Open, Closed, Explore NYC FREE, Help NYC

Open in NYC: 9-11 Memorial, The Highline, Top of the Rock, Empire State Building, The Bronx Zoo, Liberty Island, in-person Sample Sales. MoMA (Aug 27), The Met (Aug 29), Natural History (Sept 9), Personal care (spa, nails), tennis, volleyball, basketball, places of worship (@ 25 % capacity). There is currently no open date for indoor dining, theaters and shopping malls. Gyms should open late August, early September.

Top NYC Things to Do

Sample Vacation Itineraries…NYC Insiders Share Their Trips

New York City Vacations offer so many incredible things to do, sometimes its hard to know where to start planning. Here are some example NYC Trip Reports and Itineraries to get you started. Of course, NYC Insiders would LOVE to hear YOUR New York City Trip Reports when you return, so please come back and share.

If I had ONE Day – Tips from lifelong New Yorkers

NYC One Day Itineraries

Real, life-long New Yorkers share their “must-see” and “must-do” lists if they had only ONE day left in NYC – where to eat and shop, what to do and see.

Check out all their favorite places to eat or secret spots in Central Park. All our NYC secrets revealed in NYC One Day Vacations

New York City 2-Day Itinerary

New York City 2 Day Itinerary

Staying in New York City longer than one day? This great NYC 2 Day Itinerary uses the 5-attraction New York City Explorer Pass for admission to the Hop On/Hop Off Downtown Tour, Empire State Building, ZEPHYR Statue of Liberty Cruise, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and New York Botanical Garden. With a little planning, you can see a lot of New York City with this best of NYC 2 Day Itinerary, without stress and without spending a fortune.

More Info: New York City 2 Day Itinerary

One Day in NYC with Kids Itinerary

One Day in NYC with Kids

Our awesome One Day in NYC with Kids Itinerary, is Day 2 of a weekend vacation, and jam-packed with the Statue of Liberty, lunch at Serendipity, Dylan’s Candy Bar, FAO Schwarz, Plaza Hotel and Central Park.

Five year old Maggie called it “the BEST day of her life.”

New York City Vacations with Young Girls

New York City Vacation with Young Girls

Kim’s Vacation with young girls, the “Perfect Princess Girls Weekend” includes the world’s largest candy land, best toy store, Central Park carriage ride secrets, the glass window amphitheater right on top of a city street, Harry Potter’s NYC home…and the BEST restaurant for kids in Little Italy. Explore her itinerary at New York City Vacations with Young Girls

NYC One Day Boys Itinerary

NYC One Day Boys Itinerary

Our awesome NYC One Day Boys Itinerary is perfect for almost ANY adult or child (no gender or age bias here!) and organizes the Intrepid Museum, Beast Speed Boat Ride, Top of the Rock, Rockefeller Center (Lego Store, Nintendo World) and many more options into a super-packed and organized day.

Romantic New York City Vacation

Romantic New York City Vacation

Dont miss a thing when planning your Romantic New York City Vacation. Pick the best hotels (like The Muse – photo), best romantic restaurants, best neighborhoods for a romantic stroll, romantic rooftops with skyline views, the most erotic museum and much more.

Back to top of New York City Vacations

College Fun at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum

Unexpected Fun at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum

In all the years our family has lived in metro NY, we had never visited Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Times Square. I was laughing out loud that, of all the things in NYC there are to do and see, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum had made these college seniors list. Well, the laugh was on ME when the girls had an absolute BLAST @ Unexpected Fun at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.

Back to top of New York City Vacations

Sixteen In The City Trip Report

Sixteen In The City Trip Report

Sarah wrote up her fantastic Sixteen In The City Trip Report, which talks about the subway, Movie & TV landmarks, Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Guggenheim, Museum of Natural History, half price Broadway tickets @ TKTS and so many other things teenagers LOVE about NYC!

New York City Trip Report – Architecture

NYC Architecture Tour

Walt’s NYC Architecture Tour covers the amazing Art Deco along 42nd Street, including the United Nations, Chrysler Building, Daily News, Grand Central Station, and of course, where to eat along the way. Just five blocks of New York City is home to some of the world’s most famous buildings. According to Walt, “For my money New York City is THE most amazing city for architecture…”

One Day in NYC Arts and Culture

One Day in NYC Arts and Culture

Our One Day in NYC Arts and Culture itinerary is a chock full day taking you through our famous Bagels and Lox, Central Park Biking, martinis at the Met, MoMA, Broadway, Times Square and more!

