I love putting together itineraries, and helping clients come up with the perfect plan for exploring a new places. One of my favorite destinations to plan is New York City. Piecing together an itinerary for New York is like a giant puzzle! You want the most bang for your time and buck because, let's face it, time is money. Most often, shorter trips are requested, which believe it or not are more difficult. I mean, you want to see it all right?! Well, I'm sharing my go-to spots for a first timer's quick trip to New York.
When planning with clients, I take their list of must sees, make suggestions, and plan out an itinerary according to location and hours of operation for certain spots. You can easily tweak this to suit your own schedule and wish list, but this is my go to for a long weekend in New York City.
Statue of Liberty
I recommend heading to Lady Liberty first thing in the morning. Catch the first ferry to Liberty Island, enjoy the beauty of the State of Liberty, & catch views of the Manhattan + New Jersey skylines. You'll soon see why I recommend going first thing. The island doesn't take long to be overwhelmed with tourists.
9/11 Memorial & Museum
Once you're back on dry land, make your way to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. You can enjoy a walk around the beautiful, solemn grounds of the memorial for free, but I recommend checking out the museum as well. If you find yourself in the museum, plan to spend two to three hours here.
Since your on this side of the island already, take a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge. The views and the architecture are stunning. If you have time, head on over to Brooklyn!
Rockefeller Center + Top of the Rock
Start your morning early with the Today Show at Rockefeller Center. After the show wraps up, head up to the Top of the Rock to catch incredible views of the city. If it's Christmas time, admire the beauty of the most famous Christmas tree in America!
St. Patrick's Cathedral
After Rockefeller, pop across the street to light a candle at St. Patrick's Cathedral. It is an absolutely stunning Catholic church that anyone can appreciate!
Since you're already there, walk along the most famous avenue in America. You'll see Trump Tower, Tiffany's, the Plaza Hotel, and many more famous spots.
Spend the rest of your day enjoying the beautiful Central Park. Visit
for free tours.
Good Morning America
End your time in New York City in Times Square, and try your hand at getting on TV with Good Morning America. Head there early to get a front row spot, or just hang out in the back for potential celebrity sightings.
Check Out of Hotel + Head Home
That went by fast, didn't it! I hope you enjoyed New York!
Hey y’all! I cannot believe that is it the last day of May! This year is going by so quickly, and I would love for it to slow down. Today is another last. I’m sharing my final post from my last visit to New York City. To wrap things up, I’m sharing my recommendations on where to stay, what to see, and more.
Hotel Edison: This was our hotel of choice this go round, and it didn’t disappoint. The location & rich history are swoon worthy. I’ve sent many, many clients there since!
Lotte New York Palace: We enjoyed a stroll through this beauty, enjoying the stunning courtyard. It is in a great location near Rockefeller Center.
Doubletree by Hilton NYC Financial District: Enjoy a lower key location compared to Times Square, but still in the heart of Manhattan. Not to worry, you can get anywhere quickly from nearby subway stations.
Central Park: I never spend enough time here. It is a must! It’s beauty and sheer size within a jungle of concrete are remarkable! There is so much history to see here, I recommend a guided tour for an in-depth look.
Top of the Rock: My top choice for New York City views is the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center. You’ll catch views of Central Park and the Empire State Building. The views are like no other!
South Street Seaport: This historic area is a super neat area to explore. Stunning river views, eccentric shops, and delicious restaurants make this a hot spot for tourists and locals alike.
Bloomingdale’s: The famous 59th Street location is beautiful in its own right, but shop the brown bag for great clearance deals for beauty your wallet will love as well. You’ll also love, my favorite, the beautiful holiday windows!
Bryant Park Holiday Market: Enjoy a stroll through Bryant Park during the winter months, and peruse the holiday market. Find leather goods, yummy sweets, Christmas trinkets, and more. Not to mention, you’ll enjoy watching the ever-present ice skaters over take the park.
