What an amazing city!
My cousins were visiting from Florida and had never been to New York City so we got up early to hop on the NJ Transit train into New York. The train made a lot of local stops and finally ended up at New York Penn station. Just a helpful hint – make sure to buy your tickets from the machine in the waiting area outside your train stop because it is cheaper than buying the tickets from the Conductor on the train.
Once you get off the train, it is a little crazy when you walk up to 8th Avenue with all the people, taxis and horns honking. Stay close to your group and just be prepared. It’s fun, but the city can be hectic.
We wanted to show our cousins, Laura and Gia, a lot of the sites so we took the Gray Line double-decker bus tour around Manhattan (another name for NYC). I would recommend trying the Big Bus tour because they had better reviews. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find a vendor when we got there so we took the Gray Line City Sightseeing buses. We were not too impressed. On one bus they didn’t even have a microphone for the “tour guide.” All you could hear was the pre-recorded information and you couldn’t even adjust the sound on the headphones they provided. It was so loud, it was annoying at times.
Some of the sites we saw on the uptown & downtown tours were the beautiful brownstones, the famous Apollo Theater, Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building, Harlem, the Met, Flatiron building, Central Park, Time Square, Greenwich Village, Chinatown, Little Italy and many others. The best part about city sightseeing this way is that you can hop on and off at any of their stops all day.
Katz’s Deli in the Lower East Side is a traditional New York style deli and was a great place to stop for dinner. Of course, New York style pizza is on every corner and Ray’s Pizza is always a good choice.
If you are looking for something sweet – try to make a stop at Sprinkles cupcake shop. They have a cupcake ATM machine that is super cool and the cupcakes are delicious!
For a different kind of shopping experience, go to Canal Street near Chinatown. You can get unique NY souvenirs and t-shirts. It is always fun to bargain with the street vendors and the shop keepers.
We were so exhausted from the day that we didn’t end up going to a Broadway show or even taking the boat tour by the Statue of Liberty this time. Next visit for sure!
NYC is considered the “City that never sleeps” so you can go out day or night and see people and sights. Just be safe. If you can, try to plan to stay in NY for more than just one day. There is just so much to see and do. The Benjamin Hotel and The W hotel are my favorites. They have great locations and awesome service and amenities. Their rooms are big and they have either kitchens or refrigerators and microwaves which makes it easy for people with food allergies to travel.
We had such a fun day. Hope you do too! Keep It Suite!