Check Out New York - By: Cara Brownethorpe

New York is a vibrant place with so much to do. Flights are usually direct from London to JFK or Newark and are less than eight hours. It's hottest in July but sunniest in June.

New York|The Big Apple} is not lacking sight-seeing opportunities. The Empire State Building is known as The Cathedral of the Skies and is the famous skyscraper towering on the cities sky line. It has appeared on the silver screen in such blockbusters as King Kong and Sleepless in Seattle. No visit to metropolis would be complete without a visit to the top to check out the great views. Opened in 1931, it stands 1,453 feet high and draws in 3.6 million people to its observatories every year!

The Statue of Liberty is America's symbolic representation for freedom - an icon for the immigrant. It stands 151 feet above New York Harbor. From 1886, ferries have been taking people to her feet on Liberty Island. You can rise the 354 step narrow spiral staircase inside of the Statue, but get there early to steer clear of the queues or else you may face a 3-hour ascent!

Ellis Island at the mouth of the Hudson River is also inextricably linked to immigration. The island has mostly been made from land fill. It re-opened in 1990, saving the reminiscences and history of more than 100 million Americans. Between 1892 and 1954, 12 million immigrants moved into the country from the island, welcomed by the Statue of Liberty on neighbouring Liberty Island.

The Ellis Island Immigrant Museum demonstrates to visitors what going to America was all about through the mediums of film, photographs, archives and recordings. A highlight is The Immigrant Wall of Honor - a spherical monument incorporating 200,000 names commemorated by their ancestors.

Only prosperous immigrants were awarded automatic access into the U . S .. The others faced a physical examination. Immigrants who were authorised spent about three to five hours at Ellis Island. More than 3000 people perished on the island while being held in the hospital facilities. Those turned down for admission to the States were refused due to health, criminal background or insanity.

Central Park is a great oasis offering retreat from city life. Many choose to walk along the mall, ride in a carriage or even row on the lake. Also favorite is the kid's zoo. The recreation area is nice at any time of the year. In summer it's good for relaxing in the sun but in the fall the autumn leaves look breathtaking. The winter season is also a good time to visit as frost and snowfall turn the park into a winter wonderland.

New York features fabulous shopping opportunities including Bloomingdales's, Macy's and Saks 5th Avenue.

New York is a wonderful city to discover so why not visit this holiday season.

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