Top of the Rock Observation Deck
The Rockefeller Center Observatory Experience
When the Top of the Rock observation deck reopened in 2005, after a 19-year hiatus, we were among the first in line. And when we emerged out onto the three-tiered observation deck, on a cold but sparkling November morning, some 71 stories above our beloved city… well, it was, in a word, breathtaking. The prices have gone up for the Top of the Rock since then, of course, and the tourists–especially at this time of year–are ascending in droves, but still: if you have out-of-town guests this holiday season, or just want to see New York City as you’ve never seen her before, the Rockefeller Center observatory is a must.
Rockefeller Center Observatory Offers a Unique Perspective of NYC
Why does the Top of the Rock observation deck always make our Top 5 New York City “heights and sights”? Unlike the Empire State Building, the Rockefeller Center observatory, when you’re looking to the north, offers a spectacular view of Central Park, and all of those magnificent buildings marching up each side. And it’s not that we have anything against the grand old ESB–since the Twin Towers were destroyed, it’s become closer to our hearts than ever–it’s just that we prefer to enjoy this landmark from the outside, rather than from within, and the southern half of the Top of the Rock observation deck afford a peerless “eye-to-eye” perspective.
The Top of the Rock tries to give you more than just stunning vistas (in order to justify the $21 price for adults?), with a silly photo-op area, and a somewhat cheesy movie while you wait in the lobby, among other “added attractions.” The ceiling in the elevator that takes you up to the observation deck is clear, so you can watch the ascent, and that’s fun in a Great Glass Elevator kind of way. But really, the Rockefeller Center observatory is all about the view, especially from the third upper deck, 850 feet above the midtown streets, with no plexiglass between you and a thousand miles in all directions.
The Top of the Rock observation deck details
The Top of the Rock observation deck is located 71 stories above Rockefeller Center. The main entrance is located on 50th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, and it is open every day from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 midnight. For complete information, please see the Top of the Rock website, here.
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