Earlier this month I made a weekend trip to NYC with two close friends. We’d all been to NYC before, so this trip wasn’t jam packed with sightseeing, even though we managed to fit a fair amount in. We booked this trip over the summer and by the time it rolled around we were all excited for cooler temperatures and a weekend away!
We booked the first flight out of Charlotte Friday morning, meaning we were in the city by 10:30am. We ended up flying into JFK and out of LaGuardia, which worked out for us budget-wise and time-wise. I’d never been to JFK before, but it was such a nice airport and an easy ride into the city so I’d definitely consider it next time!
Once we arrived at the Renwick Hotel, we dropped our bags and set out for lunch. We’re all pretty health-conscious, so we knew we wanted to walk a lot and try a few healthier options in the city. After grabbing a juice at Pressed Juicery and coffee, we walked from our hotel to the by CHLOE on 22nd near the Flatiron building. All of our meals were fantastic, and I would definitely seek out another meal at by CHLOE, whether in NYC or another city.
When we finished lunch we walked to the High Line entrance on 23rd and then walked south. The entrance at 23rd is basically in the middle, meaning you can go north or south. We knew we wanted to stop by the 9/11 Memorial, so we walked to the southern end of the High Line and hopped in a taxi to visit the memorial. In all my visits to NYC I hadn’t yet been to the 9/11 Memorial, so I’m glad we carved out some time to stop by on this visit. It’s hard to believe it’s been 17 years, but it also doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. We all still remember where we were when we heard the news, and in general it was an emotional visit to the memorial.
We then continued south to Battery Park to catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. I’ve never been out to the Statue of Liberty monument, but it’s always nice to see it from the park. Having walked a fair amount, we decided to hop in a taxi and check into the hotel to rest a bit before heading back out for dinner. Neither of my friends had been to Eataly before, so we made a reservation for one of the restaurants inside. We went to Eataly Flatiron early so we could shop a bit and grab a drink before dinner at La Pizza & La Pasta, which I’d recommend to anyone visiting the city! We went up to the rooftop to check out Serra on the Roof, which was decorated for Autumn, and then decided to call it a night since we’d had a full day.
After a great night of sleep, we set out for the day. The Renwick Hotel is so close to Grand Central Terminal that we were able to stop in on our way to breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien (a personal favorite). Once we were properly fueled we set out for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We decided to walk from Le Pain Quotidien (44th street) to the Met, which took us through Central Park. It was definitely a long walk, but the weather was perfect and the route was scenic. I definitely have a new found appreciation and interest in Central Park after my visit to Asheville earlier in the year. It’s amazing that the same landscape architect designed both the Biltmore Estate and Central Park!
At the Met we grabbed lunch at the cafe in the American Wing and then set out to view both Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination (which we caught right before it closed) and the Delacroix exhibitions. Unfortunately the rooftop was closed due to weather, but it offers one of the best views of the city and Central Park. We also stopped into the Impressionist Galleries to see a few Degas, Monet’s, and Van Gogh’s. After the Met we walked down Madison Avenue for a bit before getting in a taxi back to our hotel. I love visiting the Met, but it is so big that I’ve never seen the entire museum. We spent about two hours inside, and I’d say you definitely have to decide ahead of time what you’d like to see, otherwise you’ll be lost!
After a quick rest we set out for dinner at Estiatorio Milos, an amazing Greek restaurant that has a few locations across the world. I’ve previously eaten at Estiatorio Milos in London, so I knew we were in for a great meal. The NYC location did not disappoint! We decided to walk back to the hotel, and made a quick stop in Times Square. Times Square is honestly not my favorite NYC sight, but since it was on our way back to the hotel we felt like we had to at least check it out. After about a block we decided that was enough and continued on our way back to the Renwick!
On Sunday we decided to take it easy since we’d already seen and done a lot during our time in NYC. Our hotel was not far from a Joe & The Juice location, so we stopped in for a smoothie to start our day. We then walked south to the Pressed Juicery location on Park Avenue, which we’d heard had the infamous Freeze that my friends had been wanting to try. We sat in Madison Square Park for a bit before grabbing an early lunch at Sarabeth’s on Park Avenue.
Our flight was in the early afternoon, so we went back to the hotel, packed up and set out for the airport. We were hoping to catch some of the Carolina Panthers game while in the airport, but our terminal at LaGuardia was surprisingly sparse. We landed just in time to hear about Graham Gano’s game-winning 63 yard field goal, which definitely had everyone on our flight excited.
I love visiting NYC, but I think a long weekend is just the right amount of time. We all agreed that our weekend was near perfect, and that we’ll have to make an annual trip together - not necessarily to NYC each time, so please leave any suggestions for a weekend away!