One of the most iconic cultural hubs of the world, New York City is a spectacle like non-other. Among both the timeless and ever-changing vibe, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. It’s impossible to see everything in 24 hours, but any amount of time spent in the city is certain to be remarkable. Here’s how to maximize 24 hours in New York City:
8:00 – 9:45
Start your morning off with a nice stroll through the iconic Central Park — a massive, gorgeous green escape in the middle of Manhattan. You could spend days exploring all of the paths, bridges and lakes. Whether it is an impromptu concert, speedy rollerbladers or elegant horse drawn carriages, there is always something interesting to see here.
Bustling, vibrant and electrifying, Times Square is unlike any other intersection in the world. Its bright lights and colorful characters embody the essence of New York City. When you arrive, grab a seat on the grandstand and enjoy the view or wander the impressive selection of storefronts and restaurants.
Next, make your way over to Grand Central Station to admire the majestic architecture and exquisite open spaces. Home to an extensive assortment of shops, restaurants and a central market, there is something here for everyone. Plus, learn about how railroads, and specifically Cornelius Vanderbilt’s ‘grand’ idea, shaped the city we know and love today.
Located a few blocks away in Bryant Park, the New York Public Library is not your average neighborhood library branch. While it has come a long way from having its books delivered by horse and buggy, the dazzling marble façade houses an impressive collection – everything from Jack Kerouac’s crutches to over 40,000 restaurant menus.
STATE GRILL AND BAR
In the lobby of the renowned Empire State Building, indulge in a modern American lunch at STATE Grill and Bar. Quality ingredients that come from local producers can be enjoyed in a striking setting, which takes a note from the building’s Art Deco design.
Chances are you’ve seen this iconic building in a dozen movies. Standing tall over the Midtown skyline, the Empire State Building is as charming as it appears in all of its Hollywood cameos. From the moment you enter the historic marble lobby, it is evident that the Empire State Building is truly an experience like no other. After exploring the historical Dare to Dream exhibit, head up to most iconic 360-degree open-air observation deck in all of New York City. 1,050 feet above the bustling city, you’ll feel as if you can touch the sky as you peer out at the very best of NYC from every direction. There is no better place to reflect, there is no better place to dream, than in the Heart of New York City.
Take a well-deserved break from the bright lights and soaring skyscrapers in the tranquil, tree-filled Madison Square Park. Take the kids to the playground, wander around the Southern Fountain or (if in season) admire the colorful blossoms. If you’re in need of an afternoon snack, stop by Shake Shack for a treat.
Once the birthplace of the Oreo cookie, today, Chelsea Market houses ritzy shops and a great indoor dining hall. The attractively-aged brick façade and polished wood floors stretch a whole city block, thus you’re certain to find something that suits your fancy, while meandering through a hall of old-fashioned modernity.
The New York dining scene is recognized worldwide. Enjoy an exquisite dinner at ABC Kitchen to experience this vital piece to the NYC experience. ABC Kitchen has a special focus on farm-to-table dining and the slow food movement—fostering a healthy relationship between cuisine and the planet. [SM1] The venue is immaculately decorated in lightwood and white tables, but even more importantly Michelin star Chef Jean-Georges offers some of the finest modern cuisine. Be sure to save room for dessert!
Broadway offers a show experience rivaled by few. The dazzling lights, enormous posters and star-studded casts all make for an extraordinary experience. The theatrical productions on Broadway are superb—from the impressive music and singing to the dramatic acting and sets.
New York is known as ‘the city that never sleeps’ for good reason, as most bars don’t close until 4 a.m. After the Broadway show, hit the dance floor at one of the many chic clubs, including the historic Copacabana. If you prefer a more low-key night, there are also plenty of hip, laid back bars in the area to enjoy a glass of wine and take in your surroundings.
While New York City is home to some of the finest restaurants in the world, nothing beats a late night slice of NY-style pizza. Enjoy a delicious slice of heaven for less than a buck as you fondly reminisce on your 24 hours in New York City.
Want to explore New York City some more? Start at the heart: make a personalized day-by-day itinerary using your interests and budget in moments on the Empire State Building’s trip planner!