One thing I love about traveling is the excitement. What’s more exhilarating than a vacation? A last minute, “I barely need a carry-on” getaway that also leaves time for you to get ready for work on Monday morning.
When I found out that we were taking a quick baecation, my heart instantly melted. I love NY and previously visited for a short period of time, so I’ve been eager to get back to see more of what New York really is about. What exactly did I have in mind? Well, not much honestly, but I knew I wanted to explore.
Recently joining the Yelp Elite Squad (SYOY!), I wanted to wine-and-dine like a local, and try top-rated restaurants reviewed by my fellow Squad members. I also had some of the top attractions in the city on my to-do list to give me the real Big Apple vibes. After doing some quick research between Pinterest, Yelp, and any other trustworthy website I could search, I came up with this awesome list of entertaining things to do with less than 48 hours on the clock. After having these experiences, I felt like I accomplished a lot of (but not all) things New York and that I could successfully check off adventuring in the Big Apple.
Rozay’s 48-Hour Itinerary in the Big Apple
Eat like a local: stop for bagels and coffee at Bagels & Schmear.
By the time I got off the plane and checked into our hotel, I was ready to E-A-T, okay! We stayed at the Royalton New York on W. 44th, so we pretty much had direct access to everything with a short subway ride. If you’re not too privy of taking the train, make sure you stay in a location relative to the sites and places you want to visit.
The staff at the front were SUPER friendly (no, like really. I was like “yasssssss SERVICE!”) and very helpful when I asked where to find the best bagels. They pointed us to Bagels & Schmear and let me tell you – I couldn’t spot the lie. Being a slightly picky eater and having a boyfriend that is simply the pickiest of all picky, KI can’t make up how impressed we were with the food here. My rule of thumb is to always check for a mass amount of customers a restaurant has to determine if it’s well received. The line for service was literally out the door and around the corner! It’s kind of “Mom-n-Pop” vibes, which is also something I look for. The food was delicious.
We ordered a plain bagel with bacon, egg, cheese, and siracha cream cheese (yes, two cheeses, the most). We split it because the bagels are huge, and we also ordered cappuccinos. We were full forever so go with an appetite!
Walk off those intense bagel calories on the Brooklyn Bridge.
You just can’t go to New York without going to a few places, including the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s not just a landmark for NY, but for the entire world being the first steel-wire cable bridge in the world. Millions of locals and tourists use the 5,989-foot-long bridge as a passage between Manhattan and Brooklyn on bikes, by foot, trains, and other means of transportation to get to their destinations every day. It’s obvious the New York City Skyline from the bridge has been inspiration of thousands of paintings, because the views are simply iconic. And for you millennials out there (like myself), it’s a great photo-op!
You gotta go sightseeing.
We chose to go to the National September 11 Memorial. I was in 7th grade when the Twin Towers tragedy struck, so visiting the sight brought back so many memories of that time period – where I was, what I was doing, the panic the tragedy caused, and the pain that hit the United States from the precious lives lost. It’s one thing to witness the event that took place on television, and it’s another to go to the memorial site almost 20 years later and still have so many sad emotions. While the memorial was a somber visit, I felt the harmony of New York, and quite honestly America around me, and that it was important for me to pay my respect to the individuals and families that were directly affected. We did not go to the museum that is also on site, but I recommend the memorial as a great experience to understand an impactful U.S. historical event and the unity and growth of the country it brought forth.
Happy hour, please!
Cauliflower fritters and buffalo chicken spring rolls
A perfectly crafted margarita – check the ice cube!
Ok – so we needed to pick our spirits up after our memorial visit. We found this cute spot on Yelp (thanks, Yelp friends!) called Dutch Fred’s in midtown whose specialty is nicely crafted cocktails. The bonus was the delicious food – we ordered buffalo chicken spring rolls and cauliflower fritters – and the friendly service. It gets a bit crowded, so seating was difficult to come by, but I am not hesitant to say it’s worth the wait. Oh – we ordered margaritas – they were simply perfect.
To embody a New Yorker, you must ride the New York City Subway.
Riding the train isn’t for everyone, but it’s for me. I was introduced to train riding while living in Atlanta, and it’s convenient and practical. If you aren’t worried about a few artists raising money for their craft (and the uniqueness that comes along with riding a train) taking the transit system around the city is an easy way to quickly get to your destinations and saving a few dollars on transportation. The Subway is perfect for doing the most in 48 hours.
Have a fancy, yet chill dinner in SoHo.
So again, I relied on my handy-dandy Yelp app to guide us to dinner, and we ended up at the Blue Ribbon Brasserie in SoHo. To be frank, I’ve had better fried chicken (what the Yelp reviews raved about), and bae said his food was just ok. But the drinks were great, the ambiance was classy and sleek, and I enjoyed venturing out to another area of New York. I could’ve complained, but I didn’t. 😀
Wake up and do bagels and coffee – again.
Clearly, I was on a mission to check out the best bagels spots the city had to offer. While Black Seed Bagels didn’t compare to my first bagel experience, it was nonetheless delicious and a great on-the-go breakfast for my next stop, the Statue of Liberty.
Visit Lady Liberty.
I wanted to see the Statue of Liberty because, who doesn’t? Growing up, I was taught in school that it represented immigration, but eventually learned it was initially planned as a symbol of hope and democracy for freed slaves. I just wanted to see what the hype I’ve witnessed my entire life over the statue was all about. I was just semi-impressed. I didn’t hop on the ferry, but you could, as well as visit the museum which will go into detail about the statue and what it really was created for.
Shop in Times Square.
Another “must do” – and really, you could probably shop anywhere in New York and get cheaper prices. But I love Times Square – the bustling city noises, the bright lights, the thousands of people walking the streets – I love the busyness. It’s fun to be in the middle of what’s going on!
Refresh with a salad…and a drink or four.
Nearing our 48-hour time limit, we were exhausted. I had fit so much into two days, and we just wanted a fresh salad and a few drinks. We went to this cute salad shop and bar near our hotel, but unfortunately, I can’t remember the names of either. The good thing is there’s plenty of both around the city, and the purpose of this paragraph is to remind you to take a break and wind down after walking around a huge city for almost 48 hours. Balance. 😊
There are a ton of places to visit in New York, and again, this was my second time going, so I didn’t touch on a lot of what paints New York as the vibrant, lively city. But remember, with awesome apps such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Yelp, and this even more awesome blog post, I’m sure you can create an itinerary that’s fun, adventurous, and perfect for you. Enjoy!