Start spreadin’ the news, I’m leavin’ today, I want to be a part of it, New York, New York. You can just hear Frank Sinatra singing in your head as you walk the streets of New York City right? I was so lucky to be able to fly to the Big Apple recently. Anyone who has been there knows there is just something special about the place and you can’t quite put your finger on it. I hadn’t been there for several years so for me it was almost like my first time with some visits to some of my favourite spots that I loved before as well as visiting some new spots too. So, what to do in New York City? Read on!
Where to Stay in New York City
First off we stayed at the W Hoboken which is of course really lovely, being one of the W Hotels. Hoboken itself is located just across from Manhattan on the Hudson (in New Jersey) with some insane views of the city across the river. It’s only 20 minutes to the city from the W Hoboken as well and Hoboken itself is a LOVELY little town full of nice cafes, shops and restaurants. I actually found it was quite nice to end the days back in Hoboken away from the hustle and bustle of the city. You almost need that time to decompress if you have been sightseeing all day as well. As I said there are plenty of fab restaurants for breakfast or dinner if you find yourself back at the hotel.
For some insane margaritas and Mexican food head to East LA (their chips and salsa are fab) and for breakfast Acai Ya Later was great with delicious acai bowls. There’s even a little supermarket across from the W Hoboken so you can load up on snacks, etc. and if you find yourself having indulged just a little too much the W Hoboken also has a gym with a great view of the city.
I loved my room at the W Hoboken as well, again with those gorgeous views of the city. The staff also go above and beyond to make you feel welcome (there were little gifts left in my room everyday) and can organize tours on your behalf or pretty much whatever you want (even to pick up snacks from said supermarket).
Where to Eat in New York City
So, I’ve covered where to stay in New York City so now let’s talk about where to eat in New York City! For brunch I would highly recommend Magic Hour Rooftop – the American pancakes are insane (they come topped with cotton candy/candy floss) and must be tried. The whole brunch trend started in New York City and brunch is BIG in NYC so you have to do it BIG when you get there. Also, the rooftop views at Magic Hour Rooftop are incredible so it’s a nice place to start the day.
For a good lunch place in New York City, I love the West Village or Greenwich Village and it’s really worth having a stroll to see what you can find. But a fabulous little Italian restaurant that I tried there was Olio é Piu and I would highly recommend it for the nice atmosphere and fabulous food. Mamma mia those mussels were incredible! If you like burrata, artichoke hearts, fresh seafood (think scallops and mussels) as well as all the traditional Italian foodie delights such as spaghetti Bolognese, etc. then this is the place for you. Top it off with a delicious Tiramisu and badda bing badda boom you can walk it all off in the West Village (FYI the Friends apartment where they filmed the outside is just around the corner).
Dinner spots in New York City are a dime a dozen but if you want to live like Carrie or Samantha from Sex & The City then head to the Mondrian on Park Lane. Inside you will find such a FABULOUS rooftop bar serving the best espresso martinis I’ve ever had in my life (yep, I know you added a spot of Baileys to that, wink wink). It’s SO worth it to have a bougee drink or two and then head downstairs to mingle with the Park Avenue lot at Cleo At the Mondrian which is the restaurant inside the Mondrian hotel. The food is fab and they serve local Californian wines – delicious.
Where to Drink in New York City
If you want to have a good time and just live it up then Mr. Purple is SO MUCH FUN on the Upper East Side. If you are looking for places to drink in New York City then this is the one. They do a bangin’ playlist as well so you can choose to drink, dance or eat (the sliders and guacamole dip are YUM). Again, those rooftop views are all around you so you can admire the lights of the city at night. Again, the espresso martinis are fantastic here but all around they serve amazing cocktails. Just be sure to bring your ID!
What to Do in New York City
Oh my, we are on my favourite topic now, things to do in New York City! Well, first off I would highly recommend the High Line. This was my first time going to the High Line and it was well worth it to see some nice city views without having to dodge traffic or cross streets. The High Line runs through some fantastic scenery so well worth a walk through.
If you are looking for some amazing views of New York City then I would highly recommend Top of The Rock, The Empire State Building or the World Trade Center Observation Deck – all of which you can go to with a NYCGo Pass which is a booklet of tickets that you pay a flat rate for and that allows you entry into a number of amazing places at a discount (because you are buying in bulk after all). I would not miss one of these amazing viewpoints and although I didn’t make it to Top of the Rock in the end, I hear this one is the best.
My favourite way to see New York City is by walking. I walked all the way from the West Village to the Flat Iron District, all along 5th Avenue and then took the subway to the World Trade Center, an absolute must-see. What they have done to the area in architectural terms will simply blow your mind.
And of course, the Statue of Liberty is a must-see spot. It’s also nice to swing by Ellis Island to see where all the immigrants came in, looking for a better life from somewhere else. This is how the American dream was built, by these very people – so well worth a stop.
One of my favourite places on the trip to wander around was DUMBO, Brooklyn. You see it all over Instagram and it’s a fabulous place to walk along the river and see some pretty epic views of the city. There are so many cool shops, cafes, bars and restaurants you can also pop in to watch the world go by.
There is also Times Square of course – best seen by night I think although it would be worth it to both during the day and then come back again at night. You can also stop by Joe’s Pizza down the road for a slice or two – all the celebs love it!
Where to shop in New York City
Shopping is fantastic in New York City so make sure to head to Nordstrom Rack for discount designer (I found a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes for $250 but they weren’t my size ahhh). The shoe selection is quite good with a few Jimmy Choos popping up here and there and you can get a great deal on Marc Jacobs anything. I also picked up some skincare goodies from Mario Badescu while I was at Nordstrom Rack and you can also get MAC, Urban Decay, Smashbox, etc. for some serious bang for your buck.
Sephora is a must-do and must-visit on your trip to New York City where you can buy up all your favourites but also discover all the new ones (Natasha Denona I’m looking at you). There is also a really great selection of Korean beauty products as well and the Sephora own brand products are superb.
Century 21 is a great place to find discount designer. I actually never made it inside but researched quite extensively and ended up by accident outside of the place but didn’t have enough time in the end to go inside and shop it up. But all the reviews online say it’s fantastic for discount designer in New York City so I would highly recommend a look.
How to Get To New York City
Goodness gracious I’ve gone on and on about what to eat and didn’t even mention how to GET TO NEW YORK CITY! If you are travelling from (anywhere really) then United Airlines are a great way to get to the city. We flew into Newark Liberty International Airport which was perfect in proximity to the W Hoboken. We had a fantastic flight from London to Newark on United Airlines – the plane was brand new and the service was really very good. I often fly United back to the States and they always get me there safely!
What to Pack for New York City
Well what to pack always stresses me out but good walking shoes are key. I love my Lacoste trainers for walking and also bring multiple layers because the weather is quite changeable. And if you are staying at a bougee hotel you have to have nice PJs – I’m obsessed with my monogrammed ones from Laze Wear or my leopard and star print silky PJs from Figleaves.
For make-up I always pack my Erborian BB Cream Nude, a good make-up brush (the Artis make-up brushes are insane!) and SPF (I love the Murad City Block or Skinceuticals Mineral Defense SPF 50). And I try to keep my hair products at a minimum so I really only bring a Maria Nila Salty Mist Texturizing Spray.
I hope this little guide helps you when planning your next trip to New York City. I have to admit I had an absolute blast and was so grateful to the team at The Blogger Programme for making it happen! If you are a blogger yourself it’s worth checking them out for trip opportunities and brand collaborations.