From West 47th to West 51st streets between 5th and 7th avenues
West 47th–50th Street-Rockefeller Center station (B, D, F, or V train) or 5th Avenue-53rd Street station (E or V train)
Since 1934, Rockefeller Center has stood amidst all of the change and growth of the city around it. The nineteen buildings that make up the eleven-acre complex house numerous corporations, including some of the leaders in media and communications. Recently renovated, Rockefeller Center remains one of the most popular tourist stops in New York City.
Named for John D. Rockefeller, who initiated the construction of what was originally designed as three office buildings and the Metropolitan Opera, the complex continued to grow. The focal point of Rockefeller Center, and the building most associated with it, is the GE Building, also known as 30 Rock.
The Rockefeller family is one of the legendary New York dynasties. John D. Rockefeller Sr. founded the Standard Oil Company and amassed a fortune. In later life he became a philanthropist, donating money and resources to numerous causes through the Rockefeller Foundation. Nelson Rockefeller, John Rockefeller's grandson, was a four-time governor of New York and served as vice president under Gerald Ford from 1974–1977.
While touring 30 Rock and its neighbors, you'll find an abundance of fine art, including sculptures, murals, and mosaics. The designers developed a motif for the artwork, called “New Frontiers and the March for Modern Civilization,” which expresses the vision behind the new venture.
You can go up to the newly opened Top of the Rock Observation Deck with truly spectacular indoor or outdoor viewing of New York from seventy stories up. It's open 365 days a year from 8
Outside the GE Building, take time to stroll the promenade from Fifth Avenue to the Channel Gardens, where nearly 20,000 varieties of plants can be found. Incidentally, the Channel Gardens were given their name by journalists, who noted that the promenade was set between the French and English buildings. Just before the gardens meet the skyscraper, you'll find the famed ice-skating rink, which by summer becomes the outdoor seating for the Rock Center Café and the Sea Grill Restaurant.
Overlooking the skating rink is
The entire area is replete with stunning artwork and period architecture. Shops are also abundant around the GE Building, and there are more than forty restaurants, encompassing fine dining, fast food, and all points in between.
Below 30 Rock, underground walkways called concourses connect most of the buildings, allowing visitors and the nearly 300,000 people who work in Rockefeller Center to stay warm and dry during inclement weather.
High atop 30 Rock sits the famous Rainbow Room restaurant. Opened in 1934, the Rainbow Room has long been a fashionable and romantic place for fine food and a spectacular view. A revolving dance floor, fabulous views through big glass windows, and an orchestra add to the ambiance. It is now open to the public on a limited basis — currently Friday and Saturday dinner and dancing, a grand Sunday brunch, and year-end holiday feasts. There's a strict dress code. Children are welcome with an adult. Call 212-632-5000 for reservations or log on to
There are three interesting and very worthwhile guided tours offered, and all leave from the NBC Experience Store. Rockefeller Center tours begin every day, except Thanksgiving and December 25, at 11
The new Art & Observation tour adds a stop at the seventy-story Top of the Rock Observation Deck for a panoramic view of New York City. These tours depart every two hours, from 10
The NBC Studio tour costs $18.75, or $15.50 for seniors and children six to twelve. Tours leave every thirty minutes, from 8:30
You can take a combination Rockefeller Center/NBC tour package for $23.45; tickets are available only through their call center at 212-664-7174. Children under six are not permitted, and there are no bathroom facilities available on the tours. Call for more tour information and scheduling changes for all tours at 212-664-3700.