Over the past four years, I have been to New York City (NYC) several times for many different occasions; Spring Break, meeting a friend, and even on a family vacay as of two weeks ago. Because of this, I like to travel to different spots in the city to make sure that I have some variety in the places I visit. Here’s a list of things one must absolutely do in NYC, a couple that I did for my recent vacay stop in NYC two weeks ago itself.
Prepping for NYC
For my visit in May, I managed to book a hotel room right in Manhattan itself at the Best Western Premier Herald Square location. Given that it was in the middle of the city, this was by far the most expensive hotel we booked for the entire 3 week holiday but it was really worth it! The location could not have been better. It was close to a subway station, and a few blocks away from nice shopping and food locations as well. The hotel room was booked a few months in advance and a lot of research was put in to find a room with at a prime location. Be prepared to either use an Uber, the subway system (which is easy to get the hang of after a few rides), or even walking everywhere depending on your budget as someone who has done all three.
Bryant park was only a few blocks away from the hotel I stayed at. It is on the smaller side of parks. There is however a very chilled atmosphere in the park and it is a perfect place to simply spend one’s evening sipping coffee and reading a book on one of the many benches they have. The center of the park is a wide open space where they often host movies in summer and even have yoga (which was happening one of the days I visited).
What’s great about this place is that it is so huge that it is possible to visit a different part of the park each time you visit, or at least that’s what happened to me the three times I’ve been here in the past four years. There are different restaurants present along with the option of boating, visiting different lakes and ponds within the park to even being able to practice some baseball in designated areas. This place pretty much had it all.
The American Museum of Natural History
It was actually one of my closest friends who took me here with a couple of our other friends, and this museum was a treat for the science nerd in me. The admission fees were how ever much you were willing to donate to the museum so it could as much as you wanted to pay for it. Each floor had different themes and I found out that they actually have special exhibits every now and then too. My favorite part was the dinosaurs because I was one of those people who actually went and read everything they wrote about in the description section for the exhibits. The Hall of Ocean Life and Biodiversity was another top favorite of mine. The museum basically covers every science topic you could imagine from human origins to space exploration.
China-town and Little Italy
I actually had dinner here after spending about 6 hours at the Museum of Natural History on the same day with my friends. We grabbed dinner at one of the many places in Little Italy and ended it with bubble tea in Chinatown, only two blocks away. With the abundance of variety in food choices, I’d suggest using Yelp! to find out what place might be best depending on one’s mood.
This could be the most crowded place in I have come across in NYC apart from a subway station. The charm of Times Square lies in visiting it when the sun has set, and the bright lights really do what they are meant to- shine! The shops in this area are more crowded than visiting the same shops in other locations in the city. But go here for the big city feel if walking in the city, being surrounded by tall building doesn’t do it for you.
A definite must visit for its architecture. I’ve been on the bridge once while travelling to Brooklyn. I’d suggest making a trip to see the bridge only if you’re passing through to other places such as visiting Brooklyn. I believe one can also walk on the bridge on a separate walkway.
This is one of the many iconic landmark present in the city, once again known for its architectural build. Plus, there are a lot of attractions and food places in the vicinity too and it is right by a subway stop which adds on to the ease of convenience.
Union Square Winter Market
While this is more of a winter activity, it was one of my favorite. I had the opportunity to visit this winter market in the past year for the first time and I was completely taken aback by how cute and interactive it was. There were a lot of local markets (from the local market at Union Square itself) with a wide range of booths one can shop from! Perfect for some Christmas shopping. They had the cutest little macaron booth when I last visited.
Grand Central Terminal
Visit this if only to see the art and design on the inside of the station. It holds true to its name in terms that it really is grand. They also have a whole food court and and a few other places to eat where you can get good quality food inside.
Statue of Liberty
It is the Symbol of freedom and one of most important icons in America. You can get a view of the New York harbor and the lower Manhattan from here. To reach to the statue you would require a boat ride or if you wish to see the statue from the shore, visit the battery park and enjoy the splendid beauty of the harbor. I suggest you to buy the tickets well in advance as more of the times the tickets sell out to go inside.
St Patrick’s Cathedral
This church gets over 5 million visitors annually and is one the major destination in New York city. It is the largest Gothic cathedral in the nation and a magnificent symbol of faith. I suggest you to must visit here while you are in New York.
Empire State Building
One of the most famous landmark, this 102 story building was once the tallest is the world. There are two observatories, one on the 86th Floor (1,050 feet) is reached by high speed, automatic elevators and the other at the 102nd Floor (1,250 feet). You can get a view of neighboring states Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Jersey from here !
Metropolitan Museum of Art
This museum focuses on the art of medieval Europe and contains over 2 million of art work. Also known as ‘The Met’, you can see the Egyptian art, musical instruments, arms and armor, decorative arts and much more. So if you love Art, this place is surely for you.
Visit these amazing places and get awestruck, just like I did !!
Keep Exploring !