OVERWHELMING. EXPENSIVE. BREATHTAKING. Three words I would describe New York.
It’s been a few months since my visit to New York and I still can’t believe I’ve ticked that box off my bucket list. This blog is dedicated to all of you out there who are about to or is planning to tick the same box off your list.
Check out my 5-Day Itinerary HERE . I thought of including this here in case you don’t wanna start with a blank sheet.
- I try to be very organized to avoid wasting time. If you are not so much of a planner, you can totally to skip this part.
- I am a TV/Movie lover so my itinerary is somewhat influenced by that. You may find some items on this list not interesting so feel free to remove, add or switch some things up depending on your interests, budget and schedule.
Day 1 : ALONE IN NEW YORK
My travel buddies for this trip had to go to work on days 1 and 2. The truth is, this was really their business trip and I was just tagging along. LOL
Since I didn’t wanna be a loser staying in the hotel room, waiting for them to get off from work, I decided to stroll around the busy streets of New York while their at work. Quite frankly, I was scared – not because I was alone and surrounded by people I don’t know but because I suck at directions; I hate reading maps.
“If you get lost, just enjoy being lost in the city. Then, take a cab back to the hotel!” This is what I kept telling myself while getting ready that morning. I knew before leaving the hotel that I’d get lost and I did…many times!
But I had an amazing time walking around. I got to see places I thought I’d only see on TV like the Ghostbusters’ Fire Station, the biggest Macy’s and I hung out at the Herald Square. The highlight of my stroll has gotta be seeing the F.R.I.E.N.D.S apartment. This is my comfort show – I watch it whenever I need a good laugh. I even saw the ugly, naked guy’s apartment (only F.R.I.E.N.D.S. lovers would understand). It was a crazy experience but I am so glad I did it! Check out more photos HERE .
Later that day, I tried recreating Serena Van Der Woodsen’s walk at the iconic Grand Central but just couldn’t pull it off. I did enjoy looking around the fanciest train station I’ve ever seen. Make sure you add this to your list!
The NY Times Square was the last on my list for that day and while on the train, all I could think of was that flash mob scene from Friends With Benefits. Wouldn’t it be cool if we see something like that? We didn’t see anything like that at all but I saw all the bright lights of Times Square and we enjoyed a whole box of fresh from the oven Joe’s Pizza which btw, should be on your lists too! It is a piece of heaven!
Day 2 : CHILLIN’ @ CHELSEA
This was a pretty chill day (pun intended). It was freezing cold but I was determined to checking these 3 items off my list :
- Take a look at New York from the Empire State View Deck
- Check out the Chelsea Market and
- Eat a Milk Bar cookie
We only got the Standard Pass for the Empire State Building which gives you access to the 80th and 86th floors ($41 including tax). If you wanna be on the top deck (106th floor), the standard pass for adults is $57(plus tax). There are also VIP Express Pass that you can purchase to skip the lines on both observatories but they’re almost double the price. If you wanna see the beautiful New York in the morning and its bright lights at night, I strongly suggest you get the AM/PM Experience tickets. Here’s a link you can go check out their ticket options.
If you’re on a tight budget but still want to check out Empire State, the Standard Pass for the 86th floor is really all you need. After all, you and the people at the 106th floor should be looking at the same city, right?
- Allot at least 2 hours for Empire State because the line could be very long. We went there last March and we had to wait for at least 15 minutes to go to each floor.
Chelsea is just very chic and charming. It was drizzling when we went there but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the view of New York while standing on the old train tracks.
Make sure you check out the stores at the Chelsea Market. Grab a brunch or a piece of doughnut or visit the basement to shop some local goods.
We were on our way to Momofuku to grab some dinner and eat a cookie at Milk bar when we saw a hotdog truck. We couldn’t say no to a legit New York hotdog. We felt so full that our tummies only had room for a cookie. We decided to skip Momofuku and went straight to Milk Bar.
Heads up! It’s a tiny place so if you’re claustrophobic or just doesn’t wanna be around a lot of people in a small place, have your treats to go and eat somewhere else. We did sit with a few strangers while enjoying our babyquakes. Trust me! They are the best soft-served I’ve ever tasted. Their birthday cake is not exactly my kind of dessert (maybe because I’m a chocoholic) but their cookies?! Oh My Foodness! I could have it all day everyday. Delish! The babyquakes and the cookies were too good that we went to get more the next day.
Speaking of food, I forgot to mention that we had lunch at Xi’an Famous Food. If you don’t have this on your list just yet, write it down now! Everything we ordered was incredibly flavorful! Worth every buck.
Day 3 : ALL THE TOURISTY SPOTS
This day is probably the busiest! We started our day early to take a 45-min train ride to the National September 11 Memorial. Be amazed by the infrastructure but always be respectful to those who passed away here. Say a little prayer for their souls and for the loved ones they left behind.
