This is the third blog post in the “How to See New York City in Five Days” series. Start with the first post here.
Day Five – World Trade Center Museum and the Villages
- Monday morning we went to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The museum has an incredible amount of artifacts from the World Trade Center. There are some pretty heart-breaking videos and images so I would not recommend bringing young children. It’s also very somber inside. I know I was super annoyed when a toddler started crying and the parents didn’t take them outside. We saw all the exhibits in the museum in just over 2 hours.
- We walked through the Occulus to get to the museum, which is a pretty cool thing in itself. It’s a train station and mall, which isn’t that exciting, but the design is amazing.
- From the memorial, we took the subway a few stops to check out the villages. We started in Chinatown and meandered the streets up to Little Italy where we ate lunch at Pepe Rosso Social. If you check in on Yelp, you can get a free dessert (which are like, $8, so it’s worth it.) I also got a mint tea with boba from Silk Road Cafe in Chinatown.
- From there, we took the subway a few stops up to Greenwich Village and the West Village. We got out at Washington Square Park and took a look around.
- From Washington Square Park, we walked around the neighborhood. We crisscrossed the residential streets, passed cute little shops and stores, and wandered Bleecker Street. My dad was happy to see Bleecker Street because it was a popular place for Bob Dylan to visit and perform back in the day.
- We also randomly came across the apartment facade they use in “Friends” – Monica and Rachel’s apartment! It’s located at 90 Bedford St.
- After walking the neighborhood, we grabbed a coffee from Toby’s Estate and jumped on the subway home.
Day Six – Top of the Rock, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Grand Central Station, the MET, upper east side.
- Tuesday morning – our final day in New York! We started off by having breakfast at Stop Inn, a little diner in Queens right by our apartment. If you’re in the Queens area, I highly recommend this place. They have every kind of food you could want! Their breakfast selection is superb. I ordered French toast (which comes as two huge slices of challah bread). It was pretty delicious.
- After breakfast, we went to Manhattan to see the Top of the Rock. We arrived around 10:30am and had about a 20-minute wait until we could go up the elevator. So, again, not a bad wait time at all! Having the City Pass allowed us to skip the line to buy tickets, so that was helpful. If you do have to wait though, there are plenty of little shops and eateries inside Rockefeller center to keep your busy.
- My mom said she liked Top of the Rock even better than the Empire State Building. You’re not quite as high (70th floor as compared to 86th floor), so you feel a little more mixed in with all the buildings. The Empire State Building is definitely way above looking down on it all. Also, from the Top of the Rock, you have great views of the Empire State Building on one side and Central Park on the other.
- Again, like the Empire State Building, you can walk up to a few different observation decks.
- From Rockefeller Center, we walked to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. It’s a pretty impressive church right in the middle of downtown. We walked around the whole city block it sits on and peeked inside real quick.
- From the cathedral, we walked down Park Avenue to Grand Central Station. We just wanted to check out the inside. Again, there are a ton of food places inside, if you need a little snack to power you through the day.
- We then took the subway uptown to the MET. The MET is an incredible place. Even if museums aren’t your thing, anyone can appreciate the beautiful interior. We got to see “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” which was awesome. We did a MET mini-tour (designed by me) and hit what I thought to be the highlights – “The Death of Socrates,” “George Washington Crossing the Delaware,” the Astor Chinese Garden Court, Degas’ ballerina paintings, Van Gogh’s cypress tree, Monet’s water lilies and haystacks, the statue of Perseus holding the head of Medusa, and finally, “The Temple of Dendur.” Following these art pieces in that order allowed us to make two loops, covering the first and second floors. Pretty good if you ask me!
- After the MET, we finally ate a late lunch/early dinner at Dig Inn. It was a healthy food choice where you make your own bowls by choosing a base, veggie/potato sides, and a protein. It was seriously delicious! My family agreed it was the best meal we’d eaten in New York (but like I said, we weren’t looking for the best of the best). My bowl was rice and greens base, grilled sweet potato and mac and cheese (which was SO GOOD) sides, and chicken thigh for the protein. Dig Inn has several locations, so check them out!
- While walking to the subway for our final ride home, I saw a bakery with enormous macaroons and had to have one. And that’s a wrap on New York! Whew!
Day Seven – Travel
- We decided to take an Uber to JFK Wednesday morning. It was 5:45am, so we figured surge prices would be lower at that time. Again, if you wanted to take public transit, you could easily take the Long Island Railroad to the airbus. However, for the three of us, it would have cost $30 for the LIRR tickets anyway, so we decided to just Uber it from Queens to JFK. It ended up being $38 plus tip and took us about 25 minutes.
- I had some Jamba Juice oatmeal for breakfast at the airport to hold me over, then flew direct on Jet Blue from JFK to Austin. Jet Blue! I love you. Your seats are comfy and spacious. You give me free (WORKING!) wifi. I watched YouTube, played some mobile games, and got caught up on the Bachelorette via Hulu. It was a delightful flight (other than the 45 minutes of taxi-ing at JFK before take off…).
- As we flew home, my family and I could not stop talking about how wonderful our trip was! We keep saying, Even if we had another day in New York, what would we do? We’ve seen it ALL! Again, hyperbole, but that’s really how we felt!
If you use this itinerary (or parts of the itinerary) to help you plan your vacation in NYC, please let me know! I hope the information in these three posts can be of use to you.
Go back and read other parts of the itinerary:
Part One – Days One and Two
Part Two – Days Three and Four
Want to follow our schedule? Get your CityPASS here: