Take three because well my website decided to delete me re writing this, three times before I could actually post this lol! So anyway 4 days it’s been since we landed back in the motherland and I’m ready to book flights back to the Big Apple.
We were so incredibly lucky to be on this trip with Clinique, Regan and I will forever be grateful to them for allowing us to experience another beautiful city together. Literally no exaggeration when I say it was the trip of a lifetime. I will chat more about that side of things in the next blog post to follow this one.
I thought I would share with you some of our favourite places to see and explore in a short time frame, the good thing about NYC is that it’s literally a city that never sleeps therefore it means so much more time for exploring - how good!!
So let’s start with our first two nights which were spent staying in Williamsburg Brooklyn. I hadn’t previously spent much time over this side of the bridge and I can honestly say it was definitely a highlight of the trip. Williamsburg is such a cool hip and trendy place, there is so much to see and some really cool places to eat and shop. A beautiful place to be if you want something a little more slower paced than the hustle and bustle of Manhattan.
If your lucky you may even spot a celeb or two! We saw one of our favourite singers Allen Stone dining with his family at Allswell and it was so nice to see no one pestering him. Williamsburg just seems so much more relaxed and the people are a lot friendlier, definitely our kind of vibe.
We stayed at the McCarren whilst in this area of the suburbs, I booked it via booking.com as I do with all of my accomodation and based staying here on the reviews. It seemed to be relatively a little bit cheaper for quality of 4 stars too ($1200 NZD for two nights). Incase you haven’t seen yet…NYC is expensive and your rooms are A LOT smaller than normal hotels that we are used to. I like to call them a glamourised shoe box 😂
Although our room was modernist and clean, I found the staff weren’t that friendly here and one of the main reasons I booked was for the super amazing looking roof top they showed online. Wellllll lets just say the roof top we couldn’t even enjoy because it was under construction … I mean who do I think I am Kim K or something but I was secretly gutted because I was so excited to stay somewhere with its own rooftop lol!!Overall though great location and it has a cool pool for the Summer time. 😂👏🏻
So now it’s time for us to share some of our fave spots on this side of the bridge, these are places we want you to See, explore and capture for your own travel memory bank. Brooklyn is such a cool place so please do use your eyes to take in everything around you, you don’t want to have any regrets when travelling around NYC because there truly is so much to see.
Queue all of the cliche songs mentioning Brooklyn and insert them here 💃🏻🗽
First up take an Uber over to Dumbo and see the iconic under the Manhattan Bridge spot. If you don’t like crowds and I mean crowds or a million posers in one street come here super early before they even make it out of bed lol!!! Those people aren’t even bothered by the on coming traffic for their full blown photoshoots, they are so committed to the gram its almost scary lol!!
From here you can explore by foot the many cool sights around Dumbo. Janes Carousel is another spot thats very historic and has been around since 1922. You can’t take photos right in by the Carousel, we took ours out the front of it, but this is situated with literally the best views of both bridges and Manhattan so there’s no shortage of great places to capture while you're there. You can even have lunch on the steps out the front as it’s just such a beaut spot!
Walk the Brooklyn Bridge - again a MUST do as it’s super impressive and so cool to tick it off the bucket list. Again there are crowds of people so probably best done earlier in the day. We were hoping to catch sunrise but due to cramming everything into one day we went around 2pm and so it was peak time for every man and their dog to also be venturing by foot. Refuel yourself at the rooftop of One Hotel Brooklyn. Such a great spot for a bite to eat or a cocktail I can imagine night time would be so beautiful too!!
If you like to shop then you must visit the Nordstrom Rack and Century 21 stores close by to the Brooklyn Bridge we walked and it took about 20mins. Literally could have spent my entire savings here as there were so many bargains. I picked up a couple of pairs of sneakers at Nordstrom for $50 which I thought was awesome for relatively new style Nikes !! And if your after designer bargains Century 21 is your go to! Did someone say Versace and Balenciaga?!
Eating in Brooklyn - While we were in this area we ate at the Williamsburg Hotel and Reunion (picture) for breakfasts. Both were incredible and the Williamsburg especially had amazing service, they also give you potatoes with everything it’s great. They also have a rooftop bar perfect for evening cocktails! Our waiter at the Wburg definitely earn his tip as he gave us a map of cool things to do in the area including some pretty awesome vintage shops to checkout.
If your into Street art or just a real community vibe strolling through Williamsburg is a must, I feel like we didn’t get to see all of it but I’m so excited to go back and see what else it has to offer.