Ten Reasons I Love New York City

Ten Reasons I Love New York City

I just LOVE this article submitted by Paul of Oregon on the Top 10 Things He Loves About New York City.

Paul really GETS it – why New York is so special. He goes far beyond the typical tourist info and talks about the people, history, art, Yankees fans and ingrained culture…the real reasons well all gladly pay a premium to call NYC our home.

Back to top of New York City Vacations

More NYC Trip Reports

A Typical Day in New York City
A local New Yorker shares all his NYC favorites, like $.99 pizza, Central Park, SoHo, Tribeca, a NYC Street Fair, monster warehouse parties in Brooklyn and some other hidden gems.

First Time in New York City for Kids
Our family recently visited New York City for a quick weekend tour. It was the first time our kids were going to the city and they were very excited. We …

Jean’s Art Lovers Tour of NYC Museums
Three art-inspired friends visited New York City and had a wonderful time around Christmas. As all three of us are art lovers, visiting the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in Midtown as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) on the Upper East Side was a must.

NYC with Individuals with Developmental Disabilities
This past June, my best friend and I set off on an adventure from Maine with three of our favorite people, who happen to have developmental disabilities.

NYC Local Gets Surprised by a NYC Bus Tour
CitySights New York Bus Tour is the ticket to showing friends around town! We both thoroughly enjoyed the three tours we took and I would definitely recommend them. Especially on the top level of the double-decker bus. It gives a whole new view of the city!

Best View @ The Marriott Marquis
One of the biggest surprises, and a strange value, is The View at the Marriott Marquis. Located in Times Square…

NYC Senior Trip with Moms and Daughters
My daughter and her best friend didn’t want the normal beach vacation. We live in the south, there are beaches within 2 hours of our home so that was …

NYC Birthday Weekend with the Girls 
I was in NYC June 17-20th, 2011. I went to NYC with 2 of my friends and my younger sister. We saw Sister Act on Broadway , which was the highlight of …

Visiting NYC with My Sister and Nieces
We arrived for a 3 day trip and picked up our New York Pass and on/Hop off bus passes first thing. We feel the passes were a wonderful help to us and …

NYC Sample Vacation with the Family
We came to NYC for 5 days from 22nd Oct. We were really lucky with the weather; mild, sunny days and just a few days after we left there was a big snowfall!…

NYC Christmas Date Weekend
My girlfriend and I (both 21 yrs old) went for a weekend in December to New York City. We stayed at the Hotel Wellington near Times Square. The hotel …

NYC Young Family of Four
Since I was traveling with my husband and two daughters, one 10 and the other 5, we mainly stuck to kid-friendly areas. Of course, we visited the main …

Honeymoon in The Big Apple
My wife and I had never been to New York City and always wanted to go, so we chose it for our honeymoon (interesting spin, given that we live in Hawaii)…

Best View @ The Marriott Marquis

by Howard Kramer – The Complete Pilgram (Atlanta, GA – formerly from NYC)

One of the biggest surprises, and a strange value, is The View at the Marriott Marquis. Located in Times Square, The View (the lounge) is located downstairs from The View (the restaurant). Both rotate, offering a 360-degree panoramic view of the city over the course of an hour.

What’s great about the lounge is there is no charge except drinks, and if it is not crowded, which it often is not, there is no rush to get people out. They also have an hors d’oeuvres buffet, which is not too expensive.

Go at sunset, and watch Midtown light up. Very Romantic! Check rates at Marriott Marquis in Times Square

Visiting NYC with My Sister and Nieces

We arrived for a 3 day trip and picked up our New York Pass and Hop on/Hop off bus passes first thing. We feel the passes were a wonderful help to us and saved us money. We hit the streets each day around 8:30am and did not return to our hotel until midnight or so.

We saw Empire State Bldg, Top of the Rock, Statue of Liberty, did a night tour of NY/Brooklyn,saw a Broadway show, cruise around the lower half of NYC, visited Museum of Natural History, Ground Zero, Central Park, did the NY custom of eating a hot dog from a vendor, had dinner at Carmine’s which was a wonderful experience and we highly recommend everyone to go.

