November 13, 2022
New York City has endless possibilities. There are an estimated 20,000+ restaurants and bars in Manhattan alone, which means it would take over 50 years to try a different one each day. On top of that, the sights, sounds, and experiences of being in the city are unique each time you step outside.
While we are eager to share our favorites, we know we can’t cover everything. We broke this down based on the type of trip you’re looking for. So whether it’s your first trip to the city, you are taking the town with your crew, or you plan to visit for a getaway with your S/O, we have you covered.
We specify early morning here because a walk mid-morning or later will be accompanied by heavy foot-traffic. If you aren’t a morning person, walk the bridge after dark for city light views of lower Manhattan (honorable mentions to Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges for this purpose as well). This is a great location for an iconic IG post, and you can spend some time in DUMBO during your walk as well.
This is an obvious one. Walking, biking, running, picnics, views. You can do it all in Central Park. A few spots to check out would be the famous Bethesda Terrace and The Mall, the Great Lawn, Belvedere Castle, or walking the Ramble (specifically the Oak Bridge)
Known for having the best public restrooms in the city (sounds weird but it’s true), this park is a safe haven nestled in a busy area of Manhattan. There are a few restaurants in the park, and you can kick back on the lawn to relax when the weather is good.
We aren’t crazy about going here frequently, but it’s definitely a must do if you are a first timer visiting the city. Any time of the day will be great for seeing the square, walking along broadway, and possibly seeing a naked cowboy.
Some of the best views from a rooftop that we have seen – south you can see downtown and FIDI, north you get amazing cityscapes with central park in the background.
This is a really great place to visit – if you enjoy museums, we’d also highly recommend the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. You can spend a whole afternoon here, and it’s a moving experience.
Aside from being a beautiful place to walk around and site see / people watch (along with SOHO), you can’t go wrong with any of the restaurants in the area.
Out of all the restaurants, bars, and coffee shops we’ve tried during our travels to NYC, this is one of the few we have gone to more than 2-3 times. Partially because it was close to where we stayed, but primarily because of the food and atmosphere. Happy hour drinks are 1/2 price which doesn’t hurt either!
You will pay two times the price of a normal NYC cocktail, and get three times the strength of a normal NYC cocktail (they are delicious too). Consider yourself warned. A cozy and classic atmosphere, this is one of our favorite bars.
It took us 3-4 trips before we were finally able to get tickets to a show, but it was definitely worth it (we saw Wicked).
We got to do this tour with friends during one of our first trips to the city – It’s a great way to see a ton of the city in a short amount of time, and the views are incredible!
One Sunday during a weekend trip, we were bummed to find the planned brunch spot was closed down. Not two blocks away did we find this gem tucked away in SOHO. The breakfast / brunch options are fantastic, and the oatmeal will pleasantly surprise you.
Central Park is honestly on our list no matter why you’re visiting NYC. The ramble is particularly nice if you want a leisurely stroll with your S/O. You are quickly transported from the middle of Manhattan to a part of the park that will make you feel like you’re nowhere near a major metropolis.
We went here for the first time during our last trip, and we wish we knew about it sooner! Perfect to do after your Central Park walk.
Two of our favorite coffee spots!
There are endless possibilities when it comes to bars, beers, and watching sports – these are a couple we went to more than once when we were with friends in the city. Treadwell Park has pingpong and other games, and Dorians is great for Sunday football.
From as far north as the River Bank State Park to as far south as FIDI, this trail is a great way to see a lot of the city in a short amount of time.
When it comes to a shopping day, you can find anything and everything in SOHO.
A great place to stop and enjoy people watching during your day in SOHO, and a nice spot to get a view of the arch with the Empire State Building in the background!
Shu Jiao Fu Zhou – $4 for 10 of the best dumplings you’ve ever had. Need we say more?
For this section, we opted to list as many as we could think of. They are in no particular order, but are guaranteed to provide particularly fun memories.