From the tallest skyscraper to the depths of the subway, every square inch of Manhattan is occupied by something inspiring or even just strangely fascinating. While it would take extreme dedication and countless hours to see every site in Manhattan, even a weekend spent touring just a few, noteworthy spots on this vibrant island will be a fruitful pursuit.  This Manhattan guide can be a starting point to the beginning of a love affair with this great city.

Although some theatergoers will be drawn in by the bright lights of Times Square, keep heading north, right to the Delacorte Theater. Shakespeare in the Park, which celebrates its 50th anniversary and features The Bard’s plays as well as the works by other playwrights, offers one of the best deals in Manhattan: the plays are free and they’re performed outside. One can take advantage of some of the city’s coveted outdoor space and leave with Shakespeare’s pithy quips or Sondheim’s catchy lyrics stuck in the mind for days.

Another way to spend a few entertaining hours outdoors is to take a Circle Line tour around the island of Manhattan (or half-way around, for those with only two hours to spare). From Dutch settlers to Donald Trump, the Circle Line tour provides a detailed history of how Manhattan grew from a fur-trading settlement into what many people assert is the center of the universe. An afternoon spent circumnavigating the island, one of the best things to do in Manhattan, will renew one’s passion for this city.

With more than 60 museums in Manhattan, visiting just one would be a travesty. A stand-out any guide to Manhattan museums, the Frick Collection is housed in a stunning mansion on the Upper East Side. This must-see spot houses a diverse array of European artwork and sculpture as well as rugs, furniture, and porcelain.

North, south, east, and west, everyone knows Manhattan is best.

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