Three Days In
Our two-month tour of America started in NYC. It was the city that we didn’t want to miss during this trip and knowing from previous trips how expensive and full-on New York can be, we decided to spend three days in Manhattan and then three days staying with family further north in Connecticut – this worked out perfectly for us, after three jam-packed days, we were so ready for some downtime, out of the hustle and bustle of New York. Here is how we spent our three days in The Big Apple:
Jet lag was on our side for the start of this trip, and we were up and out bright and early to start exploring the city! We were very fortunate with accommodation in New York – our lovely family over there let us stay in their apartment in Chelsea, which meant we were walking distance from the majority of the sights!
We started our day with a walk downtown to the World Trade Centre museum and stopped for the obligatory pancakes, bacon and syrup at Denny’s on the way! Getting to Ground Zero early meant we didn’t have to queue for too long (we used our Citypass to buy our tickets – more about the passes in our “NYC on a Budget” post) and we got to spend a couple of hours exploring the museum before it got too busy. I think everyone remembers where they were the morning of 9/11 and if you do get the chance to go to Ground Zero, we would recommend it – just seeing the scale of what used to stand there is so impressive and humbling.
Second stop of the day was Brooklyn Bridge – definitely one of our highlights of the trip! On the Brooklyn side of the bridge we spent some time wandering around Dumbo and taking pictures of the towering Manhattan skyline. Walking back, we found a cute bakery called One Girl Cookies, and had the most delicious pumpkin spiced and chocolate Whoopie Pies!
Day Two started with a nice long walk along the High Line, which is an old elevated railway line, that has been turned into a walkway garden through the west side of the city. It has amazing views and feels peaceful – away from the millions of people and inpatient New York City drivers below!
We had breakfast in Hells Kitchen at a diner called Westway – definitely a place to visit if you are in NYC. The food (yes, more pancakes!) was great and well priced, plus the service was amazing. Everyone who worked their was so friendly, and our food came really quickly!
We burnt off the pancakes with a walk up to Times Square – which is the most manic, colourful, chaotic place, with some of the best people watching EVER. Although, if you only have time to go to TS once, then definitely go at night, when it is all of those things x 10!
From Times Square the plan was to walk up 5th Avenue towards Central Park – a plan that was quickly ruined by the UN meeting happening that day. As we got to Trump Tower, the NYPD closed down the road in both directions, and we had to take a very very long detour. We took refuge from the UN chaos in the Microsoft store and got to test out their VR gaming system and experience, which was very cool, and they even gave us some free t-shirts!
After an afternoon spent enjoying Central Park in the sun, we used our Citypass to go to The Top of The Rock for sunset. The views! The photo opps from The Rock are some of the best in NYC. From one side you can see over the whole of Central Park, and from the other, you are slap bang in front of the Empire State Building.
If you are trying to decide between visiting the Empire State building, or the Top of The Rock, we would recommend going with the Rockefeller Centre. The view of the Empire State (from the Rock) is even more amazing than actually being at the top of the Empire State building.
We took Day Three a little bit slower than the first two and started it with the most wonderful breakfast bagel in the beautiful Bryant Park. Bryant isn’t the most famous NYC park, but it might be our favourite, with its pretty fountain, tables & chairs and peaceful quietness, overlooked by some of NYC’s towering skyscrapers (also, free wifi that actually works!).
Our bagels came from the very aptly named “Best Bagel and Coffee” shop on 35th street. We both got the bacon, egg and cheese on an everything bagel – we had to have the same, so the other didn’t get food envy (yes, that is a thing!) and it was the best bagel EVER. A morning spent at Bryant Park + bagels, you can thank us later!
We spent our final few hours wandering around NYC, right down the bottom of Manhattan and Battery Park – which is home to the weird and wonderful fish carousel. We stopped at Wall Street on the way back, which was not what we expected, it’s a small cobbled street!
Finally, we made a stop at City Cakes bakery. We had stumbled across City Cakes on Instagram while planning NYC and knew we had to go there and try the famous cookies! It’s not the easiest place to find, but so worth the hunt (TIP: look at basement level!). The people who worked in there were so lovely and that cookie, it worth every single penny of its $4 we promise!
That’s it for our NYC adventure, we had the best three days, eating, walking and sightseeing. There were a couple of things that we didn’t manage to fit in, but that’s okay because we will be back!
Make sure you check out our “NYC On a Budget” post, for more tips and ideas for your trip.