We shopped at Macy’s and China Town. We found people mostly friendly and helpful and found our NYC trip awesome.

Things to skip..

Skyride at Empire State Bldg was terrible, picture was out of focus, the project kept breaking down and the film was about 10 minutes long…

We ate at Planet Hollywood because we had a coupon from NYPass and we were there but the food was mediocre at best and over priced, mandatory tip charge and we waited longer for the bill than we did for the food. The experience at the street vendor eating our sausages was much better than Planet Hollywood!

Thanks again NYC for a fabulous time.
Marla

————————————————-

Marla: What a GREAT Trip Report!!! Thanks so much for sharing both the good and bad with us. All those tips are so helpful.

Read more about Marla’s NYC Favorites:

NYC Christmas Date Weekend

by Joe, (Glens Falls, NY)

My girlfriend and I (both 21 yrs old) went for a weekend in December to New York City. We stayed at the Hotel Wellington near Times Square. The hotel was OK…definitely overpriced for the quality, but the location was tremendous, as it was within walking distance to Times Square, Broadway, Rockefeller Center, Radio City, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and more.

While we were there, we visited Central Park and Times Square at night, to fully enjoy the sights. We went to the Rockettes Christmas Show at Radio City Music Hall. We also saw the huge Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, which was incredible. We saw a couple get engaged in the middle of the ice rink (they actually have An Engagement on Ice package).

We met up with a friend who took us to Battery Park City and the Fulton Fish Market. We could see the Statue of Liberty from there, but we didn’t go see her. We also tried to get a tour of Yankee Stadium, but they weren’t available at the time. We still went anyway and walked around outside and visited some of the shops. For the price of the hotel and shows, we had to eat fast food the whole time! Still, nothing beats a slice of Ray’s Pizza or a delicious, hot Knish from a street vendor.

NYC Young Family of Four

Since I was traveling with my husband and two daughters, one 10 and the other 5, we mainly stuck to kid-friendly areas. Of course, we visited the main attractions such as the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building observatory level. If you plan to do either of those things, be sure to go in the middle of the week and go as early as possible to beat the crowds. After all, there is nothing worse than being on line for 3 hours with a couple of whiny kids and grouchy parents.

Times Square should be visited twice, once during the day to enjoy the beach chair areas and once after midnight to see the street artists. Nearby, visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral…I get chills from the beauty of the architecture. Although New York is amazing overall, I especially loved walking across the Brooklyn Bridge just when the sun is setting (closer to Statue of Liberty). You can’t find better pictures of the bridge and the skyline anywhere else!

As for meals, when you’re in NY, eat like a New Yorker! Food carts offer cheap, fast, and delicious food, not found anywhere else. Check New York’s Annual Vendy Awards to see who New Yorkers vote as the best "sidewalks chefs" in the city.

NYC Senior Class Trip with Moms and Daughters

by Wendy Hinton (Zachary, LA USA)

My daughter and her best friend didn’t want the normal beach vacation. We live in the south, there are beaches within 2 hours of our home so that was not going to cut it for their Senior Trip. Both girls graduated in the top 10% of their class while taking honors/AP classes. Neither of them have ever been in trouble. But more importantly, they have been friends since they were in cradle roll at church and wanted one last big trip before going off to different colleges.

This was my daughters first chance to fly in a plane. She is hooked. We stepped off the plane at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and into a Carmel Limo, which was wonderful. Our hotel and home for the next 6 days was Hilton Times Square, wonderful accommodations right in the heart of Time Square. Friendly staff and large rooms made our long days melt away.

Shopping the sales at the Time Square Shops consumed our first 2 days. After that we were able to focus on real NYC. I was amazed at how friendly everyone was in the city. We met new “friends” that often left us with “if you ever come back – come see us again.” It was a warm genuine good-bye.

Monday we enjoyed Serendipity III, Central Park and Taste of Time Square. Who KNEW that was such a fantastic event. Loved all of the vendors. Made us feel like we were at one of our street fairs.

Tuesday we took a portion of the day to visit the MET and to see Lion King. Again a WONDERFUL day.

Wednesday – Chelsea Market, Cones – for personal indulgence into amazing Ice Cream, then we walked the Highline. A beautiful green spot in the big city.

