Your Perfect Summer Weekend in NYC
New York City is one of the best cities in the world. It is known for its Broadway shows, trend-setting fashion, world-famous attractions, and exceptional dining scene. Many people visit the city for a week or more, however, it is possible to see much of it in one weekend. In this guide, I’m going to breakdown what you can’t miss if you’re only in the city for two days.
BUT FIRST, LET’S GET INTO MY TIPS!
What I’ve learned from living here the last 12 years, is that traveling between locations in the city can be a drag. It often takes about 30 minutes of travel time between stops and it can get boring. To keep myself entertained I use my Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet. It keeps me busy with books, videos, music, and games. It also has a stunning 8” high definition display with over 1 million pixels, which makes watching movies, tv shows, and browsing the web highly enjoyable.
Also, if you’re into taking photos or video, the tablet is a great option as a backup in addition to using your phone. The Fire HD 8 tablet has 16GB of internal storage with support for up to 400 GB more via a microSD card. It has an HD 720p front-facing camera for video chatting with friends and family, plus a 2MP rear-facing camera for taking photos of your travels that you can save for later using free, unlimited cloud storage. Talk about an ideal device for your vacation to New York – this is it!
Since two days is not a lot of time in the city, I recommend using a taxi to make the most of your time versus taking the subway if you are traveling between boroughs. However, if you are going to take the subway, then I recommend getting a $20 MetroCard. The subway is what most New Yorkers use to get around the city, especially within Manhattan because traffic can be brutal. Using the subway is normally the most efficient way to get around quick – unless of course it is late at night or you are traveling between boroughs. In that case, a taxi is faster.
Whether I take a taxi or the subway, one thing is for certain – there is always downtime, which is why the Fire HD 8 tablet is ideal for a trip to New York. I answer work emails from it using its conveniently larger keypad, compared to my phone, am able to edit my photos and videos, plus I can entertain myself better than I could with my phone. Since the Fire HD 8 tablet has 16GB of internal storage it has plenty of room to download my favorite movies and TV shows from Prime Video, Netflix, SHOWTIME, and STARZ, as well as books, games, and music.
I recommend budgeting about $300 – $500 per person per day you are in the city. This estimate includes lodging, dining, transportation, and attractions. New York is an expensive city. In order to really enjoy it, you need to be open to spending money. Alright, now that my main tips are out there, let’s begin our weekend itinerary!
THE WEEKEND GUIDE TO NYC
Start with breakfast at the Asiate located inside the Mandarin Oriental hotel. This American restaurant is known for its high-end dining and panoramic views of Central Park. When you make a reservation ask for a seat near the window for the ultimate dining experience.
Visit Central Parks Loeb Boathouse and rent a rowboat for $35. Seeing Central Park from the water is my favorite because it is so peaceful. However, my advice to you is that you paddle under the bridge because the area where the boats get rented often has a lot of boat traffic, which is not enjoyable in any way! Though renting the boat is $35, you get $20 back upon returning it so it is really $15 to rent.
Go to the Museum of Natural History or The Met. Both of these museums are world-class. The Met is one of the world’s largest art museums and has over 2 million pieces of work. Also, with your ticket, you get a three-day pass to enter The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, or The Met Cloisters. Tickets are $25 for adults.
The Museum of Natural History is one of the largest natural history museums in the world. The museum collections contain over 33 million specimens of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, rocks, meteorites, human remains, and human cultural artifacts. When you visit, don’t miss their special exhibitions and planetarium. The tickets for these are extra but are absolutely worth it. Tickets are $23 for adults.
Dinner at The Lambs Club then a Broadway show! The Lambs Club is a staple for the Broadway community and serves excellent American fare in an art deco-styled eatery. This restaurant is a great option before a Broadway show because they start dinner as early as 5pm, which gives you plenty of time to eat before seeing a 7pm Broadway show. Please note that some Broadway shows start at 8pm, it just depends on the show.
There are many great Broadway shows, but my favorites are The Lion King, Wicked, and Beautiful. It is essential that you buy tickets to these shows in advance. For tips on buying Broadway tickets, watch my video here.
Get a bagel and coffee on the go (like a real New Yorker) and walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. The Brooklyn Bridge is considered one of New York’s icons. It was completed in 1883 and is a little over a mile long. It is essential that you start crossing it by 9am to avoid crowds as it can get very traffic jammed here as early as 10am. This is especially important if you want to take nice photos here!
Once you get to Brooklyn, head to Dumbo. Dumbo was originally an area that was all industrial until the 90’s, and stands for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”. However, today it is very trendy and the ideal spot for picturesque views of Manhattan. My favorite spot in Dumbo is Pebble Beach. It is also great for photos!
After exploring Dumbo and its promenade, head to Grimaldi’s to get a proper New York pizza. With an open kitchen concept, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria demonstrates the art of pizza making, inviting guests to watch pizza-tossing first-hand. Grimaldi’s is famous for its coal-burning ovens, which are heated to a temperature of up to 1,200 degrees to deliver a unique smoky-flavored thin crust. This is an absolute miss visit as you cannot visit NYC without having an authentic slice of pizza!
Take the subway to One World Observatory to see the 9/11 memorial and the panoramic city view from the top of the building. One World Observatory was built after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and is exactly 1776 feet high to represent the year our Declaration of Independence was signed. Make sure you get tickets to this in advance to avoid lines. Tickets are $35.
After you visit the observatory, head to the Hudson River Greenway and rent a Citibike. To rent these bikes you must download their app. It is only $3 per 30-minute ride. Then bike up to 41st street along the river to the North River Lobster Company.
Dinner and drinks at the North River Lobster Company. One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to ride on the North River Lobster Company boat for a sail around the city. This is New York’s only floating lobster shack. Tickets are $10 to board (I’m a little bitter about this because it used to be free), but you can stay on as long as you would like. Onboard they serve excellent lobster rolls and seafood dishes. There is also a bar that has beer buckets, cocktails, and wine. It is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy the views of NYC on your last night in the city!
In my opinion, New York is one of the best cities in the world. If you have more time, check out my 3-day guide to NYC here. I hope you have an amazing trip to the city and that my weekend guide and tips help you have the best trip of your life. See you in the big apple!