Completed in 1931 and soaring approximately a quarter of a mile into the sky, the Empire State Building, with its famous Art Deco spire, is one of the most recognized of all American landmarks. Erected as an office building, it remained the tallest building in the world for almost 40 years.
More than 3.5 million visitors from all 50 states and almost every country in the world visit each year. Millions of people including heads of state, film stars, and a steady stream of tourists have enjoyed its breathtaking views, where on a clear day visitors can see up to 80 miles. The Empire State Building has been immortalized in nearly 100 movies, including King Kong, Sleepless in Seattle, and Superman.
The building has two observation decks: an 86th floor observatory that offers an open-air view of the city; and an enclosed deck at the 102nd floor. Both offer high-powered binoculars on their promenades. The New York Skyride, a virtual-tour ride, is located on the second floor. Be sure to look up at it at night, when its spire is bathed in colorful lights that change according to the season.