When visiting New York City, we always make sure to check out at least one new viewpoint. The city is overwhelming from any altitude, but it isn’t until you rise above the tops of the buildings, that you can really appreciate its sheer scale. It had been about five years since our last visit, and so we hadn’t had a chance to check out the Summit One Vanderbilt viewpoint, which opened in 2021. But after seeing a few pictures, we knew that this would be among the first things we needed to check out.
Perfectly Situated Viewpoint in New York City – The Summit One Vanderbilt
Even if there were nothing particularly special about this viewpoint, it would still be among the best in the city. Found on the top floors of the Vanderbilt One building, which sits atop Grand Central Station, the location is about as perfect as can be. There are unmatched views of the the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building, and you have a great view of Central Park along with the skinny, ultra-expensive residential towers that line it. You can even see all the way down to the Statue of Liberty. But the Summit One Vanderbilt has much more to offer than just “the best views in NYC”, and you’ll realize why right away, after taking the elevator up to the the 73rd floor of the building.
Upon exiting the elevator, you might need to find something to hold onto, so disorientating is the vertigo. The hall is completely covered in mirrors — the walls, the ceilings, the floor. The only surfaces which aren’t mirrors are the windows, which provide an unparalleled panorama of the city. It’s an exhilarating sensory overload, and we found ourselves not knowing where to look first — and then realizing it didn’t matter, because no matter where you look you can see everything. And you can see it repeated to infinity. It takes a few moments to get used to, but once you’re over the initial shock, it’s incredible fun.
Almost as cool as the hall of mirrors, was another room filled with silver balloons, in constant movement thanks to the both the fans and the irresistible urge everyone felt to knock them about. It was a surreal scene, and had the power to turn the most cynical adults (including ourselves) into children again — excited just to knock a balloon back into the air. And then every once in awhile, you’d look out the window and remember, “Oh yeah, I’m also in one of the most amazing spots in the world.”
Overall, we spent two hours at the Summit, and took so many pictures and videos. It’s not the cheapest thing in the world, but we can highly recommend a visit — they do cap the number of people who can enter at a time, so that even when it’s crowded, it’s not overwhelming. A definite must-see in the city… especially for people just passing through, but also for locals as well.