22 January 2024

A Complete Guide to SUMMIT One Vanderbilt NYC - Is It Worth It?

SUMMIT One Vanderbilt in New York is one of the more recent attractions to hit the streets of Manhattan. If you're thinking of visiting, then check out this complete guide to SUMMIT One - including What To Expect, Price & Tips for Visiting.

What is SUMMIT One Vanderbilt?

Perched on the 57th to 59th floors, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt stands as both an observation deck and an immersive art installation. 

As the latest addition to New York City's skyline, it redefines the concept of observation decks by providing a one-of-a-kind experience that captivates visitors from beginning to end by captivating the senses throughout.

Soaring to a height of 1,401 feet, the One Vanderbilt building proudly claims the title of the tallest observation tower in midtown Manhattan and holds the position as the fourth tallest skyscraper in all of New York City. Notably, the top three spots are occupied by One World Observatory, Central Park Tower, and 111 W 57th Street. 

Although SUMMIT is officially situated on the 57th to 59th floors, it stands at the equivalent height of the 91st to 93rd floors in buildings of similar stature.

Where is SUMMIT One Vanderbilt?

Located at 45 East 42nd Street, the entrance to SUMMIT One Vanderbilt is conveniently situated inside Grand Central Terminal. 
You can access Grand Central Terminal via various modes of transportation, including trains, buses, and subway services. 
Once inside Grand Central, follow the signs or directions to the designated entrance for SUMMIT One Vanderbilt. 

What To Expect When You're There:

Upon Entering:

Upon entry, you'll receive a wristband and proceed to wait in the security line. After clearing security, your photo will be taken and showcased against a backdrop. 

If you wish to commemorate your visit, these photos will be available for purchase on the second floor.

From here you will enter the very quick SUMMIT elevator leading to the three floors of the experience.

 Know Before You Go -
  • The rooms inside SUMMIT One are completely mirrored floor to ceiling.
  • You are required to wear shoe covers throughout the experience. You are also offered sunglasses if visiting through the day. Both of which are given to you after the security line.
  • It is also recommended to not wear dress or skirts due to the mirrored flooring.

The Different Rooms -

Transcendence 1Transcendence 1 is a vast mirrored space featuring glass panels that allow you to glimpse the floors above, all of which are also mirrored. This design produces an endless optical illusion, where the Manhattan skyline appears reflected across every surface. Regardless of your vantage point or the direction you gaze, you will find views of points such as The Empire State Building, Chrysler Building and Hudson Yards

Reflect RoomThis space exudes a notably cooler atmosphere. On the floor lies an art installation resembling silver mercury drops, titled 'Clouds' by Yayoi Kusama. At the room's far end, you'll find a model of SUMMIT One Vanderbilt accompanied by informative facts and figures displayed on the wall.

Affinity Room - Within this space lies the immersive silver balloon encounter that is arguably the most fun room in SUMMIT ONE. The giant silver balloons completely fill this room and make for great photos as there are fans placed around the room, making the balloons float in the air. 

Transcendence 2In the second Transcendence room, you enjoy a direct view down into the first Transcendence room, intensifying the optical illusions. Distinguishing where one room concludes and another begins becomes challenging, contributing to the captivating visual effect. Additionally, the lighting will begin to change here (depending on time of day) given that it's approximately an hour after your initial arrival.

Levitation Room - This room is essentially an opportunity for staff to take a cool photo for you. These photos can be purchased later by scanning your wristband.

Unity Room - Here you will need to scan your wristband upon entering. Inside there is a giant digital wall which shows a sky full of clouds with several faces in the clouds. If you look close enough, you'll notice that you'll actually see your own face here! After this you'll ride the elevator to the top level of SUMMIT One.

Après - On the 59th Floor you'll find the Après cocktail bar which hosts some incredible views. This lively rooftop bar often has it's own DJ as well as an outdoor deck for you enjoy the views as well as a range of delicious cocktails and snacks. A visit here is a great way to end a magical day.

When Is The Best Time To Visit?

Personally I would recommend visiting an hour before the sun sets. Once you reach the top the lighting will have completely changed so you can enjoy seeing the skyline views going from night to day.

Visiting during sunset hours does come at an additional cost (listed below).

How Long Does The Experience Last?

One of the best things about SUMMIT One is that there is no limit to the time you spend inside. 

It's worth noting though, that you cannot travel backwards to keep the flow of traffic one way. Therefore do not rush through each room. Take your time and soak it all in!

 Price Packages -
  • SUMMIT EXPERIENCE $42 - General Admission Ticket.
  • SUMMIT SIGNATURE EXPERIENCE $56 - General Admission + Cocktail.
  • SUMMIT ASCENT $62 - General Admission + Ride the Ascent Worlds Largest Glass Elevator.

PLEASE NOTE - Sunset admission is an extra $10

You can book your SUMMIT One tickets online.

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- Krakow Hotels: Where to Stay
- The Ultimate Travel Guide to Lisbon
- How to Spend a Weekend in: Santorini

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