After almost a decade of living in New York City, one of the things I'm most often asked is for recommendations on things to do when people visit. After getting to explore more and falling in love with this city more and more everyday, I think I'm finally ready to share my itinerary for three days in the city!
A couple of things to note:
When it comes to hotels, I haven't stayed in many here in the city, but I have gone to a few events at the Royalton Park Avenue and it was absolutely beautiful. They have stunning hotel, beautiful rooftop cocktail bar, and even a great pool outside!
I am a big fan of walking in the city as much as I can. I truly like taking in the sights and sounds of the city, so this list is very walking-heavy, so wear comfy shoes. If that's not your thing, no worries! The city has a ton of public transit options available and Ubers, Lyfts, and cabs are always accessible -- but might be a little expensive and can add up.
And of course, I always log all of my favorite places to visit, eat, and drink on Out Of Office, not just in NYC, but all over the world! You can always stay up to date on my most recent recommendations here!
Day 1: Brooklyn & The Lower East Side (NOHO, Gramercy, East Village) Welcome to New York! Let's start our trip taking an adventure out to Brooklyn. Arguably one of the trendiest spots in the city, Brooklyn boasts great food, amazing views, and overall cool atmosphere.
Easily accessible by the train, head over to Dumbo to start your day. You can take a walk on the Brooklyn Bridge, with amazing views of the city. The Brooklyn Bridge is absolutely iconic, Try to get there as early as possible, as it does get quite busy. Then grab lunch at Dumbo's Time Out Market, a carefully curated dining hall of some of the best restaurants NYC has to offer. Because of it's more casual nature, Time Out is perfect for mixing and matching picks from a few locations, plus the fifth floor has an amazing view of the skyline and is perfect for snapping a few Instagram-worthy pics!
If you have the time, you can peruse your way over to Williamsburg, rife with cafés, fun vintage and boutique shopping, and trendy vibe. You can check out Domino Park (one of the most beautiful parks in NYC), Barcade (a bar + arcade, what a combo!), or a flea market like Artists & Fleas or Brooklyn Flea!
From Williamsburg, I highly recommend taking a ferry across the East River to the lower East Side. The ferry is one of the most underrated aspects of NYC living as it's cheaper than a Subway and has amazing views of the city! You can find the Ferry schedule here. Take the Ferry to 34th Street and enjoy a stroll downtown to arguably my favorite restaurant in the whole city, Rosemary's on 20th and 1st.
Rosemary's is amazing every time of year, but it especially thrives in the Spring and Summer. Lit aglow by twinkling ferry lights, windows that open the entire space up to the outside, and truly AMAZING food, it's a highlight in the city. Rosemary's has an urban-farmhouse design, and much of their seasonal Italian menu is made in-house. Order the Stinger Pizza, riggatoni alla vodka, steak tagliata, and grilled asparagus. An aperól spritz is an absolute must. Save room for dessert and order the Olive Oil Cake!
If you're feeling up for a walk after dinner, stop for a nightcap at Lovers of Today. Hinted to be the "dive bar on the East Side" from Taylor Swift's Delicate, this bar is one of my absolute favorites. It's dimly lit, romantic, and (randomly enough) smells unbelievable. They make incredible cocktails and are the perfect way to wrap up a beautiful day. My favorites are the Marquee Moon and Astral Plane!
If you still haven't had enough, before heading home check out Ray's Candy Store. A New York staple since 1974, the shop has an amazing history and oftentimes if you visit you can meet Ray himself. There's a dessert here for everyone, but I love a shake for the walk home!
Day 2: Central Park, Museum Mile, Midtown, & a show
Good morning & welcome to day 2! Let's have a quintessential Manhattan day, what do you think?
