Whether you’re in NYC for a layover or for the weekend, there are new possibilities around every corner! To utilize your time well, I recommend choosing one or two boroughs to explore. If you want to see Times Square and take a stroll through Central Park, do it. However, if you also want to visit the Chelsea Market and have lunch at Roberta’s in Brooklyn, you should expect to spend more time in transit to each destination. I typically plan this ahead of time. Below, I’ve shared my itinerary for a weekend in the Big Apple.

P.S. I personally chose to walk to and from most of my destinations. The benefits are abundant but only if you are physically prepared to do so. According to my Fitbit, I walked 44,965 steps which equals about 21 miles. Crazy, right?

I use the Sygic Travel app to plan my trips. To use this app effectively, you only need to know what city/country you’re traveling to and what you’re interested in doing. The app does the rest! It actually offers a list of popular destinations in the area and once you choose what you’re interested in, it plots the route for you!

Lodging: Jazz on Columbus Circle Hostel

I arrived at LaGuardia Airport on Friday night around 10 p.m., purchased a MetroCard and boarded the Q70 to Roosevelt Ave. From Roosevelt Ave. station, I took the R line to 57th St./7Ave and walked about a block to the hostel. I checked in, said hello to my bunk mates and set out to have a drink before turning in for the night.

Saturday Morning: Rockefeller Center & Ice Rink, Grand Central Terminal, Koreatown

Lunch: Wagamama, 210 5th Avenue, New York, New York

Wagamama was featured on NYCEats Instagram page and I made sure to stop in! I got the chicken ramen bowl and wow.. just wow!

Chicken Ramen

Afternoon: Madison Square Park, The Strand Bookstore, Washington Square Park

Personally, I love to people watch and I took my time doing just that in Washington Square Park. The sun was shining (despite rainy forecast predictions) which attracted artists, dogs, kids and other people-watchers, too.

Around 3:00 p.m., I took the subway at West 4th Station to 81st St. I entered the American Museum of Natural History about 3:30 pm. and ventured into what could possibly be the largest museum I’ve ever explored.The American Museum of Natural History sports an expansive 4 floors of culturally diverse and deeply historical exhibits. To inspect and read about every exhibit would take more than one day but I simply did not have that luxury. I did, however, see every exhibit in a hasty, but thorough, fashion before the doors closed promptly at 6:00 p.m.

Dinner: Cafe Frida, 368 Columbus Ave., New York, New York

Moai, American Museum of Natural History

I wish I had chosen a place for dinner beforehand because this restaurant was disappointing. Okay, moving on. Just as I was leaving the restaurant, the rain I had been anticipating was finally unleashed. I was glad I packed an umbrella and rain jacket! I ran to the nearest coffee shop and called a friend who lived in the area. Fortunately, he was able to meet me for a drink just two blocks away called Dive 75. This small but trendy local bar was complete with a large fish tank just inside the doors. We each had a drink, caught up on each other’s lives and said our goodbyes. I hailed a cab back to my hostel around 9:30 p.m. When I arrived back in my room, I took this opportunity to collect my souvenirs and the books I had purchased at Strand Bookstore and rearrange my pack. At this point in my trip, I had walked approximately 30,000 steps.

Sunday morning: Tiffany’s, Central Park, LaGuardia

7th Ave.

I checked out of the hostel a few minutes before 6:00 a.m. and walked up one block onto 57th St. and headed east. I stopped at Crown Gourmet Deli on Broadway for some delicious fresh-cut fruit and walked towards Tiffany’s. Literally, I had breakfast at Tiffany’s! Well… I was eating breakfast outside of Tiffany’s and gawking at the window displays.

When I was in NYC last November, I spent a few hours in the southern most part of Central Park. More specifically, at the ice rink, baseball field, under bridges and the coffee shop. I decided to travel up the eastern side of Central Park this time. I passed the Central Park Zoo, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the Jackie O Reservoir. I stopped for coffee and waited for my bus to LaGuardia Airport for my noon flight back to Nashville.

I entitled this post “How to Conquer New York City in Two Days” because it can be and should be done. Don’t just see the sights – immerse yourself in them. You also don’t have to spend your entire paycheck to do so! Open your eyes, ears and camera lenses to the experiences before you!

-Alie

(See more photos below! *All photos are mine)

NEXT POST: “Travel Tips”**** coming soon!

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