Whenever people come to New York, I always get the same questions: “What do I do? What do I see? Where do I eat?”. The Big Apple has so much to offer and is always changing which makes it difficult to pin point a couple of the “best” places. Therefore, I decided it would be more efficient and useful if I mapped out a couple days for my guests. Each day is dedicated to a different purpose. Whether you want to experience New York like a tourist, an athlete or a shopaholic, the choice is yours!
NYC 101 – “the tourist”
How to check out all of Manhattan’s must-sees in 1 day.
Get ready for a jam-packed day. Even though it is just a 20 square mile island, it is very dense. It has been narrowed down to just a handful of the most iconic New York landmarks and eateries. This schedule is very thorough and detailed, thanks to my dear friend, Sarah, who shared her list with me and has given me permission to share it with you guys.
- Start at Rockerfeller Center (50th & 5th)
Grab a coffee from a street cart like a true New Yorker
- Walk up 5th ave to Central Park
- See Trump Tower, Bergdorfs & Saks (especially during Christmas time)
Stop at Sarabeth’s on Central Park South for some famous breakfast classics
- Venture into the Park and make your way West to Columbus Circle
- See the ice skating rink (Wollman Rink)
- Walk down 7th Ave. to see Times Square
Warning: you may be tempted to enter the M&M world and I wouldn’t blame you
- At Times Square, go to the subway on 45th & 8th and get on A-C-E downtown to West 4th St
- Get off and walk down Bleeker St
- See all the brownstones and cute shops – googlemap it so you walk West towards Christopher street
Grab an iconic New-York-style slice of pizza at Joes Pizza on Carmine St
- Walk directly south towards Soho (once you cross Houston St you are in Soho)
- See Wooster, Spring, Mulberry and Broadway for shopping
- Walk down to Canal to see Chinatown or Mulberry to see little Italy
- Hop on the A-C-E or 1-2-3 and go to Chambers St
- See the World Trade Center and The Oculus (google map it)
- (If warm outside) Walk to Battery Park and take a ferry to the Statue of Liberty
On The Run – “the athlete”
How to see a lot of the city while working up a sweat.
Start your day off in DUMBO, the place with the best skyline views of the city. The acronym stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. Westville, Egg Shop and Sunday in Brooklyn are all great choices for brunch all week long. Bluestone Lane is the place for coffee and Matchaful is the place for matcha. Once you are fueled up with food and caffeine, get ready to walk it off. All of the places listed above are within walking distance to the beginning of the Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge itself is just over a mile long and takes roughly 30 minutes to cross, allotting time for photo-ops.
You will get dropped off in the Financial District which is just a short way away from Tribeca and Soho that are overflowing with shops, exhibits and pop ups. Make your way up through soho and the west village to the Meat Packing District. Next, you can take a well deserved break to pamper yourself. First grab some amazing frozen yogurt at Culture then walk across the street to All Season’s Body Work. This casual, local spot is my favorite for a quick foot, back or full body massage. Don’t be turned off by the busy-ness or appearance of the shop, the services are not far from those at 5 star hotels that are like 5 times the price.
But don’t get too comfortable- your day isn’t over yet. Time to hop on a bike and head up town! Citi bike has locations all over the city where you can get a day pass for just $12. However, remember to bike at your own risk as the busy streets are too much for me. I opt for the West Side Highway which not only has a safe bike path but also doesn’t have stoplights every block. The ride is just about 3 miles and should take no longer than 20 minutes. Before you know it you will be in the 60’s and the biking section of your day will come to an end.
Last but not least, walk straight east unit you run into Central Park. Your final stop is Tavern on the Green which is right in the park off of 66th street and Central Park West. No matter which season you go, the atmosphere will be like no other resturant in New York. If it’s warm, you can sit outside in their courtyard under the gleaming string lights, however, if it’s chilly you can sit inside their “glass box” and almost forget that you aren’t outside. Their menu has something for everyone: raw bar, soups, salads, fish, meat, etc. My favorite is their chopped vegetable salad. Which to no surprise is tons of different vegetables chopped up very small and tossed in a tangy caper dressing. Don’t feel guilty to splurge on the truffle Mac & cheese or peanut butter chocolate lava cake, You’ve earned it!
Shop ‘Til You Drop – “the shopaholic”
How to see the best shopping the city has to offer, in a timely manner.
Skip the cluster of Soho shops and head uptown to Madison. Start your day off at Sant Ambroeus, a local Italian restaurant and espresso bar. From light salads, tasty pastas and fresh paninis (my favorite) they have everything you need to get fueled for your shopping day ahead. When you are finished eating, your shopping begins right away.
As you walk down Madison Ave., from 78th street, you will hit tons of high end boutiques and designer shops. Some of my favorites are: Intermix, Zadig & Voltaire, Sandro, Goamvito Rossi, Chloe, Rag & Bone, Olive and Olivia, Mr & Mrs Italy and Chanel.
Make your way down to 61st street where you will run into Barneys, a luxury department store. You could spend hours here wandering through the 10 floors, but I recommend just hitting the 6th, 7th and 8th floors. Floor 6 is women’s shoes and Floors 7 and 8 are women’s contemporary clothing. Also Genes cafe on 8 is a good place to get a pick-me-up coffee, matcha or snack.
Following Barneys, you will want to jump over to 5th avenue and down a little to Bergdorf Goodman, another luxury department store. Again, there are so many floors you could spend all day here but I just recommend the 3rd and 5th floors. Floor 3 is women’s shoes and Floor 5 is women’s contemporary clothing. If you are still on the Shopping grind and not hungry for dinner quite yet, you can spend some time on 5th ave. There you will find all the high end designer shops such as Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Saint Laurent, Tiffany, Prada, Valentino, etc.
However, if you are shopped out and hungry you can head down to 57th street. Just off of 5th ave before you get to 6th ave you will arrive at Nobu, my all time favorite restaurant. Believe me when I say it: I have never eaten something at Nobu that I have not loved. They have redefined the definition of sushi that you won’t understand until you have experienced it. Although it is on the pricey side, it it 100% worth it. The Yellowtail Jalapeño, Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice and Rock Shrimp Tempura are a must. I am going to have to cut myself off here because I could go on and on.
No matter the person, there is something for every NYC tourist. Enjoy the adventure and let me know which route you choose!