New York is one of my favourite cities in the world and I know I’ve written about it before, so I checked out my blog from April last year as I am conscious of not repeating myself! With this in mind, I’ve copy/pasted that blog at the end of this post as a lot of the things I want to tell you about are exactly the same and it brought back warm memories of trips gone by.
We loved every minute of being in New York for Christmas and New Year – and this certainly opened up a whole new array of exciting things for us to do.
Christmas Eve was spent ice-skating at the Rockefeller Center, eating hot roasted chestnuts whilst checking out the fantastically decorated Christmas trees and twinkling Christmas lights. December is also the perfect time to check out the famous Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular and many people make this an annual event with it being such a highlight of the season.
Christmas Day was also amazing. We spent the morning walking in Central Park, finishing up at The Loeb Boathouse for Christmas lunch. This beautiful restaurant is situated on the lake right in the middle of the park and is the perfect setting for a delicious three course meal – if booking for something special (such as Christmas Day or Thanksgiving) then make sure you book with them directly two months in advance when they release reservations to avoid disappointment.
Central Park is a terrific spot and you’ll have the opportunity to take a horse and carriage ride through the park, enjoy the buskers and musicians who will entertain you, stroll through the nature walks or ice-skate if you are there over the Christmas period. It’s hard to believe that such a large, green, lush park is situated in the heart of one of the biggest cities in the world!
Times Square for New Years Eve – WOW!! A great experience and a MASSIVE ticket off the Bucket List! We were fortunate enough to gain entry into a perfect spot at 6.00pm so that we could see the Ball being raised surrounded by fireworks, which was a truly memorable thing to see. Tickets can be purchased in advance (again, get in early – even up to six months in advance!) to a number of restaurants and bars in close proximity to Times Square, and these tickets give you access to that particular street (no one else can enter except people holding tickets for that particular area) so you can get close to the action and not be terribly crushed. It’s a great way to access the festivities and will enable you to enjoy dinner and drinks whilst keeping warm (as it was freezing!).
The lead-up to midnight was incredible and featured a concert of prominent artists (we had One Direction, Iggy Azalea and Taylor Swift) and to experience the crowds, ticker-tapes and celebration at midnight was something we’ll never forget – absolutely amazing!
These were our Christmas highlights as December is a very special month to be in New York but we did all of the ‘usual’ stuff again too. I don’t think you can ever tire of seeing The Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building; just to name a couple of the ‘must do’ sights. The Subway makes it easy to get around, the shopping is fantastic and the food has come a long way in recent times – still gigantic serves but lots more choice and some fresh options too, which was a welcome relief.
Check out my ‘past blog’ below as this touches on all of my favourite ‘must do/see’ things in New York!
I have to confess that New York would have to be one of my most favourite cities in the world, and I’m sure many would agree with me. Known as the ‘city that never sleeps’, I guarantee that your visit to New York will be an unforgettable and exciting experience. When you’re in New York, you feel as if you are in the centre of all things new and exciting, and you’ll be enthralled by the bright lights, amazing atmosphere and fast pace.
There are numerous attractions to explore – the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Times Square, the Ground Zero site, Rockefeller Center and Brooklyn Bridge to name a few. A walk through Central Park will be a highlight – 800 acres of walks, lakes and spectacular views, right in the heart of the city, or journey through by horse and trap so that you can take it all in. Cruise around Manhattan Island and explore Greenwich Village, a charming area with interesting shops, cafes and jazz clubs. Soho is another ‘trendy’ area, filled with restaurants and shops.
Check out Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange, Madison Square Garden’s and Grand Central Station. New York is an easy city to navigate as the subway is fantastic, but much can also be explored on foot which gives you the chance to really soak up the atmosphere and immerse yourself in this fantastic city.
The ladies will love to do a ‘Sex in the City Tour’ so that they can ‘shop till they drop’ and visit some of the locations used in the movies. The shopping is amazing in New York… definitely time to shop, shop, shop girls; it’s all there and at fabulous prices with the current exchange rates!
Finish the day with dinner in one of the great restaurants followed by a Broadway Show. There are lots of shows and theatre performances to choose from every night and all of the latest productions and well known favourites run constantly, such as Mamma Mia, Chicago, The Lion King, and Cats etc. The hardest decision will be what you want to see!
There are lovely hotels and apartments located in the heart of town and within easy access to subway stations so you can experience life as a ‘New Yorker’. I love the Hotel Beacon, it’s in a fantastic location, less than a block to walk to the subway (three stops from Times Square) and directly across the road is an amazing deli supermarket, so that you can take home your brown paper bag and cook up a storm if you wish. It’s out of the hustle and bustle, but with fantastic facilities and in a great neighbourhood.
And when you are wandering the streets, don’t forget to try a hot dog or a pretzel from one of the street corner hot dog stands; it’s all part of the experience!
If you’ve got time to spare, why not take a day tour to Niagara Falls by helicopter or journey to nearby Washington by rail – both can be done as a day trip and will enable you to see more of the fantastic East Coast. And did I mention the shopping??!!
New York is an amazing city and definitely worth a visit. A trip to the ‘Big Apple’ is another one of those bucket list items that you need to check off and it’s just the beginning as there is so much to see and do along the whole of the East Coast of America.