NYC: What to do & Instagrammable Locations
Back in July I visited NYC with my boyfriend for the E prix race and we combined that with a little holiday for ourselves. I’ve been to New York before but this time I was a little bit older and a lot keener to explore. I felt like we went to all the touristy spots that you need to visit as well as a lot of the cool and quirky local places in New York. I loved reading blog posts and guides on New York before I headed out and I combined peoples recommendations to create my own NEW YORK GUIDE. So I thought I’d share with you what we did (some alone as my boyfriend was working) and what I think is totally worth a visit! Ive organised this so that it is in areas, so hopefully that'll give you some sort of itinerary.
View from 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge.
So we were stay for the first 5 days in Brooklyn at the 1 hotel Brooklyn Bridge which is utterly amazing. I would recommend staying here but I believe it is fairly expensive. So if you stay here ask for a room with a view as our room overlooked Brooklyn Bridge and if you don’t want to spend the night there, it is definitely worth going for a drink. Head upstairs to the roof top for cocktails and a spectacular view. I am going to write more on the hotels in another blog post so keep your eyes peeled. I also did a VLOG from our NYC trip (find it here)
MIDTOWN TOURISTY STUFF
We started off at Times Square – fairly early in the morning so it wasn’t crazily busy. You have to visit Times Square at some point and just experience the atmosphere. I wouldn’t stay ages. If you’re from London – think Leicester Sq – the vibe is cool, the bright lights and the hustle and bustle but theres not a huge amount to really see except big shops. So I would go for half an hour to an hour.
There’s loads to see obviously, but theres a great Sephora there and I think I enjoyed this one most of the Sephora’s I found in New York. If you’re from England you’re going to want to go. Here you’ll find Anastasia Beverly Hills, Tarte Cosmetics and a whole variety of makeup brands. Watch my video of what I bought in Sephora here.
Saks Fifth Avenue:
We then wandered to Saks fifth avenue which is essentially a big department store set in a gorgeous NYC building. I think it was cool to see it and have a look but I didn’t love what was actually IN the store. It was nothing on Bloomingdales and certainly nothing compared to Harrods. The outside is quite cute for a photo but I don’t think its even that necessary to go inside. Controversial – maybe?
Points of interest? Outside Saks Fifth Avenue there is a doll shop called America Girl. I LOVED it. So cool and if you have a little girl, sister, cousin, friend or even yourself its worth looking – brings out the inner child. You can create dolls just like you.
Grand Central Station:
The famous station we felt we needed to visit. These places were all walkable distances from each other so we went here next. I have to say I wasn’t that impressed. It was cool to see it in person but it wasn’t anything hugely special after the initial look. Would I recommend this - honestly No! Woops. If you’re looking for your cute insta snaps… I don’t think its worth it. Its not that interesting and the lighting is shocking (lol but true).
(we did all the above on our first day – so they’re all pretty close).
Top of The Rock
We spent our first evening in the heart of New York, seeing the city from above. I have been up the empire state building before and I thought it was interesting but not worth doing again. You are cramped in a little lift and you see the view through a wired fence. The top of the rock however is inside the Rockefeller Centre – a building full of history itself and you are taken to the top to see the view of New York INCLUDING the empire state building. You’ll get some gorgeous photos. I loved this. There is a queue to get in even if you book but its fast moving and there’s films about the history of the building to keep you entertained. We went at 7 and the light was gorgeous and it meant we could dress up for dinner before hand.
We stayed in Brooklyn at the 1 hotel so as I said I highly recommend that.
Where to eat:
Atrium Restaurant: We were recommended Atrium by our hotel concierge and it was so gorgeous, in Dumbo and just past the Brooklyn Bridge so you had the most gorgeous view as you walked home. If you visit Atrium restaurant you should definitely go at night and then walk to the bridge and watch the lights of Manhattan. Super romantic and absolutely breathtaking.
Grimaldi’s Pizza Dumbo: Dating back to 1905 – this pizzeria is something special. Massive pizzas and authentic Italian vibes. The pizza was delicious. We shared a large between 4 people so bare that in mind when you order. It is very casual inside so no need to dress up. Wear stretchy trousers as you’ll need them! Haha
Cecconi’s: for lunch– great views, interiors and light, delicious food. I will write more about Arlo Soho in another post for now I’ll stick to what we did.
One Girl Cookies: The cutest little café actually right next to Atrium restaurant. Its down a lovely Dumbo street and you’ll find some delicious cookies and the perfect place to people watch and chill for a minute.
Alex at Cecconi's - on the other side is the Brooklyn Bridge.
I got a cab from the hotel in Brooklyn to the Whitney Museum, I didn’t actually go in but it looked amazing and it has fantastic reviews. But I used it as a starting point for my explorations. I wanted to see the highline but I didn’t want to do too much by myself as I was saving it for a day with my boyfriend.
So what is the highline? The highline is basically a raised garden walk, it used to be a railway track above the roads and it is a fantastic way to see the city. You can get on or off wherever you like. The gardens along the way are so lovely and it is such a nice way to get a bit of nature in NYC. Its great to do especially if you have a few hours by yourself and you don’t know what to do. Depending on how active you want to be you can go for as long as you like. I would say I walked for around half an hour looking at things and eventually got down (walking down some steps to the street level) because I knew I wanted to look at a Market. Suggestions/points of interest? Walk the highline towards sunset and stop at The Standard to get a great view of the city at the best light. Or go the other way and start at the Whitney museum and get off where Chelsea market is – that would be a great idea if you’re not in the mood for walking too far.
Chelsea market is an indoor food, clothes and craft market basically. It can get super busy so I went quite early in the morning. There are some cool stalls and some incredible food to be had. Allow yourself an hour, but you may want longer if you decide to eat there. Try doughnuttery in the food market section – it’s a doughnut shop and you can fill the insides with your chosen delights.
After that I walked to Union Square and browsed the shops and had a bite to eat.
INSTAGRAMMABLE CUTENESS IN LOWER EAST SIDE AREA
Taiyaki Ice Cream:
I saw this on instagram and new I wanted to go. It looks like nothing on the outside but it’s the cutest Japanese ice cream shop. Fish shaped waffle cones filled with ice cream. MHMMM. One hundred percent recommend this! So delicious. Worth it even if you just want a photo really! The interiors in the shop are nothing special so you can always take it to go.
Not far from Taiyaki is the pinkest cutest restaurant – pietro nolita. I didn’t get a chance to go in and eat but from the looks of it its heaven. It’s a very small restaurant and they serve cute little portions of pasta and more. Honestly look it up on instagram its gorgeous for a very pink picture.
We wandered to find Freemasons Alley as I’d heard there was some great graffiti. However when we arrived I’d have to say there was better graffiti dotted around the place!
Milk and Cream Cereal Bar:
OH YES this was fabulous. Creamy ice cream mixed with your choice of cereal and all the toppings you can imagine. Set in a glorious little shop. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
LOWER MANHATTAN MUST DO’s
Spot the endless glorious graffiti along this street!
A vegan hotspot with an endless array of goodies to choose from.
Oh and we spent a whole day (well morning in Central Park) so if you have a lazy morning head there with your book!
There's obviously loads and loads to do in New York and this is just some of the stuff I chose to do and the things I really enjoyed and wanted to share with you guys. So I hope you enjoy and if you're off to New York HAVE FUN :) X
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