Another new feature I thought I would add to the blog following my recent travels was a little series of ‘Travel Guides’. I tend to write a really long, picture-heavy post after I have visited a new place and I thought these mini guides could be a quick read with my highlights including where to eat, what to do and where to stay.
First up, New York, one of the most vibrant, exciting and fun places to visit. No matter what your interests, there is a never-ending amount of things to do including walking tours, sports, art galleries, shopping, sight-seeing and an amazing variety of places to eat. I have only been to this city twice so this is by no means an exhaustive list but just a few recommendations.
Dotted around the city, these tea shops offer delicious beverages with several free tasters in store!
South Street Seaport
A very cool district full of great bars and restaurants. We happened upon the Smorgasburg food market when we were there and had some amazing lobster rolls and local beers.
Tick Tock Diner
Standard, American diner serving great pancakes and other breakfast items.
A little foodie mecca with some amazing choices for lunch – it is a perfect stop once you have walked The High Line.
Ellen’s Stardust Diner
Good for breakfast with singing Broadway-trained waiters – a really fun start to the day!
Iguana New York
This Mexican restaurant was next door to our hotel and did the best margaritas.
Grand Central Station
Not only is the station itself a must-see in my opinion, but there is a great little food court on the lower level which includes Shake Shack, Magnolia Bakery and a lovely soup bar.
A New York institution, endure the queues as the pastrami and beef brisket sandwiches are worth it!
Visit Central Park
It’s huge so you can make several visits during your stay and see a different area each time. We went running here in the mornings, strolled in the afternoons and even came for a picnic but there are also outdoor concerts, play areas, a boating lake, sculptures and an outdoor swimming pool in the summer…a beautiful oasis amongst the skyscrapers.
See a Broadway Show
There is a booth in Times Square where you can get discounted tickets for shows the same day and we took advantage of this to go and watch ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time’ for my 30th birthday. Times Square at night is a sight to behold too.
Buy a CityPASS
If you plan on doing several of the major tourist attractions then it is worth looking into this ticket booklet to save some cash. My Mum bought me mine for a birthday present and we ended up visiting the Empire State Building (twice!), the Natural History Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, the 9/11 Memorial Museum and a ferry tour of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, all of which I would recommend.
Walk The High Line
Once an abandoned railway track, this elevated walkway takes you through wild gardens, art installations and food vendors with great views of the local neighbourhoods.
Go Kayaking on the Hudson River
The Manhattan Community Boathouse offers free half hour kayaking (which is about how long my arms could take!) in a couple of locations. We went at sunset and it was such a fun thing to do!
If you want to be near to Central Park and the buzz of Broadway and Times Square, then I would recommend staying at The Ameritania. The staff are incredibly helpful if you need directions or a recommendation, the rooms are clean and modern and there is a Starbucks over the road for chai tea and free wifi!
Buy a MetroCard for getting around the city. We bought a 7-day card for around $30 and definitely got our money’s worth using it several times a day. The carriages are also air-conditioned which is a godsend in the summer!