Sat. Jan 28th, 2023

This summer, more vacationers are choosing to stay close to home, especially as fuel prices continue to rise and the cost of airline tickets goes up. New survey data from vacation rental company Vacasa shows that approximately 74 percent of visitors plan to travel within the United States and 63 percent of Americans plan to get away for a summer vacation. Nearly half of U.S. travelers plan to go somewhere on July 4,th 31 percent on Memorial Day weekend, and 25 percent on Labor Day. According to Google’s summer travel report, top places to beat the heat are New York, Orlando, and Las Vegas.

Here are two cool New York City experiences, a very stylish and practical sun hat to keep you protected outdoors, and an excellent new restaurant to try in The Big Apple.

RiseNY: The newest most fun activity is RiseNY, a first-of-its-kind attraction smack in the heart of New York City (160 West 45th Street) which combines NYC-focused museum exhibit galleries with the type of soaring ride you’d only find in a theme park.

Strapped into their seats, visitors experience the ultimate feeling of flight and soar high above New York City, 30 feet into the air. RiseNY is the city’s first-ever flight simulation ride with full motion seats that dip, turn and soar, while wind, mist and scents enhance the experience. Visitors time travel through various eras in New York, begining with a simulated subway ride which springs to life and transforms into a fully immersive theater with visual and special effects.

The first exhibit is “Manhatta,” the original name for Manhattan, attributed to the Lenape translation from “island of many hills.” The story continues with the settlement of New Amsterdam (later, New York City), whose Dutch settlers were attracted by beaver pelts (and is the reason why the beaver has appeared on flags and city seals for centuries). Visitors learn about NYC’s rise as a commerce capital of trade and finance, with one of Alexander Hamilton’s first signed checks is on display.

By the 1900s, the first elevator office buildings – just ten stories tall – sprouted in lower Manhattan. By the end of the century, the city had 12 towers which were 20 stories and more. Elisha Otis’ elevator with a brake made building skyscrapers possible, elevating NYC’s status to a vertical metropolis. Today, NYC has the largest number of supertalls of any city in the world. The southern edge of Central Park South and West 57th St has so many high posh buildings, that it’s known as Billionaire’s Row.

The radio, thanks to inventor Nikola Tesla, became a reality in the early 20th Century, and in 1922, the airwaves exploded with more than 500 radio stations. TV was next with a six-minute sketch on October 5, 1951, with Ralph Kramden (Jackie Gleason) and his wife, Alice (Audrey Meadows). The sketched moved to TV in 1955 and “The Honeymooners” became a sitcom. There is a replica of the Ed Sullivan Stage showing the Beatles’ appearance. The music exhibition includes the guitar on which Bruce Springsteen wrote Born to Run. The costume exhibition includes the Ziegfeld costume for Barbara Streisand in Funny Girl in 1968, and more recent costumes include those from The Lion King, Hamilton, Aladdin, and more. There are also film clips from present Broadway productions.

The centerpiece of RiseNY is the jaw-dropping 46-seat soaring ride in a state-of-the-art flying theater, allowing visitors of all ages a unique bird’s-eye view tour of the Big Apple. Lifted into the air, guests hang suspended, their feet dangling, as they glide over NYC’s iconic skyline and landmarks while inside a 180-degree, 40-foot projection dome featuring 8K aerial footage. The full motion seats dip, turn and soar, while wind, mist and scents enhance the experience. The experience is not to be missed. For tickets and venue hours, go to RiseNY.

Tinggly Unique Gift Experiences: If you’re looking for more adventure, consider gifting a loved one (or yourself) Tinggly, a global and sustainable experience gifting company that hopes to help people make more meaningful gifts.

Tinggly did a poll in which 90 percent of people said they would rather receive a travel experience than material goods, whether a hotel package in Europe or a jaw-dropping helicopter ride over NYC. Tinggly is the first and only global experience gifting company in the world in which the buyer, gift recipient and the actual experience can be booked anywhere. So let your fingers do the walking and find something super cool to do with Tinggly in New York City.

Stylish Sun Protection: Because the summer sun sizzles straight down the concrete canyon onto the sidewalk, it’s important to wear a hat to keep cool and protect your skin. The Wallaroo, Collection for women, men, and kids offers a stunning collection of hats. Most of them are packable, so your hat will be foldable, stuffable, and squishable. Whether you choose a fedora, cowboy hat, bonnet, or explorer type, these hats offer UPF 50+ sun protection and much needed shade. Wallaroo creates functional, fashionable, comfortable hats that are effortless to wear. And, they donate 1% of their profits to skin cancer research, education and prevention in the United States, so you’re helping a good cause.

Forget the Heat and Eat: New York City offers almost 24,000 restaurants from which to choose. One of the newest and coolest is La Grande Boucherie, an authentic French steakhouse/brasserie on 145 West 53rd Street, smack in the heart of midtown. But this resto offers much more than steak (although executive chef Hector loves his dry aged steaks).

Built in the tradition of the Belle Epoque, the 5,500 square foot dining room, bar, mezzanine, and 6,000-square foot covered outdoor plaza (which stretches the entire length of the block from 53rd to 54th Street), resembles a traditional Parisian walkway. Chef Hector (originally from Miami) features both classic and modern French starters such as fois gras and escargots, followed by such specialties as an endless variety of steaks, a whole suckling pig, duck, and the new spring dish, Striped Bass covered with delicious vegetables in a coulis.

La Grande Boucherie serves wine sourced from France by the glass or bottle (from $64 to $900 for a Chevalier Montrachet) as well as seasonal cocktails, French liqueurs and cordials. And the ideal way to end a perfect day in New York City? A chocolate tart which Chef Hector describes, “picture a fancy Rolo candy.” Except his tarte, a deliciousness of caramel and chocolate is one thousand times better. Bon Appétit!

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