Don't look for many freebies in New York, but one of the city's best sightseeing tours won't cost you a penny. Board the Staten Island Ferry at Battery Park (sailings every half-hour) near the southern tip of the island, and take a cruise with unforgettable views of the Statue of Liberty and the post 9-11 Manhattan skyline. When the ferry reaches the terminal on Staten Island (one of New York's bedroom communities), in about 30 minutes, you can take a harborside stroll and catch a later ferry for the return voyage.
More than perhaps any other city in the world, New York's culture is a reflection of the world around it - and Manhattan's Museum Mile, a stretch of Fifth Avenue from 72nd Street to 104th Street, is a vibrant window to that world. Start at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the vast collection includes Arts of Oceania - objects from daily life and rituals from dozens of Pacific islands.
And don't miss the modern art collection at the Guggenheim Museum just a few blocks away. More? Well, you've just scratched the surface, because there are more than 100 other world-class museums in Manhattan.
Hard to imagine going to New York without going to a Broadway show, isn't it? Take your pick from the nearly 40 theaters near Times Square, where decades of lavish musicals - Oklahoma, West Side Story, Cats - have shaped the America's cultural landscape. Broadway also has its serious side, and it extends beyond Times Square to some 50 "Off-Broadway" theaters throughout Manhattan. And while getting a ticket for a smaller production usually isn't a problem, plan well in advance (maybe months) for a Broadway smash.