A visit to New York is nothing without heading up to the top of one of the city’s much-loved skyscrapers. Viewing the cityscape from up high – from one of its observation decks – is a must-do and thrilling experience.
Traditionalists might opt for the Empire State Building – the oldest of the five official observation decks in the city, while the Top of the Rock (in the Rockefeller Centre) in Midtown may not be the highest of the lot, but it does have one of the best views of Central Park (plus an outdoor deck with no glass walls). One of the highest is at One World Observatory – the deck found at the One World Trade Centre, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, while at Summit One Vanderbilt, you can also enjoy an immersive art installation.
Taking the viewing experience to a whole new level, however, is Edge – one of the newest additions to Manhattan’s viewing platforms with one of the most architecturally ambitious designs. Found on the 100th floor of 30 Hudson Yards, Edge is the largest and highest outdoor sky deck in the Western Hemisphere at 1,131 feet. Its triangle-shaped deck which sticks out from the side of the tower in perilous fashion, is a feat of engineering wizadry.
On your way up, you can settle any nerves by making a pitstop at the Champagne Bar, found on the 100th floor, or by soaking up the floral drama of this summer’s fragrance-infused pop-up – Sky Bloom. Created by the renowned floral artist Ivie Joy in collaboration with Viktor&Rolf’s Flowerbomb Ruby Orchid fragrance, the immersive floral display is a cheery, multisensory experience. Designed to bring the heady perfume to life, an indoor sky deck has been bedecked with over 100,000 blooms of multi-coloured flowers – from roses to ranunculus – with a backdrop that is the city laid out before you (be quick, it finishes on 30 September 2023).
When you finally reach the 101st floor, Edge gives the 360-degree views of the iconic NYC skyline that you have been waiting for (what’s more, the lift that takes you up has special digital walls showing New York in all its glory, which simply adds to the anticipation). Its unique design of angled glass walls and a partial glass floor – not for the fainthearted – makes you feel like are being suspended in mid-air. From viewing the streets below to feeling like you can touch the clouds in front of you, it’s a heart-racing experience, with visitors invited to walk across the glass floor and lean out over the city in immersive fashion.
From Central Park – which from this height looks like a postage stamp – to New Jersey in the distance, all of New York’s quarters and attractions can be spotted, including the Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge and the High Line.
For those not worried by acrophopbia, you can also take your experience further with City Climb – the world’s highest open-air building climbing activity, which allows visitors to hang over the edge at a height of 1,200 feet. Safety harness on, the adrenaline-pumping climb enables you to lean out over the building, and climb the vertical stairs, with the skyline below you.
Adversely, for those wanting to find their zen there’s a more calming option of Sky High Yoga at Edge. In partnership with luxury fitness club Equinox, you can book an outdoor 45-minure yoga class on the sky deck, which takes place on Wednesday mornings at 6.30am. The perfect place for sun salutations as the sun rises.
Situated at Hudson Yards, one of the city’s newest developments, a visit to Edge also means you can explore this quarter of the city. Hudson Yards itself has its own shopping mall and selection of restaurants, including Russ & Daughters and Fuku, a fried chicken dining spot from chef David Chang’s famous Momofuku. From here, you can also access the High Line – another ‘high point’ in exploring the city.
Furthermore, for those wanting to make the most of their visit to the Big Apple, and explore further afield, the New York CityPASS gives you 40% discount on five top NYC attractions, including the 9/11 Memorial, the Guggenheim Museum and the Ferry to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.