Walk Through The Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Finish off the day by strolling through all the beautifully maintained gardens. Youll find different types of plants and horticulture techniques in each one. Enjoy some plant-based cuisine at the Yellow Magnolia Café.
Tip: if youre there in April, visit Cherry Esplanade to see all of the gorgeous cherry blossoms in bloom. Stop by the Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival if its going on while youre there.
Getting in: Brooklyn Botanic Garden tickets are included with The New York Pass.
Head Back To Manhattan & Hit Up Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park is the center of NYU student life: campus buildings surround the square, its a great spot for people-watching , and its home to the famous Washington Square Arch.
D, the edible cookie dough Instagram sensation from a couple of years back, is nearby if youre looking for a trendy NYC dessertfix . And, while were on the topic of Instagrammable foodBlack Tap, famous for their freakshakes, is less than a 15-minute walk away.
If you choose to indulge in a sugary treat, keep it small, as theres more eating soon to come on this 4 day New York itinerary unless that is, youre a true sweet fiend who wants to prioritize sugar above all other cuisines for the afternoon, in which case I present to you the Greenwich Village Cupcake Tour.
Dessert lovers, book your cupcake tourtoday!
Theater District For A Show Fifth Stop
The theater district runs from 40th to 54th Streets and from 6th to 8th Avenues.
How to Get There: From Grand Central Terminal take the MTA subway S Train and exit at Times Square Station for the Theater District.
With audiences full of families, a Disney on Broadway production is my choice for a kids first theater performance. Packed with tunes they know by heart, elaborate sets and glittering costumes, these shows keep kids glued to their seats. During my last visit, we saw Aladdin.
TravelingMom tip: Sure you can hope for last-minute reduced seats, though I reserved seats way before my trip to ensure my family sat together. Here are some ideas for scoring cheap Broadway tickets.
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Your Choice Of Dinner
Since its your last night in NYC, do a bit of research and go to dinner at a restaurant that peaks your interest. With a simple Google or Yelp search, youll find every type of cuisine imaginable in NYC. If you need a bit of assistance, here are a few suggestions right in the greater Midtown Manhattan area.
- Beer Authority: 300 W 40th St, New York, NY 10018
- Westway Diner: 614 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036
- Shake Shack: 691 8th Ave, New York, NY 10036
- Kashkaval Garden: 852 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
- Totto Ramen: 464 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019
The Empire State Building
Just a six-minute walk away from Blank Slate Coffee + Kitchen, the Empire State Building is a must for first-time city visitors. The 360° city views on the 86th and 102nd floor are unbelievable. Since this is among the most popular destinations in NYC, go as early as possible in the morning. Crowds tend to be the smallest between 8:00 am and 11:00 am.
To beat the ticket line, get your Empire State Building tickets in advance.
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Day 2 In New York City
Up and at em! In true NY fashion, we are starting with coffee and bagels or whatever type of breakfast you would like! Head to Chelsea Market on 9th Ave. in between 15th and 16th. This is a market filled with different types of food and shops. Grab a quick bite before you start your tour at the High Line at 9:30am. This tour will begin outside of Chelsea market, take you on a 1-mile stroll with surprising views of the Hudson River, and you will also hear stories about how the Meatpacking district has transformed into one of the chicest neighborhoods. After the tour, we recommended heading to brunch to join the locals! See the list below of the restaurants we recommend!
In close proximity to the High Line is the Whitney Museum. The permanent collection that the Whitney Museum consists of includes works by American artists like Louise Bourgeois, Man Ray, Jasper Johns, and Andy Warhol. Others will also be displayed and various exhibitions will be there to view dependent on the time you are visiting! See this link for what exhibitions they have had in the past.
New York Public Library
Maybe going to a library doesnt bode excitement for some, but once you step into its impressive and absolutely stunning interior, youll understand why the New York Public Library made it on our NYC itinerary. After youre done marveling at the grand architecture, take a quick wander through the library to explore its many paintings, book collections, and treasures, like the Rose Reading Room or Astor Hall . As you exit in amazement, youll be glad you added this library to your New York City itinerary.
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Pay Respects At World Trade Center And The 9/11 Ground Zero
Visit the 9/11 Memorial Museum, included in you CityPass. The historical exhibition has three parts: the Day of 9/11, Before 9/11 and After 9/11. It is a moving experience, but well worth while. Buy tickets to skip the line for this experiences.
