New York City's Newest Observatory, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, Opens October 21

by  Jaymie DeGaetano | Sep 17, 2021
Empire State Building as seen at Air at SUMMIT One Vanderbilt
Empire State Building as seen at Air at SUMMIT One Vanderbilt / Jaymie DeGaetano

One Vanderbilt, Grand Central Station’s 67-story neighbor, is about to open what is arguably the best observatory in all of Manhattan: SUMMIT One Vanderbilt. We had the opportunity to preview the immersive multi-story space before it opens to the public on October 21st.

What is SUMMIT One Vanderbilt?

Three years in the making, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt is located on the top floors of the skyline-redefining One Vanderbilt skyscraper. Given its Midtown location over 1,000 feet in the air, SUMMIT offers some of the best views of Manhattan’s famous landmarks: the Chrysler Building to the east, Empire State Building and One World Trade Center (and Statue of Liberty further afield) to the south, Hudson Yards to the west, and Central Park to the north.

Levitation sky box at SUMMIT One Vanderbilt / Jaymie DeGaetano

SUMMIT has four main attractions: Air, a multi-sensory walk-through art experience designed by Kenzo Digital (hello, Instagram); Levitation, a thrilling all-glass sky box perched 1,063 feet above Madison Avenue; Ascent, an all-glass elevator reaching a 1,200 foot high point; and Après, a lounge and café serving up cocktails and lite bites from Danny Meyer’s Union Square events.

How much do tickets cost to SUMMIT One Vanderbilt?

Timed tickets went on sale to the general public this week and the October 21st opening date is nearly sold-out as of publication. General admission costs $39 for adults and $33 for kids 6-12. Add the Ascent elevator experience for an additional $20. Tickets for sunset hours cost an additional $10. An Ultimate SUMMIT ticket is also available, which includes general admission, Ascent, and a signature cocktail at Après. Discounted tickets are available for New York City residents. Buy tickets here.

Where is the entrance to SUMMIT One Vanderbilt?

Entry to SUMMIT One Vanderbilt is accessible through the west side of the Main Concourse at Grand Central Station, so you can check two NYC bucket list items off your list in one go. From the ground floor, you'll walk through two of Air's art installations before boarding an ultra-fast elevator to the 90th floor. 

Views of Central Park from SUMMIT One Vanderbilt / Jaymie DeGaetano

What else should I know about SUMMIT One Vanderbilt before my visit?

Any footwear that can damage the reflective glass floors, such as stiletto heels, steel toe boots, and sports cleats, are not permitted. Sunglasses are highly recommended. 

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