Here's a thrill better than any amusement park ride, and with none of the long lines: a brisk walk across the George Washington Bridge.
Completed in 1931, the world's busiest motor vehicle bridge can also be crossed by foot or on bike. It has two sidewalks, one on the north side, the other on the south.
Both are subject to closures depending on construction and the weather. Thankfully, the Port Authority keeps an updated page you should consult ahead of any visit; there's also an email and texting alert system regarding sidewalk closures.
Currently the south pathway is open and can be accessed from the corner of West 177th Street and Cabrini Boulevard. After some twists and turns marked with signs, you reach the actual bridge and find yourself astonishingly high above the Hudson River.
Note: if you have a fear of heights, this bridge is not for you. Both sidewalks put you very close to the GW's vertigo-inducing edge.
It should take you about 20 minutes to walk across to Fort Lee, New Jersey.
You'll pass by the GW's towers, which–unlike those of the Brooklyn Bridge–have been left exposed, giving them their signature crisscross look. French architect Le Corbusier called the George Washington Bridge the most beautiful bridge in the world.
Or just walk to the middle, take in the mind-blowing views of Manhattan, the Hudson River and New Jersey, then walk straight back to terra firma in Washington Heights and take a deep breath.