Herald Square is located at the bustling intersection of three iconic New York City roads: Broadway, Sixth Avenue, and 34th Street. For well over a century now, Herald Square has been the site of Macy’s flagship store. Accordingly, it’s considered a significant retail hub of Midtown Manhattan, with numerous other big-name chain brands having prominent branches in the area. Herald Square’s proximity to beloved attractions like Times Square and the Empire State Building make it a popular New York City shopping destination throughout the year.
Getting to Know the Neighborhood
Herald Square owes its name to the now-defunct New York Herald, whose headquarters anchored the area until the newspaper shut down in 1924, when it was acquired by rival New-York Tribune, the broadsheet once founded by publishing legend Horace Greeley. In fact, there’s a large bronze sculpture of Horace Greeley in the appropriately named Greeley Square, the triangular park that forms the southern portion of the Herald Square district.
Another hallmark of Herald Square is the James Gordon Bennett Memorial. This impressive tribute to the founder of the New York Herald consists of a large granite pillar and a statue of the goddess Minerva, who in her wisdom watches over two youthful bell ringers. Generations of enthusiastic Midtown shoppers have caught their breath, indulged in some people-watching, and luxuriated in a beautiful New York City afternoon beneath this public artwork.
Popular Herald Square Shopping Destinations
Herald Square is best-known as a New York City shopping destination for being home to the world’s biggest Macy’s store. Though Macy’s has long since established itself as a global brand, Macy’s Herald Square remains the company’s flagship location, as well as its corporate headquarters.
At over 1 million square feet of retail space, Macy’s Herald Square is among the single largest department stores on the planet. The building itself, opened in 1902, has been a National Historic Landmark since 1978. It underwent a half-billion dollar renovation during the past decade, and remains a classic New York City shopping experience.
Interested parties will have noticed that a major theme of Herald Square’s shopping scene is the size of its retail spaces, and that’s no fluke. At nearly 70,000 square feet, popular fast-fashion clothing giant H&M has its largest store here, as does Levi’s—at roughly 200,000 square feet spread across seven floors, you’ll never need to go anywhere else for jeans again. Additional Herald Square shopping favorites include Sephora, Burberry, and Target, just to name a few.
Other Ways to Enjoy Herald Square
If you’ve taken some time to explore all the different shopping opportunities Herald Square has to offer, you’ll want to carve out a bit more time in your schedule to walk a mere half-block east on 34th Street from the plaza to the one-and-only Empire State Building. Perhaps the single most famous skyscraper found anywhere in the world, the Empire State Building is a quintessential New City attraction. It features not one, but two observation decks—one on the 86th floor and another on the 102nd floor—and it can truly be said that no trip to the heart of Manhattan is complete without checking out this icon firsthand.
Herald Square is also famous for serving as the end point of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This annual holiday tradition has been taking place since 1924, and even if you don’t find yourself in New York City to catch it live, you can stroll through Herald Square and enjoy the sights and sounds of the lively area you’ve seen on television for years.
It’s important to keep in mind, as you’re planning your Herald Square shopping excursion, how easy it is to get to the area. New York City’s biggest transit hub, Penn Station, is located just two blocks away from Herald Square. And while you’re at it, you’ll want to head a few blocks north and treat yourself to the magic of Times Square, Madame Tussauds, The Ride, and/or whatever else strikes your fancy.