Empire State Building. Vivacious Views. Travel Blog

Empire State Building: The Highest Open-Air Observatory in NYC

It took me 4 trips to the Big Apple but I finally got to see the sights from the highest open-air observatory deck in New York City…located 86 floors up the Empire State Building!

I feel like I’ve waited to climb to the top of the Empire State Building since the first time I watched Sleepless in Seattle!

Of course, there are plenty of movies that feature this iconic building… but I remember being a kid and watching Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan atop this gorgeous skyscraper in Manhattan and just knowing I had to go see this amazing city.

Mission Accomplished!

Empire State Building: The Highest Open-Air Observatory in NYC

Empire State Building. Entrance. Vivacious Views
Empire State Building Lobby ©VivaciousViews.com

There are 2 other floors you can observe the city views from as well.

Empire State Building. Floor Map. Vivacious Views

The Dare to Dream exhibit is on the 80th floor and is a museum dedicated to the history and construction of the Empire State Building(ESB).

There are some pretty good views out of the windows on this floor…

Empire State Building. 80th Floor. Vivacious Views
ESB 80th Floor Window Views ©VivaciousViews.com

it’s just a bit too crowded for me…

The 102nd floor is the highest point inside the Empire State building to see spectacular views…

but the best views from the Empire State Building can be found on the 86th-floor open-air deck.

On my recent trip to New York City, I headed to the Empire State Building on my last day before leaving.

…and what a gorgeous day it was to do this!

Empire State Building. One World Trade View. Vivacious Views
View of Lower Manhattan from the Empire State Building ©VivaciousViews.com

From the highest-open air observatory in New York City, you will see stunning views of Central Park, the Statue of Liberty, One World Trade, the Chrysler Building and so much more!!

Empire State Building. Chrysler Building View. Vivacious Views
Chrysler Building View ©VivaciousViews.com
Empire State Building. City Views. Vivacious Views
Flatiron District and Chelsea Views ©VivaciousViews.com
Empire State Building. Central Park View. Vivacious Views

 Central Park looks so tiny…

Empire State Building. Rockefeller Center View. Vivacious Views

If you’re afraid of heights don’t look down…

Empire State Building. City View. Vivacious Views
City Street View from 86 Stories! ©VivaciousViews.com
Empire State Building. Madison Square Garden. Vivacious Views
Madison Square Garden and Penn Station Views ©VivaciousViews.com

Have you ever looked at a Caution Sign and wondered…

Empire State Building. Caution Sign. Vivacious Views

Who was doing this for them to have to put a warning sign up?!?

I had a blast taking in the beautiful views and snapping pics around the 360-degree observation deck!!

NYC, specifically Manhattan, always puts a smile on my face…

Empire State Building. Observation Deck. Vivacious Views

but this is one memory I will never forget!!

Empire State Building. Sign. Vivacious Views

Extra Info for the Empire State Building:

350 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10118
If you decide to pay upon arrival the cost is $39 per person(during peak season).
I was sponsored by Smart Destinations on my April trip and I highly recommend getting the NYC Explorer Pass.
For $89.00 per person, you can choose 3  from a list of 80+ attractions. They do offer upgrade options on the pass as well if you’re looking to take on more than 3 attractions during your visit. We were able to skip the line and go straight to the top…definitely worth it!
Bright Lights, Big City: 
Of course, everyone knows how beautiful the lights of the Empire State Building are!
On my recent trip, the colors were blue and green for The Hawthorn Club and its Executive in Women Energy Event.
Empire State Building. Night View. Vivacious Views
ESB Night Views ©VivaciousViews.com

To check and see what colors will appear on the ESB during your visit Click Here.

Hours of Operation:
  • Open 365 Days a Year.
  • Rain or Shine.
  • 8am until 2am
  • Last Elevator at 1:15am
Here’s a little sneak peek of the elevator ride to the 80th floor of the Empire State Building:


After seeing these breath-taking views during the day I’ve added viewing the sunset from the top of the Empire State Building to the Bucket List for my 2019 NYC trip!!

So stay tuned for future Big City Adventures!!

Empire State Building. Exit. Vivacious Views

Hope You Have Fun in the Big Apple!!

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