Top of the Rock

DESTINATIONS midtown west top-of-the-rock

POINTS OF INTEREST

Top of the Rock

Rockefeller Center's multifloor observation deck, the Top of the Rock, on the 69th and 70th floors of the building, provides views that rival those from the Empire State Building (some would say they're even better because the views include the Empire State Building). Arriving just before sunset affords a view of the city that morphs before your eyes into a dazzling wash of colors, with a bird's-eye view of the tops of the Empire State Building, the Citicorp Building, and the Chrysler Building, and sweeping views northward to Central Park and south to the Statue of Liberty. Timed-entry ticketing eliminates long lines. Indoor exhibits include films of Rockefeller Center's history and a model of the building. Glass elevators lift you to the 67th-floor interior viewing area, and then an escalator leads to the outdoor deck on the 69th floor for sightseeing through nonreflective glass safety panels. Then, take another elevator or stairs to the 70th floor for a 360-degree outdoor panorama of New York City on a deck that is only 20 feet wide and nearly 200 feet long. Especially interesting is a Plexiglas screen on the floor with footage showing Rock Center construction workers dangling on beams high above the streets; the brave can even "walk" across a beam to get a sense of what it might have been like to erect this skyscraper. A Sun & Stars ticket ($47) allows you to visit twice and see the city as it rises and sets in the same day.

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