Hi everyone and welcome back to The Coveted Lifestyle!
2 weeks ago I was in New York and I’m so sad that I’m back home. It was my first time ever being in New York and it honestly did not disappoint. I’ve done Travel Diaries for the past 2 trips I’ve been on this year so why not do another one for New York. Every day was jammed pack full of things so the trip was definitely not a relaxing one. I went from the 27th of November to the 2nd of December so I got to see it all decorated for Christmas which was amazing. It was quite cold so I did have to wrap up warm. I flew with Aer Lingus from Edinburgh to Dublin then Dublin to New York. They were really great to fly with and the flights were such a good price as well so I’d recommend flying with them.
I stayed in an Airbnb that was actually in the state of New Jersey but it was only a 15-minute bus journey into the centre of New York City. It was so much cheaper than staying in a hotel and the apartment was really nice, it was great coming back to a house rather than just a hotel room. Also, I’m not going to talk about any of the food places I ate at when I was in New York as I’m going to do a whole separate blog post on it.
Before I get into my Travel Diary I really want to recommend the New York Explorer Pass. This came in so handy and it saved me a lot of money on all the different attractions. Basically, the Explorer Pass is one pass that has either 3,5, 7 or 11 attractions on it all for one price. I got the 7 attraction one as I knew I was going to be doing a lot of attractions while I was there. The 7 attraction one cost me £127 but I think the prices increase and drop a little all the time. I was really good value for money as the Top of the Rock costs $39 to go up and the Hop on Hop off Big Bus Tour cost $60 to do so it all adds up. I bought mine from Attractions Direct but you can get it from their website.
DAY 1 – WEDNESDAY
We did arrive on Tuesday (the 27th) but we arrived quite late at night to be able to really do anything. For day one I started off in Times Square and explored Times Square. I’d seen Times Square in films, TV Shows but it’s a lot more impressive in person. It was so busy, I genuinely think that there is not a time when it’s not busy.
After wandering around Times Square for a bit and going for breakfast I walked along to the Rockefeller Centre as I was going to go to the Top of the Rock. I’d heard that the Top of the Rock actually provided better views than what the Empire State Building does so it was a must. Before going up I had a wander around the area around the Rockefeller Centre, saw the big Christmas Tree (which I’ll talk about more later) along with Saks 5th Ave and Tiffanys.
The Top of the Rock was amazing. The lift takes you all the way up to the 67th floor but you can go all the way up to the 70th floor for the open air deck. The views are amazing for the top, you can see Central Park from one side and the Empire State on the other. I think going up it at night and seeing all the lights and the buildings all lit up would be amazing but during the day the views were still amazing.
After the Top of the Rock, we went on the Big Bus Tour. I thought it was a good idea to do a hop on hop off bus tour as it meant I got to see a lot of New York at the one time. I took the downtown tour but there are quite a few different tours. On the tour, I got to see the Crysler Building, the Flat Iron Building, the Empire State Building, SoHo, Chinatown. I got off at the Brooklyn Bridge and walked halfway along it. I then walked to Wall Street from there as it was only a 15-minute walk to see the Stock Exchange and the Charging Bull. The Charging Bull had a huge queue beside it to get your photo taken with it but I wasn’t that bothered about that. I then jumped back on the Big Bus Tour which went by Battery Park, the One World Trade and the 9/11 memorial before going back to Times Square.
It was actually the tree lighting ceremony of the tree at the Rockefeller Centre on the Wednesday I was there but it was so busy around that area that you couldn’t get anywhere near it plus it was so so cold so after dinner (and walking along to the Rockefeller centre) I went back to the apartment and watched the tree lighting on TV.
DAY 2 – THURSDAY
Day 2 started by getting breakfast and then going to the Statue of Liberty. Now a warning for anyone going to the Statue of Liberty, the time it can take to go through the security takes a long time. I think I waited over an hour in the queue for security to go on the boat so I would leave a few hours to do this, especially if you want to do Ellis Island along with it. It felt surreal seeing the Statue of Liberty in person plus the view of lower Manhattan from the island is amazing. The statue of Liberty took up a lot more time than I thought so the timings for all the other activities were a bit off.
Once we got off the boat from the Statue of Liberty I walked to the 9/11 Memorial and One World Trade. The 9/11 memorial is a very touching memorial to all the victims of the 9/11 attack. There are 2 pools, both where the original buildings stood and they have all the names of the victims from both towers, the 2 planes and all the members of the services who lost their lives. Also, the staff put white roses on a person’s name when it’s their birthday which is such a nice tribute. There is also a museum but I didn’t have time to do that so I would definitely do that the next time I go.
