top things to do in NYC

Top Things to Do in NYC

Only have a few days in NYC?  With only 3 days to navigate our way through New York City, we explored several neighborhoods from Central Park to SoHo.  Sharing our list of “Top 10 Things to Do in NYC”, that keeps growing so now there’s more than that!

Here’s our “Top 10” things to do in NYC.

 top things to do in NYC top things to do in NYC


There are so many sites and attractions to see in  NYC!  Here’s our Top 10 list.

1.  Central Park

First on our list of top 10 things to do in NYC is a leisurely walk or faster-paced jog through Central Park. These 840 acres are the playground for New Yorkers. Some call this park the “green lungs” of NYC.  Step into a horse-drawn carriage to experience the beauty of Central Park.  Romantic way to celebrate weddings or ask the “Big” question!

 top things to do in NYC

2.  Grand Central Station:

The busiest train station in the country, a historical landmark in NYC and the U.S.A. Great place if you like to take photographs or people watch!

top things to do in NYC

3.  Walk The High Line & Nearby Neighborhoods

 Meatpacking, Greenwich, SoHo: The High Line is the name of a once derelict elevated railroad track turned into a lovely public park. You can start strolling through the High Line from the Meatpacking District, then continue through Chelsea. If you want to take a longer walk, start in the SoHo neighborhood and meander through Prince, Spring, and Mercer streets lined with boutiques, art galleries and cafes, and head northwest on Hudson and Bleeker Streets up to the Meatpacking District. If you’re looking for art, window-shopping, and fun, this walking tour is definitely a must on our list of top 10 things to do in NYC.

top things to do in NYC top things to do in NYC

top things to do in NYC

4.  Chelsea Market:

An enclosed Urban Food Court where you can eat, drink, shop, and take in the activities in the neighborhood Meatpacking District. Mimi Sheraton, author of “1,000 Things to Eat Before You Die” highly recommends to visit the Chelsea Market.

top things to do in NYC

5.  One World Trade Center and 911 Memorial

Ground Zero is in the midst of a remarkable comeback. More than a decade after 9/11, the southern tip of Manhattan is becoming one of New York City’s most vibrant neighborhoods,” shares Paola Singer of the New York Times.  It’s a sobering to visit this sacred memorial, honor the 2,983 lives taken, and support the rebirth at Ground Zero.

top things to do in NYC top things to do in NYC

top things to do in NYC

6.  Chrysler Building:

This 77-story building is an iconic image well recognized in NYC’s skyline with it’s shiny fan shaped peak. Visitors can visit the lobby to see the art deco interior style and the ceiling mural, but aren’t allowed to go beyond this area. Located at: 405 Lexington Avenue (42nd/43rd)

top things to do in NYC

7.  Empire State Building:

For incredible 360 degree views of NYC, visit the world-famous Empire State Building in Midtown Manhattan, where you can go up to the 86th and 102nd floor observatories. When we think New York, we think Empire State Building which is why it made our to do list in the Big Apple. Located at 5th Avenues and West 34th Street.

top things to do in NYC

8.  Metropolitan Museum of Art:

located on the Upper East side of Central Park is the largest art museum in the U.S.A., and one of the finest in the world with a collection that includes more than two million works of art spanning centuries.

top things to do in NYC

9.  Times Square:

Located in the heart of NYC within 5 blocks of neon-lit entertainment is where you’ll want to see a Broadway Show, or stay til midnight on NY Eve and countdown to the New Year.

top things to do in NYC

10.  Statue of Liberty: 

Lady Liberty – this giant statue was a gift from France to the United States.  It is recognized as a universal symbol of freedom and democracy.  Take the ferry to Staten Island and learn more about the history of this statue and its meaning to all U.S. citizens, and the thousands of immigrants who came to the U.S.A.

top things to do in NYC

11.  Guggenheim Museum:

Visit this architectural masterpiece – a gift from Frank Lloyd Wright to Solomon R. Guggenheim, where you can see the impressive Guggenheim art collection and walk the famous spiral staircase.

If you have extra days in the Big Apple, visit:

  • Radio City Music Hall
  • Carnegie Hall
  • Brooklyn Bridge – walk the pedestrian walkway!
  • Rockefeller Center – visit the Top of the Rock Observation Deck for a 360-degree view of NYC, and take a spin on the skating rink.

top things to do in NYC

  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral – escape the hustle & bustle for some peace, quiet and meditation.

Let us know what your favorite places are to visit in NYC?  We will add them to this list.

top things to do in NYC top things to do in NYC


How to Get Around

Blacklane provided our transfers to/from the airport to hotel during our stay in NYC.  It’s easy to book rides on their website and the drivers are professional, punctual, and you can choose from a range of vehicles in their fleet.

They also provide some of the lowest rates across the globe in top cities like NYC, Paris, London, and more!

To book a reservation, click here.


We explored upper, mid and lower Manhattan by staying at a few different hotels – from The Quin Hotel to 1 Hotel Central Park, and some of the Morgans Hotel Group NYC properties – Hudson, Royalton & Mondrian.

