A trip to East Coast USA would not be complete without visiting the Big Apple. It is a city almost everybody has heard so much about and so many people I speak to about America have NYC at the top of their list of places to visit.
Arriving in New York from Philadelphia, another bustling city, meant we were somewhat prepared for busy city life. However, I don’t think anything can prepare you for what I can only describe as the “organised chaos” that New York is. I mean that in the best way possible. From the moment we stepped out onto the streets of Manhattan, we were hit by the scale of the city. I have never felt so small as I did in Manhattan. It is a city that is skyscraper after skyscraper, and it is definitely a place where you truly get city vibes.
In the three days we spent in New York, it would have been unrealistic for us to see everything we wanted to. We only really explored Manhattan. I would love to go back and see Brooklyn and the other parts of NYC, as well as a Broadway show.
Highlights for me included seeing Grand Central Station. The terminal is beautiful inside. It did feel like I had fallen into a scene from Gossip Girl, looking at the stairs where Serena appears in the first episode way back in Season One. The station really earns its name, it truly is the grandest station I have seen.
Possibly my favourite part of the trip was a stereotypical tourist visit to the Empire State building. Although it is expensive, I truly feel the visit is worth the money. My advice to you – get there around opening time as there was no queue for us the whole way through ticket collection and bag search. We got straight in the elevator to the top! This makes the whole experience so much more enjoyable. We got lucky with the weather as it was a beautiful haze free sunny day. We could see all of Manhattan and even spot the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn in the distance. A trip up the Empire State really gives you a perspective of just how vast NYC is.
A great way to see highlights of the city is by boat. We got on an hour cruise and saw sights such as the One World Trade Centre, the Manhattan Skyline, the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. If you have limited time in the city like we did, it gives you a great feel for some of the well known places in New York.
A great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city is by paying a visit to Central Park. My family and I are country people at heart. We love greenery and rural views. When you enter the park it is hard to believe you are still in the middle of a city the size of New York. It is such a peaceful haven if, like me, you find spending several days in a bustling city a bit of a challenge. Spending a bit of time in a calmer setting like Central Park allows the city life to be so much more enjoyable for me.
There are two notable food places I have mention. The first is Industry Kitchen. This is down on Pier 15 on the East River. The setting is beautiful on a summers day, with really aesthetic indoor and outdoor seating, with views to match. They do great wood oven pizzas, including an amazing vegan pizza. They definitely are made NYC style in terms of portions!
Secondly, a restaurant called Max Brenner. This restaurant is a chocolate experience. The restaurant is set up with a chocolate shop, chocolate bar and even pipes around the restaurant made to look as if chocolate is fed straight to the tables. The main courses were really tasty, but the desserts are next level. Definitely a place to visit if you have a sweet tooth!
From New York we moved onto our final stop, Boston! Stay tuned for the final blog of the America Itinerary. Let me know in the comments if you have ever been to New York and what you loved most about the city!