We've both been to New York separately but have been wanting to experience it together for a while. This trip was a little more spontaneous than the others we've taken in the past. We just decided we needed a little break from our everyday routine and booked it only one month before we left.
New York is its own personality. As soon as we landed we knew we weren't in Florida anymore. The cold greeted us and never left, our Uber driver drove as if he were in a Fast and the Furious movie, and the amount of walking we did was enough to never have to go to the gym ever again. We crammed in as much as we could in one weekend to ensure we saw enough of the beauty of this city. Keep reading to follow along on our trip.
Not going to lie, I totally thought this was the Brooklyn Bridge for the longest time. Everyone told me I had to come to DUMBO to see this pretty window of a view between two buildings. DUMBO stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. I can see why it was so highly recommended. From here, you get a close up view of the MANHATTAN (not Brooklyn) bridge. Don't let the cute Instagram pictures fool you though, this place is pretty crowded. Everyone's trying to get that perfect picture for the 'gram and this is a real street so cars try to weave their way around you. A lot of people come super early to get their pictures without a crowd but we're not morning people so we just waited for those short seconds of time where everyone cleared out so we can get a cute shot and a good view of the bridge.
Right next to DUMBO is the Time Out Market. It's a cute food hall with lots of food choices, coffee shops, and stores. It is pretty expensive (almost too expensive for what you get) but it is a nice market with some rooftop views of the bridge. I recommend checking it out but saving your appetite for something a little more worthy.
When we came here we knew we had to see New York from the top. The sky scrapers are already so impressive from the ground but there's something magical about seeing the whole city from up here. This city view is at the top of the Rockefeller Center. An elevator takes you 70 floors into the sky so you can take in a 360-degree city view. There are 3 viewing decks but the top one was closed when we went because of how windy it was that day. It was almost hard to stand our ground as the winds started blowing.
There are many ticketing options but we opted for the regular $38 ticket. You can also get this view at sunset for a little extra money and it's open until midnight so you can see the city light up at night.
This was one of my favorite stops in our entire trip. From up close New York can seem a bit grungy and loud but from here the city looks more tranquil and quiet. Duncan wouldn't stop talking about how much he wanted to come back to show me the beauty from up here and he wasn't wrong. You get a view of the concrete jungle surrounded by still waters. The bridge itself is so impressive. It stands at 6,016 feet tall and has a length of about 1,595 feet.
This is a popular tourist spot. As soon as you walk up the steps and onto the bridge you can see why it's so frequently visited. Out of all the ways you can experience the bridge, the best way is to walk it in my opinion. Walking the bridge allows you to observe and take in the beauty of the city. We were on the Brooklyn side so we could see the Manhattan skyline in the distance. It was a little too cold to walk the entire thing, but if it was warmer we definitely wouldn't have hesitated.
Central Park, a green oasis in New York City. This breath of fresh air hidden amongst a concrete jungle is 843 acres. We came here on our last day to explore the other side of the city. Although we only saw a small percentage of it, we loved strolling past the lakes, bridges, and scenic views. We went to the Belvedere Castle which was built in 1919 and intended to be a viewing platform. Belvedere means "beautiful view" in Italian which is appropriately named. You get a pretty view of a lake, some buildings from afar, and the beauty of the park. There are so many hidden gems here leaving you in awe as you experience the natural side of the big city.
The Vessel opened in 2019 and I've been wanting to visit ever since I saw people posting pictures of it. It's such a unique, honey-comb like structure in the middle of Hudson Yards. This structure is meant to be climbed to take in the views from up top. Unfortunately, no one tells you that you need to reserve a ticket beforehand. It's completely free to enter but you just have to reserve your time slot. By the time we got there, the only time slots left were later in the day and we had a flight to catch that night, so we couldn't experience this building from the inside. Although it is impressive from below, I would like to climb this 150-foot tall sculpture next time we visit New York.
230 Fifth Rooftop Bar
Duncan and I love a good rooftop bar and what better city to visit one than New York!? We got here as the sun was setting so perfectly over the buildings. I was a little worried about being up there in the cold but they have heaters everywhere and these heated igloos pictured above. Most of the igloos are first come first serve. We were able to get one and enjoy our Boozy Hot Chocolate in the warmth. They have an extensive menu of craft cocktails and some food as well. It's a great spot for a casual date night or hang out with friends.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world's largest and finest art museum. Their collection is pretty impressive. It's one of the most visited art museums in the world for a reason. They have roman and greek sculptures, tombs from ancient Egypt, knights armor, and a collection that represents more than 5,000 years of art from across the globe. We got to see hieroglyphics from thousands of years ago and samurai swords. Every room is detailed in a way that encapsulates the area and time period of the art that's displayed. There's so much to see so make sure to bring comfortable shoes. Tickets are $25 per person.
Here are some tips we wanted to share from this trip that might help you out the next time you travel!
Tip 1: Download the CityMapper app. It's the ultimate transport app. Being from Florida, we're not used to the New York transportation system so we needed all the help we could get. This app tells you the best ways to get from point A to point B including how much it's going to cost, which train to take, all of the stops, and where the closest subway station is. It also tells you the cost of an Uber or Lyft if you decide to go that route. I honestly don't know how we would've gotten around without it.
Tip 2: Don't cut your trip short just because you don't know where to store your luggage on the last day. On the final day of our vacation we had to check out of our Airbnb in the morning but our flight didn't leave until 9:30pm. We wanted to explore the city without having to worry about carrying our luggage around so I did some research and found Luggage Hero. They store your luggage at a certified shop or hotel for just $8 a day! It was seriously a life saver for us especially since we were going to spend all day walking around the city. They have other locations so check them out the next time you're on vacation and need a place to store your luggage.
Tip 3: Use Airbnb! Hotels in New York can get a little bit pricey but we were able to score a 2 bedroom apartment with a kitchen in Brooklyn for only $150 a day. It helped us with saving on food since we cooked breakfast every morning ourselves. It was just a short walk to the train station which took us everywhere. I love doing this instead of hotels because it makes you feel at home and local in a new city.