Explore New York City

Ask the Expert: Hard Rock Hotel

"Ride the subway, get a 7-day pass for the metro, have your walking shoes and plan reservations in advance. If the train is packed and you see an empty subway car—avoid it at all costs." - Renaldo Moore

Expert Tips From a Concierge Expert

Nobody knows a city like the local concierge team. With the inside track on all the best places to dine, shows to see, and things to do, they’re a wealth of knowledge for all travelers. We talk with a top local hotel concierge in New York City to get the inside scoop on all their expert tips.

Renaldo Moore, Hard Rock Hotel New York

WT: Why do you refer your guests to WHERE Traveler®, and what makes WhereTraveler an essential resource for you? 
Moore: Each issue is customized to the personal preference of our guests. I think people realize that there is something for everyone in WHERE Traveler®. I find that the magazine is well organized, and the articles are always very informative. All the information is clearly displayed, and this helps travelers plan their trips in NYC. 

Empire State Building New York | WHERE Traveler®
Empire State Building (©Jan Weber)

WT: What are your best tips for exploring NYC like a local? 
Moore: Ride the New York City subway; the city was designed like a grid, so it’s nearly impossible to get lost! If you get lost, ask for help. New Yorkers are nice. Do comprehensive research before your trip. Attractions in the city are always changing, as are entry times and ticket prices. You don’t want to show up and find that you can’t visit a place you planned on spending a solid few hours!

WT: What should be on every visitor’s “bucket list” when visiting? 
Moore: Experience New York City’s iconic skyline from above! Helicopter sightseeing tours provide you with a magnificent bird’s eye view of Manhattan and the surrounding area in comfort and style. Marvel at the splendid architecture of the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building and more as you travel down the Hudson River to New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty

Radio City Music Hall New York | WHERE Traveler®
Radio City Music Hall (©Florian Schneider)

WT: What’s an excellent spot to capture a great selfie? 
Moore: There are few places quite like Rockefeller Center when it comes to classic New York buildings. Rockefeller Center offers plenty of great spots to take pictures at any time of year. Head up to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck for incredible views of Central Park and Midtown, or pose outside the famous Radio City Music Hall, located right next door. 

WT: What is the best suggestion you can give a first-time visitor? 
Moore: Take the time to explore more than just Manhattan. When you think of NYC, you probably think of Manhattan. Well, guess what—NYC is way more than just Manhattan! Be sure to leave Manhattan and take the time to explore the other boroughs on your NYC itinerary as well. Check out Staten Island, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens if you can. It’s well worth it and will give you a better idea of the city’s culture. Plus, the other boroughs aren’t as touristy as Manhattan, so you might even bump into some locals while you’re out exploring. 

New York Subway | WHERE Traveler®
New York Subway (©Adi Goldstein)

WT: Where’s the best place to take kids of all ages? 
Moore: I recommend the Intrepid, Sea, Air & Space Museum. Aircraft carrier docked on the Hudson River with US space shuttle Enterprise currently on display. I also recommend the American Museum of Natural History. One of the world’s preeminent scientific and cultural institutions, filled with wonderful exhibits, nature film experiences and a planetarium. 

WT: For a guest looking for a night on the town, what would you recommend? 
Moore: Enjoy the lights of the city during a dinner cruise. Relaxing on a boat, admiring the skyline of New York and all the while enjoying various culinary delights is one of the latest trends. Being encircled by not one but two rivers, New York is a great destination for dinner cruises. Regardless of whether you have a reason to celebrate or not, a dinner cruise in NYC will guarantee an unforgettable evening because it combines breathtaking views of the city at dawn and delicious food with a relaxing atmosphere accompanied by music.

WT: Any suggestions for the best under-the-radar sites or uncommon things to do? 
Moore: Hudson Yards—a shopping mall, dining and dazzling new architecture. Little Island is a new public park located in the Hudson River Park, where all New Yorkers and visitors can experience nature and art in a unique urban oasis on the Hudson River. Take a Free ride on the Staten Island Ferry. 

Staten Island Ferry New York | WHERE Traveler®
Staten Island Ferry (©Stephanie Corona)