Empire State Building
New York, NY
Sure, King Kong's favorite building has some things going for it: the marble lobby is beautiful, and movies like An Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle have made a trip to its 86th floor an enduring part of popular culture. But let's face it... It's crowded, and touristy, and once you're outside, peering through metal bars, it feels both cramped and utilitarian. Plus, it's not even the best observation deck in Manhattan.
What to do instead: Just 15 blocks north, the equally iconic Rockefeller Center (where you can also go shopping, ice skating, etc.) boasts its own Top of the Rock observation deck, which is more spacious and attractively designed, featuring high glass walls that make you feel like you're floating above the city. Best of all, the view from the Rock is better, partly because it includes a certain skyscraper you may have heard of -- The Empire State Building.