Out & About: My NYC Highlights

My NYC Highlights

I’ve been lucky enough to go to New York City on four separate occasions; one day trip, 2 long weekends and a fabulous 10 days in the city to do all the exploring. During these trips I have been able to see so much of what the city has to offer. So that’s what this post is all about, I’m sharing my top things to do in New York City. My NYC highlights if you will.


1. See a Show

Broadway is on your hotel doorstep, so while you’re in NYC take in a show. Whether it’s a play or a musical there will be so many options to choose from. On my last trip I saw The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall and also an off-Broadway production called The Puffs. Both were good fun and highly entertaining. Take a look before you go and try to book and pay for your tickets in advance, it’ll feel good to be organised and spreading the cost of the trip is always useful!

2. Walk the Highline

I only managed this on my latest visit and I am kicking myself for not doing it on the previous trips. The Highline is a 1.45 mile disused elevated railway line running  through the West Side of Manhattan. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street. We decided to grab coffee and pastries and head onto the Highline from the bottom entry point on Gansevoort Street. We then walked the whole length, until 30th Street. It’s a stunning way to view the city, nosy in apartment buildings, view sculptures, people watch, traffic watch on the streets below and look out across the adjacent river. There’s something quite nice about walking so many blocks of the city without having to stop for traffic lights too!

3. Walk through Central Park

Next up on my list of NYC highlights is Central Park, because duh! Until you visit the city there is no way you can understand just how big Central Park is. There are endless paths and trails, hidden nooks, giant trees  and so much green space to enjoy it’s easy to forget that you are in the centre of a bustling city. This past trip saw a quick breakfast wander through the park with coffee and bagels, but on the visits before that I spent a lot longer in the park. When I was travelling myself and my travel companions would gravitate this way around lunchtime with snacks from food vendors or salad boxes from Whole Foods at Columbus Circus. We’d wander through the park looking for a new spot and then while away a few hours, eating, talking, reading our books and having naps. It was utter bliss and the perfect way to finish our trip. I still have a dream of going for a run through the park. Maybe around the reservoir or maybe I’ll pound my way through the obvious tourists spots, the Alice in Wonderland statue, Strawberry Fields, the row boat lake and the many bridges and fountains of countless film sets.

4. Top of the Rock

I’ve been up both The Empire State Building and the Rockerfeller Building and I have to say that the Top of the Rock does afford you the better view. You are able to see all of the city, including the Empire State building and you have an unimpeded view of Central Park, which is stunning.

5. Christmas lights

If you happen to be in New York City at all in December then make sure you take a tour of all the Christmas lights around the city. We opted for a wander around the city in the early morning (read more about that trip here), which allowed us to see all the lights without a huge crowd of people between us all. Also a trip to see the Rockefeller tree is definitely a NYC highlight.

6. The food

Number six on my NYC highlights list is the food. There are bagel or pretzel carts on every corner and I honestly don’t think you can visit New York City without stopping at these at least once. Then take the opportunity to munch on Shake Shack in the park, marvel at the extensive Starbucks menus, grab pizza by the slice all over the city or head to City Kitchen which has an array of market type stalls selling everything from ramen to doughnuts – yummy! Ooh and if you can stop for an afternoon snack at Max Brennen’s Chocolate by the Bald Guy, which is exactly what you expect it to be, then you won’t be disappointed.

7. 9/11 Memorial Museum

I found this an emotional rollercoaster of a museum, but overall I am pleased I visited. I was surprised that walking into the museum took me back to my memories of that day – I suppose it makes sense, but I didn’t expect it. The numerous memorials were both poignant and touching and I found standing around the water fountain so peaceful.

8. Ice Skating in Central Park

I love ice skating it’s one of my favourite things to do in the winter months. I can’t skate backwards or anything, but I normally manage to stay upright and enjoy myself. So to be able to skate around Wollman rink in the middle of central park is amazing, which is what makes it number eight on my NYC highlights list.

Have you been to New York City? What were your NYC highlights? Please share, I’d love to hear about your visits to the city that never sleeps! Laura xx