Cost per adult: $24 without CityPass
Address: 180 Greenwich St, New York
New Yorks Grand Central Terminal
Why would we send people to a train station when they have just arrived? Because New Yorks Grand Central Terminal is so much more than a train station, and Penn Station and Grand Central Station are two different places. Grand Central Terminal is a work of art. You and many others will gaze t the ceilings transfixed by the opulence of this train station and know why it is called grand. You should then treat yourself to some oysters at the Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant, and start people watching, as New York City was made for this pastime.
Grand Central Station: 89 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017, United States
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Last Thoughts: Plan Ahead
New York is so large. I sometimes joke that you need about two weeks to just cover the major sights, which is true since I didnt even include Coney Island . I didnt even cover every borough here!
However, five full days in New York City is a perfect start to feel at home in New York. At a minimum, you should have the hang of the subway by the time that youre done. Below, youll find a free offline map with all the places mentioned here that you can download for offline use!
Day 2 Enjoy New York Citys Park And Animals
Day two focuses on the animals in the American Museum of Natural History then exploring Central Park, both favorites among kids. Wear comfortable shoes the day starts on the Upper West Side and ends in Midtown.
How to get there: First, depart your hotel to head north. Take the A or B MTA subway train and exit at 81st / Museum of Natural History.
American Museum of Natural HistoryCentral Park West at 79th St.Open from 10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.Admission depending on age
A must for families with kids of all ages, my teen daughter spent hours exploring the American Museum of Natural History. A sprawling museum that could take all day, so hit the highlights, like the Hall of Dinosaurs, Lucy the early human, the giant blue whale and the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda along with the Hall of North American Mammals.
Carve out a little time for the Hayden Planetarium to learn more about the world beyond our atmosphere. Its located on-site and requires an additional timed ticket.
TravelingMom Tip: I recommend eating lunch at the Natural History Museums Food Court located on the lower level. During our visit we enjoyed salads, though pizza, burgers, sandwiches and a selection of desserts are available. Before arriving, reserve tickets to the Hayden Planetarium to make the best use of your time.
After exploring the museum, walk across the street to Central Park, a top free activity in New York City.
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Electrical Outlets In New York City
Like the rest of the USA, New York uses a 110v-120v system. There are two types of plugs, formally known as types A and B. Plug type A has two flat parallel pins, and plug type B has the same plus a round grounding pin.
If you are travelling from anywhere outside North America, you will likely need some kind of travel adaptor like this. You should also be aware if you are coming from Europe, Asia, Africa or Australasia that the voltage is different. So you will need to check your devices to be sure they support the 110-120v system. Otherwise you will need a power convertor like this.
In our experience, most lower powered electrical devices like laptops, camera chargers, phone chargers etc. work across voltages from 110 240v. However, higher powered devices like hair straighteners, curling irons, hair dryers, and kettles do not.
You can read more about travel adapters in our guide to the best travel adapters on the market, which includes voltage convertors as well.
Admire Beautiful Brownstones & Explore The West Village
The West Village is one of the better-known areas of New York City and is full of classic New York charm.
This is one of the oldest parts of New York City, and the streets have a tendency to wind together somewhat incomprehensibly here, looping back in on themselves and generally feeling worlds away from the wide, manicured avenues of Midtown.
If youre a 90s sitcom fan, the West Village is probably best recognized as the home of Carrie Bradshaw and the gang from Friends .
Theres also a national landmark in the West Village: the Stonewall Inn, which was the birthplace of the LGBT rights movement in 1969.
Today, you can find everything from trendy boutiques to delicious brunch spots to improbably small and #instagrammable coffee shops in the West Village, along with beautiful residential streets.
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Roosevelt Island Tram Fourth Stop
How to get there: From The Plaza Hotel on 59th St. walk five blocks east to Second Avenue, about half a mile.
If you purchased a MTA MetroCard multi-day pass, the Roosevelt tram is included. Otherwise its $4 round trip purchased on site before boarding.The bright red tram cars climb up and over the East River to get to Roosevelt Island. Get some great views of the city and watch the traffic below. Get off and re-board at Roosevelt Island to return to Midtown.
