So, grab a coffee and a doughnut and enjoy...
We stayed at The Affinia Shelburne on Lexington Avenue which I think is a great choice, yes its away from Times Square but that's no bad thing, sometimes its nice to get away from the hustle and bustle and walk among the New Yorkers rather than tourists. The rooms were spacious, had a kitchenette which included a fridge and microwave and a pillow menu, how cool is that and we had a view of the Empire State Building!
Everyday at 5 o`clock the hotel had wine hour, which was a great opportunity to relax in the lobby after a long day sightseeing and enjoy a glass or two. There is also a roof top bar that has a great view of the city and in the summer months it would be a great place to enjoy your glass of red or chilled white. It is also close to Grand Central Station so you can get to most places on the subway. http://www.affinia.com/shelburne
|View From Our Hotel Room|
Okay..onto the sightseeing. New York IS expensive and most tourist attractions charge a fee so you have two options. Either buy a New York Pass which gets you in to most attractions for a one off fee or pay as you go. For a family of four we chose the 2nd option as the New York Pass can be expensive, however if you are travelling singularly or as a couple a pass could be the better option. https://www.newyorkpass.com/En/
Top Of The Rock
We decided to do the Top Of The Rock as the waiting times were less than the Empire State Building and you have the added bonus of taking a selfie with the Empire State Building in the background.
Rockefeller CentreThose of you who visit during the festive season you will definitely want to visit this place. With its iconic Christmas tree and ice skating rink, its a must see.
9/11 Memorial & MuseumA very moving and emotional day here, its hard to believe that two huge towers stood in those grounds. A fitting tribute to those who died.
Grand Central StationWow! What a building! Stunning beyond words and free to visit! You may however, spend a few dollars on all of the delicious food on offer. The downstairs food court has many smaller kiosks of some of New York's favourite food eateries.
Central ParkThere`s plenty to see and do at Central Park, hire a horse drawn carriage or bike, jog, ice skate or just people watch.
Battery Park & Staten Island FerryThe best free view of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan anywhere. Take the Staten Island Ferry on a round trip and you will witness THE best views of Lady Liberty and the Manhattan Skyline and its all free! I would say avoid rush hour as it can get busy.
Hells KitchenI personally do not have any photos but this is definitely a district worth checking out. Its trendy, fashionable and has a vibe all of its own. Its home to New Yorkers from all walks of life, it has many restaurants, cafes and trendy bars.
|(photo credit: http://www.thenewyorkcitytraveler|
American Museum Of Natural HistoryThis museum in HUGE! clear at least an afternoon in your schedule to visit. We had one rainy/cloudy day so we decided to visit the museum and its so big you definitely need the map provided. Tip: DO NOT pay the full admission price! If you can afford it then yes, go ahead, however, those on a tight budget can pay a token fee that fits in with your budget. Ask at reception for details.
Times SquareNo visit to New York would be complete with a visit to Times Square however, be warned its VERY busy especially at weekends. Here you can get cut price tickets for shows, visit Madame Tussuad's, shop at Sephora ,Footlocker, people watch or even have your photo taken with Elmo from Sesame Street.
Places To EatA trip to New York would not be complete without sampling the wonderful food on offer. Our favourite place was Delmonico Gourmet Food Market. The choice of food on offer was HUGE!!!! we only ate in there for breakfast but everything looked amazing. You can order at the counter or there is a buffet that is charged for and weighed by the pound (in weight). During our stay we had blueberry pancakes cooked fresh with butter and maple syrup, egg, bacon and cheese bagel, omelette and my husband and son went for the buffet option a couple of times. There are delis like this all over New York and they are real value for money. A great start to your day.....http://delmonicosmidtowneast.com/food-delivery-TW/delmonico-gourmet-food-market-59th-new-york-city.2775.r?QueryStringValue=wVIVUcids27e8AaNkKxJSw==
Another great place to eat is Tick Tock Diner we had breakfast there on my daughters birthday. Its open 24 hours a day, and has a traditional American diner feel. The milkshakes are to die for and so is the French Toast with marshmallow and hot fudge sauce. http://ticktockdinerny.com/beta2015/#
If you love cake then Juniors Grand Central Terminal is the place to visit. The cheesecake is amazing but the portions are HUGE. I had to eat mine in two stages as its was just too much. https://www.juniorscheesecake.com/blog/restaurants/grand-central/
ShoppingNo trip to New York is complete without a bit of retail therapy. Of course us girls had to visit Sephora (well it would be rude not too wouldn't it)? and we were like two kids in a candy shop. The staff there are incredibly helpful and are great at suggesting products. I purchased the Tartlette Amazonian Clay Matte Eyeshadow Palette and a foundation (which I later took back) but I could have spent a fortune.
We also purchased items from Footlocker, Urban Outfitters, New York Yankees Shop, H&M and of course bought an I Love New York t shirt for my new neice or nephew.
Remember that most things have tax added at the till so the price on the ticket isn't the price you eventually end up paying.
New York has a tipping culture, everyone expects a tip. This can be a bit of a culture shock to us Brits who normally only tip for excellent service or for those who go that extra mile but be prepared for it.
We had a great time and hopefully my daughter has some amazing memories. If you would like to share your experiences in New York then please feel free to comment below.
Until next time.