NEW YORK TRAVEL DIARY – PART 2

Its time for Part 2 of my New York Travel Diary. If you didn’t catch the first installment you can read my New York travel Diary Part 1 here. In this part I’m talking more New York travel tips and more about what we got up to on the last three days of our trip.

On day three we decided to walk the Highline. Its something that was recommended to us by a lot of people. We were on a budget so we looked for lots of things to do that didn’t cost the earth or were free and this was one of them. Its a public park built along an historic freight train line and is gorgeous to walk along.  We had a lovely sunny day to wander along the highline and we started near West 30th Street and walked the length of it right down to the very cool Meatpacking District.

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Along the Highline you’ll be treated to gorgeous street views, art displays as well as some amazing road views through large glass viewing areas. Its definitely worth a visit and I imagine so lovely (and busy) in the Summer.
We stopped for lunch at Bills Bar & Burgers in the Meat Packing District and had yummy fish tacos, sweet potato fries and burgers. We wandered back stopping briefly at the Chelsea Food Market which is an indoor urban food market, also a great place to browse and eat after the Highline. We spotted more piled up old christmas trees which became a regular sight on the streets because of the time of year we went (4th Jan – 10th) and we made our way back up to Times Square.

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Times Square really is amazing. Not only in the day but even more so at night when the expanse of neon screens light up the whole area meaning it doesn’t often feel very dark at all. Because of the time of year Times Square wasn’t as busy  compared to how busy I’ve seen it in photos but there was enough hustle and bustle to make it feel vibrant. You’ll find all the theatre’s here plus shops and restaurants.

As we were on a budget and we work in theatre as our day jobs we didn’t buy any Broadway tickets but we did enter a ticket lottery twice for Wicked tickets as its our fave show. This means turning up to the venue 2 hours before the show putting your name in a hat with the chance of winning 2 tickets per person for $30 each which is a pretty good bargain. We did it twice and sadly didn’t win but it was a really good idea and plenty people did win. I think several of the shows do this so worth checking out if your on a budget.

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I had saved myself a little pot of spending money for the trip and part of this was reserved to spend at Kate Spade. I’ve wanted to buy a Kate Spade handbag for ages and I decided to wait and buy it from the flagship store in NYC. We headed there on Day four. I have a full post coming featuring all my photos from the store but safe to say it was stunning and I was looked after so well. Also pretty exciting that the new collection had arrived in store that very morning so I was one of the first to see it in store and also buy a piece from it!

See what I bought in my NYC Haul Post coming this weekend on the blog!

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After Kate Spade we wandered through Central Park and found the famous Alice statue and then headed to Tiffany’s where I also treated myself to something in a little blue bag :-))))) We made our way for some lunch at Olive Garden where I devoured the biggest bowl of pasta ever! Love their unlimited salad too by the way!!!

 

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One of my bucket list things to do in NYC was to see the Rockefeller Christmas tree. We actually booked the dates of our trip based on the tree still being up. We found prices were cheaper after New Year and had read about the fact the streets might be lined with old Christmas trees (which they were) but lots of the Christmas decorations were still up and the Rockefeller tree was up till the 8th January so definitely a good time to go for both budget and festiveness!!

One thing I was a little disappointed by was the sales. I thought going in early January I would get some bargains in the sales but stores didn’t seem to have the same kind of size of sales like we have in the UK, although a couple of the things I bought at Kate Spade were in the sale so my trip was not completely without bargains.

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The tree was so pretty and such a festive atmosphere around there with the ice rink too. I’ll admit I went back on the last day  to see it before we left. Also Saks had the most amazing light show to music on the side of the store which played every half an hour or so and was beautifully done and so so Christmassy!!

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On our last day in NYC we headed to Katz Deli. Most known for its appearance in the film When Harry Met Sally its a tourist destination as well as a local fave. We had been recommended to visit by a friend but made a slight mistake in walking there (it was verrrrry far!) but well worth it for the atmosphere and the HUGE portions. We ordered the hot open sandwiches and couldn’t finish them. Amazing chips too!!

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After a subway ride and a wander back to Rockefeller we headed up the Top Of The Rock. We’d been advised to head up this instead of the Empire State and its one of the things we were happy to spend money on. It gives an amazing view over NYC with of course the Empire State in view. We booked for a time that meant we could see the sunset so its worth asking when you book your ticket what time sunset is. There are three viewing platforms all at different levels and it was a lovely way to spend our last evening in NYC.

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The next day we checked out of our gorgeous hotel and headed to the airport to fly to Orlando for the second part of our trip. We had an amazing time. We did so much walking and despite the fact we stuck to a budget we really did do everything that we wanted to do.

So here are my New York Travel Tips including the tips from Part 1 too.

  • Ride the Staten Island ferry for free to see the Statue of Liberty. Get off and get straight back on to return back to Manhattan.
  • Walk the Brooklyn bridge for amazing views and a great pizza at the end.
  • Tuesday at 5pm enter the 9/11 Museum for free
  •  Most museums have a pay what you can option so you can pay what you can afford if you are on a budget.
  • Remember to budget money for tips!! Minimum is 15% in restaurants, bars etc
  • Walk the Highline for gorgeous street views and then wander round the cool Meatpacking District. You can join it at several points along the route if you don’t want to walk the whole length.
  • There is a subway card you can buy for 7 days for $30 but calculate how much you might use it. We walked everywhere and only got 4 trains each in total. At $2 a journey it wasn’t worth buying the railcard.
  • The NYC subway app is great for planning journeys.
  • Go up The Top Of The Rock just before sunset for perfect views of NYC.
  • Enter Broadway show ticket lottery’s if budget is tight but make sure you are going to be in the area of Times Sq 2 hours before the show.
  • Don’t forget sales tax! Prices displayed are usually excluding this sales tax so allow for approx 8% on top of prices and don’t believe sales assistants who say you can claim this back at the airport as this is not true!!
  • Christmas/Festive wise dates to bear in mind 
    Rockefeller Christmas tree is lit from early December to around January the 8th.
    Rockefeller Ice rink opens October till following April
  • December is COLD!! Make sure you pack a good coat and hats/scarves etc but bear in mind all shops and restaurants have their heating sooooo hot so be prepared to strip of layers whenever inside!!

Hope you’ve enjoyed my New York travel Guides and New York travel tips, let me know of you have any questions or want more tips if your heading there soon xxx

Debs

All photos were shot on my Olympus Pen with the kit lens or 45mm Lens

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