If you’re buying tickets to see the Statue of Liberty, I’d say go for the crown! We booked the regular tickets so we only got ferry access to the grounds but if you want the full experience, pay that extra $3 (2018 price) to get access to the crown of the Statue of Liberty. Here’s a link you can go to get a good idea of the ticket prices.
- Tickets sell out fast so make sure to book this in advance.
- Before you explore the island, make sure you check the ferry schedule. You wanna be there early if you wanna get a good seat.
We dropped by the Brooklyn bridge before our late lunch. I wanted to cross the bridge but for some reasons, there were gazillions of people on the bridge that it was almost impossible to get a good photo. At least, I saw and touched the bridge. 🙂
I don’t even remember how many times I’ve watched the movie Serendipity so we had to go to Serendipity 3 restaurant and enjoyed the famous frozen hot chocolate ($13.30 + tax). It’s honestly quite an overpriced frozen hot choco but if you are a huge fan of the movie, you’d want to try it at least once.
- There were a lot of people waiting to be sat. I heard a lady said, she’s been waiting for almost an hour. We made a reservation but we still had to wait for about 20 minutes.
- They don’t have the cheapest food but they’re also not super pricey. Make sure you check out their menu when you plan your trip.
The rest of the day was pretty busy! If you are looking for a church to go to while in New York, I’d say check out St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It’s one of the most beautiful cathedrals I have ever seen. Then, cross the street to skate on the Rockefeller Center. While you’re there, look for your country’s flag and have a quick selfie.
We ended the day with a few drinks at McGee’s Pub and veeeeery tired feet! If you are a How I Met Your Mother fan, this pub will not disappoint you. The place is surrounded by the show’s memorabilia and you can even buy a shirt for around 16 bucks (+ tax).
Day 4 : MUSEUM DAY
We spent at least 3 hours in the American Museum of Natural History. If you’re a huge fan of Nights at the Museum or into dinosaurs, artifacts and all that kind of stuff, this is a really fun place to be. But if you’re like me who’s never into Science, History and almost failed your Astronomy class, this may be a waste of money. Don’t get me wrong! I did enjoy looking at the dinosaur bones and the spatial pieces but I was bored most of the time. It did make me happy to see my travel buddies nerding out. 🙂
I was so excited to get out of the museum and walk around Central Park. It was the perfect weather for a stroll – it was breezy and cold but you can still feel the sun on your skin. We didn’t stay long because we know we’re coming back the next day to go biking at Central Park.
A friend of mine told me about this coffee place that’s known for their great coffee so we decided to check out Stumptown along West 8th Street I was very pleased with the coffee but not impressed with their service. The coffee smelled and tasted amazing but never felt that unwelcomed in a cafe. I’d have it again but definitely not from that branch.
Later that night, we enjoyed a legit meal from Halal Guys sitting on a bench just a few steps away from their truck near the Hilton Hotel. It’s waaaaay more delish than the ones I’ve enjoyed in the Philippines.
With happy tummies, we ran to the Magnolia bakery to get some banana pudding for dessert but they were already out of it. This really made me sad because I’ve always wanted to try it. If this is on your list, make sure you come in early because they sell out fast. As for me, better luck next time. 😦
Day 5 : SNOW ANGEL IN NEW YORK
It was our last day in new York! I was so pumped to see the snow through our small window. If you don’t know yet, I came from a very tropical country, Philippines so the chance of snow there is zero. I did experience a little bit of snow here in Dallas but it wasn’t enough to lay on the ground and be a snow angel. But this time, I am seeing more snow than trees! I felt like a 6-year old who’s about to go to Disneyland for the 1st time. I was going crazy!
We were a little bit sad that we won’t get to bike around Central Park which was the original plan but hey! I’m not complaining. The 1st thing we did is make a big snow ball with our bare hands which I realize isn’t the safest way to do it. Of course, I had to do a snow angel boomerang.
After enjoying an unforgettable, snowy morning at Central Park, we head back to the apartment to pick up our luggage and went straight to the La Guardia airport.
Waiting for our flight at the airport made me feel my super tired feet and my soaking wet UGGs (don’t ask!) but I had the most amazing time in New York. It’s definitely something I will never forget.
What’s your most unforgettable vacay so far? Let’s talk about it in the comments section or send me an email sharing your experience.
Let me know any questions you may have that I forgot to include in this blog.
I did publish a New York First Timer’s Guide where I shared some things you need to know before you go to NY and some tips I wish I knew before my trip.
If you wanna know my personal tips for planning my trips, stay tuned for the next blog.
Thank you for dropping by my blog today and I will chat with you again soon.
Enjoy the rest of your day!
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