Does it get any better than New York City? The Big Apple is my absolute favorite city to visit because there’s no shortage of things to do. If you’re looking for the best things to do in New York City for your next visit, check out this list from my recent trip. I’m featuring some tourist spots and some hidden gems to give you the full NYC experience!
1. Sunset cruise to the of Statue of Liberty
I know, a boat tour sounds touristy. But hear me out! Luxury yacht. Bar onboard. Sunset. This Classic Harbor Line cruise was worth every penny and the highlight of our New York City weekend. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a complimentary drink with jazz music and stunning views of Lower Manhattan and Lady Liberty herself.
2. Explore Bryant Park
One of my favorite things to do in New York City is explore the non-tourist areas that attract more of the locals. Enter: Bryant Park. This one-acre lawn is surrounded by vendors, free activities, food kiosks, and a skyline view. Plus, they had very well-maintained restrooms open to the public (and free!).
3. Brunch at Reunion
New York City seems to have incredible restaurants on every block. We stumbled upon this Tel-Aviv-inspired café near our Airbnb and went to town on brunch. Although my Jerusalem breakfast was yummy, I was jealous of my husband’s Schnitzel sandwich – fried chicken on challah bread! Check out Reunion’s menu here.
4. Get lost in Chelsea Market
In the heart of the Meatpacking District is Chelsea Market, an eclectic food and shopping hall with an endless variety of food options. We just had a quick drink here before our sunset cruise, but I can’t wait to come back with a hungry stomach on my next New York City trip. Plus, their outdoor parklets are super cute!
5. Eat a Levain Bakery Cookie
You haven’t lived til you’ve tried a famous Levain Bakery cookie in New York City. These chocolate chip cookies are approximately the size of a small child and will change your life. Don’t think about it, just do it!
6. Visit the 9/11 Memorial & Museum
The tragedy that took place on September 11, 2001 is something we should never forget. I spent about 3 hours in the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and could have stayed even longer. Every detail of the museum was so well done and truly transports you back to that tragic day. A must-visit!
7. Beer flight at Talea Beer Co.
Brand new to Williamsburg, Talea Beer Co. opened in March 2021 and is a female-founded taproom and brewery! The interior decor was super Instagrammable. I recommend ordering a flight to get a taste of their different beer offerings.
8. Top of the Rock at Sunset
The Top of the Rock was saved in my NYC Instagram collection for years and I finally made it! Trust me, it lives up to the hype. The extra $10 charge for a sunset hour was slightly annoying, but worth it. If you ask me, this is one of the best things to do in New York City for visitors and locals like to get an incredible view. I mean, look at this!
9. Drinks at The Bar Room
On the way to dinner, we popped into this stunning bar for a quick cocktail and it did not disappoint. We were seated outside in the parklet, but next time I’m asking for an indoor seat! The Bar Room made me feel like I was living a half-Great Gatsby, half-Sex and the City dream.
10. Eat a true NY bagel & slice of pizza
You can’t leave New York City without having an authentic bagel and slice of pizza. If you find yourself in Williamsburg, I highly recommend this pastrami bagel from Frankel’s Delicatessen to start your day. To end the night, look no further than Joe’s Pizza. Open til 1am!
11. Shop vintage in Brooklyn
Shopping lovers, this one is for you! Head to Brooklyn on a Saturday morning and shop your heart out at Brooklyn Flea. So many unique, one-of-a-kind finds. Around the corner you’ll find Artists & Fleas, a funky marketplace with vintage curators, artisans, and makers.
12. Go for a night bike ride across the river
Low quality pics, high quality experience. (I was on a moving bike, give me a break!) In all seriousness, renting a Citi e-bike was so easy, all done through the Lyft app! If this is your first time riding a bike in New York City, take it slow, stay in the bike lanes when they’re available, and be careful.
There you have it! Twelve things to do in New York City for your next trip. I hope you’ve found something new or interesting to try out while you’re there. Tag me in your adventures on social media!