NYC Travel Guide: A Weekend in New York City
I know it's cliché, but WOW I LOVE NEW YORK!!
My cousin and I booked a spontaneous girl's weekend getaway and boy am I glad we did. NYC is only a 1.5 hour flight from Toronto which makes it the perfect destination for a quick trip. We basically went on a food + cocktail tour all weekend, and I'm not mad about it one bit.
We flew into LGA airpot Friday afternoon. It was a bit of a headache to get a cab because the airport is under a lot of construction, so we grabbed an Uber instead. We chose LGA because that gave us the most flight options, but if you have a choice in airports, I've heard Newark in New Jersey is the best one to fly into because of its easy access to the city.
Listing out all of my recommendations for you below!
+ The James Hotel - SoHo - this is where we stayed. I liked it! Great location, decent sized room for New York, and the staff were great and extremely helpful. But my FAVE part of this hotel is they do free wine happy hour from 6-7 PM every evening - what more do you need? And if that's not enough they also offer free coffee + scones in the morning.
Some other hotels that we considered or were recommended:
EATS + RESTAURANTS
+ Gitano - there are 2 locations. One is attached to The James Hotel and we went here for breakfast, which was great. Get the avocado toast! The other one is just across the street and it is A VIBE!!! Awesome aesthetic, great food and drinks, and just fun atmosphere. We went after we checked into our hotel on Friday and it was the perfect way to kick off the trip. Order the guacamole and tuna tostada. They also have a mezcal version of a spicy marg - if you like mezcal you have to try it!
+ Beauty & Essex - soooo fun! Very cool vibe. You enter through a pawn shop and the restaurant/lounge is basically an old mansion. Very dark and boujee aesthetic. I will say the service wasn't the best, BUT nothing terrible either. Still worth going and checking out! We had the oysters, lobster mac and cheese, and the grilled cheese and tomato soup dumplings - SO EFFING GOOD!!! Check out the bar upstairs for a drink before or after dinner too! (dumplings and mac and cheese seen in pic on right)
+ Catch - ahhhh Catch just has my heart. I will say I do slightly prefer the LA location, but NYC did not disappoint. We ordered the truffle sashimi, catch roll, crispy shrimp, and haddddd to get the "hit me" dessert (for the gram, of course). I also had the Kali cocktail. EVERYTHING IS DELICIOUS!! Checkout the Catch rooftop for an after dinner bevvy too.
+ Juice Press - healthy spot for on the go juices, smoothies, salads, etc. Try the cold pressed watermelon juice - so yumm.
+ Try random spots for take out pizza! We were actually disappointed with the $27 pizza we had at a restaurant in Little Italy. However we LOVED our greasy $4 slice at a random take out joint. I can't remember the name, I think it may have been called Little Italy Pizza? Or something like that? It's a chain - we saw several of them.
Make sure you make reservations in advance when possible, especially for the trendy spots! I booked Beauty & Essex and Catch a week before.
DRINKS AND PARTY TIME
+ Gitano, Beauty & Essex and Catch are also all fun places to grab cocktails!
+ Jimmy - rooftop of The James Hotel SoHo. We went here for a drink before going to dinner. It's an indoor and outdoor rooftop with a pool. Great views, good music, fun vibe!
+ The Chester at Gansevoort Hotel - sit at the bar and grab a drink before going to the upstairs rooftop bar. We were asking the bartender where we should go to have drinks and dance. He recommended the rooftop bar/lounge and walked us over to the bouncer for stamps so we didn't have to wait in line.
+ B on Top - rooftop at Gansevoort. We honestly had NO expectations going here, we just figured we may as well check it out since we were already at the bar (The Chester) of this hotel. SO.MUCH.FUN.!!!!! Great music, a more mature crowd, amazing view and outdoor terrace. We came here on the Saturday night and I would absolutely go back.
+ Soho House New York - boujee and exclusive. This is a member's club so you either need a membership or have to be the guest of someone who has a membership. We went here for drinks after B on Top and it was fun to experience! Definitely check it out if you get the chance.
+ City Vineyard at Pier 26 - I randomly came across this spot on my solo Sunday hungover stroll (Amanda was nursing her hangover in bed) and decided to stop for a beer. I was there around 4-5 PM on a Sunday afternoon and it was bumping! Tables were full so I just sipped my beer at the bar and pretended I was a local. Great view of the water here too
WHAT TO DO + SEE
+ SoHo - shopping, need I say more?
+ Little Italy - we randomly ended up here during the Little Italy festival which was fun to see but VERY busy! Definitely check it out if you're a pizza and pasta loverrrr.
+ Meatpacking District - lots of great restaurants, bars, rooftops, etc.
+ Greenwich Village - super cute, cobblestone streets
+ Walk along the path of the Hudson River - maybe it was because I was hungover, but I really enjoyed this.
+ Touristy things - Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, Central Park, One World Trade Center, 9/11 Memorial Fountains, Wall Street
+ Brooklynn Bridge - we went to Dumbo in Brooklynn to get photos of what we THOUGHT was going to be the Brooklynn Bridge. Turns out it's the Manhattan Bridge...el oh el. Still a great shot though! If you go to the intersection of Water Street and Washington Street you'll get the money shot. Then walk the bridge back to Manhattan and take lots of pics!! We went a little crazy on the Brooklynn Bridge pics because we did this before leaving home and got nearly no photos the rest of the weekend - whoops.
+ Broadway show - we wanted to see Mean Girls but we ran out of time! I've heard really good things and will definitely do a show next time.
+ Speakeasies - lots of these in NYC! A few I was recommended - Bathtub Gin, Death & Co, Please Don't Tell, Employees Only. A lot of them you need reservations for so call, or show up. We tried calling Bathtub Gin and no one answered, so when we were in the area Saturday night for dinner we went by to make a reservation. The bouncer actually told us it was closed for reservations (I think this is a thing they might do??), so we told him we heard there was a Burlesque Show Sunday nights so we were going to try and make a reservation. Then he asked if it was just us and let us make a reso. But a lot of people came by during the 10 minutes we waited and he kept telling them it was closed for resos. So don't take no for an answer the first time around LOL be a little persistent (kindly) and see what happens. We didn't end up going because we were so hungover and tired Sunday (shameeee) but next time I am definitely checking out a speakeasy.
+ I am normally a "checked luggage" kinda gal. Like I seriously have a problem packing lightly...working on it. BUT happy to announce I managed with just a carry-on this trip! I recently purchased the Away "Bigger Carry-On" in the pink (SO OBSESSED OMG) and I fit more than enough in it for the 3 days! I definitely recommend checking out Away if you're looking for new luggage. There brand is so beautiful, innovative and functional. Counting down the days til my next trip (which is less than a week lol) mainly because I can't wait to use the bag again. If you're planning to purchase from Away you can use my code to get $20 off your order!
+ Plan your outfits! I planned 4 day outfits (friday-monday) and 3 night time outfits, with an extra option or 2 because that's just who I am lol. Pack things that you can use more than once to save space, and bring shoes that work with multiple outfits. I wore sneakers to the airport, packed a pair of heels and a pair of booties which was plenty. I probably could've done without the booties and had more room.
+ Packing cubes are a game changer!! It's wild how much you can fit into these, and the material of the Away bag allows it to stretch a little bit. I used my biggest packing cube and smallest packing cube and was able to squeeze it all in the clothes compartment! Away has some gorgeous packing cubes if you are looking for some, and there are a ton on Amazon too!
Okay that's all I've got for you!! Have you been to NYC before? What are your fave spots that I missed?! And if you're going soon tag me in your pics so I can follow along!