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I visited two US states in one holiday

by Staff

YOU can get a decent view of the Empire State Building from nearly anywhere in Manhattan.

But the best comes from hanging off the 104th floor of the skyscraper 30 Hudson Yards.

Watch the sunrise from The Edge observation deck at Hudson Yards in New York CityCredit: Getty

It might be one and a half miles away as the crow flies, but it almost felt like I could have reached out and touched the landmark.

The terrifying City Climb experience gives the brave an opportunity to scale the outside of the building.

Once harnessed up, daredevils can lean out over the city, and take in all the sights — such as the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, One World Trade Center and Central Park.

It is no surprise the climb has been labelled extreme as a skydive or bungee jump — but worth every fear-filled minute.

Visitors can also get access to the city’s newest viewing platform, Edge.

It is the highest in the Western hemisphere and, due to its clever design, means guests get 360-degree skyline views. For $38 (£31) per person, it’s a must.

With the addition of the climb, it’s $185 (£147).

And there is plenty more to do in the Big Apple.

Thanks to our New York CityPass, we got to tick a lot off our bucket list.

For just $129 (£103) per adult and $109 (£87) for kids, visit five of the city’s top attractions, including the Empire State Building and the American Museum of Natural History, and ferry access to the Statue of Liberty.

Lesser-known Florida city set to be big in 2024 that’s just 30 minutes from South Beach and has a huge draw

We used ours to see another popular viewing platform — Top Of The Rock, located in the Rockefeller Center.

Offering three levels of observation decks right in the centre of Midtown, it is a great spot.

From one tourist to another, this might be my favourite view of Central Park.

But if there is one thing you have to see during your time in Manhattan, it’s a basketball game.

Tickets start at just $20 (£16), so it is really affordable and, according to the New Yorker sitting behind us, it is the only way to truly experience the Big Apple and New Yorkers.

He was right. As the Brooklyn Nets and the Knicks battled it out, we couldn’t help but check out the excitable locals around us.

The only way I can accurately describe it is a sporting event run by the circus.

With cheerleaders, dancers and various live interactions with fans, it’s (fun) chaos.

I also recommend trying to see a game, like we did, at the Barclays Centre in the heart of Brooklyn.

With the clash finishing before 10pm, it gave us the perfect chance to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.

By walking in the opposite direction at night, you get an unforgettable view of the illuminated city.

There is lots to do in New York and a CityPass is highly recommendedCredit: Getty

As we headed back into the bustling city, it was hard to imagine that just two days before, we had been sitting wrapped up in blankets, next to a still freshwater lake, toasting s’mores — the chocolate and marsh­mallow creations many Americans love.

With white sand beaches, thriving towns and a shed load of history, Rhode Island has something for everyone.

And three hours from New York’s Pennsylvania Station, or one and a half from Boston, it is an ideal addition to any city break.

It might be America’s smallest state, but there is plenty to do. And the best way to start your visit is with a helicopter ride over South County.

Get a unique view of the three neighbouring states, Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts with Heliblock — which offers a ten-minute tour for $69 (£55), known as the Watch Hill Experience.

Plus, you will get a closer look at Taylor Swift and Mark Zuckerberg’s “cottages” – and let’s just say, that’s not an accurate description for either.

Back on solid ground, head to Westerley. This waterfront town is perfect for those wanting a rural retreat.

It might have been off-season when we visited in November, but there was still a noticeable buzz. And with warmer days common at that time of year, beach walks and wilderness trails remain available.

If you are looking to splash out, head to the Weekapaug Inn, which offers all the above on a small-group basis.

I would say Rhode Island is one of America’s best-kept secrets, but with all it has to offer, I’m not sure it will be for long

The 5H venue has private grounds and most of its 33 guest rooms look over the saltwater lake.

Plus, its wilderness guide Teddy is more than happy to pull out one of the Jeeps for an off-road experience.

On ours, we were lucky enough to spot a pair of bald eagles exploring the shoreline. While in the area, visit Matunuck Oyster Bar. The chefs are amazing and have come up with various tasty takes on the classic dish.

Best-kept secrets

For someone that doesn’t love the delicacy, I would highly recommend the bourbon-topped oysters. The warm mix of whiskey, garlic and butter is delicious.

Our next stop was the bustling coastal town of Newport. A mecca for boats, its local Sailing Museum is worth a visit.

For a novel way to explore the coastline, take the pedal-powered Rail Explorers on the Old Colony Railroad. Prices start at $45 (£36) for a tandem car, and anyone can — their oldest guest was a 93-year-old gran.

But you can’t stop in Newport without a quick trip to The Breakers, a mansion that is the former home of the Vanderbilt family.

Fans of Sky’s period drama The Gilded Age may even recognise a room where the series was filmed.

The property is full of the original furniture and decorations from when the family lived there in the 1800s.

I would say Rhode Island is one of America’s best-kept secrets, but with all it has to offer, I’m not sure it will be for long.

Take the pedal-powered Rail Explorers on the Old Colony Railroad in NewportCredit: Supplied
Ocean House in Watch Hill boast simpressive views over the AtlanticCredit: Chip Riegel
The Breakers mansion in Rhode Island is featured in Sky drama The Gilded AgeCredit: Supplied

GO: NY & Rhode Island

GETTING THERE: JetBlue flies from Gatwick and Heathrow to New York from £395 return in Core Economy including a 23kg bag.

Business return fares from £1,745. See

STAYING THERE: Moxy Lower East Side in New York has rooms from £182 per night.

See Weekapaug Inn rooms from £304 per night. See


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