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Planning a Trip to NYC? Here’s a Guide On What To Do, Eat and See

Whether this is your very first time visiting the Big Apple or your first time (in a long time), there’s never a shortage of fun to be had in “the City that Never Sleeps.”

From filling your stomach with delicious food to filling your soul with the most memorable experiences, New York City has it all. We’ve compiled eight of the must-do, must-eat, and must-see items to guarantee that your visit is the best ever.

Stay at this pet-friendly, contemporary hotel  

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Crowne Plaza HY36 Midtown NYC (@crowneplazahudsonyards)

Centrally located near Penn Station, this Midtown Manhattan hotel boasts a sleek and modern design.  Only a 14 minute walk to the Empire State Building, the Crowne Plaza HY36 Midtown Manhattan offers a hip restaurant/bar, lounge, and a gym.

Take Instagram worthy photos while sipping on cocktails

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by the Press Lounge (@thepresslounge)

Perched 16 stories above its sister venue, PRINT Restaurant, The Press Lounge is one of New York’s best rooftop destinations, offering breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline and Hudson River year-round. Seasonal cocktails (try the “Emilio” for a kick of jalapeno) and local wines complement small plates (the gigantic warm, soft pretzel with a creamy honey mustard sauce is a must.)

Venture into Brooklyn for some of the best pizza in NY

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Roberta’s (@robertaspizza)

Visiting New York and not having pizza is like eating a warm, freshly baked chocolate chip cookie without milk – it’s just not something you do.

Roberta’s Pizza is definitely worth the 25 minute subway ride from Manhattan to Brooklyn.  Everything is “chef’s kiss” delicious, but we like to keep it simple with the Margherita Pizza (fresh basil, mozzarella, and tomato.)

Adventure Seekers, try this

Courtesy of Robin Shack

Looking to see Manhattan from, shall we say, a “different” perspective?  Book a helicopter ride with Heliflights and soar above the city (doors on or off- your choice) while taking in the most spectacular views of Manhattan.  If you’re feeling extra adventurous you can dangle your feet outside for the “money shot.” 

Pro tip: Book way in advance, as they sell out quickly.

Looking for a more relaxing activity?

Option #1 Open-air helicopters aren’t your thing?  No worries.  Central Park is a must-see; with woods, meadows, lakes, ponds, bridges and more, you can get lost riding your bike for hours. A two-hour Citi Bike rental will cost you around $25.  Tip: grab a soft serve Mister Softee ice cream from one of the many trucks you’ll see (and hear) around the city. 

Option #2 Swing into the sunset

 

Check out The Pier 35 Swings, located in the Lower East Side.  Watch the sunset, while relaxing on giant swings overlooking the East River.  Doesn’t get much better than that.

Kick-Ass Bagels in Midtown

New York and bagels go together like PB&J. Although there are so many delicious bagels all over the city, you must check out Liberty Bagels.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Liberty Bagels (@libertybagelsny)

Always fresh, with the friendliest staff and owners (shout out to Victor & Alex) and a gorgeous assortment of bagels and spreads.  You can thank us later.

Check out this hidden gem

Located in the Upper East Side, the UES is a tiny bright pink storefront that will definitely catch your eye. You may think you’re just there to grab a scoop of ice cream… but wait, there’s more.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by UES. (@theuesnyc)

The key is knowing the secret phrase to be granted access to the speakeasy bar in the back.

It may or may not have something to do with “helping out in the storage room.”  If you’re lucky enough to make it back there, get ready for a sophisticated, elegant vibe. Relax on a velvet couch by candlelight and sip on fancy cocktails, like ‘The Girls Gossip’ or ‘Tea at the Carlyle’.

Prop tip: A strict dress code is enforced.   

*BONUS activities

Looking to do more touristy activities?  We’ve got you covered. The Brooklyn Bridge, The Edge at Hudson Yards, Empire State Building, 911 Memorial and Museum, Statue Of Liberty & Ellis Island, Grand Central Terminal, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Vessel, and Little Italy for some old-school pasta are all great options.

Enjoy! 

Robin Shack is a freelance writer and editor. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Amazon.com, Lagunasalt.com and sainteden.com

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