I <3 NY. There’s a reason so many songs are written about this city. It’s just magical. New York has a certain energy to it that I haven’t found anywhere else in the world, and no matter how many times you go, there is always more to do and see! It’s amazing that so many attractions can be in one place. Planning a weekend in New York can be overwhelming, so I wanted to give a few of my favorite things to do outside of main attractions like Times Square, Rockefeller Center, the Statue of Liberty, and various museums (even though those are all great and should also be on your list!).
Bike Through Central Park
Central Park is going to be a stop on almost every list for New York, but I didn’t fully appreciate it until biked all the way through it. While all of the park is beautiful, the thing that amazed me was how big it is! It’s over two miles long, and packed full of different gardens, statues, fountains, and even a few lakes. There is so much to see, it would have been impossible to see it all on foot! Biking is a great way to see the whole thing, it took us about two hours to bike it all, including a few stops. Make sure you get a lock with your bike rental, that way you can park your bike whenever you want to hop off and explore a bit more. And trust me, you’ll definitely want to make a few stops!
Visit Chelsea Market & the High Line
Food is always a priority on my trips, so Chelsea Market is a must for me! Chelsea Market is a renovated factory building that is filled with great eats, cute shops, and charming decor. There are so many good food stands in here, my favorite is Los Tacos No 1. I had the best tacos of my life here, and that includes the ones I’ve had in Mexico! (Bonus tip: upgrade any taco to a Queso Taco and your taco will be served in a fried cheese shell.) And, no matter how many tacos I eat, I somehow always still have room for the gelato stand right down the hall.
From Chelsea Market, you can hit the High Line to walk off all the food you just ate! Once an elevated freight line, the High Line has been converted to a gorgeous walking path filled with gardens and art installations all along the way. The path starts just a few blocks away from Chelsea Market, and is about 1.5 miles long, but there are plenty of places to hop on and off if you don’t have time to walk the full length!
Brooklyn not only has the best view of the city, it also has some of the cutest neighborhoods to explore. You can take the subway from Manhattan, or walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. The walk across the bridge is pretty long, so only do this if you have the time, but the walk does have some great views of the city. Don’t worry if you don’t have time for the walk though, because the best view is in the other side of the bridge! Brooklyn Bridge Park has, hands down, the best view of the skyline. After strolling through the park, spend some time walking around the surrounding neighborhoods. Brooklyn has some of the newer, trendy neighborhoods, but also has the prettiest older neighborhoods with historic Brownstones and cobblestone streets. These older streets were exactly how I pictured the neighborhoods in New York after seeing so many movies set there, which made it so fun to walk through!
Food is a key part of my trip planning. I’ve listed a few of my favorites below, but I’m still finding new gems every time I go to New York. There are just so many good options!
- Los Tacos No 1: I listed this before in reference to Chelsea Market but it’s so good it deserves to be referenced again. Go here!
- Joe’s Pizza: There are so many good pizza places in New York, but this is my personal favorite! Joe’s is on Broadway, so it’s a perfect place to stop before seeing a show.
- Katz’s Delicatessen: You might recognize this restaurant from When Harry Met Sally, but it’s not just known for that cameo, the food stands on it’s own! You can’t go wrong with the pastrami on rye.
- The Bagel Shop: The home of the rainbow bagel, if you like cute foods you must stop here while in Brooklyn. They taste as good as they look!
- Levain Bakery: The best cookies. Ever.
- Magnolia Bakery: Get the banana pudding, it’s famous for a reason.
- Emack & Bolio’s: Great ice cream made even better by the speciality cones.
I hope this helps with planning your trip! If you’ve been before, leave me your favorites things to do, places to see, and where to eat in the comments so I can try them out on my next trip!
Lauren is a frequent flyer who travels for work and fun! She loves to find the best food and photo ops everywhere she goes. Find her on instagram for more of her adventures: https://www.instagram.com/lauren_woodfield/