Friday, 5 February 2016

Top 5 Things To Do In New York

New York. The Empire State. The Big Apple. The City So Nice They Named It Twice. 

What ever you call it, there's no disputing New York is probably the most famous city in the world. So it was an obvious choice to begin and end my two month USA road trip last year. Home to some of the most recognisable buildings and well known tourist spots on the planet, New York can seem overwhelming when planning a trip. Fear not, whether you've got two weeks, two nights or 24 hours in the city there are 5 things you really should see, and here they are.

1. Empire State Building 

 I really do hate being obvious but it's such an iconic, beyond famous building it really should be top of your To Do List when heading for New York.

Dominating the New York skyline and featured in countless movies and TV shows - it's a pretty great view from the top. It's a cool 1050 feet above street level and over looks of some of the other amazing architecture such as the Chrysler and Flatiron buildings.

Marvel at it from the bottom and then experience the dizzying heights of the top. It's quietest early in the morning so make it first thing on your agenda for your day of sight seeing. If you can get there for 8am you will have a much better chance of beating the crowds and a fantastic morning view of the city coming to life. You can  then head to one of the many diners and bakeries in the local area for a good breakfast before hitting the rest of the city!

2. Central Park

Central Park might actually be one of my favourite places in the whole of my trip. Granted I went in August so the weather was scorching, the trees green and the flowers blooming, but whatever time of year you are visiting it's a beautiful surrounding.

It's a refreshing break from the hectic, heaving streets and hustle and bustle elsewhere in the city. You can walk through the gates, and even if the crowds are still there, there's something peaceful and soothing about the leafy, open spaces.

Grab a drink and take a stroll, visit the zoo, go cycling, or my recommendation for a top activity - go boating!

 It's a fantastic, serene, (if not a little bit of a work out at times for a wuss like me), way to spend the afternoon in one of the busiest cities on earth. Take your time, float away and watch out for the turtles chilling on the rocks!

3. Times Square 

The hub of New York City centre, some times referred to as the 'Crossroads of the World' and you can stand in right the centre of it. There is always something crazy going on here and if you like people-watching, you'll be in paradise! I'm not sure there's ever a 'quiet time' to visit but the throngs of people are part of the attractin. You should be heading to Times Square for the flocks of tourists, street food vendors, neon flashing adverts and sea of yellow taxi's - so embrace the madness and enjoy being part of it!

4. Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station, yes lets be real, it is just a train station, but there's just something magical about standing inside a place made so legendary by film and literature. It's just so New YorkThe building itself is incredible, not just it's impressive size, high ceilings and giant concourse, but the chandeliers, marble floors and of course the famous astrological ceiling.  

Everything is so classic and opulent from the polished brass, to the opal clock faces, it's a timeless place, managing to hang on to it's rich past in a way many other places in America have not.

It also has it's little secrets - although, not very well kept ones. In the dining gallery you'll find what appears to be a normal arched doorway. However the accoustics of the arches mean that you can stand at one side and have some one stand at the other side talking quietly under the noise of the station and can still be heard clearly! 

Try it- it works! 

5. Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty rivals the Empire State building for status in New York and definitely earns it's place on the top 5 list. However if you don't have time to wait around for the ferry trip to Ellis Island where she resides, I would recommend taking a walk to view the Statue from a distance. Much like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, this is a sight you want to take in from the outside, seeing the in all her glory with the city in the background is breath taking.

Top tips for girls!

Wear comfy shoes! Forget the false expectations SJP and Blair Waldorf have given you, you need flats baby! My trusty Converse saw me through the long walks sight seeing all day on my stay and I would recommend a pair. Sandals are an option too, but no wedges or heels! Just bear in mind if you are wearing sandals to walk the streets of New York, your feet will be covered in black grime, it's unavoidable. So if you are a clean freak, or just would prefer to keep your feet the same colour as they are now, go for the sneaks!

Make sure whatever bag you take out and about with you make sure you take one you can fasten up properly. Don't try and get away with open top totes as there's a bloody good chance you will get pick pocketed. I took my trusty Longchamp Le Pliage tote everywhere with me in America. It was perfect as it goes with everything, it zips and has a flap to make it doubly secure and it's roomy enough for everything you need to take!

If you have time make like Audrey Hepburn and visit the flagship Tiffany store. Don't be afraid to go for a snoop inside, it's not all 5 carat diamonds, they are used to tourists piling through their doors and even have some reasonably priced gifts as a momento of your visit.

As a massive Marilyn Monroe fan I had to visit the subway grate made famous as the location for the scene in the 1955 film The Seven Year Itch. You know the one, where Marilyn's skirt blows up in the air. It might not a top attraction in the city but I like to think of the crew filming the shot not knowing it was going to be one of the most famous movie scenes ever.

Ok food now! You have to try some New York specialities. Make sure you manage to cram in a proper New York Deli sandwich, a slice of New York cheese cake,  some street food, and of course a slice of New York pizza!

And on that rather delightful photo of me here ends my Top 5 Things To Do In New York. I'd love to hear your suggestions for your top places, or tips when visiting New York. Is anyone planning a trip this year? Let me know in the comments or contact me through my social channels at the top. 

Any one with any questions or wanting more info please feel free to get in touch, if I can help in anyway I will! 


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