How to do New York City in one day
New York, New York, a helluva town.
The Bronx is up, but the Battery’s down.
The people ride in a hole in the groun’.
New York, New York, it’s a helluva town!!
Why to go: It’s the greatest city in the world!
What to do: What’s NOT to do? If you only have one day, here is a good primer on how to jam as much in as possible!
We were lucky to squeeze in a day in Manhattan during this past Thanksgiving week. There was a buzz in the air as people prepared for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and the shops were prepping for the Holiday season. It was a spectacular time to visit. We also lucked out that the weather was warm and sunny for that time of year so we got to do a few things we probably wouldn’t have if the weather had been cold and rainy.
Here are the Joyful Adventurers’ tips on how to do New York City in one day:
1. Take mass transit.
If you take mass transit, you don’t have to worry about parking or remembering where you parked, or getting back to where you started since you will leave your options open.
Our day started in Penn Station. We took the train from Philadelphia where we were staying at 7:30 and we arrived in New York just after 8:30 AM. The Amtrak is a great ride and at approx $100 per person one way, we expected a comfortable ride. We decided up front that the day was going to be relaxed and spontaneous. We had a few thoughts of places we really wanted to make sure we hit, but nothing was in stone. As we came out of Penn Station we immediately saw the Empire State Building. The majesty of the building alone made us eager to go up to the observation deck. Stop one planned!
2. Arrive early.
The great thing about arriving so early is that we beat the crowds. It was Saturday during Thanksgiving week after all. And we easily got through the short line and got our tickets. We were up in no time and the views did not disappoint! As a Jersey native, I had been there at least once before so I knew what to expect somewhat, but it was so fun to see Mark’s reaction – since this was his first trip to NYC!
After the incredible start, we headed over to Times Square. It is a crazy crowded place but it is one of those places you need to see. Again having the early start really helped us beat the time of day when the crowds were the worst.
3. Take a tour around the island.
There really is no better way to see some of the most iconic views than taking a boat tour. We chose City Sightseeing Boat Tours. This alone would have been enough for a spectacular day.
4. Hit two or three of the top places on your list.
We went on to Rockefeller City – which is a staple around the holidays. We saw the tree being prepped for the unveiling which we missed by only a week. But it was still great to see the ice skaters and to wander the area. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a store there where we got some good Christmas gifts. Right across the street is also St. Patrick’s cathedral which is a stunning example of architecture even if you are not religious. We hit three spots in one location!
5. Yelp is your friend.
New York City has a plethora of amazing places to eat and drink. Yelp is a great way to find some of the best according both locals and tourists alike. Here are some of the spots we went to:
Upright Brew House
547 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014
b/t Charles St & Perry St
For dinner we wend to Frankie’s Spuntino for some delicious Italian food.
Business website frankiesspuntino.com
570 Hudson St
New York, NY 10014
b/t 11th St & Perry St
Phone number (212) 924-0818
We had wanted to experience a great rooftop bar and my aunt and uncle took us over to a fantastic place.
We got this great shot at this bar:
After it started raining we decided to move on to another bar that was recommended in the village:
The Red Lion
151 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10012
b/t Thompson St & Laguardia Pl
Yelp Reviews: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-red-lion-new-york
And what night out isn’t complete with a nightcap at an Irish Pub which was just two doors down from The Red Lion!
The Peculier Pub
145 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10012
b/t Laguardia Pl & Thompson St
All in all the day was one of the most fun ever! You can plan a similar day if you live near or in the city or if you are an all out tourist. Just make it your own. Let us know if you try any of these great sites or what you discover yourself! Either way – get out there and have an adventure!
Joyful Adventurer OUT!