1.) WALK THE HIGHLINE
Probably one of my favourite things that we did whilst in NYC, I won’t lie! I never walked the highline on my last visit to New York (hell, I’m not even sure if it was built then or not!), myself and Kat had a finished our work for the day by lunchtime and it was a beautiful day so we strolled from our hotel (in Times Square) all the way down to the highline (It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues) and along it (approx 1.45 miles) we followed it all the way to the end and ended up in Chelsea which is a beautiful district you also need to check out! We’d worked up quite an appetite so we headed to the Chelsea Food Market for some delicious homemade Thai noodles!
It doesn’t cost anything to walk the highline and it’s a great way to spend a few hours, taking in the city sites – it’s also another great way to see the city from a different view! If you’re travelling with elderly or kids, there’s lots of benches and cute little places to sit and rest (we sure plenty of people just chilling out reading their books!), so be sure to do it at a leisurely pace and take everything in!
2.) VISIT THE TOP OF THE ROCK
If I could even recommend just one thing to do whilst in New York, it would have to be… visit the Top of the Rock (or the Rockafella centre as people know it!), the views are absolutely breathtaking and I have to say that I personally think the views are so much better than that of the empire state building. I went up the Empire state on my last visit to NYC and whilst I loved it, I think the Empire state is a really impressive building so it’s incredible to see that from another viewpoint in the city. The Rockafella also practically looks right over central park too so you’ll get great views of that also!
Our tickets were around £20-£25 each but it’s 1000000% worth it! We booked in for 5.15pm and actually found it to be the perfect time as the sun was starting to lower and we captured some great shots! It was busy but not overly crowded to the point where you couldn’t get snaps etc, everyone was super friendly and we were never rushed to leave so we spend a good 45 minutes soaking up the views before we flew home to London!
3.) WALK THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE
On our last night we stayed in Brooklyn so that we’d be able to explore the area and see a new part of the city, our hotel; Aloft was only around a 10 minute walk from the start of the Brooklyn bridge so we walked across it into Manhattan both in the morning and of an evening, if you’re able to – I’d highly recommend doing both! It’s the most stunning view of the city and to see it at night is just incredible! Again, it’s something that I’d recommend to take your time and do at a leisurely pace, make sure you really take in the sights – I know I’ll have those views with me for a very long time!
4.) CHECK OUT THE MEATPACKING DISTRICT
I have to say that the Meatpacking district was probably my favourite area in NYC, it felt very New York but at the same time it kind of didn’t. I loved how all the roads are super wide and the buildings are a lot lower – it’s a super cool area packed with amazing eateries and incredible warehouse-turnt-office-spaces, we even strolled past a huge Google HQ whilst there! Oh, and we also bumped into the Mayor of the Meatpacking district (whilst taking a picture of a door for Instagram, OBV), he was the most charming guy and we had a good ol’ natter with him for at least 10 minutes… new BFFL?!
5.) RIDE THE SUBWAY
Admittedly, this is probably something that you would end up doing anyway to get around the city (although we hardly used it as we made the most of the weather and walked everywhereeeee) but we bought a weekly travel card anyway (only $30… so much cheaper than London!), but I always love to check out the undergrounds when I go to cities, it’s something that I find fascinating and I think with NYC especially as I just envision so many films etc filmed on the New York subway!
6.) VISIT CARRIE BRADSHAW'S APARTMENT
We headed to the Bleeker Street area and wondered up to Carrie’s infamous apartment (yup, someone actually lives there – how ridiculously cool is that?! "I live at Carris Bradshaws apartment"…) so there is a rope across the steps and you can’t get inside or up the steps, but alas, like the toursist/SATC lover in us, we sat on the steps for a cheeky picture and loved every minute! Even if you’re not a Carrie/SATC fan, I’d highly recommend checking out Bleeker Street as again that was another favourite district of mine, so many good healthy restaurants too (you have to have to have to visit By Chloe – it’s awesome!).
7.) WATCH SCHOOL OF ROCK
Oh my god. I have never watched a show on broadway before so myself and Kat went to watch School of Rock (which is already pretty high up there as one of my favourite films) but ohmigoddddd it was the best show I have ever seen! The kids were absolutely out of this world (especially Zack on the guitar!!), their singing, acting and live musical skills genuinely gave me goosebumps (and yes, okay we *may have shed a little tear at one point!). Trust me, if there’s one show to see in NYC… it has to be this one!
8.) VISIT THE GOSSIP GIRL STEPS
Xoxo Gossip Girl... Kat and I were/are obsessed with GG, the whole time during our trip we were like ‘oh my god so this is where this happened’ and ‘remember that scene filmed here’ – maybe that’s sad, who knows?! But we LOVED IT! Naturally we headed to the Met Museum to check out the infamous GG steps and had to stop for a picture! We actually got there in the afternoon and spent an hour just chilling on the steps and watching the world go by in the sunshine, it was lush!
9.) TAKE THE STATEN ISLAND FERRY
One night during our trip we actually stayed on Staten Island, again to get a different feel for the city. The ferry across to Staten Island is free and takes around 15/20 minutes, I’d highly recommend boarding with a camera and taking some shots – again, it’s a great way to see the city (and the statue of liberty) from another perspective!
10.) VISIT ONE WORLD
After our stay in Staten Island the ferry brought us into downtown New York, we walked up through Wall Street (again, pretty cool to see especially during lunch time, it’s all hustle and bustle!), and up to One World. The last time I was in NYC I visited and they had a memorial ground but they hadn’t started building One World yet, it’s honestly the most impressive and beautiful building that I’ve ever seen. You can really imagine quite how big it actually is until you’re there craning your neck just to try and see the top! Apparently the views from the top are also incredible but we ran out of time to do this, next time!
Have you been to NYC?! What are your 'must-visits'? Anything I need to add onto my to-do list for next time? I'd love to know your favourite spots!