After my amazing trip to the Mackenzie-Childs HQ with my mom, I flew my little sister to meet us in New York City for the weekend. New York is such a buzzing and fast-paced city, and It’s impossible to fit everything in a weekend. Even so, we had a great time exploring the different things to do in New York. My last visit to NYC I wrote about five places to see in Brooklyn, you can read about that here. This time, I created a more comprehensive list of spots and eats throughout NYC. So, below is a list of things to do in NYC and also activities recommended to New York City locals. Check out my outfits too! I’ve linked them!
Where we stayed: Royalton Park Avenue - location was amazing!!
I prefer this view over the Empire State Building because the Empire State Building is visible from the top of the Rockefeller Center, and it makes a great skyline view. I recommend going before sunset because you're able to view every "time" of the day for one price (day, evening, night). Opt for the VIP tickets to avoid lines.
This is a quintessential and fun part of visiting NYC, and you feel just like the locals who are also walking over the Brooklyn Bridge. An easy walk from Brooklyn and the view over the bridge is worth it. If you make it over the bridge reward yourself with a slice at Grimaldi’s, the oldest brick pizza oven in the US, Shake Shack, Luke’s Lobster, Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, or The River Cafe (super nice, a little pricey). The restaurants make it worth it even more.
The Chelsea Market (Monday to Saturday) is an indoor food and shopping hall. They have everything from the latest threads at Anthropologie to quirky thrift goods at Artists & Fleas. Skip the shopping and gulp down goodies at the Doughnuttery, Num Pang Sandwich Shop, or L’Arte del Gelato
This unique piece of architecture is fun and of course, Instagramable so I've included it in the list. It's a triangular building that divides two streets. It's interesting because the perspective changes depending on where you're shooting from. Take a few and choose which ones you like best!
Ahh, museums. If you’re the type to enjoy museums – I’d recommend visiting them all. However, there are a lot of museums in NYC, so if you have to narrow it down, visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Dubbed one of the largest and finest art museums and rightfully so. There's so much history, amazing architecture, and fascinating exhibitions – it’s a cultural time machine, and you'll wonder how you ever disliked educational field trips in grade school. Note: There is no entrance fee (it’s donation-based). So, if you see a $20 sign for an adult, it means its a recommended donation, not required for entrance. You can donate as little $1 if you want, it's up to you.
A fusion between an escape hatch and exercise yard, Central Park is an urbanized Eden that provides residents and visitors a relief from all of the hustle and bustle that defines NYC. The southern section of Central Park is the most populated (59th to 72nd Street), and it's where most visitors get their first impression. Even so, walk around, and there will always be a spot to picnic, ponder, or take in the greenery, especially on a sunny day.
Renowned for its eccentric shopping, from designer brands to bargain boutiques there is something for everyone of all budgets. Everywhere you look there is shopping to be done. The name SoHo comes from the neighborhood's location—south of Houston. You can pick up out your next Chanel bag as easy as a $15 pair of knockoff Gucci sunglasses, which makes this shopping emporium one-of-a-kind, and a must-visit thing to do in New York.
A sobering place for anyone who goes to pay homage to where the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. The Oculus replaced the train station that was destroyed, and the architecture alone deserves a visit.
This unique public park, built on a historic freight rail line above Manhattan's West Side. It's a peaceful area to observe and experience local design, nature, and art.
I highly recommend going to see ANY Broadway show. Its memorable event is not something to be missed. I've heard King Kong and The Lion King are a must-see!
There are SOOO many amazing restaurants to eat at in NYC. Unfortunately, I've had to narrow the list down to a "few". Check some or all of them out below!
1. Sel Rose: Craft cocktails, champagne, and oysters. What more could you want?
2. Pietro Nolita: ALL PINK EVERYTHING! This restaurant takes #ihavethisthingwithpink to a whole new level. Pietro Nolita won our hearts with their dreamy AF aesthetic and guilt-free food. As the old phrase goes, “if you make it pink, they will come.”
3. Egg Shop NYC: Brunch, YUMMY EGGS. Make sure you get the blue crab benedict!
4. Dimes: This restaurant has the most colorful Acai bowls, which go great with its bright pink table tops and retro décor.
5. While We Were Young: If my house were turned into a restaurant, this would be it. The plush, blush-velvet chairs line the walls, and marble countertops complete the look — most definitely Instagramable.
6. The Butcher's Daughter: Unlike the name, The Butcher's daughter is 100 percent vegetarian (mostly vegan and gluten-free too). The menu changes daily and the decor reflects the vegetarian lifestyle.
7. Momofuku Noodle Bar: Must get the buns and ramen!
8. Death & Co: A craft-cocktail, speakeasy bar with a wide range of unique alcohol and liquor. If there is a line, walk down to the Bourbon Bar down the street.
9. Five Senses: Authentic Korean BBQ (1 block from Empire State Building).
10. ABC Kitchen: An upscale dining experience. Chef Jean-Georges' ABC Kitchen represents the freshest, organic, and local ingredients. Make reservations!
11. Pizza Beach: This is a Californian-inspired restaurant. It features beachy cocktails, wood-fired pizzas, and something for everyone!
12. Cha Cha Matcha's: This place attracts people of all sorts. From models to health nuts, Cha Cha Matcha’s tiki bar vibes made us reconsider swapping our morning cup of coffee for a nice tiki-cocktail.
13. By Chloe: A chic-vegan eatery that's as Insta-worthy as it is delicious.
14. Café Habana: Mexican corn, with fresh Mexican eats. Need I say more? Delicious!
15. Sunday in Brooklyn: Serving brunch every day of the week! Every day is Sunday in Brooklyn.
As I stated earlier there are SO many amazing things to do and eat in New York City, I had to narrow them down. Even so, this guide is a great list to keep you on track to see and eat at all the good spots. Don't just take my word for it, go see for yourself!