Start your day with an indulgent and overpriced coffee from Ralph's Coffee on 72nd and 6th and grab a box of macarons from Ladurée two blocks south. Then take a stroll through one of my very favorite places in the city, Central Park. I hate to be cliché but Central Park is incredibly special to me, and basically every other New Yorker, because it's essentially our agreed upon, shared backyard. Central Park was where I got engaged (Sheep Meadow) and legally married (Bethesda Terrace). But the most special thing about Central Park is how much it's begging to be explored. There's so much beauty and history everywhere you look, including the Bow Bridge, Belvedere Caste, and the Central park Carousel. Inside the park are a few fantastic restaurants, if you're looking for something a bit more substantial like Tavern on the Green and the Boathouse. But honestly, picking up some snacks, or even a famous Bagel Works bagel, should suffice.
After the park, take yourself over to Museum Mile, full of options for the most gorgeous museums in all of New York City. There are tons of options from the Guggenheim to the Cooper Hewitt, but one of my favorites is The Met, which is $30 or pay what you wish. Personally, I think The Met is perfect for a first time visitor and I can't recommend it enough!
After Museum Mile, if you're looking for a bite to eat, there's no shortage of amazing places. If you're looking to stay on the Upper East Side, I love Boqueria, an amazing Barcelona-inspired Tapas Bar. They have a great brunch and lunch menu that is truly delicious. If you're looking for something more casual, you can check out Plug Uglies, formerly Bar Coastal, which has amazing chicken wings (ask for them Kerrie Style!)
Post lunch is the perfect time to walk down 5th Ave and then check out Midtown. Contrary to many other suggestions from bloggers, I think all first time visitors should see Times Square. It's chaos in every sense of the word, but it is completely surreal to walk around and see all the bright lights and buzzing people. A quick trip is more than enough!
Personally, I love Bryant Park. It's a cute little park just south of Times Square that regularly has entertainment, whether it be musicians or festivals.
I think one of the things you must do while you're in NYC is go to see a Broadway Show. Broadway Roulette makes it super easy and much more affordable than traditional prices, with tickets starting at $49. It's super simple to use - you just pick the shows you aren't interested in and they hook you up with amazing tickets to a random show. We went to see Come From Away last year and had incredible seats!
If you're looking for a post (or pre!) show dinner, I recommend going outside of the Theater District a little bit. La Pecora Bianca has amazing Italian food, The Smith has a wide menu with something for everyone (get the steak!), or Gyu-Kaku for Japanese BBQ you can grill yourself (I've never been, but I heard it's amazing and it's on my wishlist!)
Day 3: Hudson Yards, Soho, the Village
After a whirlwind day, we're taking things a little bit slower today on the West Side. Start things off with a coffee at Felix Roasting Co. to take with you for a walk on The Highline. After you take in the unique architecture of Hudson Yards, you can walk on the Highline, a 1.45 mile long greenway above the streets of New York City. The Highline is one of my favorite parts of New York City. It feels like a secret passageway among some of the most beautiful architecture of the city, with restaurants and vendors scattered along the way. It makes for some great photographs and has some amazing views, including the Statue of Liberty and Little Island from a distance.
You can get off The Highline in the West Village and check out some of the great offerings the Village has to offer. Check out Chelsea Market for a vibe similar to Time Out Market, the Whitney if you're into seeing some more art, or Washington Square Park. You're also in the neighborhood of some of the most famous NYC-set locations like the Friends Apartment and Carrie Bradshaw's apartment. There's also a ton of great shopping in the area as well!
If you're looking for brunch, check out The Butcher's Daughter or Bubby's (one of my absolute favorites with the best, most delicious pancakes), or if you're looking for an amazing dinner, Bird Dog. Bird Dog is truly delicious and a unique experience with only 18 spots inside with a unique Southern Italian menu.
If you want to keep on your exploration of the city, one of the most beautiful areas is Tribeca. This is home to the World Trade Center, 9/11 Memorial, and the Occulus. You can take a walk over to Pumphouse Park or take a trip further to The Battery and watch the sunset on a beautiful trip!
And wah-lah, that's it! If you visit and try out any of these recs, let me know down below!
infinite x's and o's,