First off, I want to start off by saying that with this New York City trip being my first time ever in New York ,my mother and I wanted to kind of be those stereotypical tourists for the weekend. With that being said, we totally did do the whole Times Square, Broadway, Today Show thing. This trip was one of those weak moments where we had both just gotten done watching some motivational movie and decided we needed to be more adventurous together, which in turn led to our best midnight decision ever. New York has always been one of those places I had to go, me being an Actress of course– kind of mandatory and all. We also decided with my birthday being around the corner this was the perfect excuse to jet away for the weekend. I want to highly encourage anyone whether it be mothers and daughters or friends etc. to take that NYC trip, my mother and I literally winged it the ENTIRE time and it was SO much fun! We also did everything on a major budget, however, we did enjoy the occasional $35.00 martini every now and then too! 😉
Prior to our trip to NYC we did a lot of looking up different hotels and asking friends for recommendations before ultimately coming to the decision to stay at the Holiday Inn Express- Times Square. If you are looking for a clean and convenient place to rest your head at night I can highly suggest the Holiday Inn Express. This hotel is walking distance from Times Square. It is also walking distance from a few cute local pubs we would pop into on our walks back to the room.
INSIDER TIP: As many of you know, NYC can be very expensive at times. The Holiday Inn Express is one of the only hotels I found in the Times Square area that offers a free “continental breakfast“. If you are trying to see as much as possible in a short period of time, a grab and go breakfast is going to be your best friend. They offer everything from hard boiled eggs to cereal, and from fresh fruit to their world famous hot cinnamon rolls. BE SURE TO GET UP EARLY! This breakfast goes quickly and if you do do not act fast you will miss it!
PRO TIP: You can always call the hotel ahead of time, or chat with them upon arrival to request a mini fridge in your room (subject to availability). This actually came in handy so many times. My mother and I were determined to keep busy so we could make the most out of our time in NYC. We would walk to local markets and grocery stores to stock up on basic necessities so that we could be prepared for the day with snacks and sandwiches. A mini fridge will come in so handy, trust me.
New York has always been known for it’s luxury shopping experiences, and trust me we did our fair share of ‘window shopping’ along Fifth Avenue, Madison Ave, Park Ave etc. Coming from a large city already, a lot of their major retail stores are places that I can shop here in Houston locally. So, when I set out on a mission to shop, it’s to find things that are unique. I found that some of the BEST shopping in terms of finding different and unique items in New York happened to be at their designer resale boutiques. If you know anything about me, you know I love a good deal, and whenever you throw the words DESIGNER into the picture, you’ve got my full undivided attention. One of the best shops I visited was Designer Resale also known as Designer Revival in the Upper East Side of NYC. This boutique is much larger than it looks and it goes on forever inside. They have so many different sections with thousands of items to shop, they even have dressing rooms in case you’d like to try something on. If you ever find yourself in the Upper East Side area, be sure to check them out!
New York has some of the cutest, most eclectic restaurant choices I have ever seen in my life. I do advise anyone visiting for the first time to try googling some unique places outside of the tourist area, there are some unbelievably cool choices. Eventually, I want to circle back around to this after I go back to New York and visit again, there were way too many places I walked by that I never had the opportunity to check out!
One of the restaurants that stood out to me the most was the world famous Morimoto Restaurant in Chelsea. If you are into Japanese food, you’re going to love Morimoto. Not only is their food absolutely delicious, the atmosphere in the restaurant alone is unbelievable. They have created almost a futuristic type of ambiance, it’s really something you have to experience in person. One of their most unusual quirks has to be their restrooms. The restrooms have been designed by architect Tadao Ando and they are beyond interesting. They are completely decked out with lids that open automatically, deodorizing bidets, and massage features. The most mesmerizing feature however, are the mirrors located directly behind the toilets. The mirrors are created to reflect cherry blossoms in thousands of different ways, creating a light show of various colors. I won’t lie, I starred at it for a good bit. It is SO HYPNOTIZING.
If you are on the hunt for some of the best roof top bar options like my mother and I were, Salon de Ning located at the very top of the Peninsula Hotel is as beautiful as it is relaxing. My mother and I enjoyed a glass of wine at the top of the hotel and just took in the mid summer night’s air, it was breathtaking. They have a great wine and spirits list, as well as a small menu for light bites. I do advise you bring a light sweater, it can get slightly chilly at night, even during the summer time.
230 FIFTH is New York’s largest outdoor Rooftop Garden and Fully enclosed Penthouse Lounge. They have an incredible rooftop garden overlooking the open sky as well as front row views of The Empire State building. The night that my mother and I embarked on this journey it was beyond packed full of people having a good time. I suggest getting there a little early so that you have an ample amount of time to grab a drink before the rush of people start flooding in.
There are SO many fun things to do when you visit New York it’s going to be really difficult to even make this brief. This version of “Things to Do” is for those first timers in New York, or anyone who is looking for a more tourist friendly version of what you can do during your stay.
- See a Broadway play! I saw Chicago & it was amazing!
- Take a stroll in Central Park
- Get a sundae at Serendipity 3
- Take a ferry tour and see the Statue of Liberty
- Visit the 911 Memorial
- Go to the Today Show (get there early!)
- Apply for the free lottery to see your favorite talk show!
- Visit the Empire State Building observatory
- See a professional sporting event or concert
- Visit the Metropolitan Art Museum
- Be an extra in a TV show
- Go shopping!
PRO TIP: When purchasing your Broadway tickets you can always get the best deal on show tickets by waiting in line outside of the box office early in the morning. This is on a first come first serve basis, and ticket seating is generally up to the box office. There is also a 2 limit ticket purchase per person. However, if you are hoping to snag a good deal on a show, typically individual tickets do not run more than $50.00 a piece.
New York City