In August Cody and I took a 1 week trip to New York with his family. It was so fun, but so busy. In our time there, we saw some great places and some even more amazing restaurants. Here is my list of my favorite places we got to visit in our short time there, including some of my favorite restaurants.
This place is known for their frozen hot chocolates and they did not disappoint when we visited. I wish we could have spent a little more time in the restaurant soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying our beverages, but we still had one stop to make after dessert, so we made this one a quick trip. If you aren’t into frozen hot chocolates, you can order a hot dog or another dessert (like a banana split). Just be aware that almost all of their menu items are large enough to share, which makes them a little pricey. Be prepared for a fun environment full of music and fun wall art all around a definite must for a date night or if you have kids.
The museum of natural history:
Yes, this is the museum from the movie Night at the Museum. Cody and I really enjoy museums and thought this one would be a cool stop to make even if it was just to see some of the artifacts that were featured in the movie. What we weren’t expecting: A 4 story building packed full of fun, interesting artifacts from history. This museum was so much larger than we thought. We figured it would be easy to get through it (or most of it) in the 3 hours we had to spend there, but that was not the case.
This museum is like a maze (so make sure you grab a map on your way in) and each section is filled with an overwhelming amount of artifact, historical information, and fun sculptures. As we ran out of time, we decided to pick the top must-see areas of the building and hunt them down. We chose to find the Easter Island statue (because were you really at The Museum of Natural History if you didn’t see the statue??) and the dinosaur exhibit. My mind was blown by the amount of dinosaur fossils they had collected and put together. Dinosaurs have always fascinated me and you don’t really see many dinosaur exhibits around Louisiana. My advice to anyone wanting to visit the museum (especially if you have kids): break it up into 2 days. You will get tired and you will get overwhelmed with information overload if you try to tackle it all in one day. Just do yourself and your family a favor and break it into 2 (about 4 hour) trips. You’ll thank me later.
Little Italy/ China Town:RThis area was so fun to visit. We actually made 2 stops here because the first trip was a little bit of a mess and it was so hot outside. China Town and Little Italy are not the same thing, but they are near each other and you can easily walk from one to the other. I recommend going on an empty stomach and being mentally and physically prepared to walk a few miles. Little Italy is full of delicious italian restaurants. It’s hard to pick just one to go to, so save room and visit a few of them. There are gilato and coffee shops around every corner to take a cool-down break or get your mid-day caffeine boost if you need a little pep in your step. Once you have filled up on all the italian food your heart desires, head over to China Town. They have the best stores and are known for their (almost identical) knock-offs of the top brands. Just make sure you know how to negotiate, you know the tell-tale signs of a fake, and you have your cash ready to go. If you play your cards right you can walk away with a Rolex look-a-like that is nearly impossible to identify as a fraud for only $80.
I don’t know if it was the girl handing out chocolate samples as we waited for our table or if it was the extensive dessert menu, but this restaurant easily made it’s way into my heart. They are catagorized as a chocolate shop, so while the food is amazing, make sure you save room for dessert. I was pretty close to getting chocolate waffles for dinner (along with hot chocolate and dessert), but figured that amount of sugar was not the best idea for the growing baby inside of me. Cody and I split the chicken alfredo, which was surprisingly great and (even after splitting it) filled us up. Though we were full, I had to try at least one thing on the dessert menu, so we went big. We shared the churro fondue which came with a cup of churro sticks and 3 dipping sauces (chocolate, strawberry puree, and caramel). I also tried their salted caramel hot chocolate, which was mind blowing despite the awkward shape of the mug that caused me to spill a few times.
Tavern on the green:
This restaurant is right at the edge of Central Park and is such a classy place to grab dinner or brunch. (I recommend going before you take your long stroll through the park, because everything here is so nice and it really would be humiliating to eat here after sweating the whole day.) We chose to eat in courtyard, which had a live band, giving it such a romantic feel. (Though, because of the time of day and the time of year, we probably should have opted for indoor seating.) If you are looking to dine with them before 4 p.m., be prepared to have brunch because they don’t offer their main menu until 4 p.m. . Cody and I found salmon on their brunch menu and it was so delicious. We split that and also got the pastry basket as an appitizer to split. It came with fresh pastries and jam which was so refreshing to eat before, during, and after our salmond entire. Overall the atmosphere was amazing and the service was the best we had the entire time we were in the city.
the Brooklyn Bridge:
For the first part of our trip, I didn’t get the hype about the brooklyn bridge. It’s nothing special. It doesn’t even have bright colors. What I didn’t know was that you could walk across it. There is a whole walking and biking section of the bridge and it is only about a mile or so walk. There are benches along the way to rest, but I easily made it across the bridge without resting at 6 months pregnant. (I love saying that because I feel like a warrior even though I am not even sure it’s an actual real accomplishment.) In the arches of the bridge, local artists have their art for sale for such cheap prices, too! We got 2 water color paintings for only $20. It was so fun to take pictures, get an overhead view of the city, and look at all the art work.
The Statue of Liberty:
This was one of the places that I was looking forward to seeing most. We took a ferry to Bedloe’s Island where the statue of liberty stands. Though we didn’t go inside, we did an audio tour while strolling around the island that informed us about so many fun facts that we didn’t know about the statue. (like the fact that the statue was made to move!)While it probably wouldn’t be that fun for kids, it was definitely a fun experience for Cody and I since we like history so much and had never seen the statue of liberty outside of a t.v. or computer screen.
Central Park was such a nice change in scenery. The Park is way bigger than I ever imagined it could be. We spent a day there and still only walked about 1/4 of the Park. (I really wanted to make it further, but walking that far in the August heat while 6 months pregnant is not really a great idea) We enjoyed our time there, though . There were street musicians around every corner . We sat by turtle pond to watch the turtles and kayakers while the listened to one of the musicians. We also got to see the John Lennon memorial. There were pedi cabs all over the place, so we took one back to the main road to catch a cab and later that night, we took a horse and carriage tour around the park. It was a ton of fun to experience the park both during the day and by night, but I really want to come back around Christmas to see t decorated with all of the lights.
So that’s it. That is my round up of my favorite places I visited in New York. Of course that is not all of the good things there are to do there. New York is a huge city and it is nearly impossible to get everything on your bucket list done (especially when you are traveling with a group of 7.) Broadway was at the very top of my must-do list, but sadly it was closed due to the pandemic.
If you are planning a quick trip to New York soon, I hope this post helped you when narrowing down your itinerary. Thanks for the support and for reading along. Comment and let me know if you would like to see a post about my least favorite places in New York.