Have a day in NYC but not sure how to spend your time wisely? It’s true that the city that never sleeps is full of activity, people, and places to see. It’s hard to visit every aspect of NYC, especially in an area full of traffic and humans.
So what should I cover in a 24 hour time frame?
Here are 5 tips to make sure you get the most out of your NYC experience.
- Invest in Big Bus Tours (https://www.bigbustours.com). Get to your main destinations by hopping on and off at their designated bus stops. Yes, you’ll look like a tourist, but you need to get to your destinations easily and quickly. I’ll be completely honest–this was a fabulous investment. One I will use in future cities as well (the company extends to Europe, Middle East, and Asia-Pacific). Although when I used this pass it was a snow storm and freezing, I loved that the company offered a map of the city and free headphones to listen to a guide explain each landmark and famous area. Big Bus Tours gets you all over the city at a fraction of the cost of a taxi cab. Tickets also offer options to Liberty Island and/or Empire State Building.
- See a Show. If time permits, see a show on Broadway. There is nothing like it in the rest of the world. I have seen multiple shows on Broadway over various visits to the town. Picking a matinee show allows you time to see a play and then follow it up with dinner and more sightseeing. However, a later show allows you to do all of your sightseeing first and gives you some rest off your feet. Tickets may be costly depending on your Broadway taste, but it is worth every penny.
- China Town and Little Italy. If you have never experienced this world in NYC, it is an absolute must. You can find purses, clothing, and knick knacks for a small price, and bartering with the locals is always a fun experience. If you are offered a price always offer something lower. If an individual refuses, simply walk away. 99% of the time, the person will follow you out the store (and sometimes down the street) to make the sale with you. Additionally, Little Italy has some fun restaurants with tasty food to give you some energy during your time. In fact, it has the BEST cappuccino I have ever tasted in the Western Hemisphere.
- Times Square. Talk about the hustle and bustle. This is the area with the brightly lit signs. You see individuals from all over the world trying to get a sneak peak of something new or a celebrity spotting. In this area, you can visit M&M’s World, a giant Toys R Us, a two story Disney Store, and every other shopping place imaginable. Yes, it’s crowded. For some, overwhelming. Yet, this is a well worth area to visit, find a place to eat, and get some great people watching time.
- Pick One Must See Destination. Is it the statue of Liberty? Central Park? 911 Memorial Museum? Empire State Building? Pick the one thing you absolutely want to see. Those other areas are fun to see and easy to get to using Big Bus Tours. Even with hopping on and off a bus, I walked close to 10 miles in my 24 hour period (Hint: use a good pair of walking shoes). However, my must see recommendation is the 911 Memorial Museum. I would absolutely suggest this for anyone who remembers the event and holds that time close to their hearts. This museum is not particularly geared for kids, and the museum is generally somber and filled with silent sobs in specific areas. It allows you to listen to telephone calls from those on the airplanes, see remnants from the crash and buildings, and view the history of the 911 plan. If visiting, go straight in the morning when the memorial opens. This avoids long lines and crowds of people. Whatever you pick, make sure you set time to see your destination. Traffic is terrible and takes time to get anywhere. With the right amount of planning and using specific routes, one can see multiple things in a short period of time!
“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.”
― Tom Wolfe
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