Yes, it's "touristy", but like the Eiffel Tower, it's too awesome to miss. Afterall, this is one of the 7 Modern Wonders of the World -- and the view from the 86th floor observation deck will take your breath away. (This is the only way to see New York City).
For the movie buffs, Sleepless in Seattle and (the better) An Affair to Remember both ended on the 86th floor.
Want more? Take a second (and somewhat spooky) elevator to the smaller 102nd floor observation deck. This is the very spot where King Kong spent his last moments raging against the cruel world. How cool is that?
The building is gorgeous. I first saw it from the Jersey shore from a train approaching the city one late afternoon. The exterior limestone facade caught the rays of the setting sun and glowed a magnificent orange.
At night the upper floors are illuminate in colors reflecting the season (Red and Green for Christmas) The interior of the building is immaculate -- it has to be since this is one of the most famous addresses in the world. It's stainless steel art deco style adds a sense of grace and beauty that cannot be found in the more modern world.
The downside of your visit could be the long lines of people waiting to go to the observation floor. There's an express elevator that takes you straight up at breath-taking speed, but still you might have to endure a long wait.
Want to get up quicker? You can pay to go to the front of the line! (Hey this is New York). The lines are much shorter in the late fall -- between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a great time to visit. (You can see the Christmas tree and ice skating at Rockefeller Center as a bonus)
You can't miss this one. Don't forget to pick up your King Kong toy and your fake bronze 6 inch Empire State replica.