Ahhh.. New York City. The Big Apple. The City that Never Sleeps.
New York is a city like no other! The only city that can be exhausting and exhilarating, all at the same time. If this isn’t #1 on your bucket list, well, go on.. add it now!
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I traveled with my boyfriend’s family, who were seriously the best possible people to go to New York with. Being from the east coast, they were the ultimate tour guides!
TIP: New York City’s traffic is horrid. Try your absolute hardest to avoid rush hour traffic when arriving or leaving the city.
If this is your first time in New York City, I recommend staying right in Times Square. I know it’s touristy, but…. you are a tourist! This itinerary is jam-packed with all the major sites, so you want to be sure to stay as central as possible.
My favorite hotel that is extremely fairly priced is The Crowne Plaza. I have stayed here every time I’ve been to New York and never leave disappointed.
Check into your hotel and spend your night strolling around Times Square, which feels like your walking through a movie set!
Grab a bite to eat FEAST at the popular restaurant, Carmines right at Times Square. You will be blown away by the portion sizes!
Instead of going rooftop bar-hopping, we just like… slept. Hey, we were jet-lagged and in a serious food coma, okayyyy. Some rooftop bars that we never made it to but looked so inviting are: St. Cloud, Haven, Bar 54 & The Skylark.
I only had a few short days to see everything this city has to offer so I opted in for the mega-touristy hop on hop off tour… Before you get all Judge-Judy on me, just see all that we got to see in a short 8 hour tour!
Stop 1: St. Patrick’s Cathedral
This beautiful and timeless cathedral is in the heart of NYC and stands out like a sore thumb! The old architecture is such contrast from the modern sky scrapers.
Plus, it’s free to walk inside and who doesn’t love free stuff? 🙂
Stop 2: The Rockefeller Center
We went in August and it was HOT and HUMID. I was secretly wishing it was December and we could go Ice skating at this famous spot! If you have the opportunity to go during Christmas time.. do it. So I can live vicariously through you.
By the Rockefeller Center you can see the NBC new station, have lunch are their adorable cafe, or take a trip to the top of their observation deck!
Stop 2: Wall Street
Has anyone else watched Wolf of Wall street like way too many times? (If you can’t tell my reading any of my other posts, I obviously watch way too much TV ha ha.. ha.)
You can people-watch the fast paced, suit wearing business men on their way to make $1,000 / hour! Seriously though, everyone always seems to be in a huge rush in this city, if you can’t tell by the 24/7 honking!
Don’t forget to take a insta-worthy picture with the bronze-bull statue in the middle of the finance district.
Stop 3: Central Park
After seeing Central Park, I am determined to go back to NYC to spend a full day there! You can go bike riding around the park or even rent a rowboat and have a picnic out on the lake.
You will see such a small tidbit of the park and your tour guide will show you where the well-known philanthropist and widow of John Lennon, Yoko Ono, lives.
Stop 4: Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
You will take the scenic ferry ride over to the Statue of Liberty while getting a perfect view of New York City’s skyline. I get sea sick like, standing in the ocean.. So if you’re afraid of getting sea sick – If I can do it, so can you!
They only allow ~200 tickets to the top of the crown per day (which is not a lot in comparison to the thousands of visitors), so tickets book a year+ in advance! If you don’t think that far in advance (so, everyone?), you can go to the pedestal instead! The strenuous, stair-climb to the top will definitely make you regret drinking all those fancy cocktails the night before!
It’s 354 steps to the top, but the views are worth it, I promise!
Stop 5: 9/11 Tribute Center
On one of your last stops of the day, you visit the outside of the 9/11 memorial. Here, you can see the two large fountains that are in place of the twin towers.
We had an amazing guide who was a local during this terrorist attack. He explained the attack from his point of view and allowed us to feel what it was actually like to be there that day.
We did not have the time to see the actual museum, but it is highly recommended from friends and family. If you have an extra day, I think this should be top of the list!
Stop 6: Empire State Building
The last stop of the tour was optional because it did cost extra. We decided to spend the extra money to see the top of the Empire State Building.
In my opinion, you can’t go to New York without going to the Empire State Building. It’s like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tour!
Super cheesy and “not-posed-at-all” picture of us looking off into the distance, ha!
Even though I was exhausted from the day, if you only have 48 hours in this amazing city, you have to push through!
We did some shopping at the largest Victoria’s Secret in the world, which was 3 stories high! If you’re OCD like me and have to look at every single piece of clothing to be able to sleep at night…. don’t go in there.. I warned you.
Now that you got all the touristy stops out-of-the-way, next time you back to the Big Apple you can spend your time soaking in the culture and good food!
Pssst… Don’t forget to check out my other guides for NYC!
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