One World Observatory, perched atop the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, is one New York City’s biggest new attractions in more ways than one. The 1,776-foot-tall skyscraper gives you a perspective you can’t find anywhere else, and a lot more. Here are some of the coolest things you’ll see there.
1. Six Hundred Years in 47 Seconds
The 47-second ride to the top of One WTC is a fun, illuminating experience all its own—it features a time-lapse animation capturing more than 600 years of changes in the New York City skyline, ending with the skyscraper itself being built around you before you exit on the 102nd floor. Only one building stays the same from when it’s built to the present day. Our tour guide told us not to tell you which, but see if you can guess.
2. The Big Reveal
When you reach the top floor, your intro video ends with the screen rolling away to show One World Observatory’s incredible view of the City skyline.
3. New York City From Every Angle
The observatory goes all the way around, for a true 360-degree view—so, as our tour guide pointed out, you can see the sunset on one side and NYC turning on its lights on the other if you come at the right time.
4. A Meal with a View
You’d be hard pressed to find a cooler backdrop for dining experiences than the ones provided by One World Trade Center’s restaurants. One Dine, on the 101st floor, serves seasonal dishes and features its own brand of wine. The views will definitely earn you some points on a special occasion. (Reserve your table in advance.) For a more casual meal, One Mix seats walk-ins and serves small plates and cocktails. Finally, One Cafe is a great place to go for a snack; their baked goods, soups and sandwiches will help make sure you stay fueled for the rest of your sightseeing.
5. The Tallest Bar in the Western Hemisphere
Considering One WTC is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, it should come as no surprise that its bar, One Mix, is the topmost attraction at which to tipple in this half of the globe.
6. The Global Welcome Center
A big screen here shows where every One World Observatory visitor is arriving from, along with weekly stats in real time.
This introductory video features testimonials from the people who built One WTC, including fearless construction workers who enjoyed sitting on beams 1,000 feet in the air. This seems like as good a place as any to note that you can stay in One World Observatory and explore as long as you want to, though the average visit is around an hour.
When you enter, you’ll travel through a passage designed to evoke the solid granite on which One WTC is built.
9. “City Pulse” Tour Guides
You’ll want to meet their Skyline Concierges. These New York City insiders will connect you with NYC’s landmarks and bring you deeper into City’s neighborhoods, history and culture.
Even though it’s a simulation, you may need a dare to step onto this 14-foot wide circular glass disc that delivers an unforgettable perspective, using real-time, high-definition footage of the streets 100 stories below.
11. One World Explorer
For an additional $15, you can borrow multilingual augmented-reality tablets that highlight important landmarks that you won’t want to miss. (Available in eight languages.)
12. Everything, from 1,250 Feet in the Air
All in all, the point is to see the City from a perspective unlike any other. You’re unlikely to be disappointed.