When is the best time to have a NYC holiday you ask? The “Big Apple”, the “City That Never Sleeps”, is a great destination to visit year round and I should know given my over 8 visits here. Want to get infected with the NYC holiday spirit? You need as little as 3 days for a visit to NYC and this destination guide shows you local-approved NYC highlights to see the best, do the best and eat the best the big apple has to offer.
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A Local-approved NYC Highlights – Table Of Contents
Plan Your NYC Trip
When To Visit NYC
New York can be visited year round with summer being the peak season for tourists but wondering when my favorite season to visit is? December! Why you wonder?
Read my December Travel To NYC Article with festive things to do for a magical winter wonderland in New York City.
Getting Around NYC
Flights – New York City is one of the major international airport hubs of the world. Which means it is easy to get here from any corner of the world. Flights tend to also be quite reasonable in terms of costs. Find your cheap ticket to NYC HERE.
Subway – The subway system in New York can get you anywhere in the city and is local-approved to see NYC Highlights. Sure, it can be overwhelming at first and you may find yourself going in the opposite direction. Leverage google maps for the best travel options as these are very up to date.
Walk – I can’t stress enough walking when visiting a city and New York is one I recommend by foot. Not only will this give you a taste of how eclectic this city is. It’s also easy to navigate and sometimes much faster than using a car or the subway system.
Cabs – The iconic yellow cabs are everywhere. Start practising how to hail one like a boss especially during peak times, busy areas, etc.
Uber – Uber does operate in New York. An easy way to travel around the city including the various airports which is always useful.
English is the main language spoken in the “Big Apple”. Given the diversity of people living here and neighborhoods like Little Italy, Bronx and Chinatown, you may find yourself hearing other languages. As a Latina solo traveler there is something about hearing the various Spanish accents here that I truly enjoy. Embrace this too, it’s what makes this city so great.
Top Picks For NYC Attractions
- Rockefeller Center – See this iconic and historic landmark and be sure to not miss out on breathtaking panoramic views from atop the observation deck.
- Central Park – Stroll through the largest park in the city, watch various performers or simply people watch.
- The MET – Beautiful building with beautiful art to match and yes, this is where “camp” comes to life every year at the MET gala.
- World Trade Center – Visit the site of the 911 terrorist attacks and see how the city is reclaiming this area by honoring the past while moving forward toward the future.
- Empire State Building – I personally cannot speak for the view since I’ve never been drawn to go inside or to the top but it’s hard not to miss this iconic building when walking in Manhattan.
- Statue of Liberty – The history, the stories this lady could tell. It’s certainly up there on things to see while visiting.
- Brooklyn Bridge – Another iconic symbol of NYC seen in many films.
- MoMA – My favorite museum in the city so I highly recommend this one if you like modern art. The balcony cafe inside the museum that overlooks the garden is certainly a great place to grab a drink and slow down for a bit.
- Times Square – Yes, it will be super touristy but yes, it’s kind of a must while here.
- Nom Wah Tea Parlor – Oldest tea parlor in NYC and possibly the U.S. serving delicious dim sum in China Town.
- Black Tap – Known for their epic shakes. Come on an empty stomach and share either the shake or entree as their portions are massive. Try the ‘Cake Shake’ even if it’s not your birthday.
- La Mela – One of my favorite places to eat authentic Italian food in little Italy. Big family style portions with all the Italian feels from decor to their Italian American staff.
- Absolute Bagels – There are ton of places for bagels in NYC and locals will all have their favorite spot but when you get taken to a place that has a line that doesn’t seem to end and then confirm the taste for yourself, you know you’ve been taken to a place worth writing about.
- Apotheke – Trendy concept style bar with delicious mixologist created cocktails. (TIP: It’s next to Nom Wah Tea Parlor so a perfect place for post dinner drinks.)
- Serendipity 3 – Another location used as the backdrop for the 2001 film, “Serendipity”. This legendary NYC restaurant is known for their desserts; including the most expensive sundae in the world; the “Golden Opulance Sundae” at a price of $1000 USD (You heard it here; I will have this before I die.) and their iconic “Frozen Hot Chocolate” which I highly recommend and way more affordable then the first dessert mentioned. If I can’t sway you maybe mentioning that the likes of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol and Beyoncé have frequented here may seal the deal and have you visit.
- Cafeteria – Upscale diner with creative fusion items on the menu including their ‘mac and cheese spring rolls’.
Where To Stay
If you aren’t as fortunate as I am to have a good circle of friends in NYC, keep in mind that accommodations in the city can be quite pricey. Consider staying in Brooklyn and Hoboken which are a short subway or ferry ride away from Manhattan.
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