It’s time to pack a suitcase and head to one of the most LIVELY states! NEW YORK BABY!💖
There is so much to explore from strolling through the rail trail of The High Line to catching a bigger than life Broadway show, and let’s not forget speeding through the city like a flash with the help of the Subway. Ohhh, New York City is definitely one to remember!
It’s a lot for a girl who’s used to the tranquil desert, but the Big Apple has a captivating personality that’s hard to miss. It’s so unique, incomparable to any other place. If you’ve never been, it’s time to go and experience it for yourself. Words aren’t enough…this city can’t be fitted in a box. It’s so GRAND!
Let me show you what it’s all about!!! Buckle up because we’re about to ride trains, walk 10 miles per day, have some fun, and sing along the way.
Being there for a full week vacation, we did some of the coolest things! These are my suggestions of places and fun things to do. I hope you enjoy it! 😎
1. Ride the Ferry to Staten Island
One of the most FUN things to do is to catch the ferry, which takes you on a beautiful journey through the New York Harbor, and it’s completely free. You’ll get to see the Statue of Liberty from up close! She’s got lovely eyes! 😉
This adventure is so worth it because you’ll catch a wonderful view of the picturesque city skyscrapers as well as the Brooklyn Bridge. It really can’t get any better than this! All you need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the magic that is right in front of your own eyes.
The ferry runs 24 hours per day every 15 or 20 minutes, which makes it very convenient to add it to your to-do list while you’re visiting New York.
2. Enjoy Coffee Time at Bryant Park
The first day we landed in NYC we passed by Bryant Park and guess what? I fell in love with it!!! I wanted to have breakfast there every morning after that.
The vibes were just something that I feel doesn’t exist much here in Vegas. Lots of greenery, people enjoying their morning. We even saw a yoga class happening in the sunshine, lots of birds chirping around, pretty vibrant flowers, even a carousel for the kids – yep, I wanted to ride it too! hahaha – and basically everyone having a great time. Perfect for reading a book, enjoying a coffee, spending time with friends or people-watching, we definitely went to this park more than once. It was a nice getaway from the busy streets and the crazy traffic, which is the norm in New York.
If you like tranquility, peace Bryant Park and Central Park are a must for you.
3. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
Make your way to one of New York’s most popular attractions; the Brooklyn Bridge. Such an iconic way to see more of the BIG city by walking. The bridge will take you to Brooklyn Bridge Park, a waterfront park with tons of photo opportunities. Have your camera in hand and get ready to snap away!📸
While in that neighborhood you can visit Dumbo as well. There you can come across lots of trendy restaurants, cute cafes and boutiques. We didn’t get to spend much time in Dumbo, but it’s definitely something to consider doing.
One of my favorite moments when walking the Brooklyn Bridge was seeing thick clouds approaching from far away. They hid away the Statue of Liberty and within minutes it started pouring rain. Completely drenched in rain – ohhh, we so needed it – it felt truly refreshing and magical. Experiencing rain for three days while in NYC made me so happy because I love the rain. We don’t get much of it here in Las Vegas.
4. Go to a Broadway Show
Since I can remember, my DREAM has been to go watch a live Broadway Show in New York City. Even before we booked the trip I was already searching which show we should go and see. Well, “Funny Girl” easily made the cut because first, it sounded funny, and second, I think I can be part of the show because I’m extra funny…🤣
I was so captivated by the whole story, the different props, the stunning costumes, the singing, the dancing, and everything about musical theater. It makes you realize how much work goes into every detail and how a talented group of individuals can touch a single audience so much. The most amazing night in New York City!
Even more surreal was seeing Jane Lynch act as the mom figure of Beanie Feldstein who played the girl with the BIG DREAM of making it BIG on Broadway.
5. Explore the Bronx Zoo
On the second to last day, we thought it would be a good idea to visit the zoo. It was so fun because the last time I went to the zoo was when I was in my yearly teenage years, so this felt like a nice treat. We also got to go on a zoo shuttle that took us from one end of the park to another. We spotted a furious tiger roaming the fields and an elephant named “Happy” just being happy.😊
Heading to the Bronx Zoo, I really didn’t have any expectations, but if I did, it definitely exceeded them. It felt like being in a tropical forest. Spending the whole morning and afternoon at the zoo was a bliss. You would be in shock to know how fast time passes by. What’s your favorite animal? I got really excited seeing the powerful lion!🦁
6. Picnic at Central Park + Visit Belvedere Castle
One of the largest and most famous parks in the world is Central Park in New York City. So HUGE! You can walk there for days without even covering half of it. It’s amazing seeing it so full of runners, bikers and sunshine lovers very early in the mornings. It felt like a different kind of traffic!
Bring a blanket, get some food and enjoy the park in the summer. So beautiful and honestly, one of the best things you can do for yourself if you love the outdoors.
While you’re there, don’t forget to pay the Belvedere Castle a visit like we did. The name of it means “Beautiful View” in Italian. I loved seeing the green panoramic views from the top. I can only imagine what it would all look like during the autumn…completely breathtaking!!! This makes me want to go back during the changing of the colors.🍂
7. Spend the day at Long Beach
We decided we needed a real summer beach day, so we took the train from Penn Station and eagerly headed to Long Beach. It was so nice to get away from the busy city and have a quiet day by the soothing waves. To enjoy the beach, you’ll need a daily pass. Residents pay $12 and non-residents pay $15 per person.
