joints, can navigate the subway with my eyes closed, and have even mastered the fine art of jaywalking while texting. But despite thinking I had seen it all, a recent visit to SUMMIT One Vanderbilt showed me just how little of this larger-than-life city I had actually experienced.

Reaching New Heights

Located at the top of the newly built One Vanderbilt skyscraper next to Grand Central Terminal, SUMMIT is an “immersive art experience” that lets you see New York from vantage points so high up, you’ll feel closer to the airplane traffic than the street hassle below.

The adventure begins with a wild elevator ride rocketing you up 91 floors, made slightly unnerving by the mirrored walls reflecting your stunned expression back at you. As the doors open, you’re immediately confronted with more mirrors comprising the first exhibit space called “Air” – an appropriately dizzying name for a room that seems to extend the Manhattan skyline into an infinite horizon line.

Dizzying Heights

If simply seeing the city wasn’t already vertigo-inducing enough, the next installation asks you to quite literally step out over the streets on two enclosed glass ledges suspended a heart-pounding 1,063 feet in the air. As someone with a moderate fear of heights, I’ll admit I may have whimpered slightly as I inched out onto the “Levitation” platform. But the 360-degree views stretching out to the rivers on either side of the island were more than worth the sweaty palms and rubbery knees.

The Best Views in the City

From there, you’ll meander through more mind-bending artwork before arriving at the crown jewel – an outdoor observation deck on the 93rd floor with completely unobstructed views in every direction. On a clear day, you can see for miles into New Jersey, Connecticut, and even Pennsylvania. It’s simply breathtaking.

When to Visit

The entire experience lasts around 1.5-2 hours and costs $39 for advanced tickets ($49 at the door), which is an absolute steal considering you’re essentially treated to a multimillion-dollar art installation with the most insane skyline views this side of the stratosphere.

My humble advice? Go at sunset. Not only will you save a few bucks on the nighttime rate, but watching the sun dip behind the skyline while sipping a cocktail from the 93rd-floor bar is a quintessential NYC experience that will make you feel #blessed to call this wild, wonderful city home (if even just for a short visit).

A NYC Bucket List Must

Whether you’re a tried-and-true New Yorker or just living vicariously through your IG feed, a trip up to SUMMIT One Vanderbilt is the ultimate New York bucket list item. The views are so crazy, that you may even forget to take a selfie – though let’s be honest, we all know that’s not really possible.

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