The first time I traveled to New York, I woke up with a feeling of pure giddiness, a notch down from Christmas morning on the scale of excitement. I kid you not. The city of new adventures, every type of food you can imagine, shopping better than almost anywhere else, and of course, bagels. As amazing as the city is, it can be intimidating and scary, especially if it’s your first time visiting. For those New York virgins out there, this is your beginners guide to New York City!
Top of the Rock & Rockefeller Tour
Tourist, I am! Everyone I spoke to recommends the Top of the Rock over the top of the Empire State Building; the views are better, the wait is shorter, and the tour is top notch. Although the tour is an extra cost, it provides insight into the construction, artwork and life behind the incredible Rockefeller Center. Fun fact, did you know that Rockefeller Center consists of 9 buildings, not just 1? Go on the tour.
9/11 Museum and Memorial
This was by far the most sobering part of my time in NY. That being said, I feel it is a necessary stop. Such a large part of NY’s history, the beautifully created memorial and museum brings to life the events of 9/11 and honours the victims of that day. I gained such respect for the way NY came together to support each other during and following those events. It is a chance to glimpse the beauty of humanity amongst the wreckage of terrible pain.
This was and is my favourite NY activity. No matter the time of year, Central Park has a special place in my heart. There’s something majestic about the park, filled with twists and turns, statues, ponds, and every kind of person you can think of. I imagine the park coming alive, hosting a tea party for the resident statues and animals while the rest of the city is asleep. Very Alice in Wonderland style. Visit the park, take a bike ride, go for a paddle, breathe in everything the park has to offer. You can easily spend an entire afternoon, if not a full day here. Bring a picnic or grab a bite to eat at the Café on the green…
Two days following The Met Gala I stumbled in just before closing to kill some time before dinner. It’s the perfect place to meander, make a few friends, and take in history, fashion, and so much more.
A New York Bagel
These things could feed an army…I swear mine was bigger than my face. But it was oh so good. I’m a traditionalist so I went with your typical lox and toppings. There are so many places to grab one at, but stick with where there is a line. A long line = good bagels.
Chelsea Market & The Highline
I pushed back on visiting the Chelsea Market. Why would I want to go to a market in NY? Oblivious. The Chelsea Market is a great place to grab lunch, meander throughout the vendors, buy a keepsake and an ice-cream cone before spending some time taking in the city from the Highline. The Highline, a walking path and park above the streets of NY provides a place to take in the city and Hudson River, catch up with your travel buddy on all you’ve seen, and work off some of those pounds you’ve surely gained eating all those bagels.
When it comes down to it, New York is an incredible city filled with activities for every kind of person. I truly hope you have an incredible time!