After a full day, head back to your hotel. The MTA Lexington Ave./59th St. Station offer service on the N, R, 4, 5, and 6 trains, two blocks from the tram station. Another day of exploring awaits in New York City.
Best Accommodations In Town
We personally stayed in two different neighbourhoods TriBeCa and Midtown West and both are great options. TriBeCa feels a little more local, and has good access to the southern tip of Manhattan, while Midtown West is more central located on the west side of the island.
Best Hostel in Manhattan Jazz on Columbus Circle
Staying downtown in Manhattan is always going to be expensive, but if youre in a budget and still want to be in the heart of everything, then the absolute best hostel in town is Jazz on Columbus Circle.
Its a small, boutique hostel and has been renovated to have modern amenities throughout. It has a funky vibe with some awesome decor, and the dorms are small with between 3-6 beds.
Best Mid-Range Hotel Pod 51 Hotel
High-quality accommodation in New York City is not cheap, but the closest balance you can get between affordability and quality is at Pod 51 Hotel.
The rooms are no-frills, but clean, bright and more spacious than you might expect. The location is great, theres fast wifi and an amazing rooftop garden to enjoy.
Best Luxury Hotel in Manhattan Hotel Giraffe by Library Collection
This is it the top of the cream for hotels in New York that you can still get for well under $1000 a night.
The Library Collection has some of the best hotels all around the city, but our favourite is Hotel Giraffe. Youll be treated like a king or queen here!
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How To Spend An Amazing Three Days In Upstate New York
Chances are a whirlwind week of exploring New York City is on your bucket list.
And we get it! Those flashing lights, the energy of the city, and the endless locations to snap photos are hard to beat.
While we love the energy that New York City brings, it can get overwhelming after a while. No wonder New Yorkers love to get away for the weekend and drive upstate!
Coming from the Pacific Northwest, Berty and I yearned to see trees and forests once again after a fast-paced time in NYC. We decided to book a cozy Airbnb and spend three days in Upstate New York, getting our fix of nature and mountains once again.
If youre looking for that perfect balance of city living and forest escapes, weve created the perfect Upstate NY itinerary for you.
Read on to discover how you can easily plan three days in Upstate New York for the ultimate city getaway!
Start Your Day At One Of New Yorks Most Iconic Museums
Theres no better way to kick off your 4 days in New York than with a peek inside one of the museums that make the city so famous!
New York is littered with museums, from the enormous and iconic to the tiny and quirky, but for this first morning, opt for one of the big three:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New Yorks premier art gallery, home to everything from American paintings to an impressive collection of historic armor sourced from around the world to Egyptian artifacts to entire Parisian rooms that have been relocated to New York.
Book your skip-the-line tickets for the Met now with no extra cost!
Prefer the context of a tour? This one gets great reviews and will show you the best of the Met.
American Museum of Natural History
Known for its impressive dinosaur fossils, including the first-ever found fossil from the tyrannosaurus rex, the American Museum of Natural History is home to a mind-bogglingly large collection of specimens pertaining to the natural world.
This is one of our favorite museums in the world, and the one we personally chose to visit on our very first trip to New York!
Shop skip-the-line tickets for the Natural History Museum now with no extra cost!
The Museum of Modern Art
More of a modern art person? Consider making your way to the famous Museum of Modern Art to start your 4 days in New York, which is home to, among many other things, Van Goghs Starry Night and works by Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock.
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Final Thoughts On 4 Days In New York City
That wraps up my guide for how to spend four days in New York! Above, I included a detailed day-by-day New York itinerary that takes you to New Yorks hippest neighborhoods, best food sports, star attractions, best parks, and best places by night!
I also included a list of free and cheap things to do in New York to encourage you to enjoy the city without completely breaking the bank.
If you have more time and want to explore further, we have a handy guide on the best road trips from New York that is worth checking out.
If you think I missed anything or would like to add something cool to my guide on 4 days in New York, let me know in the comments!
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Day 6 Morning / Afternoon
One of the most memorable experiences we have made in New York was taking a helicopter ride. The view from the helicopter beats all viewing platforms. Flying over the concrete jungle gives you a totally new perspective of New York. If a helicopter ride is a little too expensive, a great alternative is attending a sporting event. New York is home to some of the best sports teams and there is always a game going on.
- 12 Chairs Middle Eastern Cuisine $$
- BoCaphe Vietnamese & French Cuisine $$
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