1 New York

PopulationMetro: 20,031,443
True York City wants to show you some new sights.

Everybody knows New York. Full of hustle and heart, dreamers and doers—the never-settlers. And almost everyone’s been to New York: nearly 63 million visitors came in 2017—a new record, which averages out to more than 1.2 million humans in the city every single week of the year in addition to residents (to give you a sense of the enormity).

But NYC & Company, the city’s destination marketing organization, wants you back. You, who feast on beauty and buzz and seek out the train less traveled. You, who contribute to tourism’s staggering $64.3 billion impact on the local economy. New York’s new marketing wants you to know that there’s so much more to know of New York. And so much more to love.

New York ranks #1 in the country in our Neighborhoods & Landmarks subcategory, and this metric is key to the new campaign. Famous Original New York and #TrueYorkCity are invitations to discover the worlds of the boroughs that orbit the Manhattan sun. Brooklyn, but not just Williamsburg and Dumbo. And Downtown Brooklyn, home to brownstones and towers, as well as the Brooklyn Cultural District and the Brooklyn Academy of Music—a complex that helps the city top the nation in our Culture subcategory.

CITY PERFORMACE
Place
Place 100
Product
Product 98
Programming
Programming 100
People
People 78
Prosperity
Prosperity 100
Promotion
Promotion 100

Then there’s Queens—Jackson Heights to Astoria, Flushing to Long Island City—an increasingly important part of the city’s #1 Culinary ranking for dining domination (along with the usual metrics of Michelin stars).

Even the visual perspective on the city has shifted. On the Famous Original website, photography is less iconic and more everyday—less of the city as legend and more as an environment for its people. Or as Fred Dixon of NYC & Company puts it, “New York City isn’t a collection of movie sets and chain stores. The biggest threat our industry faces is homogenization.”

Mobility is a way to experience the city as local. The expanded NYC Ferry service quite possibly serves up the most NYC for the money (usually no more than the price of a subway ticket). You can get on in Williamsburg and be on the Dumbo waterfront 15 minutes later, having seen the underside of the Williamsburg Bridge from the open air deck. From there, it’s the Financial District and beyond!

Empire Fulton Ferry Park State Park

There will soon be better ways to arrive into the city as well: $10 billion is going into Kennedy Airport’s terminals, highways and transit connections, while $2.4 billion is being poured into a very tired Newark, all of which bodes well for the city’s #3 ranking for Airport Connectivity.

And there is new life in the night. New York has appointed a Night Mayor, a new position that recognizes the importance—culturally and economically—of nightlife, a category for which NYC ranks #1 as well.

Ariel Palitz, a longtime bar owner today charged with maintaining the delicate balance between the collective desire for good times with the need to be a good neighbor. She has a $130,000 salary, a 12-member advisory board and a $300,000 budget to manage. First order of business: listening to the people on both sides of the party.

Central Park

A little fresh air after a night out? Urban New York is home to 10,542 acres of forest, and the city amazingly ranks #3 for Parks & Outdoor Activities in the country. Yes, there’s Central Park and the High Line, which has unlocked billion of dollars of real estate and tourism value along its path and at its Hudson Yards terminus. But there’s also Governor’s Island, an undersung 172-acre island in New York Harbor that’s a unique mix of historic military buildings, innovative recreational landscaping and, soon, new and adaptive real estate. In Brooklyn, the designers of the High Line have created a six-acre waterfront public park near the iconic Domino Sugar Factory, making both city history and the East River integral parts of the Williamsburg landscape.

The more things change, the more money remains the same; the city is still ranked first for Fortune 500 companies in the U.S. But as Verizon and JP Morgan Chase go about their merrily profitable ways, Google bought the Chelsea Market across from its NYC HQ for $2.4 billion, emphasizing the city’s status as Silicon Valley East. Still in the running for Amazon HQ2, you can see New York moving on from a rejection quicker than almost any other city.

If you’re lucky enough to visit, camera in hand, you get bragging rights of the very best kind. Which is why New York, with its hustle and heart, continues to top our Promotion category that includes Facebook Check-ins, TripAdvisor Reviews and Instagram hashtags. Because no matter how often we visit, we can never get enough of America’s Best City.