New York

Skyward in “The Big Apple”

With untold thousands of iconic sites, museums, shops, and restaurants to explore, you can take in scores of New York's offerings in an action-packed week. You will also surely absorb the city's unique vibe - as author Thomas Wolfe wrote in the early 20th century, "One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years."

Unforgettable Moments (Highlights)

Meet the neon lights at night in Times Square, the bustle of the Grand Central Terminal and the fun at Coney Island amusement park. New York also has its serious side, in the artistic and bohemian neighborhood of Brooklyn, or in the solemn National Monument at Ground Zero of the World Trade Center. In the harbor, the Statue of Liberty, the icon of hope for millions of immigrants fleeing war and famine in the late 19th century, it continues to represent New York's freedom and reputation as a city of opportunity.

Day 1 

ARRIVAL


It's that kind of coexistence of old traditions and new - that gives New York its simultaneous sense of timelessness and fresh newness. Decades coexist, with oldtimers hanging on in the haunts they opened in the 1940s, '50s, or "60s, even as newcomers arrive to make their own New York on top of the old, like strata in a river canyon.


MORNING

GET SETTLED


Located 14 miles east of Manhattan, John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is the main entry point for travelers to NYC. It is well connected to major domestic and international destinations. Airtrains and airport shuttles leave the airport at regular intervals. Alternatively, you can take a taxi or hire a car. Check into your hotel and get something to eat.

AFTERNOON

TAKE OUT YOUR WALKING BOOTS


Like many other great cities, there's no better way to experience New York than by using your own two feet. Begin your NYC adventure in the historic Lower Manhattan: Battery Park and the surrounding streets were home to the first Dutch settlement and several colonial-era sites. Then walk down nearby Wall Street to see where America's money is made (and lost). 


EVENING

SUNSET OVER BROOKLYN BRIDGE

About a half-mile north, head east onto the Brooklyn Bridge for exceptional sunset views of the city. Back in Manhattan, walk north another half-mile or so into the colorful neighborhoods of Chinatown, Little Italy, and SoHo, where dozens of fine restaurant options await for dinner.


Day 2 


MORNING & AFTERNOON

ART & ARCHITECTURE


On day two, plan a walkabout in Midtown, the city's commercial and business hub. Start like the morning commuters at beautiful Grand Central Terminal (42nd St. Park Ave). Explore the Chrysler Building's gorgeous lobby next door and the Public Library with its stately Reading Room and shady Bryant Park - just west on 42nd Street. 


A few blocks north from the library is the art deco masterpiece, Rockefeller Center. The Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMAY) outstanding art collection stands just two blocks north, on 53rd Street. From MoMA, window-shop up Fifth Avenue at luxury retailers like Tiffany's and Saks before cutting west across Central Park South to Columbus Circle's mix of great new architecture, shopping, and restaurants

EVENING

SHOWTIME AT TIMES SQUARE

Stroll down Broadway to Times Square, which literally and figuratively lights up after dark, and take in a show. End your day at the Empire State Building, on 34th Street eight blocks south of Times Square. The 86th-floor Observation Deck is open every night until 2 am.


Day 3 

MORNING

Set off to enjoy New York's version of the great outdoors: Central Park. Enter at the southeast corner, at 59th Street by the elegant Plaza Hotel. From here, you can easily explore all but the most northern sites of the park. Don't miss the Lake with its pretty (and rentable) boats and the paths of the wild, 37-acre (15 ha) Ramble.


AFTERNOON

Head to Fifth Avenue, on the eastern edge of the park, where at 82nd Street stands the massive Metropolitan Museum of Art. Snack on a hot dog from a vendor out front, then spend the rest of the afternoon immersed in high art.

EVENING

There's nothing like an old bar, and New York has many classics. On the West Side, at 11th Avenue and 46th Street, the Landmark Tavern has been in business since 1868 and retains its old elegance.


Day 4 - Day Trip

Today is a great day to hire a car and embark on a picturesque journey to Catskill. The drive takes you through the beautiful New York countryside. Catskill is an ideal destination to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and open your arms to vast open landscapes and laid back vibe.

MORNING

OUT OF TOWN


Fuel up at one of Phoenicia's breakfast spots and then head east toward Woodstock and Saugerties. Along the way, you may want to stop for a ride on the Catskill Mountain Railroad or take a short detour to Mount Tremper to see the Kaatskill Kaleidoscope.

