Visiting New York City has been on the top of my list for some time now because who doesn't like to explore high density city life with all the cafes, shops, bars, and restaurants?! The last trip I took to NYC was on my school's 8th grade field trip so this time, as an adult, I wanted to explore New York from a bit of a local's perspective with some landmarks and museums. Here is how I explored NYC and Brooklyn in 4 days.
D A Y 1 : B R O O K L Y N B R I D G E
We landed in JFK early morning and made our way to Brooklyn Heights where we were staying. After dropping off all of our stuff we decided to hit the ground running to explore and of course get the most important thing at that moment... coffee! We took a stroll alongside the water on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade to get the best view of the city and get our blood pumping after a long flight. Also, if you look to the left, you can see Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, and to your right is the Brooklyn Bridge. It was so quaint to walk the trail as New Yorkers were casually walking their dogs or going on a morning jog. A great way to start off our trip for sure.
Once you get to the Brooklyn Bridge area where the trail ends, there is a Starbucks close by or if you want to try the Brooklyn Roasting Co go ahead and pop in for your dose of caffeine. Then make your way over to La Bagel Delight for a good ole fashion NYC bagel. I was starving so the bacon, egg, ham, and cheese bagel was my choice ha! After you have eaten, you can go to the Brooklyn Bridge picture spot on Washington Street. Here is the most iconic view of the bridge and you should definitely stop for a few photos.
Next, we decided to subway over to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. I absolutely loved seeing Monet and Van Gogh exhibits in person. If you are not in to museums, I suggest not being afraid to browse through and not linger if you aren't interested. They also had a Jackson Pollock feature exhibit which is one of Patrick and my favorite artist that we have yet to see an entire exhibit on. After the Met, we went to eat lunch at Pastrami Queen. This place has the best pastrami sandwich I have ever had. I suggest to split a sandwich and fries because they are huge.
After filling up on the best lunch at a local NY deli, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge back to the Brooklyn side to get home. There is a walkway on the bridge with some amazing views. It is about a mile so takes 20-30 minutes to casually walk across the entire bridge.
Later that night we went to Other Half Brewery for a fun night hanging out. They are lovers of the IPA, but they had a specialty can beer called the Gin Fizz, which was absolutely delicious!! One of my top favorites for sure. Then for late night snack, we went to
Brooklyn Social. It is an old Sicilian social club transformed into a late night local watering hole for crafted cocktails and delicious sandwiches.
D A Y 2 : P A R K S G A L O R E
Day 2 we slept in a bit and then decided to go grab some brunch. We went to the Farmacy, a cute little old pharmacy that serves sandwiches, soft serve, and a New York staple, the Egg Cream. It is a traditional NY drink with milk. seltzer, and syrup. It was so good and interesting to try.
Next we spent most of the day exploring all of the parks in NYC. Our first stop was
Central Park at the Bethesda Terrace and getting a view of the lovely Loeb Boathouse. It was so nice to just roam around and get lost in the park. Take your time enjoying the view.
Next park up on the list was Washington Square Park. This was such a quaint, neighborhood park and one of my favorites. It is much smaller than Central Park for sure, but the live street music and just getting to people watch with NYC people walking their dogs, enjoying the sun in the park, or eating lunch was so relaxing. Plus the Washington Square Arch is a sight to see.
After seeing all the parks, we explored and walked around the Greenwich Village area and then made our way to East Village for an amazing dinner at Szechuan Mountain House. Highly recommend this place to step out and try a different type of food than you have probably experienced, plus you have to try the crispy chicken with Sishuan peppers. This is a popular spot so put your name on the list and if you have an hour to 1.5 hour wait, then head over to Barcade for a drink and some games until your table is ready. Or if you are lucky enough to get seated right away, head on over afterwards.
D A Y 3 : M A N H A T T A N T O U R I S T
On Day 3 we decided to explore more like a tourist to hit some of those key monuments or spots that sometimes you just can't leave NYC without seeing. We started our morning however with iced coffee and an apple cider donut from Salter House which was delicious! It has a corner cafe spot with big windows, perfect for people watching all of the Brooklyn locals. Patrick and I loved sitting there just taking in all the happenings. Next we walked around Brooklyn Heights are to admire all the Willowtown Brownstone Buildings and architecture. They are truly amazing and beautiful.
We first headed to the Flatiron district to view the iconic Flatiron Building. This was such a cool little sliver of architecture to view. Feel free to explore around a bit and check out the Flatiron district. It is a pretty cool spot.
From there we headed north towards Midtown on 5th Ave. On our walk we passed the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Hall, and Rocket City Music Hall. You can also veer off a bit and go to Times Square. We avoided that area because we thought it would be too crowded and not worth it ha. But most importantly, you have to stop and get a NYC hot dog at one of the street carts.
Oyster Happy Hours seem to be pretty popular and NYC and to be honest, I couldn't be happier!! The spot to go is Upstate in East Village for their happy hour at 5 pm. You must get there at least 15-30 minutes in advance to wait outside for them to open to get a spot right off the bat. This place fills up fast, and there is a good reason for it. The oyster selection was amazing and they have a deal to pair with a beer or wine. Afterwards, wrap around the other side of the block for a fancy cocktail at Local 92.
That night we decided to head back to Brooklyn to have the ultimate Brooklyn NY pizza experience. And why not take the ferry at night to get a view of the city lights?! It was such an incredible view and I highly recommend taking the ferry at least once on your trip. First stop on the pizza night was Dellarocco's which serves wood fired brick oven pizza. Highly recommend getting the chef's special! Next, save room for one more on-the-go slice from Table 87, a coal oven pizza by the slice place. Now that you're stuffed on all the pizza you can get, head home and have a fun night in playing games or chatting about your trip.
D A Y 4 : B R O O K L Y N L O C A L
For our last day in NYC, we decided to spend a low key day experiencing Brooklyn like a local. We went to the amazing area of Williamsburg which is a quirky foodie area. We ate at Sweet Chick for brunch to meet up with my cousins who I haven't seen in forever. It was unfortunately raining for us most of the morning, but I would have loved to explore more of Williamsburg. After brunch, we made our way back to Brooklyn Heights and visited the Transit Museum. It was a pretty cool spot, especially if you're a history buff or just like to know how things work. It explains the history of the subway system in NYC. It even has train cars from different decades. After the museum we stopped by Swallow for a cup of coffee and cookie.
That night after dinner, we headed to the cutest bar, Elsa. The inside architecture details and lighting was spot on, plus the cocktails were amazing! This was definitely my kind of place. After Elsa, we headed to Barbes for live jazz in the back room. The craziest thing happened, and I still cannot believe it. Patrick and I are huge fans of the movie Midnight in Paris, and it just so happened that Stephane Wrembel, the artist of the main theme song, was there! We were both in super fan girl mode. What an amazing night!! They pretty much have live music every night.
A born and raised Southern girl who's wanting to inspire every women through style and beauty while living in the big city of Los Angeles.