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See New York's Sights Beyond Times Square

When in New York, visitors often fill their cameras with pictures from Times Square’s main intersection, but there are many other parts of the city that are just as photogenic. With the stubborn gray skies finally opening up -- and with more hotels discounting spring and summer dates -- now’s the time to grab an extra roll of film and head to some other postcard-inspiring places:

The Empire State Building leans up and over Mé Bar in Midtown. Fourteen stories high, the intimate patio has a full bar and a book of delivery menus from the surrounding Koreatown restaurants. It is a simple, convivial place free of pretense and full of skyline, which pours in over worn picket fences.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the few buildings allowed inside Central Park’s leafy borders, and its rooftop café and garden takes full advantage of this prime real estate. Opening for the season in May, the Cantor Roof Garden is a perfect place to grab cocktails and watch the sun settle through the grand pre-war towers of Central Park West. The roof also often hosts site-specific sculpture installations from artists such as Jeff Koons and Andy Goldsworthy.

Teetering on the western edge of Manhattan, the Ink48 hotel’s rooftop Press Lounge offers a dizzying panorama. Low glass barricades negligibly separate the trendy crowd from the Hudson River and New Jersey cliffs to the west and the electric skyscrapers of Times Square to the east. Drinks, snacks, sofas and a shallow pool encourage sightseers to stay a while.

On the opposite side of Manhattan, the Roosevelt Island Aerial Tram hoists riders over the East River on a journey that includes spectacular views of the Queensboro Bridge and east side buildings such as the United Nations. The tram touches down on Roosevelt Island, a wisp of land in the middle of the river with scenic promenades and a lighthouse park.

When Ikea opened in the Red Hook area of Brooklyn, it chartered a water taxi to help shoppers reach its far-flung new digs. Departing from Lower Manhattan and free on weekends, the little boat zips across New York Harbor, passing picturesque places such as the South Street Seaport, Brooklyn Bridge, Governors Island and Brooklyn Heights.

Start enjoying the views as early as possible: sit on the “A” side of an arriving flight and you’ll most likely get to watch the city float up to meet you. Sit on the “F” side of the plane when fleeing, and you’ll most likely get to watch the city drift away.

Head over to Travelzoo's U.S. site for some stellar New York City hotel deals. Note: Rates will be quoted in U.S. dollars.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, New York
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
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Ryan Haase