A First Timer’s Guide to NYC | Days 2&3

I’m currently on my 20-minute break from writing a physical chemistry paper. Yeah, anyone who’s ever said science majors don’t have to write papers was very wrong. I am not feeling very inspired to write this paper. I guarantee I can get a substantial amount of this blog post done because just thinking about my time in New York City gets me inspired. Also, some really lit Hans Zimmer is playing in the background. I already shared my Day 1 guide to NYC here. In the final two days of being in the city, we covered so much more ground and I was able to try out more transportation options. So, let’s get into it.

What’s up, December?! This may be my unofficial attempt at starting Blogmas this year. I definitely typed up an idea for content for every single day of the month. I really want to get used to coming up with content regularly so that this can by my last semester going MIA from the blog. It’s something that I love doing and it’s frustrating when I don’t manage my time well enough to consistently post.

I asked on Twitter what sorts of posts you all would be interested in and a majority of people were down for chit chats & life updates, more college advice, and style posts(!). So, I shall give the people what they want! Who knows maybe I can ~actually~ post every day leading up to Christmas! Anywho, let’s get back to all things N.Y.C.; also if you are headed to the city over the holiday season: I am so jealous!! Have so much fun and send me pictures, please!

PATH/Train from Jersey to NY

For the final two nights that I was in NJ/NY, I stayed in a hotel near the Newark airport. 10/10 would recommend since it was a quick shuttle ride in the morning to the airport. You have several options available to you for getting into the city. You can take an NJ Transit train into the city {this is your fastest option if you are staying in any of the airport hotels}.

The PATH, however, is the cheapest option and you can use your Metro card to access it. There is a stop at NJ Penn Station and it will take you to the World Trade Center. I highly recommend stopping here to take in the beautiful architecture. We were in such a rush trying not to miss our train that I didn’t get a good picture, although we did take a pit stop in the GUCCI fragrance tent. #priorities, I guess.

Bryant Park

Once arriving at NY Penn Station it’s quite a trek to this part of the city, but I highly recommend walking up to Times Square via 6th Avenue from Penn Station and passing by Bryant Park. I was so sad that we were too early to see the ice rink and all of the holiday shops that were set up. However, it was pretty close to Halloween when we were there and the restaurants and shops that were set up all had themed displays and they even had kids trick or treating. It was honestly adorable!

You can also stop by the New York Public Library {the ones with the majestic lions out front} and see the original dolls that inspired our favorite crop top and honey-eating, stuffed animal, Pooh Bear. I promise they are only a little bit creepy.

Times Square

You may think that I’m crazy but Times Square was slightly underwhelming. I don’t typically get super anxious in large crowds. But, I was assuming to get a little bit stressed trying to keep up with our 5 person party. I don’t know if we just visited Times Square at the literal perfect time to not be bombarded with people, but the lighting was phenomenal and the experience was a lot of fun. It’s supposed to be this over the top experience with color and billboards everywhere.

The costumed people were a little odd, but I enjoyed the experience. We went to the M&M store for a little bit which was interesting but had I seen the Old Navy store I definitely would have wanted to go in there. Note: I had no room in my suitcase to bring anything back with me, but it would have been fun to pretend to shop around.

Central Park

After the intensity of Times Square, it was nice to walk to Central Park and explore this for a little bit. It’s kind of the perfect little spot within the city to just escape the honking {kinda sorta} and experience some green after all the concrete buildings. There are a ton of patchy quads and big rocks that are perfect for picnics and afternoon chill sessions.

I’d love to take another day to dedicate simply to Central Park. It’s so large! I’d love to rent a bike to ride around the park or maybe walk a dog. It was honestly the most beautiful October afternoon when we were walking through and the bridges and ponds that we passed by were absolutely breathtaking. Even as I basically sprinted to get to the Met before it closed.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met. All I can say is that I wish I had more time and that my feet weren’t already killing me by the time we go there. I only got to see a couple of the exhibits, and when I say we didn’t even scratch the surface, I’m not exaggerating. That huge portrait of my buddy George Washington crossing the Delaware River was incredible. I highly doubt anyone could look that majestic in the frigid wind; there are literal ice glaciers in the background. I love art museums so I cannot wait until I’m back in the city and can come back here!

Skylight Diner

While on this trip, we ate dinner at not one but two diners. And, I loved it. The Skylight Diner is kind of close to the Madison Square Garden and we loved it because the prices were pretty fair especially for being in Midtown. Diners are super friendly for groups with all different eating styles; not to mention you can get breakfast all. the. time. Yes, 10/10 would recommend.

Fifth Avenue & Rockefeller Center

This was probably my favorite location/area in all of Midtown. It’s less intimidating than Times Square and has a bunch of cute shops and eateries to explore. You can go ice skating and take a nostalgic trip down memory lane in the American Girl Store. The St. Regis and Plaza Hotels are also on Fifth and have absolutely stunning architecture. If you really want to treat yourself, I’d stop in the Plaza for lunch or drinks! There’s also tons of shopping so I’d leave a little extra room in your suitcase.

Empire State Building

I went into the Starbucks at the Empire State Building without realizing and thought it was odd that there were so many mementos and trinkets that were ESB themed. How did I miss one of the tallest buildings on the block and one of the most famous spots in NYC? No one will ever know! I also proceeded to spill some of my Salted Caramel Mocha all over my white v-neck t-shirt! Yikes, G.

keep on keepin’ on,

  • I always save all your travel posts on Pinterest so when I actually go somewhere, I have tons of recs to check out

    • Same though!! My Pinterest has me set for life when it comes to traveling!

      xoxo, g