Everyone has that list of things they need to see in New York. Mine was rather long but here are 10 must-do’s in the city so great they named it twice! (For museums, art galleries, broadway shows and the Brooklyn Bridge… see my other blog posts)
1. EMPIRE STATE BUILDING
I recommended purchasing a City Pass for this one. We skipped the 45 minutes queue and went straight to the top! The view is spectacular and we had such a good day for it!
2. RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL
I wanna be a Rockette… I wanna dance until dawn!
If you’re a fan of the Rockettes or just music and dance in general, check out Radio City Music Hall! We didn’t get inside but they do offer tours. We just posed like Rockettes in front of it.
3. ROCKEFELLER PLAZA
We were here in summer so unfortunately no ice skating however it’s still worth a visit! I’m a 30 Rock fan so had to get a photo under the sign!
There’s an awesome NBC gift shop on the ground floor which is great for Christmas gifts for your Television fanatic friends and family! (I got my brother a great “House” shot glass)
4. NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
As a fan of libraries and beautiful buildings in general, I had to take a visit to the New York Public Library. This place is huge and full of every type of book you can imagine. The architecture is so gorgeous that we actually came back here again.
We were lucky enough to be there in time for a children’s literary exhibition featuring one of the first ever published copies of Alice in Wonderland (I collect Alice in Wonderland books so this was AMAZING to see) and also the original toys that the characters in Winnie the Pooh were based off!
5. SHOPPING IN TIMES SQUARE
This one is rather obvious but you’ve got to at least do some window shopping in Times Square. From one store there’s a giant window that gives you a great view of the square.
There is a Forever 21 there that has 5 stories full of clothing! We hit up all the clothing and toy stores as well as the MnM store because… well… MnMs!!!
6. THE HIGH LINE
This is a rather new attraction and is definitely worth the walk. We were lucky enough to be staying in Chelsea so it was quite easy to access. The Chelsea High Line is built on what used to be an above ground train track that runs along the west side of the Island. They’ve made it into a sort of nature walk and the views are gorgeous. You can also grab a drink or cold snack along the way too.
7. BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S
Breakfast at Tiffany’s is one of my favourite films of all time so naturally all I’ve ever wanted to do is have breakfast… at Tiffany’s. Since Tiffany’s is in fact a functioning jewellery store you can’t take food inside so Erica and I opted for a snack at the front door, much like Holly Golightly. People walked past us and giggled “What are you doing?!” … “We’re having breakfast at Tiffany’s!” “OH! That’s awesome! I wish I’d thought of that!”
After breakfast we actually went into the store and I bought myself a ring as a 21st birthday present to myself. I engraved it with “NYC 13” to remember my trip. It’s the most expensive piece of single jewellery I own and I love it.
8. GRAND CENTRAL STATION
Grand Central Station is one of those iconic old buildings that’s worth a pass through. The main hall is constantly bustling with people going in every direction and it’s fun to just sit down and watch them for a while.
We caught a train from here too, just to add to the experience.
9. THE MAGNOLIA BAKERY
If you’re a Sex in the City fan you’ll know all about this little piece of heaven. If you’re not, then all you need to know is that they make the best cupcakes in town. We spent the day in Greenwich village and the surrounding area and this was our first stop. I think this might have been the best cupcake I’ve ever had in my life. I was SO close to going back for seconds!
10. BATHTUB GIN
This is a bit of a lesser known and perhaps unusual one. I’m a giant fan of anything pre 1940, specifically the 1920’s. During the 20’s, America had this little thing called Prohibition. Essentially this was a law that banned the manufacturing and sale of alcohol. Thus the speakeasy was born. Speakeasy’s began popping up all over the city and throughout the country in the backrooms of cafe’s and restaurants or really anywhere they couldn’t be seen from the street. They were the kind of places that you only knew existed if you knew the right people. I happened to know of a particular speakeasy still in action in Chelsea (of course it’s all legal now) in the back of a tiny cafe. “Bathtub Gin” is located at 132 9th Ave (between 18th St & 19th St) and serves the best gin cocktails in town. The atmosphere in here is great and they play jazz music all night. We each had a cocktail and the best fries and aioli I’ve ever tasted… We also had a sit in the bathtub!