So as many of you have seen from my latest Instagram uploads and previous blog post, I recently took a trip to New York City! Now, this wasn’t actually a trip I originally planned to take this year, however, after entering a competition through Wowcher on Instagram, circumstances changed and before I knew it, myself and my mother were on a plane flying to the big apple!
Little side note before I get into this blog post… You should definitely enter those competitions that you see pop up on Instagram all the time, someone’s got to win it! 😉
The trip was for two people, and I decided to ask my mum to come with me, as she recently celebrated her 50th birthday, and really wanted to go for that, so the timing was perfect! Plus, I was really looking forward to spending some quality time with her!
We spent the first day travelling so didn’t really get up to much as we were very jet lagged! We grabbed some dinner in an Irish bar just off of Times Square and then went to Junior’s for dessert, then ended up crashing asleep in our hotel about 8pm!
Would really recommend the hotel that we stayed in! It was a little bit dated, but it was clean and spacious, and literally a 30 second walk from Times Square! So really handy to get to places from! Also, the room we stayed in was fairly quiet, we didn’t hear much traffic noise of a night, so we slept well!
We started off our day grabbing breakfast in a diner on 8th Avenue before jumping on the downtown bus to see some sights. The bus is good for seeing things and getting a commentary of what you are seeing from a tour guide, however you do spend a lot of you time stuck in traffic and can end up waiting a longgggg time for buses to arrive. So, it may be better walking to most places if you can!
Our first stop on the tour was the One World Trade Centre and the 9/11 Museum. This place is very quiet and also a very touching tribute to the victims of the attacks. White roses were placed on the names of the victims whose birthdays it was, which is a beautiful touch. The new One World Trade Centre is incredible, we had one of the best days to go up it too, as it was extremely clear, and we could see for miles!
After that we walked down to Battery Park and jumped on the ferry to take a trip to Liberty Island and visit the Statue of Liberty. Going across the Hudson River in windy and freezing conditions was not the easiest, but at least the sun was out to make it a bit better! The sky was very blue, which made the sights even more mesmerising to look at! I’d only ever seen the Statue of Liberty at a distance before, so it was nice to see it up close!
The evening consisted of a trip to Madison Square Garden to watch the New York Knicks play Orlando Magic! Whilst we were there we had to do the typical tourist thing and watch the game with a hotdog in one hand and a giant Coca-Cola in the other! The Knicks were behind for most of the game but managed to pull it back right at the end and win 108 – 103!
On this day, we jumped back on the downtown bus (Starbucks in hand) to see the rest of the sights that we didn’t get to see on the previous day. This included The Flat Iron Building, Greenwich Village, SoHo and Chinatown, which were all such lovely places! There’s so much to see in New York that we didn’t get to spend that much time in, so can’t wait to go back again and experience it more!
We then stopped on the iconic Brooklyn Bridge! Last time I visited New York, I didn’t get a chance to go to the bridge as we were so packed up with other landmarks to see! I was not disappointed walking across Brooklyn Bridge, the views for both sides were breath-taking! We also went on a day when it wasn’t too busy, so managed to get some great pictures!
In the evening we decided to take the night-time bus tour which meant we got to see all of the iconic buildings lit up in the dark! It was so beautiful, but also one of the coldest things I have ever done in my life! Going on an open top bus across breezy bridges in -2 degrees, was not the best, however, it was worth it for the views that we got to see!
After our bus tour, we warmed ourselves up with some cocktails and the most amazing mac & cheese in a restaurant called Foxy John’s which is just off of Lexington Avenue.
Day four was our last full day in NYC before we headed back home to what I would usually call rainy England, but this time the weather back in the UK was substantially better than NYC, in fact the UK was having a freakishly warm February (until we arrived home).
We started off the day having breakfast in another American diner, before jumping on the Uptown bus! This took us all the way around Central Park, where we got to see iconic museums such as the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This route was much quieter and more peaceful than the Downtown route (but also not as interesting). It wasn’t until right at the end of the route when we actually got to see the buildings that we wanted to see. So, I would suggest having a look at the route if you do go and if it is the ones at the end you want to see, then it may be worth just walking down to them, as you will save yourself a lot of time.
After this we headed into Central Park and jumped into a tuk-tuk to see all of the main attractions in the park. I’d 100% recommend getting a tuk-tuk as you get to see so much more of the park, and the drivers are so knowledgeable when it comes to what films were filmed in certain parts of the park, and the history to it as well. Plus, they have a great sense of humour and can take some amazing photographs!
After this we headed up to the High Line which is 1.45-mile-long elevated linear park, greenway and rail trail created on a former New York Central Railroad spur on the west side of Manhattan in New York City. It’s a place where you can view art, walk through gardens, experience a performance, savour delicious food, or just connect with friends and neighbours—while enjoying a unique perspective of the city. It was a really nice place to get away from the busyness of the streets of New York.
We had a very busy evening, as it was our last night in NYC we thought that we’d make the most of it. We started off the evening by walking down to the Rockerfeller Centre, and heading up to the Top of the Rock, to get a glimpse of the sunsetting over the New York skyline, and then seeing the city lit up of a night time. The views are absolutely beautiful, and I would definitely recommend trying to get up there as the sun in setting to get the best views. Beware you may have to fight your way through the crowds to get the best pictures!
After coming back down, we walked over to Ellen’s Stardust Diner for dinner. I had seen so many videos of this place on Facebook, so couldn’t wait to visit it myself! If you haven’t heard of it, basically it is a diner, where the waiters and waitresses perform songs from popular musicals and dance around on tables, getting everyone involved. You can’t book a table at the place, you have to queue, which we were prepared for! Most people have said they usually wait between 30-45 minutes for a table, however mum and I were lucky as there was only two of us, so we managed to get in in about 10-15 minutes which was great! I absolutely loved Ellen’s, the food and atmosphere is amazing! If you do find yourself in NYC, it is definitely worth waiting to go in!
The day we had to leave! Since we were leaving this day, and were absolutely shattered from the previous days, we decided to have more of a chilled day and just walk around doing a bit of shopping, and then heading to Olive Garden for dinner, before going to the airport.
Until next time New York….