I’ve been living and working in the NYC area for almost five years now, and there’s still so much to see and do. But I thought I’d put together a little guide for those of you who haven’t been to New York City and plan to come visit.
So here are 10 places I’ve been that I absolutely love, and would recommend visiting while you’re in New York City.
1. See the city from the Top of the Rock
Yes, it’s worth the $25 ticket. It is every bit worth it. I’ve been up here multiple times, and when I have someone from out of town visiting me, I always recommend them to go. It’s an amazing view, and you won’t regret it. I prefer this over the Empire State Building view, primarily because you can actually see the Empire State Building in the skyline when on top of the Rockefeller Center. I’d recommend going right before sunset, so you can get three views for one price – day, sunset and night.
2. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
Grab a buddy or go alone. For beautiful photo opp’s and a good ol’ stroll from lower Manhattan into Dumbo, Brooklyn, please take an hour or two to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and enjoy the view behind you – especially when it’s a beautiful day outside. When you get to Dumbo, head on over to Brooklyn Bridge Park for an amazing view of lower Manhattan, right on the water.
3. Eat, taste and shop at Eataly
Hello, Italian heaven. It may not be the same as being in the markets of Florence, but it is definitely somewhere to spend a few hours during the day. Eataly is an all-out market filled with different vendors, shops, restaurants and bakeries. Cheeses, pastries, fresh produce and wonderful restaurants that often host cooking classes – Eataly is a must-see, must-explore store beautifully located right in front of the Flatiron Building.
4. Relax and read at The Strand Bookstore
A local favorite – The Strand Bookstore has a wonderfully curated collection of books, and sweet spots to sit and read. It’s worth a visit, especially if you’re a lover of books!
5. Indulge at Magnolia Bakery
The line is usually out the door, but it’s worth it baby – Magnolia Bakery has some of the best cupcakes and sweets in the city. If it’s not sold out when you get there, do try the banana pudding. Hopefully it’s nice outside because there’s usually nowhere to sit – grab and go and sit outside on a bench and enjoy with a loved one!
6. Explore the Chelsea Market
Yet another place in NYC that you could easily get lost roaming around – the Chelsea Market is a cluster of cool shops, cafes, restaurants and groceries all packed into an awesome venue in the heart of the Meatpacking District. Seafood markets, handmade pasta, bakeries, ramen shops, vintage fleas – you name it, they’ve got it.
7. Check out the goodness that is Beecher’s Cheese Shop
Stroll into Beecher’s Handmade Cheese Shop and yes, you’ll see lots of cheese, but you’ll also get to see the factory they make it in – surrounded by glass walls that you can look into, to see how the cheese is being made right inside the shop. Do try the mac and cheese, and thank me later.
8. Shop ’til you drop at Century 21.
A New York City icon in itself, Century 21 is a department store that is eight floors of absolute ridiculous deals – from the lower end, everyday brands to high-end designer brands right off the runway, you’ll spend hours searching through racks of clothing, accessories, home goods, electronics, jewelry and cosmetics. It’s like Macy’s but on crack. It’s one of my favorite places to shop when I’m looking for one-of-a-kind goodies for a great deal.
9. Take a field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Ahh, yes museums. If you’re the type to enjoy museums – I’d visit them all. But there are a lot of museums in NYC, so if you’re only planning on visiting one, I’d recommend visiting the Met. The history, the architecture, the exhibitions – it’s a cultural time machine that will make you wonder why you ever hated going on field trips to the museum in grade school. Note that there’s actually no entrance fee – it’s donation-based. If you see a sign and it says $20 for an adult – that’s a recommended donation, not required for entrance. You can donate $1 if you want – the donation amount is up to you.
10. Stroll through Central Park
When it’s covered in snow, it’s absolutely magical – cold, but magical. If you do visit in the spring/summer, plan to soak in the sun, lay out on the grass, watch tourists and locals alike do the same, and enjoy the company of a loved one. You can rent a canoe or just toss a frisbee with a furry friend. There’s always something to do, and always something to see.
I found most of these places on the Shop NYC app from Hayes & Jarvis – an app helps you plan your activities in NYC and lays them out in map form. The best part is that the app gives you suggestions on where to go – from museums, department stores, restaurants and “New York One-Offs” – places you’ve definitely got to visit while in the Big Apple. Download the app for free and build your itinerary here.
Do you have any suggestions as to where to go or what to see in New York City? Share them with our community in the comments section below!