Updated: Nov 4, 2019
We *heart* NYC!!
But seriously, we do. We have gone to New York a few times because who gets it right the first time? If you’ve been, I think you know what I’m talking about. It’s so much to see in such a tight space, also so crowded, confusing the list goes on. Lol Both times we stayed in Times Square and I think next time we would do things differently, now that we have an understanding of the place. Why? Let’s jump into this post with - Where we stayed.
Where we stayed:
Time square - Sheraton Times Square - Approx. $1,100 - 5 days, 4 nights
photo source: tripadvisor.com
Don’t get me wrong. It was a decent stay. Thankfully clean, safe, the important things. But if you’re looking for a big suite, be prepared for a large bill to be attached to that. As I mentioned previously NYC hotel room sizes are generally smaller, also every single thing is an upcharge. lol WiFi, mini fridge, early check-in, breakfast of course, hell I think even extra towels... lol So like we do in LA, we would probably look into a nice AirBnb next time.
What we did:
- Times Square - $ - Shopping anyone? Aside from just taking in the beautiful sights of the bright lights and street performers, there were of course endless shopping opportunities. We took advantage. Even in the same old stores we all have access too, the NYC stores, had the newest pieces and maybe even limited styles. I know one pair of shoes I saved on Pinterest but could never track them down, found them in-store on sale!
- Bus Tour - $$ - we bought the full day pass, for both day and night passage.
I told you guys I love these right lol They are just perfect to see those things you would normally have to plan a whole day around. The Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, etc. So we were able to take the tour, see it all and take our pics and be on our way for the rest of the day.
- Street Market - $ - This was a surprise. On our walk back from brunch we passed by a pop-up street market, that was literally not there a few hours before. It was awesome. There were many booths of handmade trinkets, food trucks and more. Definitely a great experience of the New York magic.
- Ice Bar - $$ - This was our second experience at a bar made out of ice. The first was in Miami. Personally, the Miami experience was better because they had a Fire & Ice theme, so once you got too cold in the Ice room you could go to the Fire portion of the Club and continue to party. Unfortunately, the NYC bar was purely just a small ice room so we didn’t last too long. If you’ve been, you know there’s only so much fun you can have in those things.
- Central Park - $$ - So, I knew it was massive but not exactly HOW MASSIVE. It was like a whole separate world. Definitely an escape from the city and sort of from the hustle and bustle, but not completely. Different sections of the park had their own vibe. We rented bikes to try to see as much as we could, and boy did we. We experienced the classic street performers, the calm ponds, the kids playing, the joggers jogging, and settled for a nice lunch lakeside. We even got lost, which was a classic experience for Central Park right?
- Comedy Club - $$ - We found Caroline's on Times Square and decided to go to their show that evening. Sugar Sammie performed with 2 others who opened for him and it was great. The club had drinks and food available as well, semi-up charged but as expected.
- Empire State Building - $$ - This was of course a must on our tour of NYC. It was great learning about the history of the building. From how and when it was built, and the purpose it served in the business world. The elevator ride up was pretty epic, of course, need specific types of elevators for the number of floors and traffic of tourists. There was a quick version of a VR experience inside the elevator as well. And of course, once making it up, the view from the top... simply breathtaking.
- Rooftops - $$$ - Brunch, Happy Hours & Club - a simple google search will provide you a long list of rooftop spots to visit. Just be sure to read the reviews and menu options, as well as operating hours and days before scheduling your itinerary. We were able to find a brunch spot with a beautiful view of the Empire State Building, and picturesque skyline with free-flowing mimosas of course. Now the reservation situation is something to really pay attention to in NYC, it gets crowded fast as you could imagine. The Happy Hour was great but not like a Texas Happy Hour at all, being in one of the fashion headquarters of the world, I suspected such attire and we arrived on point. Also, happy hour prices were in NYC fashion, $25 cocktail ‘special’ anyone?
What we ate:
- Central Park lunch - Boathouse - $$ - There were multiple options but we decided to have a nicer lunch with a lake view, so if you’d rather spend less here don’t worry it was possible. I am glad we decided to do things this way though because it was another amazing meal with an amazing view. The only thing was we again, rode bikes through the park, meaning we were basically in workout attire and built up a sweat... (Those hills through the park were real) And this was a somewhat upscale place, so we stuck out like a sore thumb. Bring a change of clothes or get a ride to the restaurant if you choose to go on a Summer afternoon.
- Hole in the wall Italian Spot - Patzeria Family & Friends - $-$$ - This was one of the best dinners we had during the trip and it was the least expensive. This has to be the type of pizza NYC is famous for. We also tried a traditional pasta dish that left us in awe.
- Rays Pizza - $$ - Yea, even the pizza was up charged. This was a chain pizza place and we weren’t too impressed for the $50 large pizza we bought... We would definitely do things differently next time.
- The Horny Ram - $$ - Trendy, Unique experience. Pretty yummy food and of course a Mimosa selection.
- Rooftop brunch - $$$ - Wish I remembered the name but unfortunately I don’t. I just remember that we had to wait for a table so definitely do your research in advance and get a reservation for any rooftop brunch. It was great though, I do remember that. Lol A great buffet and mimosas aside from the amazing view.
What we suggest:
- Research, then Plan
- Weather | We went both in April and July. April was like fall weather, my favorite, so pack accordingly. July, I expected it to be 70’s but it made it high 80’s which was not expected. So if you go during the summer, just know it does get pretty hot up there as well.
What you should know:
- Spending | I think this goes without saying, but just in case - NYC isn’t one of those places you could visit if you’re spending all your money to get there and plan on skimping out on the spending during your stay. On average, I would say each meal we had was about a $60 minimum tab for 2. Apart from breakfast if you just get something quick and not full out brunch, but a sit-down meal - yea, you’re spending at least $200 a day on food. Which is expected, the culinary monuments in NYC is part of the reason to visit! If you’re a foodie, you don’t want to skip out here. Also, all the activities we did were averaging about $40 per person. So if you do the math you could easily estimate an $500 spending limit per day, IF you plan on doing activities apart from merely walking around.
- La. Freaking. Guardia - We have always flown into LaGuardia, even for connections to other places and each time it’s an extremely annoying experience. They’re rude, in need of renovations, and expensive. Also, the ÜBER pick up zone is super annoying. However, it was under construction the last time we went so hopefully that means they were changing it. The commute to Times Square was about an hour.
- Walking shoes | It’s best to walk. Even if you try to ÜBER you would have possibly gotten there quicker by walking. The traffic was pretty crazy both times we went.
- Reservations | if there is anywhere special you have wanted to visit while in town you should definitely try and set a reservation. Especially if it is popular. The crowds are real in NYC, as you could imagine, so places fill up quick.
- I wouldn’t even think about renting a car. We knew we didn’t want to but I noticed there were at $50+ parking sign on each corner. And honestly, there was so much to see within walking distance of where we stayed and we didn’t even get to see all those spots. So really I didn’t see the need in having a car to go farther out until we saw everything within that walking radius.
That’s a little about NYC, I feel like there is so much more that could be said but these are the basics that will get you on your way to New York. If you’ve gone, comment some things I may have missed. If you plan on going, comment below if this was helpful for planning your trip! :)
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