The New York Marathon is an exhilarating event that brings together thousands of runners from around the world. But it’s not just the participants who have all the fun, this Sunday 5th November 2023 – spectators can also have an incredible time cheering on the runners, soaking in the vibrant atmosphere of this iconic race, and seeing the sights of New York at the same time.
If you’re planning to watch the New York Marathon, here are some of the best spots to catch all the action. And a full route map can be seen here.
The Start Line
The start line at Staten Island is a fantastic spot to witness the energy and anticipation of the runners. Arrive early to secure a good spot and be part of the electrifying atmosphere as the race kicks off. You can also catch a glimpse of the world-famous Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, where the runners make their way into Brooklyn. If you are staying in Staten Island for a while, there are the National Lighthouse and the Staten Island Museums, close by. Who doesn’t love a lighthouse, though!
Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn
Head to Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn to witness the marathon at its liveliest. This stretch offers a vibrant and festive environment, with local communities coming together to cheer on the runners. Grab a spot near one of the many local bars or restaurants and enjoy the lively atmosphere while cheering on the participants. If you need to escape the buzz for a while, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens are not too far away.
As the runners leave Brooklyn and enter Queens, the Pulaski Bridge provides an excellent vantage point to watch the marathon. Located between miles 13 and 14, this spot offers a picturesque view of the runners crossing over the bridge, with the stunning Manhattan skyline in the background.
First Avenue, Manhattan
First Avenue is one of the most iconic sections of the New York Marathon. As the runners enter Manhattan from Queens, they are greeted by roaring crowds and an electric atmosphere. Find a spot along First Avenue and cheer on the participants as they power through this challenging stretch.
The grand finale of the New York Marathon takes place in Central Park. Watching the race from this iconic location offers a truly memorable experience. Head to the park’s southern section, near Columbus Circle, to catch the runners in the final stretch of their 26.2-mile journey. The energy and excitement here are palpable as the participants push their limits to cross the finish line.
Spectating with Children?
There are numerous museums, bus and boat rides that can keep the the smaller spectators interested and keen, while watching the New York Marathon. Don’t forget Central Park Zoo, which could make a wonderful place to wait out your runner if you are watching with little people.
A weekend in New York
Be sure to check out the Sightseeing Pass website for all a list of all the attractions and sights you can see before and after the big event, if you are in New York for the weekend or longer. Read our New York’s Must-See Attractions for some inspiration. From recovery wine tours to some of the world’s greatest observation decks, the pass will give you a whole load of discounts and entries into attractions making your trip to New York nearly as special as achieving those 26.2 miles around it.
The New York Marathon is not just a race; it’s an incredible celebration of determination, passion, and community spirit. Whether you choose to watch the race from the start line, along Brooklyn’s Fourth Avenue, on the Pulaski Bridge, along First Avenue in Manhattan, or in the iconic Central Park, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable experience. So grab your cheering gear, join the enthusiastic crowds, and show your support for the amazing athletes participating in the New York Marathon!
And, we would also like to wish Sightseeing Pass London-based colleague, Trevor Kay, the best of luck running this weekend.
Remember to plan your viewing spots in advance, arrive early to secure a good spot, and enjoy the festive atmosphere as you witness this awe-inspiring event. Happy spectating!
(And, please make sure to check the official New York Marathon website for any updates or changes to the race route and guidelines for spectators.)