Thursday we had an early start to the Statue of Liberty and the 350+ Steps to the crown. I am not in the best shape, but I made it with the girls. I must say it was SO worth it.

Then on to Ground Zero, Century 21, Chinatown, which was just like our New Orleans so I could have skipped it, then back to Time Square for dinner and a surprise concert by David Cook at Hard Rock which we stumbled upon.

Friday we had to say good bye to our new wonderful city. But it won’t be the last time we will visit. I am actually planning another trip in mid July.

An awesome trip for moms and daughters to take together. I am hooked.

NYC Birthday Weekend with the Girls

I was in NYC June 17-20th, 2011. I went to NYC with 2 of my friends and my younger sister. We saw Sister Act on Broadway, which was the highlight of the trip for me. There was sooo much to do. We bought tickets for the uptown, downtown and night time NYC Bus Tours. We missed the uptown tour on Sunday after the play, but we still were able to visit some of the things we wanted to see.

We went to Battery Park and saw Will Smith there filming Men In Black 3 on Saturday. That was amazing. Only in New York can you see this!!!!

We visited the wax museum, which was awesome as well. We ate at a number of restaurants (Little Italy’s Pizza, Dallas BBQ, Planet Hollywood, and Cafe 810 in Times Square where we met Gordo and we ate breakfast there every morning until we left), but I left without trying any famous New York cheesecake. We will definitely be back.

Honeymoon in The Big Apple

by Jared Higashi (Honolulu, Hawaii)

My wife and I had never been to New York City and always wanted to go, so we chose it for our honeymoon (interesting spin, given that we live in Hawaii). We went during the winter so my wife could see all the holiday window displays and lights. The first day, we took the blue double decker City Sights NY Tour bus, to get a brief tour of the city.

We visited Rockefeller Center to see the famous Rockefeller Christmas Tree and then to the Top of the Rock. It was pretty cold, but the view was incredible! You MUST do this to see the beautiful view of the city (and the Empire State Building).

We went to Times Square, saw the big Ferris wheel in Toys R Us, went into ESPN Zone, and ate a pretzel from a street vendor. We took the free Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty since it passes right by it.

We saw the Broadway play, Wicked at the Gershwin Theatre. For the guys, I’d recommend just entertaining your significant other and going to a show. Surprisingly, it was actually pretty good.

Of course, we had to go to Serendipity to eat the frozen hot chocolate! We think it was well worth the wait. Visited Little Italy to eat at Lombardi’s. It was one of the best pizzas I’ve eaten! Also made a stop at Gray’s Papaya for a hot dog & Carnegie Deli (huge sandwiches). Gray’s Papaya is definitely a place I’m going back to.

My wife and I agreed there are just too many things to do to fit it into one vacation. So we plan on coming back as soon as we can!

NYC Vacation from UK

We came to NYC for 5 days from 22nd Oct. We were really lucky with the weather; mild, sunny days and just a few days after we left there was a big snowfall! We hadn’t been to the USA before and New York exceeded all our expectations.

We had a really sunny day at the top of the Empire State Building. We took the stairs to the crown of the Statue of Liberty just before it closed for refurbishment. We saw two great Broadway shows – Chicago and the Jersey Boys. We found some great places to eat on Restaurant row. We did MOMA and the Guggenheim; Central Park carriage ride; visited FAO Schwarz toy shop; Top of the Rock and we walked almost everywhere, which gave us a great feel for the city.

The clothes are so much cheaper than in England. We bought lots of designer stuff at Macy’s for a fraction of the price back in the UK.

My wife loved the female traffic cops shouting and whistling at all the cars and cabs. Times Square was an explosion of activity – a great place to be and we had a brilliant hotel on West 43rd Street/8th Avenue, ideally located.

The experience was tremendous and we loved every minute of it!!!

Back to top of New York City Vacations

NYC Insider Travel Guide

New York City Trip Reports

New York City Trip Itineraries

We want to hear all YOUR favorite hot spots in New York City.

Tell us about your New York City Vacation. Who were you traveling with? How long and when were you here? Do you have a favorite photo you want to share with us? Did you find a shopping bargain for which NYC is so famous? Did you see anyone famous?

Share Your NYC favorites and Vacation Itinerary with other NYC Insider Guide Visitors!

Back to top of New York City Vacations

Site Sponsorship