From here it was time to jump into an Uber and head back across to the chaos of Manhattan. Clinique had us staying at the beautiful 5 star One Hotel on Central Park and this place was dreamy in every single way. Every detail had been thought of and the staff are so lovely and helpful, definitely worth paying the extra $$ for the whole package of greatness that comes with staying here.
The best part is the location of the hotel, it is so close by to everything we literally walked everywhere. So honestly don’t bother packing anything more than sneakers when it comes to shoes as you will literally be walking 500 miles when your making your way downtown 😂
Explore Central Park - This is a must, Central Park is home to so many beautiful spots that have been in lots of iconic movies you just have to go and see them for yourself.
Exploring by foot or bike is a great way to see it all at your own pace too and don’t forget to head to the boat sheds and hire a rowboat!! So much fun and drifting under the footbridge whilst being serenaded by the saxophone man gives you all the major NYC pinch me moment feels!!
We got up for sunrise twice in Central Park and it was beautiful, so nice to enjoy it before the crowds pour in.
9/11 Memorial - My second time visiting and still just as moving. This is something all must see when visiting New York. I think the way they have done the memorial is a beautiful tribute to the lives lost.
If you happen to also notice some names with small roses in them, this is because each day the staff for 9/11 place roses on those whose birthdays are on that day. Again this can become a very busy place so probably best to get there early, especially if you want to go into the museum.
Take a stroll around Soho - You have to visit Soho there is so much to see and do in this area. You have little Italy, China town and not to mention some incredible shopping!!
The buildings are also all so beautiful and just the whole vibe is super cool! I could easily spend a week just exploring Lower Manhattan and the surrounding areas like East Village. The Gucci store in Soho is incredible, it is much more inviting than the normal high end stores and even has a Library and a mini movie theatre for while you wait for them to do up your purchase how cool is that!!!
There are countless photo opps in this area like the iconic Pink Marc Jacobs store, the Gucci wall - this isn’t somewhere you want to be looking down at your phone as it truly is such a cool place.
Top Of The Rock - Although it is one of the best buildings to get an incredible view of the city including the Empire State Building and Central Park we were left feeling pretty disappointed this time around. They seem to let a lot more people up these days, and it’s honestly so squished.
You wait so long for anyone to be courteous enough to move to let you have a good view, we were ready to leave after 10mins lol! People are rude and don’t move for you to get a decent photo for the memory bank, it’s all just a bit of a push and shove really.
We went at sunset, it was also very misty and I think again you would be best to go super early or better yet spend an extra couple of hundred dollars and do the helicopter over the city - we will be doing this next time!! You can also pay to have dinner on some rooftops near by, at least that way it’s worth every cent to avoid the rude crowds!!!
TimeSquare - For me Time Square is best seen at night with all of its flashing lights. Be aware it is chaotic down there and there is literally people everywhere. It’s cool to see and tick off the list, but we personally don’t like hanging out there too much.
The shopping in the area is open until midnight, so we did shop there a little bit as we never wanted to waste the day time shopping. The only thing is some of the people on the street do start to annoy you. Don’t stop to talk to any of them, or you will end up getting abused for not buying a CD like Regan did 😂😂
Grand Central Station - You can’t go to New York and not see how amazing Grand Central is!
Rockefeller Centre - Another iconic place if your visiting for the first time you need to see, near Christmas time they also normally have the ice skating rink in action which always gives me all the home alone feels.
Saxs 5th Avenue - While your in New York you have to go into the stores on 5th Ave for the real New York experience - they are all just so beautiful!!!
TGI Friday’s - We found Tgis great to eat at, it had an awesome selection of everyday food options and the pricing was way more affordable. As you can see Regan was very happy with his meal and free refills lol! We had previously been paying over $100 NZD just for two of us to have a basic brekkie each day in downtown Manhattan. So if your expecting NYC to be cheap to eat you, will need to do some exploring to the whole foods store and take some packed lunches exploring with you lol!
The Flat Iron District - such a cool building to see and a really nice area to hangout. It’s not so crowded and we had our best breakfast to date at the Flat Iron Cafe!!! Super cheap really lovely staff and the food was love at first bite!!!
Regan also reckons they use NZ bacon and it was actually the first place we ate that didn’t over cook it too 😂👏🏻 we sat down and had our brekkie here with the most amazing view of the Empire State Building so I highly recommend getting a cab and making the trip here.
Get a yellow taxi - You have to do this while in New York and it’s also just the same price as an Uber! Our last yellow cab we got the night before we left, ended up being Mr Ferrari cab driver to the Stars! He went viral with Tom Han