New York City

Only in New York. It's a refrain you'll often hear echoed throughout the city's streets and corridors. The city that never sleeps is home to some of the most exceptional attractions anywhere, many of them highly prized for their cultural and historical significance.

Besides the world-class museums, shopping and entertainment venues New York City offers, there's another attraction that can't be replicated elsewhere: the colorful cast of characters that gives the city its soul. After you've spent a day touring the city's top sights, take a seat in Central Park or at a cafe in Union Square and participate in the city's best free attraction — people watching.

Without the intangible energy of New York's residents, the Statue of Liberty becomes just another heap of scrap metal and the lights of Times Square go dark. It's more than just iconic landmarks that make this city one of a kind. New York has a pulsing electricity all its own — something that has to be experienced to be understood.

As the culture capital of the world, there is no place like New York City for a dose of art, theater, music and more. If arts are not your thing, make time to indulge in some serious shopping. You can spend days walking up and down Fifth Avenue, starting at Bergdorf's and ending up at Saks.

Then you'll want to head downtown, where many of the stores are show-stoppers themselves (Prada, Dolce & Gabbana).

Of course, no other city in the U.S. has the nerve-rattling buzz that New York does. Just the sheer act of walking down the street is an exercise in evading too-busy-to-mind locals and navigating traffic. That's why some of the best spas in the world call the Big Apple home. If it's good enough for frazzled New Yorkers, you bet it'll be good enough for you.