Part 2 of my guide to NYC is finally here. Real life got in the way, then I remembered, how are any of you going to know what to do in NY without my guide? Only kidding. Kinda…
So, because both myself and my boyfriend have been to New York before, we weren’t too fussed about doing all of the touristy sights for a second time, however we did discover some new finds.
We were staying pretty central, in midtown, just a 10 minute walk away from Times Sq and a 10 minute walk in the opposite direction towards Central Park. We found that walking was the best way to discover new places, and stumble upon some gems, rather than grabbing a yellow cab or an uber- and it saved money. I must confess, we tracked our steps throughout the holiday and we calculated that we walked over 2 whole marathons during our trip!! Who needs a gym right?
My top tips for things to do
Chelsea – really easy to get to by jumping on the subway. Chelsea Market is of course in Chelsea, which is full of interesting pop up eatery’s, ice cream stalls, oyster bars, freshly made pasta bars, pretty much all kinds of bars! Even if you aren’t wanting to grab food, its a really buzzy little venue and definitely deserves a walk through. Honestly, I doubt you’ll be able to resist ALL of the stalls. Chelsea also has an entrance to The Highline*.
Soho- Think Prince St/Spring St/Houston St when you’re looking on a map. This is a great little district, full of good shopping, brunch places, interestingly bricked low rise buildings that make you feel like you are momentarily in an entirely different city. It feels like a really youthful and happening area. Make sure you let yourself just walk as I guarantee you’ll discover some cool spots.
Flatiron- This was actually one of my favourite areas, which may be partially down to me finding the most amazing clothes shop, Lou and Grey- girls you have to go! There is also a place called Eataly, which is of course great for it’s Italian food, but also fun for a wander. Madison Square Park is also pretty hard to miss in this district; a vast 7 acres of lawn, which is great for a lazy afternoon, a sunbathe (if it’s summer!) and a people watch!
Walk the Highline– You MUST ‘walk the highline’; a 1.45-mile-long linear park created on an elevated section of a disused New York Central Railroad. It runs from Gansevoort in the Meat Packing District, to West 34th St between 10th and 12th. (Wow I really have the hang of this!) You walk between the flowers and greenery as you look at the beautiful scenery around you. The walk is full of pop of stalls for ice cream, coffee, beer, and food, which truly makes for a perfect couple of hours. Even better, if the weather is nice, you can take a pit stop on one of the double wooden sun loungers and have a sunbathe!
Explore Times Sq– Experience the famous hustle and bustle of New York, and get the classic souvenirs if you fancy. If you like going to the theatre, and you haven’t booked in advance, then Times Sq is the perfect place to grab last minute tickets. Find the TKTS stall and queue up for some tickets on the day. Warning… tickets were crazy pricey, even at a discounted rate!
Visit the 9/11 Memorial– head towards the Financial district to spend an afternoon looking around the 9/11 memorial and museum. It was one of the most interesting and thought-provoking experiences, and I’m so glad we took time in our trip to visit such an amazing place.
Whilst you are in this area, you should definitely tie in heading down to the Seaport. It’s full of pop up eatery’s, outdoors bars, cute shops and a buzzy atmosphere. It gives a totally different vibe compared to being in Midtown Manhattan, but both myself and my boyfriend loved it!
Central Park- The famous park, perfect for a lazy few hours, to take a picnic and to people watch. It’s not often you ‘stop’ in NYC, but a city break doesn’t mean you have to spend every minute of the day ‘doing something’. Take a few hours out to just relax. We also spent an hour or so around the Central Park Zoo for a bit of childlike fun.
Top of the Rock/Empire State– These are two of the best places to see the magnificent New York Skyline. We didn’t visit either of these on this trip as we’ve been before, but it should definitely be on the list of things to do in order to experience the views and get the perfect pic for the gram!
Best areas for shopping
I would know- say hey to the professional shopaholic. Maybe my love for shopping is a bad thing, but I really do love all of my new clothes and shoes!
5th Ave is full of all the big brands- Abercrombie, Tiffany, Victoria Secret, Tommy Hilfiger, to name a few. Just walk!
Rockafeller- a fair few shops are dotted around this area, plus some really great outdoor bars for a breather after all the retail therapy!
Soho- explore Prince St, Spring St, Houston St.
Bloomingdales on Lexington Ave
To be honest, wherever we were, we found shops! Lethal for the wallet.
I know I’ve harped on about how much we walked, but really, that is the key to finding some hidden gems. We loved just taking in the hustle and bustle of the city, stopping off for a quick smoothie and being amidst the hurried life of the locals. I would also recommend using the Subway. Everyone seems to say that the Subway is impossible to use, but from my experience, it is super easy, super cheap, and equipped with some wonderful air conditioning. London seriously needs to get on that!
I hope these two guides helped! It can often seem really overwhelming heading to a new city, but with a bit a forward planning and research, I can ensure that you will have just as wonderful a trip as we did. The city that never sleeps really is an amazing one.
Life really is ‘so far so good’. Happy reading!