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A Visitors Guide to
Rockefeller Center NYC
Rockefeller Center Sights, Buildings, Tours, & Art
Rockefeller Center is
located in Midtown Manhattan, from 5th to 6th Avenue
between 48th and 51st Streets. It consists of 19
art deco buildings housing offices, shops and
restaurants, yet it is also a cultural center with art
and leisure activities. Construction of the Center
dates back to the 1930's and today reflects both the
history of its origin and the modernism of the 21st
century. Whether you spend a couple hours or a
full day at the Center, it is a “must-see” when visiting
Perhaps the most famous
building at Rockefeller Center is the GE Building,
also known as "30 Rock", which is home to
NBC Studios, the oldest tenant of the complex.
Just outside 30 Rock is the Lower Plaza, where you'll
see the ice skating and grandest Christmas tree in
winter and the Today Show's plaza concerts in summer.
There is always a bevy of activity in the Plaza,
including some fabulous art exhibitions. The
Channel Gardens is a serene pedestrian area
connecting the Plaza to 5th Avenue. It is aptly
named as it runs between the British Empire and La
Maison Francaise buildings.
If you'd like to do some shopping or get a bite
to eat, check out the
Concourse, which is an "underground city" connecting all of the Rockefeller
Center buildings and seven subway lines. Here you'll find over 100 stores
and 40 restaurants.
Near the northeast corner of the Center is
Radio City Music Hall, the largest indoor theater in the world hosting
concerts and other stage shows, including the legendary Rockettes who put on
their Christmas Spectacular each season.
In and around the buildings of Rockefeller
Center you'll see beautiful building details and artwork. The
Prometheus Statue, the best known at the Center, is located near above the
Wisdom is a panel sculpture found at the main entrance to 30 Rock. The
Atlas is found at the International Building at the southeast corner of the
Center. In the Grand Lounge at Radio City Music Hall, you'll see the
Dancing Figure sculpture. The list of artwork at Rockefeller Center is
endless. For the real art enthusiasts, you can
purchase a book to help guide you through the Center.
As you can imagine, there's a lot to see and a
lot of ground to cover when visiting Rockefeller Center. A guided tour
will help you out.
You'll definitely want to to check out
Top of the Rock where, from the top of the 30 Rock building, you'll get a
panoramic view of the New York skyline, Central Park and the Empire State
Building. After seeing an educational exhibit of photos & artifacts and a
short video, you'll be on your way to the 70th floor, which is an open-air deck
allowing for a 360° view of the city. Alternatively, the observation deck
on the 69th floor has glass windshields all around and the 67th floor is
covered. This tour can be upgraded to add a 75-minute tour of Rockefeller
Center, led by an historian guide.
Another tour you're sure to enjoy is the
NBC Studios Tour. You'll go backstage at the studios of the NBC
Nightly News, Dateline, NBC Sports and/or Saturday Night Live. Which
studios you see is dependent upon which are not being used at the time of the
tour. All tours include the NBC History Theater. Before or after the
tour, you can check out the NBC Experience Store for some extra fun and a
Perhaps you would prefer the
Radio City Music Hall Tour, where you'll spend an hour behind the scenes,
admiring the art deco interiors, learning more about preparations for events and
meeting a Rockette.
If you plan to do a lot of sightseeing while in
New York, you'll want to consider purchasing the
New York CityPass. For one price, you get access to many of New York's
top sights and attractions, including the tours we've mentioned above.
Make a Day Of It
There's so much to see and do in this 22-acre
complex; here we've given you just a brief overview. Plan your time here
wisely so you can see as much as possible - maybe even set your alarm clock
extra early. First thing in the morning, you can check out the sunrise
from Top of the Rock, then pick up a pastry and espresso drink from
before you head to the Plaza to see if you can get a glimpse of the Today Show
crew. Plan a self-guided tour from building to building and pick your
favorite sculptures. Stop for lunch and perhaps do a little shopping.
Take a guided tour. Attend a taping of the Jimmy Fallon show or Saturday
Night Live. People watch. Have a special dinner at the
Sea Grill. It's all up to you, but to accomplish all would like, you
may have to return for a second day!
Check out our selection of
Hotels near Rockefeller Center.