We are beyond excited to share our latest City Guide with you all, as this week our friend (and NYC resident) Lauren Nelson is sharing some of her expert tips on how to make the most out of just 72 hours in New York City. With a truly endless array of activities, hot spots, and sights to see in NYC, we think a few expert recommendations are not only welcome, but necessary! We’ll let Lauren take over from here…
Hello, friends!! Lauren here from Lauren-Nelson.com. I am a lifestyle and interior design blogger based in New York City. So today, I'm here to share my "72 Hours in New York City!" Living in New York is something special that I try to remember not to take for granted. There is so much to do in New York, that I'm sure it can be quite overwhelming for those visiting this city I call home. My recommendations include a mix of local neighborhood favorites that are near and dear to my heart, in addition to a few not-to-miss tourist destinations. Let's get to it, shall we?
Check in to the Standard Hotel Meat Packing. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes as New York requires a lot of walking! I always stash a pair of "just in case" heels in my purse for wherever the day may take me. Head on over to brunch at Buvette, a French tapas restaurant located in the heart of the West Village. Be prepared to wait, as this is a local neighborhood favorite—but trust me when I say it's worth the 20-30 minute wait. In case you are in more of a hurry, I'd recommend Bluestone Lane Cafe or Sant Ambroeus. After brunch, take a stroll around the West Village. If you’re skincare obsessed like me, pop into Caudalie's only NY location on Grove Street.
Head on over to SoHo for some more great shopping. I recommend shopping down West Broadway or Prince Street. Although this area is crowded, it’s less so than the stores located on Broadway. Every store you could imagine is located off of Prince. Don't miss the Illesteva store (Prince and Mulberry), the AG Jeans Store, Club Monaco, J.Crew and so on. You can also venture down to Spring for additional shopping options! Grab a late lunch at the Dutch, located at Sullivan and Prince Street. Order the Lobster Roll.
After lunch head back to the hotel for a little R&R. Grab a pre-dinner cocktail at the Brass Monkey rooftop. There are gorgeous views of the Hudson that make it the perfect spot for a cool summer night. Afterwards make your way to Santina, one of my absolute favorite restaurants in New York. You HAVE to order the Calabrian Tune Cecina, basically a tuscan chickpea pancake with spicy tuna tartare. Delicious. After dinner, take a stroll down the Highline. There's an entrance right by Santina.
Grab a cab up to Central Park and grab brunch at the Boat House. A can't-miss New York City staple, it's also one of my favorite places to dine during the holidays. After brunch take a stroll around Central Park. I always love visiting the Pond (located at the 75th entrance) that has little remote control sailboats that kids can play with. After Central Park, head south down 5th Avenue. Grab a coffee at Ralph's. If you're not shopped out, you can pop in to the high-end luxury stores located all up and down 5th Avenue. I always think it's fun to see when visiting!
There are a few places I would recommend uptown for lunch. First and foremost, the cafe at Bergdorfs. The restaurant is full of birdcage chairs (so fun) and the food is delicious. This is perfect spot for a girls’ trip! Other notable favorites uptown include: Nobu, The Plaza, Quality Italian, or Fig and Olive. For an easy but fun tourist afternoon, head west to 41st and 11th Avenue to catch the New York City Water Taxi. This is one of my favorite things to do when I have friends in town! The tour takes you up and down the Manhattan coastline giving a ton of background on the city, takes you close to the Statue of Liberty, and has several stops along the West Side including Chelsea Market, the West Village and South Street Seaport. After your fun-filled day, head back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. A few of my go-to's for dinner include: Rosemary's, Jeffrey's Grocery, Charlie Bird, or Babbo. If I'm playing favorites, Rosemary's would win. It's a spacious Italian restaurant located in the West Village. Order the caprese focaccia bread. You can see all of my favorite dinner recommendations here.
For your last morning in the city, I would grab a quick cup of coffee and a blanket and head over to the Pier on the Hudson. Located right on the water, it's the perfect location to relax, catch some sun and city views. Afterwards, head down to lunch at Grand Banks. This old ship turned restaurant on the water is one of my favorite restaurants in the city. Order the skipper key cocktail and the lobster roll.
One of the best parts about New York are the Broadway and comedy shows at your fingertips. I always love going to a low-key pizza place (Ribalta is so good) and catching a show at the Comedy Cellar at the Underground! It's not uncommon for big name comedians to show up last minute! For an after-show cocktail, head over to Happiest Hour. With palm tree wallpaper and delicious cocktails, I might even meet you there! For additional recommendations or questions, feel free to shoot me a note at email@example.com! You can also follow my New York adventures on Instagram @_laurennelson_.
We cannot thank Lauren enough for her expert recommendations, and insight to the bustling city of NYC! If it were up to us, we’d be there right this second, soaking up all that the city has to offer. All we know is that next time we visit the Big Apple, we’ll be hitting these favorite spots of Lauren’s to experience them for ourselves. What are some of your favorite NYC activities?
Xx Team GM
Photos: Gray Malin, Lauren Nelson