The 6 Best Places to Watch Manhattanhenge 2024

Jan 03, 2024

By Westgate Resorts

Discover The 6 Best Places to Watch Manhattanhenge 2024 For Best Viewing in NYC!

“A rare and beautiful sight.” – astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson on Manhattanhenge

If you're visiting NYC or you're a frequent day-tripper or jet-set type, you already know that there's no shortage of curiously clickable instagram spots in NYC for both intimate and influential social media standouts. But in a few days from now, there will be a truly great, grammable moment that "henges" on finding the perfect observation perch. Truth be told, New Yorkers (and visitors alike) will look for just about any excuse for a party and Manhattanhenge 2024 promises to be the biggest Big Apple extravaganza of its kind!

Best Places to Watch Manhattanhenge 2024

But what exactly is Manhattanhenge? Also known as the Manhattan Solstice or Manhattan Stonehenge, Manhattanhenge involves a unique phenomenon where the setting (or rising) sun perfectly aligns with the east-west streets of Manhattan’s main street grid. Sunsets and sunrises each line up to create this spectacularly photogenic event in New York City twice a year on dates evenly spaced around the summer and winter solstice (typically corresponding to Memorial Day Weekend in May and Major League Baseball’s All-Star Break in July).

Therefore, in contrast to all of the wild and weird things to do in NYC at night, Manhattanhenge provides the ideal opportunity to get outside during the daytime and enjoy an amazing view of the sunset down the city’s “canyon walls” of buildings while you dramatically enhance your Instagram feed in the process, of course!

View of Manhattanhenge | The 6 Best Places to Watch Manhattanhenge for Photos of Manhattanhenge and Best Views in NYC!

by Shmuel 510 / Licensed under CC BY 2.0

Explore the Colorful History of Manhattanhenge

The term “Manhattanhenge” was first coined by astrophysicist and New York City native Neil deGrasse Tyson nearly 20 years ago. Director of the world-renowned Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) and host of the critically acclaimed TV series, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, Tyson has remarked that Manhattanhenge offers the rare opportunity to view the “juxtaposition of city life with cosmic life.”

Tyson has stated that Manhattanhenge was inspired by a childhood excursion to Stonehenge led by astronomer and Stonehenge theorist Gerald S. Hawkins, who coauthored the groundbreaking and controversial work, Stonehenge Decoded, in 1965. However, the origins of Manhattanhenge can actually be traced to the “Commissioners’ Plan of 1811,” a proposal by the state legislature of New York to set forth the original design for the streets of Manhattan in the form of a rectangular grid plan of streets and avenues that intersect at right angles (extending north of Houston Street in Lower Manhattan all the way to just south of 155th Street in Upper Manhattan). The reason that Manhattanhenge does not coincide exactly with the summer solstice is because of a 29-degree tilt in the grid as an accommodation “to roughly replicate the angle of the island of Manhattan,” according to

In addition to providing the ingredients necessary to create the Manhattanhenge celestial effect, the grid provides ease and convenience for NYC visitors to find their way around Manhattan and visit such landmarks as Central Park, Empire State Building, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Terminal and more. Over the past few years, Manhattanhenge has gained immense popularity and even served as the title of an episode of the CBS TV series CSI: NY. In addition, The Washington Post has even dubbed Manhattanhenge as “New York City’s favorite Instagram holiday,” while Jackie Faherty, astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History, told The New York Times that the astronomical event provided for “the best sunset picture of the year.” The success of Manhattanhenge has inspired similar events throughout the world such as Chicagohenge, Montrealhenge, Torontohenge, Bostonhenge, Phillyhenge, Raleigh-Henge and even MIThenge at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. However, none of them come close to replicating the party atmosphere surrounding Manhattanhenge.

Manhattanhenge vs. Stonehenge

In an article about Manhattanhenge posted on the official AMNH website, Tyson remarked, “What will future civilizations think of Manhattan Island when they dig it up and find a carefully laid out network of streets and avenues? Surely the grid would be presumed to have astronomical significance, just as we have found for the pre-historic circle of large vertical rocks known as Stonehenge … For Stonehenge, the special day is the summer solstice … For Manhattan, a place where evening matters more than morning, that special day comes twice a year, when the setting Sun aligns precisely with the Manhattan street grid, creating a radiant glow of light across Manhattan’s brick and steel canyons, simultaneously illuminating both the north and south sides of every cross street of the borough’s grid.”

A world-famous prehistoric monument located on the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, England, Stonehenge draws approximately 1.3 million visitors annually. The famous stone circle at Stonehenge features a ring of standing stones, each of which weigh about 25 tons and are approximately 13 feet high and 7 feet wide. Early theories about Stonehenge involved druidic origins, but these have long since been debunked. It is now believed that Stonehenge took approximately 1,500 years to construct starting around 3000 BC and it likely served as a burial ground at one time or another.

However, mysteries abound about the true nature of Stonehenge, which was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1986, and many theories have arisen about the possibility of the structure’s astronomical role. For instance, during the summer solstice, the sun appears to rise directly above the “Heel Stone” at Stonehenge. Author Henry James once remarked, “There is something in Stonehenge almost reassuring; and if you are disposed to feel that life is rather a superficial matter, and that we soon get to the bottom of things, the immemorial gray pillars may serve to remind you of the enormous background of time.”

Photos of Manhattanhenge 2021 | The 6 Best Places to Watch Manhattanhenge 2021 for Photos of Manhattanhenge and Best Views in NYC!

by slgckgc / Licensed under CC BY 2.0

Mark Your Calendar for Manhattanhenge 2024 Dates

Here are the best days and approximate times you can catch Manhattanhenge 2024 during your New York City visit:

  • May 29, 2024 - 8:13 p.m. (half sun)

  • May 30, 2024 - 8:12 p.m. (full sun)

  • July 11, 2024 - 8:20 p.m. (full sun)

  • July 12, 2024 - 8:21 p.m. (half sun)

An interesting thing to note is “Reverse Manhattanhenge." It's a winter sunrise.

