Exploring the artistic wonders inside the Lincoln Center

Ballet, symphony, opera and film are obvious reasons to visit the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. Add art and architecture — as well as beautiful, public green spaces — to that list.

The performing arts center is nearing the final phase of a massive $1.2 billion renovation to the buildings and outdoor spaces of its Upper West Side campus. To welcome visitors, the Lincoln Center recently launched a new art and architecture guided tour.

Where to stay

Upon the recommendation of a trusted friend, I stayed at the Hotel Beacon, which is where I will plan to stay for many future visits to Manhattan. Located on Broadway at 75th Street — a neighborhood filled with great shops, restaurants, cafes and bars — the hotel is next door to the Beacon Theatre, an Upper West Side venue known for its share of rock concerts.

Why I loved this newly renovated 260-room hotel: Rates start at $240 per night; rooms and suites are huge; and each comes with marble bathroom, a fully equipped kitchenette, including microwave, coffeemaker, complimentary coffee and tea, a 32-inch flat-screen TV, an iPod-docking clock radio and free Wi-Fi. Beds are also very nice, as the hotel replaced all furnishings when it completed its renovation. Almost all rooms have either a view of Central Park West or the cityscape along Broadway.

The hotel does not offer room service. However, there is a fantastic market called Fairway located across the street, as well as a wine shop on its corner.

What to do

Located at Columbus Avenue between 62nd and 66th streets on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, the Lincoln Center is the world’s largest performing arts center — a 16.3-acre campus that serves as home to 13 performing arts institutions.

Having celebrated its 50th ­anniversary last year, the Lincoln Center is also celebrating completion of renovations to many of its facilities, including the Metropolitan Opera House, Avery Fisher Hall, David H. Koch Theater, Vivian Beaumont Theater and Alice Tully Hall.

To see and learn about the changes — including the center’s updated water fountain — I made a reservation for the center’s new Art and Architecture Tour.

The 90-minute walking tour met at the new David Rubenstein Atrium, the first LEED-certified building on campus. The newly opened, 7,000-square-foot building — located across the street from the main campus on Broadway between 62nd and 63rd Streets — is a vibrant, public visitors center.

As we toured building after building, we simultaneously got to check one of the best-kept secrets at the Lincoln Center: its expansive visual art collection.


If you go

Upper West Side

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