Museum of Modern Art

MoMA’s dramatic renovation last decade closed the midtown landmark for two years and cost nearly $1 billion. Not everyone was thrilled with the spare new space, but the museum’s collection of modern and contemporary art remained intact as arguably the best in the world. The architecture and design wing and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden are particularly impressive. MoMA is also a staple on the elite event circuit, when its airy open spaces are packed with society fixtures, including those Rockefellers, and blockbuster musical talent from Kraftwerk to Santigold.

Lincoln Center

This cultural citadel, which transformed a forlorn stretch of the Upper West Side into a premier live performance destination in the early ‘60s, lets otherwise tireless music, film and dance fans rest their feet between performances. The complex includes the homes of the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the New York City Ballet the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Film Society of Lincoln Center (and its annual New York Film Festival). There’s also a Broadway-sized and off-Broadway theater and a recently refurbished film center including two comfortable art houses.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The crown jewel of New York’s abundant cultural gems. Arguably the greatest encyclopedic museum in the world (and, without question one of the largest, at 2,000,000-square-feet), one could conceivably spend an entire weeklong stay in New York getting lost in the Met’s many wings and still barely scratch the surface of its priceless offerings. The recently renovated American and Islamic wings are of particular note, as is the rooftop sculpture garden curing the warmer months. The adventurous are advised to visit The Cloisters, The Met’s medieval wing that overlooks the Hudson River on a bluff in Washington Heights.

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