Reverse Manhattanhenge is not as popular because it's cold, early in the morning and the eastern horizon is more hilly. The "Reverse Manhattanhenge" also happens twice in winter.

  • January 11, 2024

Typically, the sun lines up with streets shortly after 7 a.m. The best spots to see the phenomenon are at 41st Street and 5th Avenue. But keep in mind, the time window to see Reverse Manhattanhenge is more narrow than during the summer.

Best Manhattanhenge 2024 Viewing Spots

Listed below are the six best places for New Yorkers and visitors to the Big Apple alike to watch Manhattanhenge:

View this post on Instagram


1 | 14th Street | A great locale in Lower Manhattan to view Manhattanhenge, 14th Street marks the southern terminus of Manhattan’s grid system. Points of interest along 14th Street include Hudson River Park, High Line elevated linear park (a typically popular Manhattanhenge viewing location) and Union Square Park.

View this post on Instagram


2 | 23rd Street | Several notable skyscrapers can be found on 23rd Street such as the Flatiron Building, One Madison and the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower – making it an ideal viewing locale for Manhattanhenge.

View this post on Instagram


3 | 34th Street | Tyson has singled out 34th Street, a major crosstown street in Midtown Manhattan, for rendering “especially striking vistas” during Manhattanhenge, particularly since it features the 102-story Empire State Building. Other notable buildings located directly on 34th Street include the Javits Center and Macy’s Herald Square among others.

View this post on Instagram


4 | 42nd Street | Another great choice for viewing Manhattanhenge is along legendary 42nd Street. Notable buildings on 42nd Street include Grand Central Terminal (the Pershing Square overpass above Grand Central is a popular viewing location), United Nations, Chrysler Building, News Building, Chanin Building, New York Public Library (main branch), Bank of America Tower, Bush Tower and Westgate New York Grand Central. In addition, Bryant Park and Tudor City Greens are both very popular Manhattanhenge viewing sites.

5 | 57th Street | One of NYC’s major thoroughfares, 57th Street is another prime Manhattanhenge viewing site located just two blocks south of Central Park. Notable landmarks along 57th Street include Hearst Tower, Carnegie Hall, CBS Broadcast Center and the Fuller Building.

View this post on Instagram


6 | 79th Street | If you prefer to view Manhattanhenge on the Upper West Side, 79th Street is your best bet. In fact, the portion of 79th Street that runs near the American Museum of Natural History (home of the Hayden Planetarium) is a popular spot to view Manhattanhenge. In fact, the Planetarium usually offers special viewing and discussion events related to Manhattanhenge (visit the AMNH’s official website for details).

Manhattanhenge Viewing Tips

Follow these tips in order to make the most of your Manhattanhenge viewing experience in New York City:

  1. After you pick a street to view Manhattanhenge (see the list above), watch from as far east as possible and make sure you have a clear view that extends all the way across the Hudson River to New Jersey.

  2. Streets adjacent to the ones listed above will also provide decent views of Manhattanhenge.

  3. Arrive at least a half-hour early to get a decent viewing spot for Manhattanhenge.

  4. Choose an interesting NYC skyscraper or landmark such as the Empire State Building or Chrysler Building to frame your Manhattanhenge photos.

  5. If you prefer not to join the throng of spectators flooding the streets of Manhattan for Manhattanhenge, you may want to opt to view the spectacle from a different perspective at one of NYC’s rooftop bars or from the top of the Empire State Building (make sure to buy your tickets to the ESB observation deck well in advance!).

  6. Various Manhattan restaurants and bars (including some sweet rooftop bars in NYC) offer Manhattanhenge “Happy Hours,” where you can imbibe in great drink specials before, during or after the event.

  7. Visit the Hayden Planetarium website for any updates related to the precise dates and times for Manhattanhenge, and remember that there are loads of other Museums NYC has to offer that are likely offering discounted rates during Manhattanhenge.

  8. Last but not least, keep track of the weather report as Manhattanhenge approaches, and hope for sunny skies!

Final Thoughts on Manhattanhenge

As the prime Manhattanhenge viewing dates approach, make sure you've got your space staked out! That means picking out your best viewing spot, and also getting set up for a great base of operations for your day in NYC! Check out our sweet place to stay near Grand Central Terminal, and while you're at it, learn more about historic midtown Manhattan and things to do in the surrounding Murray Hill area, while grabbing up some great local guide goods like the best karaoke bars in NYC, the best museums New York City has to offer, a premier selection of Manhattan wine bars and also some great concrete clichés to get your click on with the best Instagram spots in NYC!

For more tips and travel guides, visit our Westgate Travel Blog.


15 Best Instagram Spots In NYC | NYC Instagram Spots Near Midtown Manhattan And Beyond in NYC

If you're still looking for an ideal hotel near Manhattanhenge in NYC for the last two dates of the year, check out Westgate New York Grand Central hotel located at 304 East 42nd Street New York NY 10017. This hotel will give you great viewing for the 42nd Street shots and angles!

At Westgate Resorts, when you Check-In, there’s a LOT to Check-Out! Your New York City vacation awaits! Explore our New York City hotel today or talk with a vacation planner at 888-852-2959 or 407-355-2690.

When You Check-in, There's a Lot to Check Out

Sign up for our newsletter and check-in to great offers, secret stuff, and special events.

Thank You for Signing Up!

Exciting things are headed your way soon!