New York City: Been there, done that. Have you?
I went to New York for the first time this past June.
It was amazing. Here are some of the things I did and would recommend, as well as some tips:
- Hotel selection is very important – depending on what you want to do it is good to stay close to the attractions you want to visit; your feet will thank you.
- Get a hop-on hop-off bus pass. This is best to get ahead of time as rates are less expensive than locally. It is a great way to see the city and learn fun facts as well.
- Visit Serendipity. This was a personal favorite for me as I love the movie Serendipity, so it was amazing to get to have the famous frozen hot chocolate just like John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale did.
- Transfers to your hotel are available at the airport, although you need to book your return transfer 24 hours prior. We did not do this, so it was a bit stressful, but we were able to purchase a ticket on a shuttle leaving close to Grand Central Terminal.
- Top of the Rock tour is a great choice, especially if you want to get pictures of the Empire State Building. It is recommended to get tickets in advance to reduce lines; however, you can’t guarantee the weather will cooperate.
- For inexpensive transportation, learn the subway ahead of time as it is quite overwhelming and confusing with trains and subways all at Grand Central Station.
- Go to a Mets or Yankee game. See my previous blog for more tips on this.
- Keep your eyes peeled for celebrities, as many live in New York and are out and about. We were lucky enough to see two on our trip – Tom Cruise and Ted Danson.
Statue of Liberty
- For great free pictures of the Statue of Liberty, take the Staten Island ferry that departs from Battery Park. You do not need to line up for it as it holds a lot of people.
- Great shopping for purses, sunglasses, t-shirts: visit Canal Street, be sure to bargain.
- For lots of oversized candy, visit the FAO Schwarz and the Toys “R” Us in Times Square, great for pictures. If you have time play the piano from Big in FAO Schwarz.
- For a great relaxing lunch, if you have an hour or so to line up, try my favorite burger and shakes at the Shakeshack in Madison Park. It’s well worth the wait!
- Times Square is the center of it all, also the location of the discount tickets for Broadway and off Broadway shows; get there early and have an idea of what you would like to see and a budget. There is a board with a list of shows and the percentage off. We saw Jersey Boys and I would highly recommend it, very good.
- Bring comfortable shoes, a must as we walked tons – the blocks are short but there are many of them.
Have you been to New York City? What was your favorite part of the trip?