Alright friends, so here it is! My guide to the best weekend NYC tourist trip without getting too touristy.
My 15 year old niece came in for a few days at the beginning of this week and we packed in just about everything we could manage! I'm going to give a breakdown of our days and share our steps so that you can hopefully find some wonderful, unique NYC things to do on your trip!
Day one we headed down to the Meatpacking district for the High Line, Chelsea market, and good food. Chelsea Market and the High Line are must sees when visiting and they're the perfect place to start. There are multiple locations to grab a quick beer, or stop by the famous Standard Beer Garden for a lager....or six! The High Line is absolutely a tourist attraction but lesser known and usually not very crowded. It's the perfect spot for photos and beautiful scenic views. It's my go to place to start to show off the city's charm.
My niece, Bitsy, flew in on a Sunday so first things first, brunch. NYC is known for their amazing brunch and one unique spot that is sure to wow with their extravagant dishes is The Sugar Factory. It is exactly as it sounds-everything sugar and sweet, including the long list of celebs who have visited this famous spot. There are several locations but we chose to go to the one in Meatpacking as it's right by Chelsea Market and the High Line. If you're not into the sugary treats, good brunch is right around the corner anywhere in that area, so finding an amazing meal isn't going to be difficult, and better yet, Chelsea Market is known for its wider variety of delicious food choices so there's a plate for every palate! A one stop shop to visit the beautiful market and get some yummy treats at the same time!
Another lesser known tourist attraction is Chelsea Market. It's the perfect spot to find unique NYC souvenirs and some cool tees to take home to friends. The market is also filled with amazing food and treats along with floral shops, high end grocery shops, and a few sample sale pop ups. I love to pop in at the Doughnuttery which is exactly what it sounds like; delicious doughnuts! If you happen to be around during Christmas time, they have a beautiful light display with floor to ceiling Christmas lights and it is a must see!
Upon completing a delicious meal, walking off said meal, and getting treats from the market to-go, we set out a bit further uptown to see Times Square. We walked by some of the Broadway greats and took photos in all the important spots. We waded through the crowds of people and walked past all the bright lights but instead of lingering in Times Square, we took 42nd street over an Avenue to see the New York Public Library; one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. Known for its architecture and history, this place is a must see. Following that, a quick jaunt by Grand Central Station for some equally beautiful views. Head down to the basement to find a little food court where Magnolia Bakery is a "must stop". I recommend the banana pudding. Seriously. Get the pudding. I don't like bananas but this is like nothing I've ever tasted. It is so delicious it is impossible to leave without trying.
Day two we made our way to my favorite thing about NYC; High Tea. I've said it once, twice, three times...and I will continue to shout about how much I love a good afternoon tea, and Bosie takes the cake for both authenticity and price point. For 32.00 per person you can have an afternoon tea experience as great as the Plaza. Bosie has the most delicious scones with clotted cream and jam that pair perfectly with my favorite Earl Grey Crème. For me, Bosie is the ultimate tea experience in NYC, but there are many close seconds! Feel free to email me if you want any other tea suggestions!
Post afternoon tea (at 10am) we walked over to Prince Street and straight into the heart of SoHo, and SoHo means shopping. Shopping in this area is beyond compare. The saying "if you can't find it in New York you can't find it anywhere" applies to Soho....if it's not in Soho it doesn't exist. This shopping area has everything from the most luxurious designers to an upscale Forever 21. Go shop till you drop and enjoy the old cobblestone streets along the way!
Also, if you need a quick coffee fix, skip Starbucks and find La Colombe. Trust me. There are two locations in SoHo and their cold brew with Oat Milk (yes, Oat Milk. Google it...it's amazing) is refreshing and the perfect little pick me up.
Mid Afternoon we took a quick trip on the metro, taking the F train downtown to the first stop in Brooklyn which is known as the area DUMBO, or "down under manhattan bridge overpass" (remember that one to impress friends back home). This area is the perfect tourist spot for those NYC scenic photos (see below). DUMBO is also the Brooklyn entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge so that as you walk back into Manhattan you're seeing that gorgeous skyline. I highly recommend spending some time in DUMBO because the sites are beautiful and there is so much charm between shops and bakery's. Check it out. Then enjoy a scenic walk back over the Brooklyn Bridge.
Once back in Manhattan I would recommend freshening up and heading out to catch a Broadway show. If you're a returning NYC guest and want to do something a little different in the evening I highly recommend seeing a new movie at the iPic theater. It's a little further downtown in the Financial District but it's worth venturing out for. The iPic theater is a gorgeous movie theater turned restaurant. Its full service menu including drinks is served arm chair side while enjoy a new flick. Take in a movie like a local and enjoy the little luxury of this theater.
On the third day we fetched a bagel and coffee from the bodega and enjoyed our breakfast at Tiffany's...which is surprisingly not very busy in the morning. Once the photos were taken and breakfast scarfed down we walked down to St. Patrick's Cathedral to see the gorgeous and historic site. It truly is breathtaking.
The Met was up next for us... and if you're not a Tiffany's fan (but like...who isn't?) you could always breakfast with Blaire on the Met steps. (: Of all of the museums in New York the Metropolitan Museum of Art is my favorite. There's something about incredible art housed in such gorgeous architecture that gives this museum a completely special feel. We spent most of our day at the Met enjoying the incredible galleries of ancient civilizations. That evening I would recommend exploring Central Park and maybe having a slice or two for a picnic in Sheep's Meadow.
If you're looking for some night life out in the evening I would highly recommend going down to the West Village and bar hoping starting with the best speak easy, Little Branch. The cocktails are always delicious and the live jazz band puts this place on the top of my list for bars. As a note, they're cash only but be sure to try the blackberry martini with rum. It's the best cocktail in town. I would recommend spending some time at Fat Cat, another Jazz dive bar just around the corner that has a large space for fun games including pool, ping pong, and shuffle board.
That pretty much wrapped up our few days in New York but if you have some more time I would recommend trying to hit some of the other museums such as the 9/11 Memorial, the Museum of Natural History, and the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art). I would also recommend the Top of the Rock for amazing views of the city and maybe a cruise around the Statue of Liberty.
There is so much to do and see in such a short amount of time. The city is full of beautiful shops, exquisite food, and amazing sites so getting lost and exploring is the best advice I can give to any newcomer or returning guest. (:
Welcome to the greatest city in the world! (sung by the Hamilton cast)