Welcome to my cheeky little post about what to do in New York. When planning our trip I asked friends for recommendations and also scoured the internet for any videos or blog posts on what to do – I’ve linked all of these at the bottom of the post if you’re interested. This post is a mixture of recommendations and bits that we found ourselves, so please read on and enjoy!
- Rent a boat in Central Park
Hands down one of my favourite parts of our trip. It’s only $15 to hire a boat for an hour, and an extra $3 for any extra 15 minutes you want to go over that, and that’s quite a bargain for activities in New York. It was so fun to have a little row around, and the view from the centre of the lake was incredible too, definitely worth it.
- Statue Of Liberty – and walking up inside the crown!
As with all things in this post – if you can pre-book tickets then definitely do, as we managed to get the last slot available when we bought ours but I’m so so glad we did. I don’t know if it was the weather or the super friendly national park rangers, but this was one of my favourite parts of the holiday. You get a boat over the Liberty island which is a lovely way to start off and you get some really great views. Walking up to inside the crown is also really great, you walk up these tiny little stairs up inside the body of the statue, which is a lot smaller than I thought. The view from inside the crown is also incredible, you feel so tiny inside but it was an experience I would highly recommend as we had such a good time. Oh and I also bought a fabulous hat.
- Go to the Empire State Building at night
We had booked both the Top of the Rock and the Empire State Building with the plan of doing one in the day and one at night. As much as I enjoyed the Top of the Rock it was really grey and cloudy on the day we went up there, so the views weren’t that incredible, but I’m sure they would be on a lovely day. Anyway, I really enjoyed going up the Empire State Building at night, the views you get of New York all lit up are incredible. My boyfriend also booked the tickets where you up to both floors – the 86th and the 112th, and both were incredible. Also prebook your tickets to ensure you skip the huge queues, because even at night they are super long!
- Walk along the High Line
This little part of NYC was relatively unknown to me as it rarely pops up in any official tour guides, but so many people recommended it. It takes you up an old railway track above the streets, along the left side of Manhattan. It’s a lovely little walkway with a great way to see New York from an alternative angle. We walked along it but I think it would be a great place to stop and watch the world go by.
- Visit the 9/11 Memorial
I wasn’t really sure what I would make of this, but the museum and ground zero memorials are definitely something to visit when in New York. I think I was 8 at the time of the 9/11 attacks, so I don’t really know everything that happened, but the museum was very informative and I thought they did it in a very respectful way. The museum takes you along a timeline of the morning of September the 11th, following all the terror attacks that happened that day around America, from the Twin Towers to the attack on the Pentagon. The fountains that now replace the marks of the World Trade Centres are also a humbling sight to see, as I really didn’t expect how big they’d be in real life.
- Go to Times Square and take in the view
Yes it’s full of tourists and people dressed in costumes wanting you to take a picture with them, but it’s one of those must-see things you need to do in New York. We stopped by on a rainy morning to look at the square, have a cup of tea and I had my eyes questionably repainted by a woman in the Sephora there. Yay for Sephora.
- Walk down 5th Avenue
We didn’t really do this properly until the last few days, but 5th avenue is just so nice. Yes it is also full of tourists, but it takes you along a nice little route down from Central Park to the Flat Iron building with lots of shops and nice little looking restaurants. We didn’t really do much shopping in New York apart form Sephora, because it’s Sephora, but it was nice to do a bit of window shopping. It’s just a nice street to walk along to soak in the NYC experience.
- Visit Brooklyn
We stayed in Brooklyn during our trip because we found this lovely little airbnb which was incredibly cheap and it had a roof terrace. It was such a babe. This meant that we had to travel into the city everyday, which we didn’t mind because you can get an unlimited 7 day metro card for $30. Anyway, we had dinner here twice and also walked along the Brooklyn coast to get a lovely view of the Manhattan skyline. It’s a lovely way to see a different side of New York so check it out if you have the time!
So those are my top picks of what to do in NYC! For a bigger write up of what we got up to in New York I have a photo diary over here. I am also working on a post all about my favourite places to eat in NYC, so look forward to that!
p.s For other blog post recommendations I would points you towards these as they definitely helped out in our trip. Kate La Vie’s ultimate NYC guide is insanely good, and her map and recommendations were just the best, also Hannah Gale’s post on what to do in New York was a goodun, and also introduced me to the incredible Bud Light Srawberitas, if anyone knows if they sell these in England I need to know ASAP. I also watched this Helen Anderson vlog which was a great way to actually see everything. Check them out!