A Week In New York: Top Things To Do
It’s been just over a month since I got back from New York City *sigh* and after the best week ever, I figured it would be a great place to chat to you about in my first proper blog post (I am very excited about this!). Had I known I was going to start a blog, I would have taken even more (or just better) photos on this trip, but hindsight is a wonderful thing!
So about the brilliant city… It really doesn’t sleep which means whatever time you are out and about, whether you want to do touristy things or something a bit quirkier, there is always so much to do. I went for a family wedding which meant it was the prefect mix of being a tourist and being part of a family from NYC! There are so many things you can do and see in New York and I definitely didn’t see them all, but I had a very fun time trying…
New York Yankees
You HAVE to go and experience a sports game of some description as there is a very different atmosphere to watching a game in the UK. You’ll love it even if you aren’t a fan! Different sports are on at different times of the year so make sure you check the fixtures before you go to see which sport is on whilst you’re there and check for a home game. I was lucky enough to watch the New York Yankees at the Yankee Stadium for the second time and it did not disappoint. Plus, it was the local derby against the New York Mets so the city, subway and ground were buzzing all day. I didn’t want to spend a fortune, but wanted a view; I definitely got that! The seats were in the third tier (section 326) and you were directly above the action, with a great view of the entire stadium.
Best Views of NYC From Top of the Rock
With views across Central Park, Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan and more, Rockefeller is a must if you want the best views of the city. I’ve seen it in both the day time and at night and I wouldn’t want to choose between them so I’d definitely go up twice (you can buy a tickets to see it in the day time and evening!). During the day you can pick out all of the famous sights that are just iconic to the skyline, such as Statue of Liberty, Empire State, Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park, but you can also admire the amazing Lower Manhattan skyline including the impressive One World Trade Center. At night, the atmosphere is different, but unmissable. These sights are lit up, along with the entirety of NYC and it is like nothing you’ve ever seen before; magical.
Bird’s Eye View From a Helicopter
I said Top of the Rock has the best views of NYC and I wasn’t lying… but a 30 minute helicopter ride was definitely a once in a lifetime experience. You can’t see this many sights and these bird’s eye views any other way. If you have any extra budget to spend and want to do something unique, I would highly recommend this experience.
Central Park Sights
You could spend hours following all of the paths around Central Park, but there were some definite highlights that I’d recommend if you’re short of time. Bethesda Fountain and Terrace is beautiful and a must do for any Chuck and Blair fans! I also stumbled across an incredible gospel choir singing under the terrace – amazing. We popped into The Boathouse for a cocktail to admire the views across the lake (a must see for me as it is the famous venue in 27 Dresses). The Mall is the perfect place to watch the world go by and watch street performers, The Reservoir is a popular running route first thing in the morning so give that a go if you fancy a run with a view and don’t forget to visit Alice in Wonderland!
Times Square Atmosphere
The atmosphere at Times Square is like nowhere else in New York. Whether you go in the day or at night, the area is full of so much hustle and bustle. I love the lights and the feel, but the area does have that busy, touristy feel- I guess that’s what you expect from such a famous location. I wandered down a few times to experience the flashing lights, and of course had a selfie on the Red Steps, but never stayed too long.
High Line and Chelsea Market
The High Line is a public park built on a disused railway. It is a hidden gem running down the West Side of Manhattan and I absolutely love it. Filled with art, sculptures, nature and more, this is a great place to spend a warm afternoon- especially on the sun loungers next to the water feature; the perfect place to cool your feet. It does lack shade though, so in mid August I was very hot. Don’t forget to visit Chelsea Market whilst you’re in the area! Find any type of food you can imagine, but don’t miss The Fat Witch Bakery for the best Brownies in NYC.
Brooklyn Bridge at Sunset
Brooklyn Bridge with the Manhattan skyline in the background was the view I was waiting for and it did not disappoint. I couldn’t fit it in until the last night, but it was worth the wait. After wandering across Brooklyn Bridge late afternoon, I watched the sunset from Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Manhattan skyline is iconic, the bridge is an incredible structure and the whole experience really was magical. After dark I wandered to the other side of Brooklyn Bridge to capture a different view- yes I had to see it from all angles and it was perfect.
Statue of Liberty & Staten Island Ferry
I’ve been to NYC twice now and both times I saw the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island ferry. It is a free ferry which takes you from Manhattan to Staten Island and back, sailing past her in both directions. It is a great way to see her and it saves you paying for an extra activity (as it is already quite a pricey trip), but if you want the up close and personal experience I would consider paying for a tour on Liberty Island- you can even get into the crown- that is a must on my list for next time!
Smorgasburg Market – Williamsburg
I almost forgot to write about Smorgasburg Market, which was an absolute highlight for me. An outdoor food market in Williamsburg where you can get anything and everything. My lime mango was beautiful in the heat- a must. Plus, you get views of Manhattan from another angle again- who doesn’t want more of that!
9/11 Memorial and Museum
Finally, one last important thing, the 9/11 Memorial is an incredible experience. If you’re in NYC, you can’t not see it. They have opened a museum since I last came to visit and it was an amazing, but heartbreaking experience. Expect tears reading and hearing all of the personal stories. Some people had a guided tour and it looked like they received even more information so that might be worth looking at! Make sure you look out for The Survivor Tree outside and listen to its story, too.
After being a tourist all week, I also managed to enjoy a rehearsal dinner at the Norwood Club, a wedding at The Pierre (stunning location if you can get in and sneak a peak) and a Rooftop BBQ on 91st Street- a true taste of life in New York with amazing people.
I absolutely LOVE New York- can you tell? I hope I haven’t bored you with my brain dump about The Big Apple, but there really is so much to do and these are just some of them. If you are planning a trip in the near future, look out for my post around top tips for NYC!