Most people get the chance to see New York in a span of several days or up to a week but we decided a spontaneous trip for the weekend could be enough if you plan accordingly. We will definitely be back to do more of the local stuff but you always have to get the main attractions off of your bucket list.
The City Pass is a great way to get through waiting in lines and avoiding crowds. New York is always full of tourists but the City Pass definitely helps seeing these attractions with ease. The best way to see these places is like the locals; by walking, getting taxis or using the subways. There is a hop on hop off bus you can go on with a guided tour that is included in the City Pass but I wanted to make my own agenda and not feel rushed at the sites.
We stayed at the Aliz hotel by Times Square which was very nice so I would work my routes based on this location in the morning. The best way is to set up a route on Google Maps and see what can be walking distance, taxi or subway. We actually didn’t use the subway at all. My husband preferred to call the taxis just like the movies. We found they weren’t that pricey and each trip was about 10-15 minutes maximum with the routes I picked out. The drivers also gave great recommendations and are really part of the fun. The longest rides were from the airport to hotel and Vice Versa which were about 40 minutes when coming from La Guardia Airport which is closer to the Manhattan area. We flew on Jet Blue Airlines. We found they have the best pricing from Miami and have a very comfy and seamless approach at their terminals in LGA airport.
Here is the route and itinerary we made for the days based on the sites we wanted to see most or some great alternatives if you want to chose what you’d like to see more.
Friends Apartment Building
Washington Square Park
One World Observatory
Oculus Station or One World Museum
Statue of Liberty (you can take the 1 hour express ferry and pass by it or there’s a nice view from Battery City Park)
China Town~ Nom Wah Tea Parlor (great place to eat but try to make a reservation beforehand)
Little Italy~ Puglia (great authentic Italian Restaurant feel)
New York Comedy Club
Flat Iron Building
(Woke up early on this day around 8 am to pack in all these attractions)
Brunch at the Refinery Rooftop
Empire State Building
Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center)
Grand Central Terminal
Carlow East Bar (very authentic Irish Pub feeling near the museum)
Solomon Guggenheim Museum (We chose this museum but there are other museum options to chose from on the City Pass. The other museums are larger and can take more time out of the day).
Aladdin or any Broadway of your choice
If you don’t like Broadway you can opt for a Rockettes Show at Radio City Music Hall or a Knicks Basketball Game at Madison Square Garden as well. You can also try and squeeze in some shopping on Fifth Avenue but I am an online shopper and didn’t have enough room in my luggage for more items.
(Woke up a little later around 10:30 am for brunch reservations at 11:30 am)
Things to do at night
There are great bars and clubs in The Village
230 Fifth Rooftop Penthouse (very cool experience with igloos on the roof and a view of the city)
Arlo Rooftop Lounge
Ophelia Rooftop Lounge
1 Oak NightClub
I recommend making reservations if you’re going to have brunch or dinner during the busy season.
The Cinnamon Snail
The Aliz Hotel where we stayed also had the “Impossible Burger” on their menu.
(Or many places will accommodate and make your meal vegan. Of course you have to get creative with your substitutes).
We arrived on a Friday night and were so tired because our flight kept getting delayed so we slept through the first night and left Monday morning but actually the flight got delayed so we didn’t get to leave until about 5pm. So we packed all the fun in 2 days.
New York is definitely a place to scratch off your bucket list. The people are amazing. It’s like a whole different world you get to experience. The best part is that this itinerary can work year round. It’s not restricted to the weather. There is always something to do and it definitely stole a piece of our hearts.