Near Central Park, Upper West Side:

The Quin Hotel:  

A luxury lifestyle hotel in the heart of NYC!  Member of Small Luxury Hotels, and acknowledged on the “It List” by Travel & Leisure.  Just a block from Carnegie Hall and a block away from Central Park, guests can easily get to several attractions from this location.


Pampered from our arrival until we left, the concierge delivered bath salts and a bottle of bubbly, and the rooms were very comfortable, quiet, and luxurious. We highly recommend The Quin Hotel. The concierge noted that this building  once hosted the century’s greatest Artists, including Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Marc Chagall this Arts & Crafts landmark has been lovingly restored by renowned architects, Perkins Eastman.


Photos courtesy of The Quin Hotel

1 Hotel Central Park

Another hotel we recommend is located just 1 block from Central Park and a member of 1 Hotels – 1 Hotel Central Park.  This hotel is all about Eco + Luxury.  There are reminders and signs throughout the hotel about how to be environmentally friendly and sustainable – recyclable goods, even the hangers are made from wrapping paper and love notes.  In NYC’s urban jungle, we found plants and little touches of nature here.  A green sanctuary in the heart of the Big Apple.

The rooms are luxurious, the beds have fabulous linens, and our room even had a little view of Central Park!


Photos courtesy of 1 Hotels

The Hudson Hotel:

 If you’re looking for some great nightlife and a hip hotel with daring designs, take the neon yellow escalator to reception, and check in at The Hudson.

top things to do in NYC top things to do in NYC

The interior design is mind bending, and designer Philippe Starck left his mark throughout the entire hotel, so hotel guests and locals alike enjoy the eye-candy.


The Royalton

Located in the heart of midtown, the sophisticated Royalton is the “stylish living room of Manhattan,” with 28 fireplaces in some of the guest rooms.  This luxury boutique hotel is within blocks of Times Square and the perfect place to stay if you are a business traveler and/or a Broadway Show fan.

Lower Manhattan:


If you want to be in Lower Manhattan in the SoHo neighborhood near boutiques, galleries and cafes, check into the Mondrian, inspired by Jean Cocteau’s 1946 French film “La Belle et la Bête”.  Reservations click here!

 top things to do in NYC top things to do in NYC


Where to dine in the Big Apple?  It’s hard to choose only a few but here are some of our top places to eat in NYC. We compiled a list of recommendations from concierges in NYC, foodie friends who live and travel to NYC, and some culinary experts like Mimi Sheraton, author of “1,000 Foods to Eat Before You Die”. 

On this trip, we dined at Butter, Fig & Olive, and Isola – all recommended!  On our next trip we hope to try out more of these restaurants.

By Neighborhood

Lower Manhattan

West Side


East Side

1.  Russ & Daughters Cafe

2.  Katz’s


1.  Balthazar

2.  Mercer Kitchen

3.  Isola Trattoria & Crudo Bar Restaurant – we dined in this lovely indoor/outdoor garden setting and had tasty dishes like tuna crudo on watermelon & jalepeno on top, and the sausage, caramelized pizza is divine!  Located near the Mondrian Lobby.

top things to do in NYC top things to do in NYC

4.  Osteria Morini

5.  La Esquina

6.  ABC Kitchen – described as a chic New American eatery via Jean-Georges Vongerichten sourcing local, organic ingredients.

Greenwich Village

John’s Pizzeria

West Village


Meatpacking District

Fig & Olive – had a wonderful dinner at Fig & Olive!  Pasta, seafood & other dishes.




Butter – we dined at Butter before seeing a Broadway Show and had a delicious winter greens salad, and ricotta/roasted brussel sprouts crostini.  Executive Chef Alex Guarnaschelli’s menu is full of healthy, delicious choices. If you’re a real foodie, this should be at the top of your list of places to eat in NYC. Located at 70 West 45th St.  Reservations:

Midtown West

1.  db Bistro Moderne

2.  Wu Liang Ye

Midtown East

Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant

Upper East Side

The Palm Court at The Plaza:  One of the most memorable dining experiences in NYC, was the evening tea, “The Fitzgerald” Platter at The Palm Court, where you can sample cheeses, olives, miniature sandwiches at The Palm Court.  Beautiful setting surrounded by palms and orchids under a stained glass ceiling, in one of New York’s most famous hotels – The Plaza. (photo courtesy of The Plaza).


Pastrami Queen

East Harlem

Rao’s Restaurant

Trip Map (zoom in/out with controls on left)


Travel Acknowledgements

We’d like to thank Morgan’s Hotel Group and 1 Hotel Central Park , and The Quin for hosting our stay.

We also thank the Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Rockefeller Center “Top of the Rock” for hosting visits.

Thanks to The Palm Court at The Plaza for hosting our evening tea – a fine dining experience.

Also, we thank Blacklane for hosting our transfers during our visit to New York City.

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