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Empire State Building in the summer

New Jersey
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71 posts
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Empire State Building in the summer

I've been about 5 times now (do tourist stuff when friends and family visit me) but I will NEVER forget the last time I went last summer. It one of the worst experiences I ever had - and I just want to warn anyone who is thinking of visiting when it is hot out. During summer months you can expect a tons of people to visit the building daily. The line is very long to the top and they herd people into long lines inside the buildings upper floors. The hallways on those floors are very narrow, packed with people and VERY hot and stuffy. This coupled with a long wait is VERY uncomfortable. They have a couple small fans in the corners of the halls but it does nothing. When I was there last summer they actually pulled pregnant women and the elderly out because it was so hot and unbearable.

Point is, if you are going to the Empre State Building this summer, get there when it opens or go right before it closes. Or at a time that will minimize the wait because there is no air in that building and wait is long and unbearable in the heat!

Brooklyn, New York
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1,924 posts
8 reviews
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1. Re: Empire State Building in the summer

Hope this posting doesn't spoil anyone's plans to visit the ESB, it remains a spectacular view of Gotham once you get to the top!

Brooklyn, New York
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6,530 posts
29 reviews
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2. Re: Empire State Building in the summer

Yeah, but it's the truth! Anr the area where they FORCE you to have a photo taken is the worst!

New Jersey
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71 posts
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3. Re: Empire State Building in the summer

It is a great view. It's just that you should try to time it so you're not trapped in a sweltering corridor for 2 hours.

Devon, UK
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484 posts
60 reviews
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4. Re: Empire State Building in the summer

We went up very last thing one night at the end of July and it was very hot. I am glad we bought tickets on line so we didn't have to join that line. However, it still took nearly an hour from arriving at the ESB to getting to the observation deck.

They are doing a lot of construction work in both the ticket booth area and where you get out of the first elevator. Air conditioning consists only of some portable fans, so as the OP stated, it can get very uncomfortable.

However, I feel it was worth it.

You don't have to have your tourist photo taken. Everyone in front of us was stopping for their photo to be taken, though many looked like they didn't want to. When it came to our turn, we just walked straight through without posing in front of the scenic back drop, much to the probable annoyance of the photographer. After we did this, quite a few of those behind is did likewise.

Unless you have done it before, you can't really go to NY and not do the ESB.

Atlantic City, New...
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110 posts
1 review
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5. Re: Empire State Building in the summer

We went around 10:30-11am on Aug 9th, and I dunno if it was just a cool day but 1. it didn't seem warm in the ESB and 2. we got to the top in less than 15 minutes. So glad we pre-booked too, cuz we probably would have been there more than an hour had we waited in line to buy tickets.

Ontario, Canada
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313 posts
5 reviews
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6. Re: Empire State Building in the summer

Just returned from 10 days in this wonderful City. You can't visit and not go to the ESB. On our 1st visit a couple of years ago, we went at night. This time we wanted to see it during the day. We went on a hot Sunday afternoon with no advance tickets (probably the worse scenario) and my husband and son are not fond of lines, but we did wait and it was well worth it. When you join the line, you are told how long a wait it will be so you know in advance what you're in store for. Once you are at the top, there is a cool breeze and although there are a lot of people, you do get to see everything. You can spend as much time as you want up there. The photo thing is very expensive - just say no if you're not interested or just have the photo taken for fun - good for a laugh and there is no obligation to buy. One word of advice - if it looks like a cloudy day, save the trip to the top for a better day because the view will be limited. One more thing about the lines, you really do not want to be in any long line at any attraction with young children. Not pleasant for you, them or others.

Cleveland, OH
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36 posts
3 reviews
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7. Re: Empire State Building in the summer

I didn't go to the ESB on my first trip to NYC, so for my second one, I made sure to make it to the top. We went around 4:00 and while the wait was long, it wasn't unbearable. I do wish I would've purchased tickets in advance online. The views from the top were amazing. It was such an awesome way to see the city and I'm so glad we did it.

Missouri
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1,574 posts
20 reviews
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8. Re: Empire State Building in the summer

We were also there the last week of July. It's one of those things you can cross off your list of "must do sometime before I die"....but I strongly advise spending the $30 per person for the express pass. You bypass all lines and go straight to the elevator. Even just purchasing the regular tickets online in advance, and going at 9:15 on a Thursday night, it took us a little over an hour to get to the observation deck. Glad we went though!