We absolutely love traveling and exploring new cities. One of the places we decided we MUST go on our walkabout was one of our favorite places, New York City. We're going to re-cap the trip and give you a couple of go-to tips & tricks for making the most out of your NYC trip! Now, we're no NYC pros, so don't get us wrong here, but we've been a time or two, and if you're planning a first time visit, we thought we'd let you know everything we've learned about making it the best it can be.
How to get around:
First and most important travel tip we give anyone when venturing out for the first time in NYC is this: Wear comfortable shoes! The best way to see and explore the city is to walk...and walk we did! In three days, we walked almost 23 miles--that’s almost a marathon! Yes, our feet are a little sore, but the sore muscles are well worth it! However, if walking isn’t your thing--don’t worry, cabs and Ubers are everryyyyyywhere. We hopped in a few along the way when we couldn't take the blisters anymore. ;)
Where we stayed:
We hopped around to a few different places, but one of the new places we stayed on this trip was at The Park Lane Hotel and the location is enough to make you want to move in and never leave! From the moment you’re greeted by front desk, you start to feel the hustle of the city outside fade away and relaxation kick in. The staff at the front desk were warm and welcoming and even let us check-in early. :) The rooms are cozy in feel, but spacious in square footage--generally rooms are teeny-tiny in NYC, but the rooms here had plenty of space. They offer city views and park views and both are spectacular. Our absolute favorite discovery of this hotel was that every night from 5-7 they have a “hotel reception” in the Park Room. Ahhhhhh, the Park Room--what's not to love? We knew we would love the view, but we were curious to see what they had to offer and were absolutely wowed! The Park Room looks right over Central Park and they serve hors d’oeuvres, sparkling wine, beer, beverages and snacks. ALL YOU CAN DRINK PROSECCO. Say it again. ALL YOU CAN DRINK PROSECCO. They even have milk & cookies for the younger guests, but who needs that when there's ALL YOU CAN DRINK PROSECCO. Got it? Sipping free bubbly and overlooking Central Park--yes please!
We popped into our favorite sushi spot, Koi, for lunch. The food there is inventive and creative with more offerings than just your standard sushi rolls. Our three favorite dishes are their famous crispy rice with spicy tuna, crispy rice with truffle avocado, and their rock shrimp hand rolls.
We didn’t even get a picture of the rock shrimp hand roll because we ate it so quickly. Haha...what can we say? We were hungry from all that walking! The food is so good. Our secret tip: order a side of ponzu sauce. Dip your sushi in the ponzu instead of traditional soy sauce for a flavor burst! Other items to order are: Spicy Seared Albacore, Tuna Tartare, Glazed Green Beans (they sounds mundane, but they are so yummy!)
New Favorite Discovery:
We are always looking for new fun things to try, and when we heard about this next spot, we knew we had to go and check it out. Our friend JJ brought us here and it was magical. It’s called Murray’s Cheese Shop and it’s incredible. It’s in the West Village and it’s a shop that is dedicated to all different cheeses and meats...pretty much heaven if you ask us :) Their shop is laid out so beautifully and they have everything you need to make the most killer cheese plate of your entire life. They have classes and tastings that they pair with different wines and beers! They also have a restaurant a couple doors down where we settled in and enjoyed some of the best cheese we’ve ever had. We are already dreaming of returning because really, is there ever enough cheese in your life? No, never.
If you’re like us, when you travel frequently, it’s fun to splurge on a great fancy meal, but it’s also nice to save some money when you can. While we were walking, we passed a coffee shop called Matto Espresso that said “Everything $2” which definitely caught our attention. We peered inside and it looked like an adorable coffee shop -- what did they mean everything was $2? We decided to give it a go and had one of the best vanilla, almond milk lattes we’ve ever had! They had pastries and cookies--loads of gluten free and vegan items--all for $2. Can you say score? Save your dolla-dolla bills for your sushi -- go with the $2 coffee!
Another important thing to note about NYC is that they have incredible pizza shops. There’s nothing like grabbing a late night slice after a night out on the town. Warning--the slices are generally bigger than your face, but are so delicious. You can get a great slice for under $3 bucks! There’s even a spot called 2 Bros Pizza that has $1 slices! Yessssssss.
If you need some zen in the city:
There is nothing quite like the energy you experience on the streets of New York and that’s what makes Central Park such a haven. It’s this vast escape of green that seems endless when you’re inside, yet you’re surrounded by high rise buildings and bustling cabs down adjacent streets. On Saturday morning we grabbed an egg on a roll (another cheap eat--bacon, egg & cheese on a roll will set you back like $5 bucks and will make your heart sing because it’s so delicious) and sat in the park on a bench. The sky was blue and the view was so stunning. People passed with their strollers and happy puppies enjoying the fresh air. It’s truly a wonderful escape if you’re needing some time to clear your head from the busy streets!
We hope you’ve learned something from our trip to NYC that will be helpful the next time you explore the big apple! Our motto is: if you want a successful trip, look for the small wonders in every moment--that will make your journey not only memorable, but meaningful.