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Top of the Empire State Building

As one of the tallest buildings in New York, the top of the Empire State Building provides an incredible view of the city below.

iStockphoto/Thinkstock

The expanse of New York City's urban jungle is something that's left many tourists over the years confused and maybe a little intimidated. Street level is where the action is, but if you really want to take it all in and leave your breath behind, there's no better way than to take the long elevator ride to the observation deck of the Empire State Building (ESB).

Since the fall of the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001, the ESB has regained its status as the tallest building in New York. This National Historic landmark climbs more than a quarter of a mile straight up, with the observation deck located 1,050 feet (320 meters) above the city streets on the 86th floor. The view from the deck has taken the breath away from more than 110 million visitors since it opened in 1931 [source: Esbnyc.com]. The deck offers a 360 degree vista of the 230 buildings that are at least 30 stories high, including an unparalleled view of the chrome spires of the legendary Chrysler Building [source: Aviewoncities.com].

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