Although Manhattan is only 14 miles long and almost 3 miles wide, one week of sightseeing is not enough because there is so much to see and experience.
If visiting NYC is your first time and skyscrapers, museums, and large crowds are your gig, then this walking tour developed by Dr. Randy Olson, the genius behind the best way to road trip the United States and Europe in the shortest amount of time, is probably for you. According to Dr. Randy Olson, it would take a total of 4.5 hours of walking to hit 27 major NYC attractions.
If you are like me who loves museums, restaurants, shopping, parks, and large crowds then you would split your trip in 5, 6, or even 12 visits to hit those 27 attractions and keep coming back for more.
I lost count but I think this is my 12th visit to Manhattan. I still remember my first time there back in early 2000 in July – hot and humid and didn’t feel like doing anything in Manhattan let alone hitting at least 27 attractions. It wasn’t until my second visit the following year in spring that I fell in love with Manhattan.
This year both my sister and I decided to explore and enjoy Lower Manhattan, a mini road trip if you will. We had only full 52 hours (not counting flight arrival and departure time) and our priorities were eating at the best restaurants, attending some fashion shows, strolling through the High Line, view the Occulus and paying respects to the 911 victims at World Trade Center.
The trip was short, sweet, and productive and here’s how we had a great time in less than 3 days without rushing through:
As much as we love saving money, taking a taxi was a better option this time. We took the NYC Airporter and the subway last time but it took almost 6 hours to get to our hotel from JFK. After checking in at our hotel, we walked over to Tataki for dinner. The assorted sashimi and sushi plus the ramen noodles hit the spot. Slept like a baby that night!
We slept in due to jet lag and time difference. We had plans to have breakfast at Jacks’ wife Freda but we ended up having brunch instead. The food was excellent and the service was superb – coming back next time for sure!
After brunch, we took the subway to 34th street and strolled through the High Line from there to 10th Avenue in the Meatpacking District. It was surprisingly not crowded. The views were amazing and along the High Line, there were plenty of seatings everywhere to sit, relax and rest, not to mention food trucks and ice cream carts readily available along the path if you were hungry or thirsty.
We made our way up to 16th avenue for a couple functions. Then headed back to the hotel in Soho to change for a couple shows that night. In between shows we went to Pig and Khao for dinner – the Pork Belly Adobo was my fav!
That night I slept with a pillow supporting my calves – my legs were exhausted from all the walking!
We had coffee and croissants for breakfast at a cafe next to our hotel. Then walked 30 minutes from the cafe to The Spotted Pig in West Village for lunch. Along the way, we soaked in the beautiful architecture and the eclectic street scenes.
Thanks to Uber, we were chauffeured from the West Village to the World Trade Center in comfort with a full belly. We went to the 911 memorial to pay our respects and then it was time for shopping! A trip to C21 Department store is highly recommended if you are shopping for designer bargains. Hours and hours later, we emerged with a few items and walked over to the Oculus mall at World Trade Center.
The mall is in a complex that connects the Port Authority Trans-Hudson trains from New Jersey with New York’s subways. I don’t remember if we visited all 50+ stores but we sure did walk the entire mall in a 2 story endless circles of shops. There were no places to sit btw. Maybe because it’s a transit hub and they don’t want you to sit but shop instead.
We ended our night at Eataly. Think of a smaller version of Whole Foods but selling only Italy made products. They also have restaurants within the store with some amazing views of Manhattan. We ate at Il Pesce. My dish was a bit salty but it was good overall.
We have already made plans to return next year to hit other restaurants and shops. Maybe, just maybe we may try the walking tour developed by Dr. Randy Olson and visit the 27 major NYC attractions within 5 hours and possibly more!