Last week Michael and I took a SUPER spontaneous trip to NYC and it was maybe one of my favorite trips we’ve taken all year! (Second to Italy, of course). I’d always dreamed of going to New York at Christmas time, so at the last minute we booked a flight and spent 3 days in the city! Today I want to share with y’all some of my favorite things to do in New York and a recap on our amazing stay at Ritz Carlton Battery Park.
NYC: where to stay
On previous trips to NYC, I’ve always stayed somewhere near Midtown or Times Square. This was my first time to ever stay downtown (right by the Statue of Liberty) and I LOVED it! There’s still alot to do in Battery Park – but it’s outside of the craziness of Times Square or just the busyness of the city.
Not only did I love staying in this area, but Michael and I both said – Ritz Carlton Battery Park is maybe our favorite hotel we’ve ever stayed in. First of all – we had a breathtaking view of the water and the Statue of Liberty. This view was seriously a dream. Second of all – the hotel itself is just beautiful and has the absolute best customer service.
The hotel lobby was decorated for Christmas and it was absolutely stunning!
NYC: what to do
There are SO many things to see, do, and eat in NYC, depending on what you’re into. Here are just a few of my favorite things to do when you go to New York though!
- Walk through Central Park. Michael and I originally planned on doing a horse carriage ride, which also would’ve been fun, but we really enjoyed getting some steps in and just walking through the park! Central park is huge so it can be kind of overwhelming knowing where to start. I like starting near Columbus Circle. You can also put Bethesda Fountain in your google maps – one of my favorite parts of Central Park!
- See a Broadway play. Even if you think you’re not a musical person, this is definitely something you should do at least once when you’re in NYC. I’ve seen 4 or 5 now and they get even more magical every time! Michael and I saw Matilda last time we were there and loved it!
- SHOP! There is SO much great shopping in New York. Some of my favorite spots to shop though are on 5th avenue (just look up Saks on 5th – all the shopping around there is amazing). Bloomingdales is nearby there too, on 3rd ave. I also LOVE shopping in SOHO! Just put “madewell soho” into your google maps, and there’s tons of great shopping around there.
- If you’re in NYC during the holidays, DEFINITELY go see the tree at Rockefeller Center! It truly is magical. We were going to ice skate but I wimped out bc #freezing.
NYC: Where to eat
The world is literally your oyster when it comes to food in NYC. These are just a few of my favorite places to eat in NYC!
- Beauty and Essex. Definitely get reservations! If you can’t get reservations, there’s open seating in the bar area which is fine too. This isn’t necessarily a sit down dinner type of place, but they have amazing tapas and really yummy drinks. It’s also just a really fun environment with a gorgeous chandelier in the staircase. Also, make sure you use the bathroom while you’re there! There’s CHAMPAGNE in the bathrooms!
- Meatball shop. This restaurant has a few locations, and I first discovered it when I interned in New York 2 and half years ago. The prices are reasonable and the food is SO yummy! It’s really unique too – we don’t have a single restaurant like this in Dallas!
- ABC Kitchen. This place has been on my list forever, but I actually still haven’t been. I’ve just heard from so many people that the food is amazing, and it’s also really healthy!
- Max Brenner. Confession: Michael and I went here TWICE when we were in NYC for dessert! They have dinner as well, but I don’t think it’s anything amazing. They have out of this world desserts though that you must try, if you’re a sweets lover like me!
- Brunch in SOHO. There are so many adorable brunch spots in Soho. My two faves are: The Butcher’s Daughter, Jack’s Wife Frieda.
- Frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity. Yes, this is totally a tourist thing to do but that’s because it’s AMAZING! Be prepared – there’s always at least a 2 hour wait. But, you can put your name on a list and go across the street to shop at Bloomingdale’s!
Thanks to all of you who responded to my snapchats with restaurant recommendations! We went to Beauty and Essex because of several suggestions. Let me know if y’all have other “must see” or “must do’s” in NYC!
xo LaurenShop the post: