Within the past few months I’ve been asked by out-of-town friends and friends of friends for recommendations on what to do in NYC. Some visitors already had their Broadway shows picked out so were just looking for things to do to fill their time in between. Others were here on a clothes shopping mission or were interested in panoramic views of the city to photograph. Everyone had only a few days. So I tried to come up with a list of things to do based on their requirements and what I thought I’d like to do if I were here for a long weekend. I tried to fill in as many details as possible to help with the decision-making process. But always double-check with the venue directly.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 5th Ave at 82nd St
$20 suggested; same day admission to the Cloisters included
Museum of Modern Art
11 W53rd St between 5th and 6th Ave
$20 admission; free on Fridays from 4pm-8pm
Museum of Art and Design
2 Columbus Circle
$15 admission; pay what you wish Thursdays after 6pm
1071 5th Ave at 89th St
$18 admission; pay what you wish Saturdays from 5:45-7:15pm
945 Madison Ave at 75th St
$18 admission; pay what you wish Fridays from 4pm-9pm
The American Museum of Natural History
79th St and Central Park West
$16 suggested; special exhibits are extra. Save time for the Hayden Planetarium in the Rose Center.
Ft. Tryon Park – 99 Margaret Corben Dr
$20 suggested; same day admission to the Met included
The Cloisters are a trek from The Met. But if you’re into Medieval or you simply want to experience what some refer to as “Upstate Manhattan” then it’s totally worth the ride on the A train. I’ll be featuring my recent visit to the Cloisters in an upcoming Museum Day post.
SIGHTSEEING IN NYC
I don’t know about you, but if I have a limited amount of time to visit a destination, I like to go on a narrated tour to get an overview of the place. Then it’s easier to decide where to spend my time exploring more.
WALKING AROUND IN NYC
Of course, nothing beats getting out on the street and walking around to see everything up close.
• Wall Street / South Street Seaport
• The Highline / Meatpacking District / Chelsea Market
• Times Square / Broadway Theater District
• Central Park (consider renting a bicycle and riding the 6-mile loop)
ROOFTOP VIEWS IN NYC
Taking it all in in one fell swoop.
Empire State Building
5th Ave & 34th St
86th floor has outdoor observatory $18.45; no tripods or duffel bags
102nd floor costs extra $15 onsite pay only…not sure about outdoor access that high up.
Top of the Rock
30 Rockefeller Plaza; entrance on W50th St between 5th & 6th Ave
A very popular meal in NYC right now. Ask anyone on the street and they’ll have an opinion about where to get the best. Here are my favs:
The Meatball Shop
84 Stanton St
Small place; gets really crowded but worth it. An order of sliders and an ice cream sandwich, please.
Shake Shack (outside, few choices, cheap)
In Madison Square Park, Madison Ave & E23rd St
There are numerous locations throughout the city. But the outdoor Shake Shack in Madison Square Park is my favorite.
BLT Burger (some choices, mid$)
470 6th Ave between W11th & 12th St
I like the combo: burger, fries and a shake.
5 Napkin Burger (lots of variety, mid$)
2315 Broadway @ W84th St
Check the web site for other locations. I like the one on the upper west side.
In the East Village there are dozens of Japanese restaurants of all food types and price ranges. Most are on East 9th Street or St. Mark’s Place (which is an interesting destination in itself) between 2nd Avenue and 4th Avenue. My favs:
Soba-Ya (best soba noodles)
229 E9th St
Just like mom used to make.
Kanoyama (best sashimi)
175 2nd Ave at 12th St
Incredible selection of fish.
4 Stuyvesant St 2F (a short street just off 9th St and 3rd Ave)
Neighborhood Japanese market.
You don’t have to be vegetarian to enjoy vegetarian food or plant-based food as my niece Elise and nephew Will would say. These places definitely get it right.
1307 3rd Ave btw 74th & 75th
Vegetarian definitely does not mean diet.
23rd St @ Madison Ave
Vegetarian deli that’s gluten, dairy, soy and peanut free.
RIP Bonobos. Sorry to see you go.
In the same location is Chop’T where you can grab a terrific salad.
Lula’s Sweet Apothecary
516 E6th St btw 1st and A
Vegan ice cream that tastes even better than the traditional dairy version.
342 E11th off 2nd Ave
Italian pastries and gelato. Take a number if you’re getting something to go. Otherwise, head straight to the back for a table.
The Little Cupcake Bakeshop
30 Prince St at Mott
Not only are their cupcakes delicious. They are also a carbon-neutral, green establishment. Sorry Magnolia and Crumb. The Little Cupcake Bakeshop simply does it better.
379 Grand St
There’s also a location now in the Chelsea Hotel. But for some reason, the donuts downtown taste better.
What would you add to this list?
LOL about “Upstate Manhattan.” So many great options in this round-up. I’ve been here ten years and still haven’t seen them all. I’m pacing myself. 🙂
And these are just some of the major attractions to hopefully help someone decide what to do if they’re here for just a long weekend. When you consider the somewhat lesser known but equally amazing venues like the Rubin Museum, Hispanic Society of America, the Asia Society…I can’t imagine how long it would take to visit them all. We’re very lucky.