Macy’s Herald Square: Always a must for me, especially during the holidays, Macy’s Herald Square is not only full of great shopping, but rich history as well. My favorite aspect? The wooden escalator!
Rolf’s German Restaurant: Extravagantly decorate for Christmas, Rolf’s will blow you away. Don’t mind the line out the door, they are likely bar patrons there for a stein of beer. Go own in for a table to enjoy authentic German cuisine.
Gallaghers Steakhouse: Located in the Theatre District, Gallaghers is famous for their red booths, bar, and prime cut steaks. We also enjoyed celebrity sightings here!
Paris Café: So much history, delicious food, and stunning views of the Brooklyn Bridge make Paris Café a must.
Statue of Liberty: Enjoy a ferry ride out to Liberty Island to explore the beautiful Lady Liberty. Be awed by her incredible detail and the views of Manhattan from the Hudson River.
9/11 Museum & Memorial: Learn more about that fateful day, gain a greater appreciation of our nation’s strength, and pay respects to those who lost their lives on 9/11. This spot is a must when in New York City.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral: This stunning cathedral is full of rich history, and has been an icon of NYC for nearly 140 years. It has gone through endless renovations, but its beauty and history remains. Be sure to go for a guided tour to learn more details about St. Patrick’s.
Empire State Building: Though not my favorite skyscraper views, the Empire State Building is a must, at least for your first visit to New York City. It is so neat to see the Art Deco design, and to learn more about the remarkable construction of this iconic building.
Brooklyn Bridge: Take a walk across the East River on the Brooklyn Bridge, and enjoy stunning views of Manhattan & Brooklyn. You can also do a little souvenir shopping along the bridge promenade, and just enjoy the incredible architecture and suspension design.
Radio City Music Hall: Take a behind the scenes tour and enjoy a show by the Radio City Rockettes at the famous Radio City Music Hall. My favorite? The Rockettes’ costume room you’ll see along the tour and the stunning sunset design of the theatre.
Of course, there are so, so many other things to see and do in New York City, but these were some of our favorites. Thank you so much for reminiscing and joining me on this trip! Below you’ll find a listing of everything I shared from our trip. I’ll share those to my New York City Travel Guide as well.
Thanks so much for stopping by today. Have a great rest of your week and weekend!
American Museum of Natural History
Broadway Theatre Tips & Tricks
Brooklyn Dyker Heights
Empire State Building
Grand Central Station
Holiday Store Fronts
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
Museum of Modern Art
New York Public Library
One World Trade Center
Radio City Music Hall
Top of the Rock
South Street Seaport
Statue of Liberty
St. Patrick's Cathedral
St. Paul's Chapel
Washington Square Park
Hey y'all! I hope your Monday hasn't been too crazy. Today, I'm sharing my last detailed post from our last visit to New York City. Later this week, I'll share a trip wrap up, but today is all about the beautiful Lady Liberty.
This was my first up close and personal look at the Statue of Liberty, as on my first visit we simply admired her from afar at Battery Park. It was a delight to actually visit Liberty Island this go round! She is far more regal and detailed than I'd expected, so it was such a treat to get a better look at her.
We made her our first stop of the day, and it was a good thing! When we first arrived by ferry from Battery Park to Liberty Island there were few others around, but by the time we left it was insanely busy! So that would be my number one tip, go early! Anyhow, once on the island we began our stroll around the stunning Statue of Liberty, opting out of exploring inside the statue. The morning sun was warm, which was our saving grace on this cold winter morning in the harbor, making our walk enjoyable.
I loved being able to zoom in to capture a close up look at the statue, and was amazed at the detailing on her robe, face, and crown. We also enjoyed seeing the lower Manhattan skyline from Liberty Island, and watching the ships in the harbor. Unfortunately, Ellis Island was closed during our visit, but we did appreciate the ferry ride by the historic island.
Seeing Lady Liberty up close was a highlight for us on this trip, and well worth the time it took to explore. Even if you just take the free Staten Island Ferry to get a glimpse of her, you'll definitely want to see her closer up than Battery Park allows.
