I’ve been to the Big Apple four times and still feel like there is so much left to do. I’ve been there between Christmas and NYE, beginning of fall, and the beginning of spring. I’ve done long weekend trips and week long trips. There’s no right way to do it. Each trip has felt differently and I’ve had a freaking blast every time! Just know that you won’t have time to do everything you planned. It’s impossible. And after your trip is over you’ll find new things to do and add it to the ever evolving list for next time.
What to Eat & Drink:
Jacob’s Pickles located on the Upper Westside. Fried chicken biscuit sandwiches, house made pickles, and beer. What more could you want?? If you’re in the mood for Chinese food check out Café China in Midtown. I stumbled upon this gem during my last trip. Drew rave reviews from the New York Times. Try the pork dumplings in chili oil & fried rice. If you want some of the best NY style pizza Juliana’s is worth the walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and the wait. If you wake up with a sweet tooth head over to one of Dough’s locations for their Nutella doughnuts. I would never recommend wasting a meal at a chain (Except for In and Out) but every trip I make an exception for Shake Shack. Something about a cheeseburger, cheese fries, and a root bear float for a late night snack in NYC. If you’re in the Lower East Side and can’t decide on lunch stop by Pisillo Italian Panini. It’s a little hole in the wall sandwich shop but don’t let the appearance fool you. Seriously, they make the best sandwiches. Try my favorite, the Napoli. For dessert you’re going to want to buy a box of chocolate dipped cannolis from Carlo’s Bakery. If you’re one of those people that can never make up their mind over what beer you want then you’re in luck because there’s a bar for you! McSorley’s Old Ale House has only 2 kinds, light and dark lol. It’s also New York City’s oldest continuously operated saloon, established in 1854. If you’re a How I Met Your Mother fan, you’re going to want to read this suggestion. Wait for it……McGee’s Pub. Located in Hell’s Kitchen around the corner from Carnegie Hall, this is the pub that inspired “McLarens.” Stop by on How I Met Your Mother Mondays for their HIMYM themed menu. Unfortunately when I swung by I couldn’t get a spot at the bar so I left and stumbled upon a random Irish Pub called Playwright Celtic Pub. Cozy, not overly packed, and a great spot to watch a Yankees game.
What to Do:
- Take a walk through Central Park (Beatle lovers should check out the John Lennon Memorial, Strawberry Fields)
- One World Trade Center Observatory– highest building in the Western Hemisphere
- 9/11 Memorial Museum – Highly recommend. Very touching and moving
- Federal Hall Museum – Federal Hall is where George Washington took the oath of office as our first President, was home to the first Congress, Supreme Court, and Executive Branch offices
- Chelsea Market / Walk the Highline – The market is a mall and an enclosed food court and the Highline is an elevated public park close by
- Shops in Soho
- Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral
- Broadway Show (If still showing, see the Book of Mormon)
- Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
- Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island cruise (Order tickets weeks in advance. Or you risk missing out on walking to the top of the Statue like I did 😦 )
- Brooklyn Flea – Brooklyn’s largest flea market held on weekends that features vintage clothing, collectibles, antiques, jewelry, art, crafts and delicious fresh food.
- Yankees or Mets Game
- Walk or take subway everywhere. Don’t bother renting a car or using a taxi. It’ll just piss you off.
- Use Google Maps, Apple Maps, or Transit App to navigate the subway.
- If you’ll be in town longer than a weekend get the 7 day unlimited Metro Card pass for $32
- Unless you’re visiting in the summer, Pack for cool/cold weather (surprisingly cold in April)
- The streets run east and west and the avenues run north and south.
- Keep wallet in front pocket (Friend was almost pick pocketed in Times Square)
- If you’re a history nerd like me, NYC has a ton of colonial history. Bowling Green, located in Lower Manhattan, is the oldest public park in New York City and is surrounded by its original 18th century fence. The British erected a statue of King George III in Bowling Green and it was later toppled by the Colonists.
- Every time visiting I’ve stayed around Times Square. I know it sounds touristy, but if you plan on spending most of your time in Manhattan, as well as its many neighborhoods, it’s more convenient to stay in the central part of Manhattan.
What to do Next Time:
- Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien – Cash only burger joint hidden in the upscale Le Parker Meridien Hotel
- The Met / Guggenheim / American Museum of Natural History
- Brandy Library – Known for being one of the best whiskey bars in the city
- Bathtub Gin Bar – Hidden behind a coffee shop that serves Prohibition era cocktails
- Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden
- Brooklyn Brewery – Been a fan a long time and I think it’s time I take a tour
- Arthur Avenue, Bronx (“The Real Little Italy”)
- Listen to live jazz at the Django, nestled in Tribeca’s Roxy Hotel
- Raines Law Room
- Bagel Crawl: Tompkins Square Bagels, Russ & Daughters, Black Seed Bagels, Sadelle’s
- Grand Central Terminal – people watch, shops, Happy Hour @ Grand Central Oyster Bar (No lie, there’s over 100 different types of oysters on the menu)
- Gallery hop in Chelsea – Free wine on Thursdays
- Drink whiskey at The Flatiron Room – Voted one of the world’s top bars and best whiskey bars and boasts one of the most extensive whiskey selections on the East Coast with over 1000 whiskeys and bourbons
- Enjoy the skyline view at one of the many rooftop bars