Normally as a New Yorker I tend to avoid the more touristy parts of the City. I am usually rushing somewhere and certain areas are so congested I have to steer clear in order to get to my destination as quickly as possible. (Ah hem Times Square – I am looking at you!)
Recently, my little Sister came up to visit for a long weekend and I had to step out of my comfort zone and put together a day’s itinerary for someone interested in site-seeing. Here are the five things I planned for us to do:
1. Staten Island Ferry
Since I live in Staten Island it was a no-brainer for us to begin our day with a trip on the Staten Island Ferry. For those that are not aware, the Staten Island Ferry travels from the tip of lower Manhattan to Staten Island and back in half hour intervals all day long. It is a huge vessel that can accommodate tons of people (so there is always a seat for everyone and it never feels packed). It is also FREE both ways so if you are traveling with a large group this is a great activity that won’t break the bank. The bright orange boat goes right past the Statue of Liberty and a nice breeze comes through it’s windows. It can get busy in Summer, so if you want to stake out a good spot for viewing the Statue of Liberty you should grab a seat on the right side of the ship while heading towards Staten Island or bear to the left side of the boat on the way into NYC. There is a stand on the ferry that sells food and beverages. In the Summer I like to grab a cold beer and watch the Sunset.
2. Norma’s at Le Parker Meridian
Norma’s at Le Parker Meridian is my absolute favorite place to have brunch in all of NYC. That is a bold statement given the sheer amount of fabulous restaurants in the City but I stand by it. I take everyone there. I have probably eaten there ten times this past year alone and each meal has met my very high expectations. I usually always order the Super Cheesy French Toast. Don’t let the title fool you, this is a savory breakfast with caramelized onions and a side of au jus to dip in! It is heaven.
Another favorite is the Donut Even Go There French Toast. It is cheesecake-stuffed, coconut-rolled with orange drizzle and vanilla ice cream. It is SUPER decadent but a fun treat and big enough to share.
Tip: Norma’s sets aside a bunch of tables that are allotted for their online reservation system. If you just walk in or call they will tell you it is an hour wait. If you go online (which you can do on your phone) you can book a table for the exact time you are standing there and get a table immediately!
3. Times Square
Once we were nice and full we decided to walk off our meal by heading into Times Square. Every tourist visiting NYC wants to go there and check out the big screens. It is the quintessential NYC spot and you are obligated to bring guests there (even if it is just for a quick walk through). We braved the crowds and went to the M&M Store and did some other shopping. It was actually pretty fun and my Sister really enjoyed it.
4. “THE RIDE”
I wanted to show my Sister more of the City and get a bit of a lesson on it’s buildings and history so I decided to book tickets for “THE RIDE”. This bus is the perfect tour of NYC. It is glass enclosed, air-conditioned and has stadium seating (so everyone has a good view). It was actually raining a bit right before we boarded and I was so thankful for the glass roof to protect us from the elements! Plus it was insanely hot that day so the air conditioning was a nice treat!
Inside the bus there were led lights, TV monitors, and a booming sound system.
The two tour guides on our bus were so engaging and hilarious. They definitely made the trip a fun one. Since the whole side of the bus is glass you can see out and people can see in. They wave, take pictures and point. As we rolled around Manhattan we felt like celebrities.
Our bus traveled through Times Square, up to the East Side of Manhattan, around Columbus Circle and past Central Park. We learned a lot of interesting facts about NYC and it’s architecture and we had a blast interacting with the other passengers and the hosts!
Right now the team at “THE RIDE” has offered a special promo code for A Little Glitter readers! Use code RIDEBB on their website ExperienceTheRide.com to save $20 per ticket!
5. Georgetown Cupcakes
NYC is a treasure trove of delicious cupcakes. As a sugar addict I have sampled most of them and I could not let my Sister leave the City without experiencing Georgetown Cupcake! I also love Baked By Melissa, Sprinkles and Magnolia Cupcakes but in my opinion Georgetown Cupcake in Soho is the best! Their cake is the spongy and soft and their frosting is heaven!
NYC is such a huge and magical place that I could have easily planned a week with a full itinerary every day. There is so much to see and do. Have you ever been? What are your favorite areas and sites to visit?