being a tourist in new york city

This week I traveled to the bustling city of New York for work – a city with endless energy and things to explore.  I’ve been to the city too many times to count and still feel like I haven’t scratched the surface on things to see and do. Regardless, every time I am there I see something new that leaves me in awe. And then, I’m ready to go back to Rochester which is less crowded and chaotic!

Today I’m rounding up some of my favorite things to do while in the city. This post is intended for people that aren’t from the city but are going to New York to see many of the touristy things. I’ll admit, most of the places I travel I’m always interested in the touristy things! I think the most popular spots are typically popular for a reason however if you’re looking for an insider perspective on New York, here are two of my favorite New York-based bloggers:

  • Katie’s Bliss  – Based in Manhattan, she has a helpful NYC guide but also travels all over! I used her blog to help plan my upcoming trip to Montauk.
  • With Lova, Caila – I first saw her on The Bachelor and was drawn to her positivity and creativity. Also based in New York she has some great tips and insider perspective on the fun things to do.

Without further ado, here’s my round-up of my favorite things in the city!

What To Do

  • Natural History Museum – This is my favorite museum in the entire world! There is so much to see and do that I am always amazed when I step foot here. They always have special exhibits too so even if you’ve been, it’s always worth going back.
  • Yankee’s Game – Going to a game just feels like a New York staple to me. I’m not a baseball or a Yankee’s fan but the energy at the games is always fun.
  • Brooklyn Bridge – Walking along the Brooklyn Bridge is something you won’t forget! It has an amazing view of Manhattan and the river. We’ve walked it at night which is even better with the mesmerizing twinkling lights of the city.
  • Brooklyn Bridge Park – This park is one of my favorites in the summer. There are ice cream shops, restaurants, soccer fields and people sprawled out for picnics here. It always feels like a blend of locals and tourists too which gives it a more relaxing vibe.
  • Eataly – This restaurant/shop is an experience! You can sip on wine and enjoy a charcuterie board or go shopping for products made in Italy like pasta and sauces.
  • 9/11 Memorial – I’m sure this is on every visitor’s to-do list and for a good reason. It’s a beautiful tribute and always humbles me.
  • Central Park – This is also likely on every tourist’s things of must-do but this is another can’t miss! It’s a pillar in the city and stepping within the park makes you feel like you’ve stepped outside of the city for a minute. Plus, so many classic movies have been filmed here (like Home Alone 2 and The Devil Wears Prada) which is a win for me.

Where to Eat and Drink 

  • Grimaldi’s – There is almost never a time we’re in Brooklyn and not eating at the original location in Dumbo. It’s family owned with a rich history and the best. pizza. in. the. entire. world.
  • Juliana’s Pizza – Immediately next door and rival to Grimaldi’s. Some people swear by Juliana’s over Grimaldi’s but it’s fun to try both and decide for yourself (clearly you know where I stand).
  • McSorley’s – This is the oldest operating bar in all of New York City! They serve drinks in plastic cups as “light” or “dark” for your options which is a unique novelty of the place.
  • Street Vendors – The roasted nuts, hot dogs, and massive pizza slices are seriously some of the best. Grabbing food casually when it sparks your interest (or smells like heaven) is part of the New York experience.

What are your favorite things to do in New York? We typically go a few times a year so I’m always looking for recommendations.

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