Called the city that never sleeps, the concrete jungle, the big apple, or even the Empire State; New York is home to 8.5 million people and travel destination to a good 60 million tourists every year. Large DLSR camera in one hand and Google Maps in the other, I joined the tourist party recently, along with my mom and some family friends.
Temperatures set for the high seventies and clear skies predicted in the forcast, I was optimistic about the trip before we even departed. My friends and I comparing our Pinterest boards full of potential New York pictures and parents running over the trip schedule for the hundredth time, you could say we were pretty much set. (And a little bit too excited.)
So from us new "experts" to you, here are our favorite spots we visited, here are the restaurants we ate at, here are the views we happened upon.
Here is, the best of New York.
While Times Square is one of the largest tourist attractions known to man, trust me when I say you should visit it at least once. My favorite time that we came here was at night, when the screens lit up the streets around them. With how large and bright they were, it didn't even feel like it was night time.
Top of the Rock
Showcasing views much like the Empire State building, the Top of the Rock is a incredible place to see every side of New York. With three different levels, this building allows you to move freely around to view the city. And just as well, it's a lot less crowded than most tourist spots, so you get to enjoy the scene without people shoving you around.
Saint Pat's Cathedral
Wow. Just wow.
This church is insanely beautiful. That's all I can say about this place honestly.
Usually, I'm not one for museums. However, the Met turned out to be one of my favorite spots that we went to on our trip. While I'm sure the private tour had to do with my level of enthusiasm, this place was showcasing some really cool artwork and artifacts. If you plan on going, try getting there early while there aren't many people. It fills up pretty fast.
High Line Park
On the west side of Manhattan, High Line is a elevated park with a beautiful green atmosphere. Whether you have an hour to spare or just fifteen minutes, this is a awesome spot to head over to.
Sitting right next to High Line, Chelsea Market is a mall of food and shopping. Full of good eats and unique little stores, Chelsea Market has plenty to offer for it's many visitors. If I had to go back to New York, I'd spend a whole day just exploring this neat place.
Even though this restaurant made me go into a food-coma because of the amount of sugar I consumed, I enjoyed every second of it. Serving anything from chocolate cocktails to chocolate pizzas, Max Brenner is a stop you need to make at some point in your journey.
As seen on friends and other notable shows, Washington square is a beautiful area to visit. Located next to both the city and a park, you are able to enjoy the best of both worlds here.
If you ever find yourself in New York, my advice to you (besides trying out some of these places and bringing good walking shoes) would be to live in the moment. I know it's easy to get caught up in following a strict schedule and taking hundreds of photos, but if you set those things aside and be present with your family and friends in the incredible area that you are in, I guarantee you that the trip- no matter what you do- will be awesome. Because in reality, you don't have to have it all planned out to have a good time. Going off the beaten track to a local restaurant or onto a quiet road can prove to be equally as fun as those tourist attractions.
Because being in the here and now next to the people you love, is truly a special thing in the society we live in today. And it was having a 'here and now' mindset that made both the small places and big ones amazing on this trip.
You can have the best of New York. You can. And I think the easiest way you can have it is by being open to every opportunity, and enjoying what comes of it next to the ones you love.