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  • Writer's pictureNichole Winter

I Finally Went to NYC!

For a long time, I let the big city of New York intimidate me. When my kids were little, time away meant time relaxing. Now that they’re older and I have a more active lifestyle, I look to explore. And, with my 40th birthday approaching, I thought what better way to celebrate living in a new decade by visiting a new and exciting city?!

5 Things you Must Do in NYC

When I first started the planning my trip to NYC,  I’ll admit I went a little too crazy thinking I had to do “everything”. Then I took a step back and thought about what I wanted out of this trip. And, I discovered what I really wanted was a balance between attractions, good food, and free-time to explore the city. Here are my top 5 takeaways from the big apple:

1. The 911 Memorial

This is hands-down, an all-time-favorite attraction of mine. A tour of this is a must. Be sure to allow for plenty of time to sit in silence, be present with your emotions (I wasn’t expecting this), and honor this sacred memorial. 

2. Treat Yourself

Yes, the bagels and pizza are delicious, but so is fine dining. My husband planned our nights out. He topped this trip off with a dining expierence at Eleven Madison Park, a Michelin starred restaurant. It is one of the world best restaurants. Each of the 12 courses were something I had never experienced and fully enjoyed.

3. Enjoy the View

I researched many reviews on the difference between the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock. I continued to hear that the Top of the Rock was less busy and some say a better view. We experienced just that! There are many roof top bars and restaurants to enjoy. Pick a sunset time, relax, and soak in the big city.

4. See a Broadway Show 

I continued to hear how wonderful a live play is in the city, especially on Broadway. So, Wicked was our play of choice and it did not disappoint! Purchasing tickets to a show is best done in advance. For the best prices, visit a TKS booth and purchase tickets the day of the show. And, the earlier you buy, the better. Discounted tickets may be available, but you’ll sacrifice long lines to save a few dollars.

5. Central Park

If you want to see the entire park, rent a bike and enjoy. We went with no plans and just biked around the park. It was the most beautiful day. 

Bonus Tips

What’s a travel blog without a few extra tips? Here are a few more to consider if you’re taking a trip to NYC.

  1. You do not need to stay right in Times Square. We spent time all over the city, and it really doesn’t matter which area you choose to stay in.

  2. Carry a backpack. Being hands-free is a must.

  3. Pack your most comfortable shoes – you’ll do a lot of walking.

  4. Check the weather. Much like Minnesota, the weather changes from day-to-day.

  5. Don’t over-schedule activities. Have fun and enjoy your time, don’t stress.

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