Just before the holidays, Matt and I took a quick trip and spent a weekend in New York. I had been dying to see the Rockefeller Tree so we finally made it happen! Since then, I’ve been getting questions about things during a weekend in New York so I thought I’d continue my A Weekend In series!
Since Matt and I both work full time, most of our trips are 2-3 nights in a certain destination. That was why I thought a series that focused on spending a weekend in a city would be helpful. At least, for all the other fully employed people out there! Thus, the A Weekend In series was born.
If you’re headed to New York, this travel guide should be helpful to give you a few ideas of what to do on your trip! These are the hints that have been recommended to me or we’ve really loved!
A Weekend in New York: Friday
Check in to your hotel! I’d recommend staying up in Midtown if you can find a rate that’s affordable on the weekend you travel. It’s been hit or miss for us whenever we’ve been to New York. Sometimes it’s crazy outrageous but right before Christmas it was affordable. Most of the hotels in NYC are pretty small so don’t plan on spending much time in the room. You’ll be disappointed anyway!
If you’re a drink before dinner girl, stop by Sophia’s Wine Bar.
For dinner, there are so many amazing restaurants in the city. I think the concentration of good food has to be higher than anywhere else. I would recommend booking a reservation ASAP or going to a more hole in the wall place. Matt and I tried Pure Thai Kitchen in Hell’s Kitchen for a late lunch last time we were there and loved it. They had both meat and vegan options and everything we tried was amazing! They also could make things mild or spicy based on what you wanted!
We also grabbed drinks at Canyon Road which is a Mexican food spot on the Upper East Side. It was an impromptu engagement party for our friends that got engaged that day so it was really fun and more underground. For a drink after, try Sojourn, Vanguard, Serena’s, or Bar Prima. We went to The Auction House which has a cool speak easy vibe!
A Weekend in New York: Saturday
For breakfast, try The Smith on the Way but only if you’re taking the train (not an Uber). You can also grab a bagel from any one of the authentic shops on this list. They really are the best bagels I’ve ever tasted. NYC just makes them better!
Go see the 9/11 memorial bright and early. Buy tickets in advance so you’re not waiting in long lines! Also bring a few Kleenex because it’s the most moving memorial I’ve ever been at. You will definitely be able to spend a few hours here!
If you want to stay in the Financial District, grab lunch at El Vez and get the blood orange margarita. It’s a Mexican food joint that’s a little unique but also has great food.
If you want to move back toward Midtown, you can stop for a slice at Bleecker Street Pizza in Greenwich village. It’s a hole in the wall spot but I really liked the vibe. Plus Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment is right around the corner at 64 Perry Street for any Sex and the City fans. If you’re a fan of the show Friends, the Friends apartment is at 90 Bedford Street!
For a lighter bite, try by Chloe. It’s an adorable vegan spot (there are 2 locations) and it’s really good. Even non-vegans go and love it! If you go to the one on 22nd Street, don’t miss an opportunity to take a photo at the Flatiron Building! If you feel like walking, stop by the New York Public Library for some beautiful architecture.
If you’re in the city during the holidays, it’s worth walking down 5th Avenue to see the decorations. Saks Fifth Avenue was the highlight of our trip. There are so many shops right by Rockefeller center that if you want to pick up a few things, it’s a great place to do it! Other festive places are Bryant Park, Grand Central, and Lotte New York Palace. There are also various holiday markets around the city which are fun to browse! Times Square is also a must see but only do it once. It’s usually so chaotic and filled with tourists! We also saw Aladdin on Broadway and it was amazing. So, find a show you love and buy some tickets!
If you are interested in doing an afternoon tea, book a reservation at The Plaza hotel as soon as you can! The spots book up so fast – we couldn’t get in before the holidays. It was pretty just to walk by and see the decorations though!
For dinner, if you’re wanting to try a new area, go out on the Lower East Side. I’ve heard amazing things about Beauty & Essex, Momofuku, and Pianos. Use Open Table to find a menu that you like. Literally there are so many places with amazing food! Matt usually picks out restaurants and they are tailored to me since I’m vegan so some places might not be on our list!
A Weekend in New York: Sunday
Grab breakfast at Sarabeth’s near Central Park. It’s one of the more iconic restaurants that you’ll find a lot of people have in their travel guides! We haven’t been there yet but it was recommended by several!
Go to Rockefeller Center and do the Top of the Rock experience. We did this first thing in the day and were so glad we did because there were no lines! It was really cool and you can get some great photos of the city with 360 degree view. Definitely one of our favorite places to see cities from above.
After breakfast talk a walk through Central Park. If you’re more into workouts, try a run! Central Park is so huge that you could easily walk for hours. If the weather is amenable, you can take a row boat out on the lake in the middle of the park. Walk by the Gothic Bridge, the Gapstow Bridge, and/or the Bow Bridge for some photo opportunities!
If you’re hungry for lunch, stop by Tavern on the Green. It’s also a cute spot to grab a drink later if you should be in the area. Otherwise, head east and grab some macaroons at Laduree for a snack. There is a SOHO location where you can grab tea and supposedly it’s cuter and more of an experience.
If you have an early flight, combine Saturday and Sunday if you can! Just plan your route based on a map.
Have you been to NYC? Do you have any favorite things to do when spending a weekend in New York?