Thanks so much for stopping by today. I'll be back later this week for a full wrap up of our adventures in New York City!
Happy Friday!! All the praise hands for the weekend! I’m anxious for 5 o’clock, and hoping for a good meal out of the house this evening. Speaking of good food, today’s post is all about the restaurants we enjoyed in New York City. I’m getting to the end of places and events to share from our New York City trip, so what better way to begin wrapping things up than with delicious restaurants!
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but these are the few that we enjoyed most. I recommend them to clients as well. With rich history, world famous steak, Christmas galore, and entertainment, there is something for everyone on this list. Bon Appetit!
The Paris Cafe
Paris Café in the historic South Street Seaport is said to be the oldest pub in New York City, and when you step inside, you’ll feel like you’ve been taken back in time. The incredible wood bar, vintage hexagon floor tile, and fun art work, like a hand drawn map, give this place all the character you’d imagine. We enjoyed a lovely brunch at the café, and enjoyed looking out at the East River, imagining how much the view has changed over the years. If you enjoy delicious food & cocktails and rich history, the Paris Café is right up your alley!
Serendipity 3 is a New York City staple! Made ultra-popular from the film Serendipity, it is most famous for its Frozen Hot Chocolate, which I can never pass up. With décor like Tiffany’s lamps, oversized art work, and ornate ceilings, you’re transformed to a place of whimsy and delight. Then the giant, literally, menu comes! With many options, there is something for everyone to enjoy here, but don’t leave without trying the Frozen Hot Chocolate! Again, be sure to make reservations, or you could be waiting hours.
Rolf's German Restaurant
Rolf’s is in the Gramercy Park neighborhood of Manhattan, and is worth the evening stroll from Herald Square, particularly at Christmastime. During the holidays, Rolf’s is turned into the most extravagant display of Christmas décor you have ever seen! As soon as we walked in, we were in complete shock and awe of the abundance of Christmas ornaments, icicles, and trinkets. Once we processed the beauty of the décor, we tried our best to concentrate a bit on the menu. We opted for German sausage & kraut and delicious meatloaf. As if we hadn’t been treated enough, we splurged for dessert as well, enjoying a decadent apple pie. Rolf’s was by far my favorite restaurant we dined at during our trip to New York. If you want to check out those Christmas decorations during the holiday months, be sure to make reservations.
Hey y’all! How is your Wednesday going? It’s been a busy week around here so far, so we are counting down to the weekend. But I’m excited to share today’s bit about New York with you. Though it isn’t December yet, though it will be here before we know it, today’s post is quite a bit Christmasy!
On our last visit to New York City, we enjoyed venturing out of Manhattan into the Dyker Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn to see the homes extravagantly decorated & lit up for the holidays! These homes have been featured on many holiday light TV shows, and it is no wonder why—they are truly over the top! We started our tour from Manhattan where we boarded a bus taking us across the Brooklyn Bridge to Dyker Heights. We were dropped off to stroll through the neighborhood on foot so we could take our time. For blocks, homes were insanely lit up for Christmas and the holidays! I really can’t quite put it into words just how over the top they were!
Our tour guide told us that many of these homes have electric bills upwards of $10,000 in the month of December! PLUS many hired professional light installers which could cost $30,000 to $40,000! Many were down right cheesy, but it still warmed my Christmas-light-loving heart! After strolling through the well-lit neighborhood, we were given the ultimate treat, a stop at DUMBO, Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. From here we enjoyed incredible views of New York City’s famous bridges Manhattan’s stunning night skyline! Though it was a frigid night, it was worth the walk around Dyker Heights and below the bridge for those amazing lights!
I hope to have the chance to return to Brooklyn in the future, likely skipping the tour bus the next go round, but it was still so much fun to explore Dyker Heights at Christmas! Have you explored Brooklyn? What were your favorite neighborhoods? Thanks so much for stopping by today. I will see you back Friday!