Being a tourist can be tons of fun, but can also take a turn down south when you’re confused as to what to do and see in a short amount of time. Planning ahead can save you time and money, especially if you’re heading for an adventure of a lifetime in a big city. Large cities such as New York City have many districts and different areas, all blooming with a variety of city culture. NYC whose grandeur and splendor is depicted in film after film, book after book is breathtaking in person and is true to Jay-Z’s and Alicia Key’s “Empire State of Mind”- full of concrete buildings. If you’re a suburbanite, NYC is a whiff of fresh air, and new change. A place full of diversity, you’ll find young couples, singles, and families walking on the streets never seeming to encounter a boring moment.
A couple of tips before you set on your trip:
- Pinpoint what areas of the city you want to see, allowing you to determine how many days you will need to set aside for your vacation.
- If you are planning on seeing any attractions that require purchasing tickets, looking up prices can help you plan out a budget. After doing so, see if you can purchase tickets online or ahead of time, saving you some energy and allowing you to pass the waiting line.
- Not going to lie, NYC is definitely an expensive city. If you like to go all out on your vacation, plan your budget to where you have wiggle room if you want to go up and beyond and for unexpected purchases too.
If you’re a hopeless dreamer, NYC is your come dream true and a city of a lifetime filled with an adrenaline boosting rush. Checking out these city staple locations next will surely make your trip to the city absolutely wonderful.
- Times square
Off of Broadway Blvd. between 46th and 47th Streets
The glitter and glam of NYC, it is a must see, especially if you haven’t been to the city before. My first sight of Times Square was in the rain. And even though it was raining, the bright lights of the many, many signs and billboards were glowing, providing plenty of warmth and happiness. You should definitely visit the Toys R’ Us store (allowing you to reminiscence your childhood) and of course the M&M store. On a side note, if you’re a deep thinker and a person who likes to take in the moment like yours truly, go sit on the TKTS red steps at night: not only will you experience a feeling of awe but also a feeling of pure wonder, courtesy of your surroundings. It’s beautiful.
- Restaurant road
W 46th St. between 8th and 9th Avenues
A nickname for the street, a polite security guard said this was the place to go if you’re looking for a variety of food from different cultures. From Thai to Turkish to Indian to Italian, this location has everything you are looking for. Every restaurant has a traditional and ethnic feeling to it with a wonderful vibe. You can please your palette with scrumptious foods about every day.
- Greenwich village
West side of lower Manhattan
In the heart of Greenwich Village you will find the gorgeous Washington Square Park. Not only is it filled with local college students from New York University, but also little kids running around gleefully enjoying the wonderful weather on a Sunday morning and tons of families taking part in each other’s company and the entertainment provided by the occasional guy playing some soul-warming music on his guitar or the talented dancer showing off her moves.
- Central Park –day & night
Center of Manhattan
The most visited U.S. Park that surely just about every person in this country has heard of. By the insistence of a friend, a visit to this park came about during a chilly Monday night and it was worth it. The city lights captured by the reflection of the lake were a sight to see. The many rocks on the side of the lake are perfect to climb too (make sure to wear tennis shoes) as they provide a wonderful ‘taking in the moment’ spot. During the day, you will find tons of people jogging or taking a stroll through the park, reminding you that New Yorkers are always on the go. Place aside ample time because the Park is expansive with many spots to see such as the Alice in Wonderland and the Ludwig Van Beethoven statues.
Lower East Side of Manhattan
Chinatown is THE place to go if you are looking for traditional Chinese food or just a refreshing Boba tea on a warm day. In addition, you will find plenty of street vendors selling their creations such as various origami (they are stunning) to religious statues. Whatever said and done, Chinatown is a location you should be sure to visit.
- Little Italy
Looking for an intimate and more personal feel? Go to Little Italy to experience some Italian charm. You will find that the warmth and friendliness of the restaurateurs will make you come back for more. And do not forget to eat a cannoli, an absolutely delicious Italian dessert.
- 5th Avenue
Beginning at 49th St. and 5th Avenue you will find the desire to “shop till you drop”. Many stores will be calling out your name from H&M to Guess to Saks Fifth Avenue. Close by destinations that are a must see include St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Statue of Atlas and of course the Rockefeller Center. All are amazing to see. Take a look at the Lower Plaza where you will find the flags of the United Nations member countries, and look even further down and you will see the ice skating rink with a glimpse of the underground Concourse. The Concourse is an area of underground shopping, easy eating and fine dining. It connects to every building in the Rockefeller Center providing you easy access for wherever you need to go. Do visit at night, the lights of the lower plaza and water fountain make it a perfect picture taking spot.