Bucket List New York
New York was on my Bucket List for years and was the first place I visited outside of Europe. I wanted to see the sky scrappers I had watched in the movies and TV programs and dreamt of visiting the Statue of Liberty and the famous Time Square.
It took me many years to actually get there because I was afraid of flying and going that far was just too nerve racking. One day when I was exploring the internet I came across a really good deal for a Business Class flight on Virgin and decided it was time to visit one of the many places on my bucket list and to be honest it was the best thing I ever did.
I have since visited New York again and I would go tomorrow if I had the opportunity as I just love the atmosphere. If it is on your bucket list then I recommend booking a trip and visit some of the New York attractions
What to do in New York
The list is endless as they say it is the city that never sleeps so you can always find something to do.
There are so many things to see in New York. One of the best ways to get around the city is the hop on bus tours. I always do these as they take you to all the major tourist attractions. The Empire state is a 102 story building and is one of the most iconic images of New York. It is open 365 days a year and one of the best times to go is Sunset or Sunrise to see the beautiful skyline of New York.
I personally did not go to the observatory in the Empire State Building but did the Top of the Rock observatory instead as I heard it was less busy and I dont really like crowded places. Going up in the lift was an experience in itself. It isn’t quite a high as the Empire State Building as it is only 70 floors but the views are still breath taking. When I visited a snow storm was on its way and you could literally see the clouds coming in and it was like they were swallowing the city below after a few minutes you could no longer see them.
Waking around Time Square is just like it is in the movies with the yellow cabs and bright lights. The atmosphere here is just electric, it is like people are on a buzz. There are hundreds of locals and tourists and characters dressed up. You do have to be careful where you are walking though as so many people are taking photos and selfies you need to make sure you dont walk into them.
You can get a boat trip to the Statue of Liberty or you can sail by on the free Staten Island ferry to get some great views of the lady herself. I didnt realise she was so old being opened on October 28, 1886. You can climb the 146 steps to the crown but you need to reserve your tickets as this is a really popular attraction.
It is wonderful that a city as busy as New York still has some parks that you can escape in. Central Park being the most famous. Here you can go on a horse drawn carriage but be warned they are pretty smelly or in the winter go ice skating. It is lovely to visit at any time of the year, in the summer you could have a picnic and in the autumn look at the changing colours of the trees.
See a Broadway show
You have to try a catch a show if you are a fan of the theatre, there seems to be hundreds of theatres in NYC and not all are showing Broadway shows so there is going to be an option for everyone. New York has the most well known shows on but it is also worth going for something lesser known. I watched something that I had never heard of before and it was really good.
Visit one of the TKTS ticket booths to get a discounted show tickets. I was open to what show I watched so went to the booths to see what was on offer as it varies day to day.
I am not a fan of shopping unless it is looking at tourist tat but New York has shops for every shopping enthusiast. I did visit Bloomingdales and Macys and I walked down 5th Avenue with its designer shops and imagined I could afford such luxuries as jewellery from Tiffany’s. I must admit I only went there to see if I could spot any celebrities doing there shopping but unfortunately didnt notice anyone.
I first visited New York in December and people were doing their Christmas shopping. It was wonderful walking around and I might have bought a couple of pairs of trainers and some other things but I just couldn’t resist even though I dont like shopping so bring your purse or credit card.
Eating and Drinking
There are so many places to dine in New York whether you want to grab a quick bite to takeaway or sit down to a special meal with excellent views of the city. I wanted to get a hot dog from a street stall. I was under the impression they were on every street corner as thats what it seems like in the movies but I still haven’t done this yet. To be honest I was seeing lots of street vendors but never really saw a hot dog stand when I wanted one.
I have to say I had the best pizza ever from Times Square and when I visited the second time I just had to go back for some more. You will find every type of cuisine somewhere in the city. Visit Little Italy for some spaghetti and meatballs or China Town for something more oriental. Every street seems to have some sort of food place on so this is definitely a place you will not go hungry.
There are some iconic places you might want to include on your list when in New York but be warned the more famous the place the bigger the queues. I went past Cake Boss and really wanted one of their famous cup cakes but the queue was out the door so I just had a quick smell and instead headed to Juniors which has the most delicious Chocolate Moose Cake I have tasted, I always ask people who visit New York to get me a slice but no one has so far, I bet they eat it!!.
Unusual Things to do in New York
There are hundreds of unusual things to do in New York that most tourists will not think of doing. I have already mentioned how much I love Time Square but seeing it in the early hours of the morning when all the shops are closed and most of the tourists are sleeping it is quite surreal. I walked around in the snow at about 4am and it had a totally different atmosphere. There were still a few people around but the TV screen and lights are still on so it is a great time to get a selfie without hundreds of people being in it.
Taking a New York Helicopter tour would be amazing I wish I had done this as it would be the perfect way to get a overview New York city. Imagine souring over the skyscrapers and spotting the ant like people below.
Visit Innwood Hill Park which is the oldest forest in Manhattan. It is surprising to see nature dating back to the 17th Century in this city that is full of sky scrapers. It has the last natural salt marsh in Manhattan and if you are lucky you will see some local youths playing on the baseball fields. If the weather in fine it is a perfect place for a picnic or a walk along the Hudson river. Also you can do some of the hike trials and walk between the huge oaks and maple trees. It is really a place to step back to nature.
Visit the unusual store Obscura Antiques and Oddities. This store will be an eye opener with its medical antiques pop in and see how many odd things you can spot. The owners are said to be really friendly and welcoming to any visitors.
If you are a fan of magic how about visiting the oldest magic store in New York Tannens Magic Store. You will find every trick imaginable here and they have been supplying the magicians of New York since 1925.
Go to Pier 54 which would have been The Titanic’s Arrival Destination but was instead where the survivors of the sunken ship were taken. There isn’t much there apart from an arch but standing under this monument you can imagine what it might have been like for the survivors of one of the most well known shipping disasters. I am fascinated by the history of the Titanic and even though it happened so many years ago it can still bring forward so many emotions.
Is New York on your Bucket List? Have you already been if so share with me your experience.