How can you begin to plan a trip to the Big Apple? With such massive area, such attractions and possible entertainment, the city just cries for multiple visits. So my suggestion is to listen to that city and take it in bite sized chunks. I’m going to help you plan an amazing New York weekend trip!
There are clearly massive landmarks to see, including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the Brooklyn Bridge. But I’d say, if you try to do it all in a short visit, you’ll end up spending a lot of money and not fully experiencing New York City. That’s not to say that it can’t be done, but my suggestion is to pick an area and really live fully within it.
So the most popular pick is the one I will focus on: Manhattan.
Arriving on Friday
Book your flight and hotel early so you can go from there. Try to stay somewhere near Midtown or the east side. Manage your flight so you can at least grab dinner on Friday night and make the most of your time. Once in Manhattan, grab a simple dinner at one of the many NYC style delis. Pastrami is a popular choice, but if you’re not into that, you can’t go wrong with one of the many sandwiches you’ll find on the menu. I went to Sarge’s Delicatessen & Diner—home of the Monster Sandwich—and, though it was pricey, the food was good. Especially the house-made pickles.
Saturday Morning in Central Park
Saturday, wake up and head to Ess-a-bagel or Pick A Bagel and get yourself a NYC style bagel with one of the fancy cream cheese offerings. After breakfast, make your way over to Central Park. Climb on the famous rocks to view the skyline and stroll along the sidewalks—but keep an eye out for joggers and horse-drawn carriages.
Brunch or Lunch in the Times Square Area
After this, head over to Times Square. This is the classically crowded area of the beloved city, but also an essential part of Manhattan. Take in the crowds, the giant screen ads, and the dressed-up characters. Head through the throng and have brunch or lunch at the fashionable French restaurant Café Un Deux Trois. From here, it’s only a short walk to many of the theatres on Broadway which have matinee showings. Pick a show, any show, and you’re sure to enjoy it—even if you’re not that into musicals.
Saturday Afternoon and Evening in Manhattan
After your show, spend some time taking in the sights. You can visit M&M’s World or Hershey’s Chocolate World for some souvenirs and sweet treats. Then head back down the street toward 5th avenue where you can see some of the classic shops, and even do a little shopping yourself. For dinner, head to the Empire State Building where you’ll find many great restaurants. We stopped in at Tacombi for great fish tacos and guacamole. Finish up your night in Koreatown with some NYC style cheesecake at Paris Baguette or ice cream at Kaylee’s.
Sunday Bites & Sites Before You Leave
Sunday, hopefully your flight is not too early and you can enjoy a little more of the city. I recommend checking out Urbanspace at 570 Lex for some great coffee, donuts, or an acai bowl. Next, visit a museum like the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Morgan Library and Museum. After a morning of art, stop by any stand for a delicious hot dog or head into a pizza place for a bite of classic NYC style pizza—and don’t forget to fold it. Last, check out the 9/11 Memorial to remember an important piece of history.
This itinerary should get you a good experience of Manhattan, and leave you ready for your next New York weekend trip to the Big Apple. Keep in mind that this is a hot spot, so you’ll want to plan ahead by making reservations and purchasing tickets in advance. Happy exploring!
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