I think that is the most #humblebrag title I’ve ever written, but I wanted to write a post about what it’s like to plan a holiday to a place you’ve already been to a few times before. Especially as with New York, which I’ve been to twice now, I feel I’ve done the tourists spots before, so this time I can go and properly explore.
To give context to why I’m returning to the Big Apple again, my best pal won a complimentary stay at The London NYC, I mean look at it, we have a suite, A SUITE! So it’s safe to say I am pretty excited about our accommodation this time round (even if it would usually be way above my normal budget). We’re going to be there for 5 days, flying in and out with Virgin Atlantic who are by far my favourite airline to fly long-distance with, they really understand just how many snacks a gal needs in 7 hours.
So, the fun challenge when planning this trip is that my friend, Katie, has never been to New York before, so I need to plan a holiday that suits us both. The other small challenge is we’d like to keep to a budget whilst we’re there, as even though this was a complimentary trip, we’ll still be the ones paying for food, drinks and actives when we’re there, so it would be best to keep it a budget!
Top of the Rock
I did Top of the Rock last time, and I also prefer it to the Empire State Building viewing deck – because you actually get to see The Empire State from here and you also get to see Central Park in one go. However, I’m not sure I’d want to pay to go back up and do the same thing again. Luckily this was when we discovered bar sixtyfive and the Rainbow Room, which is 65 stories above the Rockefeller center, and declares itself as ‘The Highest Outdoor Terrace bar in NYC’. The food and drink does look pricey, but we’ve decided we’d rather treat ourselves to a meal and these dreamy looking cocktails below, with the view than just paying to go to the top sans the food and drink.
So we’re going to see the New York Knicks play the Brooklyn Jets at the Madison Square Garden! I’m so chuffed with this, because we really had to do our research for this one, because *ahem* we’re not exactly the biggest basketball fans. But watching a game at MSG is such an experience that we couldn’t miss out. We worked out when the dates would be, when they’d go on sale, set our alarms for the time difference, researched where best to sit in the cheap seats, and here we are. We have them! I have to say they are on the pricey side, even as they are the cheapest seats, but I’d say it’s the same as what you’d expect to pay for a Broadway ticket if you’re so inclined. Anyway, I’m really excited and as it’s two local teams I’m super excited to see what the atmosphere will be like!
So yeah, we completely obliviously booked a trip to NYC over Halloween weekend! Halloween in America is meant to be slightly insane and even though we didn’t even realise it was the case until recently we’re now really looking forward to it! Apparently there’s a Halloween parade, which we’ll make sure to catch.
I think I have a higher chance of winning the actual lottery than this one, but a girl can try. If you win through the Hamilton Lottery you can get in to the show for $10 a ticket, and you can apply using the app two days before each performance. The chances are slim but I don’t want to throw away my shot (GET IT?)
As for the main ticketed events, we’ve decided we’re only going to do a cruise around the Statue of Liberty rather than actually going to the island itself. We’re also going to visit the 9/11 memorial and museum, as even though I’ve been before, I feel there’s so much to take in there I could go back and spend just as long as last time there.
The Best Things in Life are Free
That’s the saying right? And in NYC I believe it’s pretty true. The activities that are free are often the best. Walk along the Highline, grab the Staten Island Ferry for a Statue of Liberty & New York sky line view, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, and explore Central park. All are free, and as you might have guessed, involve a lot of walking – so perfect to work off all the food. Don’t forget to bring comfy trainers!
Google Maps is Your Friend
Just take a look at the below! Google Drive has been the biggest help with planning a trip with a pal. As we don’t see each other everyday, it’s great for us to update each other and anything we’ve seen by adding them to our shared Google sheet. We also have the map below, which has all the places we want to go when we’re there. It’ll be great to use when we’re actually there as well, as we’ve marked places we like the look of, so if we suddenly get hungry or in need of a drink, we know the nearest places with a good Happy Hour (I have done some thorough research here…)
Food & Drink
Believe me when I say my research has been thorough, every blog post and article suggesting the best bottomless brunches, happy hours and rooftop bars have been scoured by yours truly. They’ve all been added to the map above, so if we’re out and about we know somewhere nearby is good, recommended and within our budget. I’d like to return to at least one of my old favourites again, like Bubby’s or Jacks Wife Freida, but other than that I’m looking forward to visiting somewhere new.
And that’s everything! We’ll be in NYC for 5 days, and hopefully we’ll be able to fit everything in to that time scale! I hope you enjoyed this post, and if I’ve missed anything out for what to do in New York, please let me know in the comments!