New York City has been on my bucket list for places to travel to for years! I have dreamt about going to New York City. My husband and I made it happen November 2014. We literally planned and booked the trip just a few months before, so it was more of a spontaneous vacation! We had enough frequent flier miles to get free airfare, and we decided to go during Thanksgiving, which made finding coverage at our job easy, since 4 of the days our shop is closed for the holiday. (We own a tile retail store.) So between free airfare and being able to be away from the store for 7 days, we just couldn’t resist!
This was by far, one of my favorite vacations. I loved New York City. I can’t wait to go back, and I know I will! We did so many of the tourist things, and had a lot of down time to explore and get lost. Getting lost was so much fun, because around every wrong turn, there will be a new adventure. We stayed at a Holiday Inn Express near Madison Square Garden, which ended up being a perfect location! We originally hoped to stay in Times Square, because it’s Times Square! The cost was just too high, so after doing a lot of research we decided we didn’t need to be in Times Square, we just needed to be by a subway station that was centrally located in Manhattan. We were very pleased with our location, because the subway was a block away, and we only went to Times Square a few times anyway! We also liked that it had continental breakfast, which is nice because who likes eating out for 3 meals a day for 7 days straight? So, we were able to grab eggs and sausage, a yogurt, an apple, or whatever to tie us over until lunch. It was perfect!
Here are the many things we did in New York City in 7 days!
- Visit the Statue of Liberty and museum
- Went to the top of the Empire State Building
- Saw a play on Broadway
- Explored Times Square
- Camped out early and watched the Thanksgiving Day Parade
- Explored Macy’s and happened to be there at midnight on black Friday. We were just walking back to our hotel and ended up in a large crowd with cameras everywhere!
- Stood outside in the audience and was apart of Good Morning America
- Ice Skating in Central Park
- Horse and Carriage Ride in Central Park
- Explored Central Park for hours (I could live in Central Park!)
- Visited the National September 11th Memorial and Museum
- Walked the Brooklyn Bridge
- Went to the Rockefeller Center and saw the Christmas tree! (There weren’t lights on it yet.)
- Enjoyed a frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity.
- Explored Grand Central Station
- Enjoyed wine and appetizers at Chelsea Market
- Shopping on 5th Avenue
- Ate Pizza in little Italy
- Shopping in Soho
- Ate pizza, cheesecake, pizza, and more cheesecake.
Can you believe we did all of that in 7 days! We even had some down time and had a few early evenings and dinners in bed! I’m so excited to go back and do more exploring. It’s one of those places where you will do a few of the same things but a lot of different things every time you go. It’s like Vegas, but on a grander scale!
Here is a list of restaurants or things to eat that I recommend going to if your are in New York City!
- Carnegie Deli Located on 7th and 55th. We ended up here on Thanksgiving night for dinner. We tried to go for lunch one day but the line was down the street! We ended up sharing a Thanksgiving type dish, with Turkey and mashed potatoes. We wanted to go back again for their famous Reuben, but we never made it back here. We ordered a cheesecake to share for dessert. By far, the best cheesecake we have tasted! I definitely recommend visiting here for their cheesecake, incredible!
- Junior’s Cheesecake Located in Times Square. We ate here for breakfast one morning (the only breakfast we ate out) and took cheesecake to go a different night. Their cheesecake was delicious, but not as good as Carnegie Deli’s. Their breakfast was good and so was their service. I really enjoyed their pancakes.
- Lombardi’s Pizza Located in Little Italy and America’s First Pizzeria! I had to visit it for that reason! We were there around lunch time, and did not have a wait. We shared a pizza with sweet Italian sausage and tomatoes. And wine of course! It was a great lunch.
- Masterpiece Italian Pizzeria Located on Rector Street. We stumbled upon this place after visiting the September 11 Memorial. It was the first pizza we had in New York and it was so good! It’s more of a little pizza joint, not like a pizzeria restaurant. There are many small pizza joints on the streets of New York that you just go in to order a slice. We tried a few different ones, but Masterpiece was by far our favorite! We made a point to go back a second time before we left! I got the white pizza with spinach both times. My husband even liked it better than Lombardi’s, crazy! It was really good.
- Serendipity 3 Located on 60th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. If you have not seen the movie Serendipity, go rent it! It’s one of my favorite movies and one of the many movies that made me want to visit New York. Anyway, there’s a scene in the movie where they are sharing a frozen hot chocolate together at Serendipity. We almost sat at the table they sat at in the movie! This place is crazy busy. We tried to go one afternoon and the wait was a few hours! We ended up going the next morning, and got there an hour before they opened to wait in line. We were probably the 15th party in line! But, we were seated fairly soon after they opened. We each enjoyed one of their frozen drinks. I got the Strawberry Supreme and my husband got the Peanut Butter Frozen Hot Chocolate. We would have loved to go back again to try their food, but that will have to be for a different visit!
- John’s Pizzeria Located in Times Square. We ate here for dinner our last night. We shared pizza, a pasta dish, and a bottle of wine. The wait was about an hour, but we found a seat at the bar and ordered a drink and appetizer so we really didn’t mind the wait. The pizza was good, so I would defiantly recommend going to this place.
We seriously had such a wonderful time. Throughout the trip, I was saving little things like ticket stubs, menus, pamphlets, and such as keepsakes. I even came home with a small bag full of Central Park leaves! As I mentioned before, I am not big on scrapbooking. I just get really bored, and over think how I want the page to look, so I end up getting overwhelmed! But I love how the finishing product looks. That’s the neat thing about scrapbooking. The finishing product will look good, regardless. Since I am not a scrapbooker and I enjoy real old school photo albums, I decided to just make a few scrapbooking pages to put in the beginning of our photo album. I used all the keepsake items I collected throughout the trip for the scrapbooking pages. I truly love them! I think I’m going to make this a tradition. I’ll make a few scrapbooking pages for the beginning of the photo album for the specific vacation. I wish I did this for our honeymoon photo album!