New York City has always been on my bucket list. I was so fortunate to visit this American icon. Here is a Top 8 list of places to see and things to do in New York City if you only have a few days. Granted, there are many more things to see and do in New York City. but here is a good start.
Before I start my list, I don’t think a person from rural Minnesota appreciates how many people live in New York City. I was expecting crowds, but didn’t fully comprehend the reality of a literal sea of people. And it started from my first step off the airplane. We flew into LaGuardia Airport and people were lined up right next to the gate as we walked off the ramp. And it wouldn’t get any better than that. Think “Minnesota State Fair” crowds. That is what NYC is like.
Everywhere. All the time.
1) 9/11 Memorial
Visiting the 9/11 Memorial is a must-see. Very somber. Time for reflection.
2) Statue of Liberty
3) City Seeing Bus
I highly recommend taking the hop-on-hop-off bus and make your way to the second level of the bus. We used the City Sightseeing bus. It really gives you a different and unique feel for the city. Buy the two-day pass because it allows you to hop on and off at multiple locations over two days. The bus ticket looks odd – it will remind you of a very long grocery store receipt. And don’t lose it because you have to buy it again. That’s all I will say.
The city is clean despite few trash disposal areas. For as many people that live and work in the city, it is surprisingly clean. I was really impressed with its relative cleanliness.
4) Street Entertainment
I loved the street entertainment. Probably one of my favorites – the impromptu acts (well, maybe not impromptu). Here is a video of one act that we watched near the Brooklyn Bridge. And, by the way, we walked the bridge, which you should too.
5) Broadway Shows
Broadway shows are awesome! I loved them. I went to Wicked and the Lion King. Talent and music were amazing. And for those of you that remember the TV show Knots Landing, Michelle Lee is in the show Wicked. Talented as ever. But skip ordering a drink. We ordered a drink and a small snack for two – $40.
By the way, I love Uber! And learned a great lesson at the same time. When we arrived at the airport, we planned on taking the taxi to the hotel. As we picked up our baggage from the baggage carousel, an attendant was located right inside the door and asked if we were looking for a taxi. And we answered yes. He ushered us not into a taxi, but a newer and bigger vehicle than a typical “taxi cab.” Well, the lesson learned is it cost us twice as much to ride this vehicle as it did to ride Uber on the reverse trip. Just use Uber. On the reverse side, the attendant was nice and helpful and probably needed the extra income.
6) Good Food
Food is fabulous! All the food was wonderful. No complaints. Magnolia Bakery was near our hotel and we loved the banana pudding. And, by the way, bakeries are open till 11:00 or midnight.
7) Central Park
Central Park is a must-visit. I completely understand why NYC needs a “Central Park.” It’s about keeping your sanity. You need space to get away from all the people and the claustrophobic feeling from all the tall buildings. But it was so fun watching their joy in performing and listening to their melodic voices. The group is called Infinity’s Song and upon a little investigation, they have performed on The View television show. Just pure delight . . . Enjoy the snippet of their Central Park performance.
Be prepared for a lot of walking. My Fitbit and I were best friends. We stayed close to the theater district, which is near Times Square. But when you are in NYC, you do a lot of walking. I hit over 23,000 steps one particular day. And I used those steps to see sites such as the 9/11 Memorial, the Statue of Liberty and the beautiful view from the top of the Rockefeller building.
8) Television Shows
Television shows. We were audience members of the Meredith Viera Show and the Today Show. It’s just really interesting to watch how a television show is produced. And it was cool to be that close to celebrities. Dennis Quaid and Drew Lachey were guests on the Meredith Viera show while we were there.
Despite what you may think, see and hear lately with all the terrorist threats, I felt safe. Police and security were present everywhere in NYC. And as uneasy it was to see, we also saw police with AK47’s or some sort of assault weapons (I am gun illiterate) in hand in while they were in Times Square. Even so, I never felt unsafe.
Five days in New York City was a great experience. I am glad I went to sand heard what I heard.