Who hasn’t dreamt about spending autumn in New York? Next to Christmas, I imagine it is one of the most beautiful times to visit the Big Apple. If only for all the pretty colours in Central Park, and the build-up to Christmas you can see happening all around the city. Around this time two years ago I went to New York, something about which I’d been dreaming for sooo long. It’s one of those cities that just has something magical to it. So I was sooo excited to finally go!
I flew in the day before my dad’s birthday, because he had been in New York for work for a few days. So I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to explore the city together!
I was there for only a short trip, about 5 days. So naturally I made a strict schedule to see and visit as much as possible. The day I got there I was obviously jetlagged, so we didn’t do a lot as I got there late anyway. But, even though I was a zombie and it was raining, I was set on seeing Times Square! We walked down 45th and 7th, and as we approached Times Square you could hear the sounds and see the lights get brighter. I was amazed by it. And for dinner on the first evening we went to Planet Hollywood because I looove their nacho platter and veggie burgers.
On the first full day I had a lot planned. So we started out bright and early with breakfast at Juniors. We walked down Times Square and to Bryant Park, where they already had the Christmas stalls and the ice skating rink! Then, we went to see the New York Public Library, which was so cool! After that, we did what every tourist has to do when in NYC, go up the Empire State Building!
We originally weren’t planning on going up the Empire State building, but when we walked past it we just couldn’t resist. And wow am I happy that we did! The view was absolutely mind-blowing. Luckily, the weather was great that day and the sky was so clear. We could see all around us, it was just amazing!
We went in for a look at Saks and FAO Schwarz (the toy store). And I obviously wanted to see the ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center. Sadly though, the tree wasn’t up yet. But the Christmas decorations were on their way! Not only could you see that, but it was sooo cold it already felt like winter. So naturally we grabbed a nice Starbucks before heading to Central Park.
This is really where autumn came to life. The trees had so many colours. Especially with the sun shining so bright, the colours looked absolutely amazing. I’d never felt more autumnal in my life, walking through Central Park with my Pumpkin Spice Latte. And we did make a stop at the Metropolitan.
Of course we walked by all the famous places that you always see in movies (or Gossip Girl). The bridges, the ice skating rink, and of course Strawberry Fields.
Next, we went back to Times Square, because my dad had arranged something really special. We got to go on top of the building that has the New Years Eve ball on top of it. It was so cool to be standing on top of Times Square, right at the bottom of that iconic ball. Pretty awesome.
For the rest of that day, we just wandered around Manhattan, did a little shopping and we ate at Bill’s Bar & Burgers. And later that evening, my dad had organized another surprise for me. He bought us tickets to go see The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall!!!! If you know me at all, you will know that I am absolutely obsessed with Christmas, so this was the PERFECT show for me. It was wonderful, and now I can tick “seeing a show on Broadway” off my bucket list!
The next day, we started by walking down the High Line. It is an elevated park and walkway built on what used to be a Railroad. It is such a nice and more quiet way to walk through the west side of Manhattan. We walked for a bit and then took a yellow cab down to Battery Park. We walked by the Hudson for a while, and of course spotted the Statue of Liberty. Then we decided to walk down the Brooklyn Bridge.
I loved walking on the Brooklyn Bridge, even though I don’t really know why. You just get such a nice view of the city skyline, and on a sunny day like that it was just so lovely. Lovely, but cold. So we didn’t manage to walk all the way to Brooklyn. Instead, we warmed up at Starbucks before our walk back to Times Square. Yes, we walked all the way from the Brooklyn Bridge back to Times Square. But this was perfect so we could see everything we still wanted to see in just one walk!
We walked by Wall Street, and I took a super touristy photo with the Wall Street bull as you do. We entered the Trinity Church, and then walked to Ground Zero. I found this so impressive and breath-taking. It was such a scary thought to think about what had happened at that exact spot so many years ago. But it was amazing to see the monument and the flowers people had put on the sides of it.
We continued to walk up, through SoHo and Greenwich. We walked through Madison Square Park and Washington Square Park, where we saw the Arch. And by the end of that day, we were veeery tired haha.
On the last day, we had planned for a museum visit. Which turned out to be a great idea since the weather had changed completely and it was now gloomy and rainy. We went to the NYC American Museum of Natural Histoy. AKA The Night at a Museum-Museum. It was a huuuuge museum, and you could recognise so many things from the movies which was so funny. But honestly the museum was wonderful, so many different things and eras to look at, and so interesting. We used the full day to explore the museum.
After our museum visit, we walked down the Upper West Side for a bit. Of course I got excited when I saw the Empire Hotel, but sadly no Chuck Bass… AND we found this adorable little shop called The Christmas Cottage where I felt right at home. We had dinner at an Irish Pub and spent our last evening shopping around Times Square. Obviously I loved walking around in the Disney Store (since we don’t have those in the Netherlands), and bought a Hard Rock Cafe NYC shirt to add to my collection!
I had the BEST time in New York City and I would go back in a heartbeat. I absolutely fell in love with it and I cannot wait to go back someday!
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