The mention of New York City conjures up a cascade of images to scroll through your mind. Taxicabs, Broadway plays and a round-the-clock bustle are all stereotypically New York. Taking the pulse of this city, however, requires a stroll through Times Square and the Theater District.

Hotel high-rises meld with corporate skyscrapers which give way to a cultural mecca filled with theaters and arenas. This city never sleeps because of its never-ending schedule of plays, shows and performances. Booking accommodations at a Times Square hotel will give you ready access to this city's most famous venues.

Radio City Music Hall

Completed in 1932, Radio City Music Hall is just around the corner from Times Square, playing host to legendary entertainers over the past 70-plus years. Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and countless others have graced the stage at this landmark for decades. Today, you'll find the top performers in the world stopping by, including Aretha Franklin, Tori Amos and Ron White.

If you're traveling during the holidays, make a point to take in one of the arena's most popular events: the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

With its "Mighty Wurlitzer" and "Great Stage," Radio City is as much a historical landmark as it is an entertainment venue.

Broadway

Stretching the full length of Manhattan, Broadway Avenue is home to more than 40 large theaters, making it the focal point of what is known commonly as the Theater District. When planning your trip to New York, keep in mind that typical Broadway performances run Tuesday through Sunday afternoon. From classics including Hair, South Pacific and The Phantom of the Opera to recent productions such as 9 to 5 and The Little Mermaid, there is something for everyone.

Carnegie Hall

This renowned concert venue has been in existence since 1891 and was built for the performance of classical and popular music. Hailed for its acoustics, Carnegie Hall has hosted many of the most exceptional philharmonic and symphonic orchestras in the world. Among other notables in secular and sacred music who have performed at Carnegie Hall are Leonard Bernstein, Nick Lowe, Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.

Just a half mile from Times Square, Carnegie Hall offers an exceptional opportunity to hear musical performances you might not otherwise be privy to.

In the spirit of a true New Yorker, you'll most likely choose to walk to most of these hotspots. Take care to find a Times Square hotel that is convenient to these and other attractions in midtown Manhattan. Having lodging that's just steps away from everything you want to do will allow you and your family to experience all the entertainment available in the Big Apple.

By Barbara Wade © 2009, All Rights Reserved