After the 9/11 memorial, I made a quick stop to visit the Friends Building. I really wanted to see the building that features in episodes of Friends and I did. It was one of those attractions that you see, take a quick photo of and then leave but it was still something I really enjoyed seeing. The area around the Friends Building was like typical New York buildings you see in films and TV shows, it was a really nice area to see.
Of course, while I was in New York I had to see a Broadway show. I knew before I went to New York that I wanted to go see Mean Girls on Broadway as I’d listened to the soundtrack and I loved it and I did go see it when I was there. It was at the August Wilson Theatre and it was honestly so good. The set was amazing and the songs were just as good in person as what they are on the soundtrack. I was also so glad I got to see the original cast of the show perform as I’ve never seen a show before with its original cast. Also Tina Fey came out at the end of the show to auction Saturday Night Live tickets for charity which was a little surprise.
DAY 3 – FRIDAY
I’d say the Friday was the day where I did the least amount of things. I spent the majority of the day at Woodbury Common Shopping Outlets which was a must before I went to New York. The New York Explorer Pass included a round trip to Woodbury Common in the price which was a life saver as I think it’s around $50 to go. It takes about an hour on a bus to go to Woodbury Common but it is worth the trip. There were a lot of different shops there, from Gucci to Yankee Candle all at a discounted price. I bought some Christmas Presents here as well as some stuff for myself. The actual shopping outlet is huge, I only went into the shops I wanted as I had a set time I needed to be back for but I did go to all the shops I wanted so I didn’t miss any out.
The bus took about an hour to get back into the centre of New York so I went straight for dinner when I got back before heading back towards the Rockafeller Centre to see the Christmas Tree. Honestly, I was amazing seeing the tree properly in person and all lit up. Everything was so pretty and there was even a light show on the outside of the Saks 5th Avenue shop which was amazing. I was going to go ice skating but it was really busy so I didn’t bother.
DAY 4 – SATURDAY
This was my final full day in New York which was so sad but it was a jam-packed day. I was out until 12am which was the latest I stayed out until while away. I started off by visiting the Natural History Museum which was on my New York wishlist. I really wanted to visit here because of Night at the Museum and I really enjoyed visiting the museum. Of course, I had to go see the Easter Island head while there as that was basically the reason for going there. The museum is huge so it would take s few hours to do but I didn’t do the whole thing as I was had other plans that I needed to go to.
I took a walk through Central Park on the way to do some shopping and it was such a nice walk. The park is huge so I only got to see a small chunk of it. A lot of leaves were still on the trees, it felt more like autumn time than winter. I really wish I could have gotten to see more of the park when I was there as there is even a zoo inside the park as well as the ice skating rink but I genuinely didn’t have the time.
The majority of the day was spent doing some shopping. I finally got to go to an Ulta shop I did quite a big shop in there before heading back towards Times Square to visit the Disney Store and the Christmas shop. I then got a bus to the Westfield Garden State Plaza Shopping Mall to do some more shopping there. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a shopping mall so big as I nearly got lost. As much as there were quite a few Sephoras in the centre of New York I waited until Westfield Plaza to do my Sephora shop. I also got to go to a Morphe Store and actually see a lot of Morphe’s products in person. There isn’t a Morphe Store near me so I really wanted to go into it. I also went into Bath and Body Works which is one of my favoruite stores in the US. We don’t have a Bath and Body Works in the UK so I always like to stock up when I do get to go to one.
After getting back from the shopping mall and after having dinner I went up the Empire State Building. I decided to go up it at night instead of during the day as I went up the Rockefeller Centre during the day. The weather wasn’t that nice when we went up so it was very cold and it was lightly snowing as well so the views were good but not as good as what it would have been if it was normal weather. Any photos I got didn’t look that good but in person, it was better. I only went up to the main deck which is the 86th floor as the 102nd-floor cost extra money to go up too but I don’t think with the weather being rubbish I would have gotten to see much.
DAY 5 – SUNDAY
The Sunday was my last day in New York, my flight home was at 5:40 so I didn’t get to do much as I had to leave for the airport around 1. I went for some breakfast and then went walking about Times Square for the last time, I made another pit spot to Sephora (I didn’t buy anything though) and the Disney Store, which was quieter than what it was on the Saturday afternoon. I didn’t want to spend too much time wandering about as I didn’t want to be late for heading back to the Airbnb to collect my luggage and for getting an uber to the airport.
And that is my Travel Diary. I loved New York and I would go back in a heartbeat. There was so much stuff I didn’t get the chance to do but I did leave happy with everything I did see. I do have a New York Haul that will be going up very soon and I am also considering doing a post all about Gluten Free eating in New York as my mum (who I went with) is actually Gluten Free so we had to be cautious about where we ate so I’d like to share all our experiences for other Gluten Free people as I know how helpful it would be.