My favorite part was definitely getting some sushi, coffee and sweets while watching the sun set. It was a cloudy yet humid summer day, so the sky was all kinds of pinks and oranges.
This was a perfect way to recharge from all the walking we did during the previous days as well soak in a more peaceful version of New York.
8. Walk the High Line
As I mentioned earlier, walking the High Line is a must-do thing when in NYC. It would take you about 30 minutes. Keep in mind there’s lots of art, cool buildings, flowers and cityscapes along the way. It might take you longer just because every step is an opportunity for a great photo.😉I highly recommend it for photographers who want a unique view point of the city.
It was really cool walking along because you can actually see parts of the railway on which once ran trains regularly. Plus, it’s near by the Vessel, so you can visit both places one after the other. That’s what we did!
9. Explore the Vessel
Noticeable from miles away for its unique structure, The Vessel is the main attraction of Hudson Yards. Its spiral staircases give you a new, fun perspective of the city. We didn’t get the chance to see it from inside, but I know entrance is free to the public. It was so fun walking around because there’s a lot of cute restaurants and coffee places. We got to enjoy some breakfast right outside with the Vessel as our backyard. It’s a really lovely center to relax or walk around!
Even looking at these pictures, you see how grand this artwork is and how small I am.😁Easily puts things into perspective. I think I screamed the first time I saw it because I remembered this is one of the monuments I read about before visiting New York City.
10. Go to Wall Street
It’s time to get to business by going to Wall Street! 😉
Being there definitely felt surreal because we’ve all seen the movies where the businessmen make their grand deals. The first movie which immediately comes to mind is ” The Wolf of Wall Street“. I couldn’t help but think what these men/women dressed in suits heading into Wall Street…what their lives look like? I’m sure nothing like my life…😂
It was fun walking around seeing the “taller than life” buildings. Also, the Trinity Church was really impressive in the midst of the busy streets.
Visiting this financial district is a must-do when in NYC!
11. Visit the 9/11 Memorial
This was one of the most humbling experiences. I still can’t forget the sight of seeing the footprints of the two Twin Towers in the ground and the engraved names on them. Being there, I got a flashback of witnessing the news on TV back in 2001 when I had just moved to America with my family.
Seeing the 9/11 memorial in person gave me all the chills. It felt so powerful because when we were there it started raining lightly as if the sky was crying for the people that lost their lives on this significant day. In the quietness, you could feel everything.
12. Make your way to Washington Square Park
I LOVE that there are so many parks to explore in New York. Washington Square Park (named after George Washington) is one of them! Be sure to take a photo at this famous arch. You can enjoy a nice lunch by the fountain while you watch people doing different fun activities. They have tai chi, yoga, live music, art activities for the kids and even diabolo yo-yo class. How awesome is that?
If I was a local, the parks are definitely where I would spend most of my time because they have lots of activities going on, which you can join it and make friends along the way.
13. Catch a Glimpse of Times Square
I’ve watched the ball drop on New Year’s Eve at Times Square numerous years in a row on TV and now I can say that I’ve been there! The excitement I felt of seeing Times Square is indescribable. For a while I couldn’t believe it!!! 🤯
Walking there felt a bit like the Strip vibes here in Vegas; lots of tourists, traffic and lights. It was really cool looking up at all the changing ads on the big screens. Also, add to this the honking of cars and you can tell these streets are sure to make a lasting impression.😂 I can’t begin to imagine how insane it is during the New Year’s celebration. Visiting New York during the winter must be different kind of fun!
14. Take a Train Ride at Grand Central Terminal
When in NYC, trains and subways are a normal daily way to get places. It can be pretty intimidating if you’ve never been or you just have a glimpse at their crazy maps…hahaha! Lots of things happening at once! Also, no one really waits for you, so you’ve got to think fast and move quick.
When we got to Grand Central Station, we had some time to kill, so we decided to catch the next train to North White Plains. This was my first ever train ride. Not only that, it was so good and memorable because I got to rest my legs from all the walking we did earlier that day.😁
I found being on trains suits me better than the furious subways because it was less of a hassle and it wasn’t as crowded. With either transportation, if you’re a local and you do this everyday, hats off to you. Hundred percent of the time I had no idea what’s happening! hahaha
15. Visit the Rockefeller Center
I’m sure you’ve already heard of the Rockefeller Center even if you haven’t been to New York City. You’ve got the ice-skating rink there, which is open for roller skating during summer. Also, close by you’ll spot the NBC studio where Saturday Night Live is taped as well as other beloved shows.
Only a three minute walk from the Rockefeller Center is the famous St. Patrick’s Cathedral. While we were there service was happening, so it was very busy but still, we were able to see the gorgeous architecture inside. You can definitely go in and have a look around. It’s free!
There you have it!!! Lots to do and see in New York City. I suggest going for a week or two to be able to make the MOST of your trip. I’m so happy last year I was finally able to visit NYC because it’s one of those cities that I’m sure is on everyone’s top 3 dream destinations. Where to next?✈
Have you been to the Big Apple?🍏 What was your favorite part of your visit there?
Want a more sunny beachy destination? Head to Catalina Island!