For most of us, the word vacation conjures up images of lounging on a Caribbean beach or touring the picturesque terrain of some European country. An urban center (like New York City) bustling with people, traffic and skyscrapers might not immediately come to mind. However, large cities often offer tourists an incredible variety of sites and activities. The City, as New York City is often referred to, is home to world-renowned museums and restaurants, exciting attractions, an array of entertainment and unbeatable shopping. If you are anything like the 29 million American travelers that visit "the Big Apple" annually, your next vacation spot just may be New York City.

The city that never sleeps.

As a travel destination, New York has something to offer almost every visitor. Though tourism has dropped since September 11, 2001, there are still lots of reasons to visit what many consider the greatest city in the world.

In this article, we will explore the basics of what every visitor needs to know before planning a trip to New York City. You will learn about getting to and around the city, the neighborhoods, some main (and lesser known) attractions and some pretty useful secrets.