AFTERNOON

THE SCENIC DRIVE

Fall is an especially good time to make a day trip to the Catskills; the foliage here is often spectacular. On your way north, stop in New Paltz, founded by French Huguenots in the late 1600s. The main sight here is Huguenot Street, known as "the oldest street in America with its original buildings." Official walking tours are offered May-October. New Paltz also holds many good lunch spots.

After lunch, continue north on Routes 213 and 209, past the scenic villages of High Falls, Stone Ridge, and Hurley. A bit farther north, pick up Route 28, which will bring you into Catskill Park. Take a scenic drive on Route 28A around Ashokan Reservoir, if time allows, and then head east to the artsy village of Woodstock, home to numerous shops, galleries, and good restaurants. From the village green, drive to the top of Overlook Mountain to explore the Tibetan monastery, Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (which has hosted the Dalai Lama), or take the steep but well-cleared carriage trail opposite the monastery to enjoy impressive views.


EVENING

WATCH A SHOW

Return to the city and have dinner or drinks at Sardi's before or after a show. It's long been an actors' favorite, and hundreds of showbiz caricatures adorn its walls. A thespian yourself? Ask for the "Actor's Menu."

Day 5 

MORNING

BACK IN TIME

Day five takes you downtown again to New York's bohemian villages. Begin at the Lower East Side, an old neighborhood turned superhip. The popular Lower East Side Tenement Museum demonstrates how poor immigrants in the area lived a century ago.


AFTERNOON

GREENWICH VILLAGE

From here, make a long northwesterly arc of about 2 miles (3.2 km) through the trendy East Village, and then onto Bleecker Street for a jolt of Greenwich Village and 1960s folkie nostalgia. In nearby Washington Square Park performers often do their thing near the central fountain. Wander west through the Village's street maze to the elevated High Line Park, another bit of old New York with a hip new identity. At 20th Street, descend to street level and explore Chelsea's many art galleries.


EVENING

NIGHT OUT AT HARLEM


Spend the evening in Harlem, which is one of the city's most vibrant neighborhoods. There's always a lot to do in Harlem, and what you do there ain't nobody's business but your own. One of New York's best nights out is still Amateur Night at the Apollo. Contact the Apollo Theater to catch the show that has attracted dreamers since Fitzgerald won the contest in 1934.


NIGHT OUT AT HARLEM

Spend the evening in Harlem, which is one of the city's most vibrant neighborhoods. There's always a lot to do in Harlem, and what you do there ain't nobody's business but your own. One of New York's best nights out is still Amateur Night at the Apollo. Contact the Apollo Theater to catch the show that has attracted dreamers since Fitzgerald won the contest in 1934.

Day 6 

MORNING

Escape from the chaotic city vibes to Riverside Park. It features a meandering boardwalk along the Hudson River as well as railroad-themed spots that hark back to the area's railroad history. Through the underpass tunnel, a sloping roadway or stairs lead you down to the river. For a unique experience, view the park and the Manhattan skyline from a kayak.


AFTERNOON

An open-air café is located across from the pier. Stroll farther south to Riverside Park South. Amid tall wild grasses, rose bushes, and weeping willows, many seating areas are available for a picnic or a quiet read. A restored locomotive, "No.25" (built in 1946), can be found and climbed upon at 62nd Street. At dusk, visitors can watch No. 25's headlamp light up, while the lights of the George Washington Bridge sparkle to the north.

EVENING

Take in the fine residential areas of the Upper West Side. Perhaps a concert or ballet matinee is scheduled at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Less than a mile north, drop into Zabar's market for gourmet deli treats. Next door HeH Bagels sells some of the city's best.

Day 7 

One last photo-op

Getting an evening flight out of New York is ideal so you can soak up every bit of the city on your last day. 

Was there something you read about that didn’t have time to do or see? Get out there and do it! You may have just enough time to take a walking tour through SoHo. This walk along SoHo's historic cast-iron district begins on West Broadway, goes south, then briefly touches on Canal Street before swinging back north on Broadway to West Houston. You will see outstanding examples of the cast-iron style, which were prefabricated, shipped to the building site, and bolted onto the structures. The result was highly ornate architecture with the appearance of stone carving.