Part 2 of my New York Favorites answers the question: How do I spend my time in NYC? Having gone to New York for years, I have finally come up with my favorites for first time NYC visitors! Be sure to check out these spots in between foodie excursions (see part one New York Favorites: Eats up on the blog now!)
Top of the Rock: Rockefeller Center
While the Empire State Building is famous for its spectacular views, my go-to for a more up-close and personal view is at Top of the Rock. When I went in March, there was no line and it was significantly less cheaper than the Empire State ($28 V $34-60). There is a complete 360 view of the beautiful city and is close to other sights (like Times Square and St. Patricks Cathedral). Pop down afterward for the best banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery.
Theater District: Times Square
While this is a no brainer, Times Square is iconic for any first time visitors. The lights, the sounds and the smell of roasted nut carts make you feel like you are at the top of the world and in the heart of one of the greatest cities in the world. Grab a slice at Johns (see New York Favoties: Eats post!) or a hot dog off the street and enjoy the moment. You made it. You made it to New York City.
See a Broadway Show: Times Square
As a theatre girl at heart, I never miss out on seeing the best of the best on the Great White Way, Theatre lover or not, there are a variety of shows for all ages and personalities. When Alexis and I went back in March, Tony season (the Oscars of live theatre) was right around the corner. I had the privilege of seeing the 2017 Tony Winner Dear Evan Hansen after a kind man bought tickets for us (reminder to all that kindness is still alive and well!). This show was one of the best I have seen but the subject matter could be intense for some viewers. I suggest going to broadway.com to check out what is playing and compare prices. Pro Tip: go to the box office to check out their prices first. Sometimes vendors like TKTS only have certain shows for a discount price. Go see what you really want instead of skipping it to see something for cheaper.
9/11 Museum: Ground Zero
It seems crazy to me that the generation behind me will only know this museum as a historical site. Ground Zero is moving for anyone who visits. See the beautiful reflection pools made out of the foot prints of the North and South Tower and then head underneath to the amazing museum. This museum is a reminder that we as Americans can survive anything.
Central Park and The Plaza Hotel: 5th Avenue
Growing up, I loved the book "Eloise at the Plaza". How cool would it be to grow up in one of the most famous hotels?! I always love to stop in to the Plaza and admire the luxury. For a more affordable Plaza experience, head downstairs to the concourse for breakfast. They have all types of amazing breakfast spots, chocolates and decadent pastries. Then head across the street for a walk in the famous central park. If you are feeling extra fancy, I suggest a carriage ride through the park. It will make you feel like you are in an old time movie.
Those are my top picks for first time New York visitors! Can't wait to go back to my favorite city soon!