18th January 2017
Hey everyone! You may know that I recently travelled to the Big Apple for my 18th birthday and, to be quite honest, I left a little bit of my heart there. And by a little, I mean a lot. New York City is a truly bonkers place – there’s always something going on and something to see. With this in mind, Accor Hotels have set bloggers the challenge to create a dream itinerary for the PERFECT 24 hours in a city of their choice. I've picked NYC, to help inspire you to really make the most of every second of your (potential) visit. Each of the activities I’ll mention are things I have actually done and thoroughly enjoyed, so take my word for it when I say that none of these spectacles are to be missed! Make sure you take your camera, some comfy shoes and a BIG cup of coffee, because you’re in for a busy ol’ day my friend.
8:30am – LPQ Breakfast
First up, you’re going to be needing A LOT of energy for the day ahead, so wake up bright and early and head out to breakfast at Le Pan Quotidien. This is a branch of breakfast restaurants situated all over the city which is very popular amongst both tourists and locals, and for good reason. The food is delicious, and I’d particularly recommend the waffles with berries! While this is a smaller breakfast than most places you’ll find in NYC, it’s also one of the best.
10:00am – Helicopter Ride over NYC
To see New York from a TOTALLY different perspective, head on down to Pier 6 for a helicopter ride. This should be booked in advance, as it’s extremely popular, and is definitely something to look forward to ahead of your visit. I feel like the beauty of the city’s skyline can only truly be appreciated from the air… plus, I can’t even begin to tell you how cool I felt hopping on board a HELICOPTER. The view will blow you away (if the wings of the helicopter don’t) and is something you’ll never forget. From someone who is prone to motion sickness, let me assure you that our journey was incredibly smooth and enjoyable, and it was a definite tick off my bucket list.
12:00am – Statue of Liberty
Hop on board one of the many FREE ferries over to the Statue of Liberty and marvel in all her glory! Personally, I wouldn’t say it’s not particularly necessary to climb up the statue, as her beauty is probably better appreciated from the outside (especially on a boat), but it’s definitely worth the trip! You can’t really do NYC without the Statue of Liberty, and the view from the boat will make for a stunning picture. Because, really, what's the point if you can't get an Instagram out of it?
1:00pm – Subway to Greenwich Village
By early afternoon you’ll find yourself getting a little peckish, so head to Greenwich Village for a wander around the shops and a bite to eat. I’d personally recommend Suprema Provisions’ gorgeous sandwiches, and maybe even a cocktail. When in NYC, eh? The houses around this area are honestly what dreams are made of – see if you can spot the apartments which were filmed for the exterior shots in FRIENDS. Maybe don’t look out for Ugly Naked Guy too, mind you. The best way to get here is probably by using the Subway (you’ll appreciate the quick opportunity to sit-down, too!) which is another iconic New York experience.
3:00pm – High Line Walk
One of the city’s hidden gems is the High Line Walk which spans from Greenwich Village all the way to West 34th Street. This is essentially a disused and abandoned railway-track high above the bustling city, which has been converted and restored into a stunning public pathway. The route is lined with huge trees and hosts some incredible views you just can’t get anywhere else. It’s such a brilliant alternative to just walking down the streets and avenues. Why walk THROUGH the city when you can walk OVER it, right?
5:30pm – Rockafeller Centre
Again, you’ll need to book this in advance but the Rockafeller Centre provides one of the most jaw-dropping views of New York… you’ll never ever forget it. I’d definitely recommend booking your trip up to the Top of the Rock for around 5:30pm, but make sure you get there a little early so you have time to queue and wait. When the sun sets, you’ll see the city transformed into golden hues, basking in the last drips of sunshine. The panoramic viewing point looks out over all of the most iconic buildings (including the famous Empire State Building and New World Trade Centre) as well as Central Park. Also be sure to check out NBC Studios on the ground floor and see if you can spot some celebs. Actual Father Christmas Michael Buble himself was there on the day I was. MICHAEL FRICKIN BUBLE.
7:00pm – Dinner
By 7pm you’ll be ready for another bite to eat. Of course, there are plenty of options to choose from, but I’d recommend Obica if you’re a fan of mozzarella (I certainly am) or Shake Shack if you’re looking for fast food with a gourmet edge. You can read my other top food picks in New York over on my last blog post HERE.
8:00pm – Chicago Musical
To end the day in style, Broadway is the place to be. Seeing a show is the perfect way to spend your evening and, while there are many fantastic options, I cannot recommend Chicago enough. This is the all-singing, all-dancing satire of the criminal justice system, in which women who commit the most audacious crimes become the most famous. To get a last-minute bargain, the Times Square ticket office sells tickets to shows for as much as half price on the day… so, unless you want the VERY BEST seats in the house, you can definitely leave it last minute. We got our tickets about three hours before the actual show on our way to the Rockafeller Centre, which worked out fantastically. I’m not usually big on musicals, but I LOVED Chicago and couldn’t get the Cell Block Tango out of my head for weeks.
10:00pm – Times Square
Finally, on your way out of Broadway, be sure to take in the neon spectacle that is Times Square. I feel like this can only be truly appreciated at night, when the famous billboards illuminate the dark sky. There’s always so much going on, and the atmosphere is almost as electric as the surrounding lights. Seriously though, that electricity bill has got to be HUGE. You thought yours was bad?
11:00pm – Bed
After a long but fantastic day, call it a night and head back to the sanctity and comfort of your hotel room. Accor Hotels have some amazing locations right in the prime location of Times Square, where all the top tourist spots are in walking distance. Your eyes will shut as soon as your head hits the pillow, but you’ll be so glad you made the most of every second in the Big Apple. It may be the city that never sleeps, but after a full day here, you’ll certainly need to.
By Jack Edwards