Experience the Big Apple from a locals point of view. Get in the big sights (Times Square, Top of the Rock, Broadway, etc), but also have time for lesser known neighborhoods like SoHo and the Meat Packing District (where the cool younger locals hang out).
Explore the streets and check out the foodie scene at Chelsea Market. Indulge in dishes from my all-time favorite restaurants (fresh pasta, authentic ramen noodles, artisan meatballs anyone?!), which are all budget friendly and are sure to leave you extra full. New York is full of sweet treats as well. I’ll share with you the best places for those scrumptious desserts. 🙂 You can even go ice skating (for free- just the cost of skate rentals), visit the Museum of Natural History, walk along the High Line, or take a beautiful snowy stroll around Central Park compete with food truck favorites. I’ll help you get around via subway (much cheaper than cabs), because let’s be honest, it can be quite confusing at first. You’ll have a late dinner each night alongside the locals, and I’ll send you to a low-key bar, lounge, or a super swanky spot for some nighttime fun. NYC is beautiful in the winter time, just be sure to bundle up!
For the Locals: Big Apple’s Parks and Markets
Wake up early and head to breakfast. Sip coffee and maybe have a croissant or two at a nearby bakery.
If you’re up for some outdoor adventure, head to Bryant Park for some ice-skating. Admission to the rink is free, you just need to pay to rent skates. Have a hot drink at Celsius (restaurant) overlooking the rink.
Ice skating not your thing? Choose to meander around Central Park for a while instead. The park is 2.5 miles long, so be sure not to get lost! There are large maps around the park, or print out a copy of your own beforehand. If you do in fact get lost, don’t be ashamed- ask someone nearby- NYers are always giving out directions!
Warm up by exploring Grand Central Station, a 10 minute walk from Bryant park or a 15 minute subway ride from Central Park (take the 6 downtown). Admire the buildings’ architecture, be sure to take it all in from the grand steps, and/or peruse the shops.
Next stop- Chelsea Market. Walk around and have a late lunch here. You’ll be amazed at all the options available! Be sure to get a brownie from Fat Witch Bakery – they are to die for! You can choose to experience the nearby High Line if it’s not too freezing, which is a modern green space revamped from old train tracks. Hang out around the Meatpacking District if you please (NY’smost fashionable neighborhood) and head to Washington Square Park for a quick look.
Take the F (or walk a mile) and discover all the Italian goodness you could want at Eataly on 5th avenue. Have a cannoli, and then walk around Madison Square Park or window shop on the famous 5th Ave.
Have dinner where the locals do- in the East Village, around 7pm (not many people eat earlier than that). Plenty of options to pick from, my favorites being Supper (homemade Italian), S’MAC (artisan Mac ‘n’ cheese), and Ippudo (authentic ramen noodles). Head to the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop or Momofuku Milk Bar for a scrumptious dessert afterwards! If you’re feeling fancy, Max Brenners is the way to go for an evening treat.
For the Tourists: Times Square, Broadway, and Pizza
Grab some breakfast nearby in order to get to Rockefeller Center early. Admire the views from the Top of the Rock, and be sure to look out for the fascinating Central Park in the distance.
Walk around Times Square until you get hungry, then head to a nearby restaurant for some lunch. Opt for some NY style pizza or grab some Shake Shack- both lunches that scream NYC.
Be sure to arrive early for your broadway show at 2pm. Book of Mormon plays at the Eugene O’Neill Theater, which is only a 10 minute or so walk from the center of Times Square.
After the show, head to dinner in the Theatre District. Suggestions include Virgil’s BBQ or Becco, both favorites of mine.
Relax in your hotel room and get a good nights sleep for your first day of work tomorrow!
Additional Activities for your stay
Have more time in NY? Check out some of these recommended places to see!
– Take the tram to Roosevelt Island for some amazing views of the city skyline
– Like modern art? Check out the Guggenheim and the Met! Oh, and don’t forget about the MoMA!
– Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and hang out in at the Brooklyn Bridge Park
– Explore Little Italy and China Town
For your feet! Wear comfortable walking shoes/boots- NYer’s do a lot of walking!
Beat the system… Bring your own lock for ice skating to save $9
When in Central Park… Stop for a photo op with the Alice in Wonderland Statue at East 74th Street.
During winter… Check opening and closing times before heading to an attraction. (Hours of operation can be limited in the winter.)