This is a trip that has been two years in the making. I went to New York City nine years ago on a school trip, but this was my boyfriend’s first visit. The city that never sleeps is a popular destination, so I plan to write a few of these blog posts to cover how we chose to spend our time. This first blog post will cover the best tips that I can think of to help when it comes to planning your trip. There are a few different ways you can tackle running through NYC and making the most of your time before you run out of funds.
Become the Ultimate Tourist
I avoid a lot of popular tourist destinations, but there are some that you have to see. Some go all out and get photos of and with as many landmarks as possible. There is no shame in that! I was extremely excited about seeing the Flatiron Building because I didn’t remember seeing it last time. We got our hotel down the street from the Flatiron Building and it made the start to every day perfect. I previously visited a lot of the big landmarks and didn’t care about them this time around. I knew I would be seeing some of them again so that he could visit them for the first time. Some of the most common ones can be seen from a distance, such as the Statue of Liberty. I didn’t want us to waste half a day going on a boat tour to see the statue up close. All you have to do is head south to Battery Park and view it from a pretty far distance. It may not be ideal for people determined to see it, but it does the trick for others.
Leave it to me to create a map of every cafe, restaurant, shop, and more that I wanted to visit. For me, this trip was all about visiting places I have seen in photos online and heard were amazing. Shops that aren’t accessible in Canada were a must – hello Glossier! Being the big dork I am, visiting a few film locations from one of my favourite movies was definitely on the list. Yes, I geeked out. This is where most of my recommendations will come from. Although I didn’t get to visit all the places I wanted, I was very happy with the ones I did end up at.
I’m normally not that big of a planner, but when you only have a handful of days and too many places to go for the amount of time you have: you plan. If you have time and the resources, plan as much beforehand and it will pay off. When it comes to booking your hotel, pick a neighbourhood that is closer to most of the places you want to go. Our neighbourhood was a central point in the middle of our to-do list. We did visit Central Park and The Met, but we never really went any higher north in the city. We kept most of our trip below 59th St focusing on neighbourhoods (Nolita, Greenwich Village, etc). As well, we made a stop-over in Brooklyn to explore for an afternoon.
Subway, Taxi, or Walk?
This question comes up a lot when discovering a new city. If you can deal with a lot of walking, then you should walk as much as possible. This is of course, in case you are pressed for time and need to get to your next location faster. We opted for the subway with our handy-dandy Metro cards – thanks for the free cards to my friend who won’t read this! If the destination is within about 20 blocks and not a complete downpour of rain, walking is the best option. However, we did use the subway quite a lot, despite my feet believing otherwise. We never took a taxi or Uber ride though to save some cash and time hating traffic. Our drive into the city was all we ever wanted to experience in a car until we left.
You are probably wondering about some recommendations now, right? Stay tuned for the next blog post. 😉