**Disclaimer – I am not ashamed to admit that this is a 100% straight up touristy trip and we loved every minute of it. It was our first trip to NYC and we wanted to see all the tourist hot spots. If you are looking for off the beaten path, this post might not be the one!
For as long as I can remember, New York City has been at the top of my bucket list. Every other year, I found myself close enough to NYC to visit but something always thwarted our trip. At the end of last year, I won a two night stay at the Library Hotel through Passports with Purpose. It was the perfect excuse to start planning my dream vacation.
Unfortunately, when I started exploring it looked like taking the whole family was out of the budget. After tossing around some ideas, my husband and I decided that it would be a great opportunity to take my tween son and get some one on one time.
Day One – Arrival and Times Square
We arrived at La Guardia on a Friday afternoon and took a shuttle to the hotel. Once we were all checked in, we immediately dropped our luggage and went out to explore.
The Library Hotel was in the perfect location for everything we wanted to do and see around NYC. When he found out that I was taking him to NYC, he had two requests. The first was to climb to the crown of the Statue of Liberty and the second was to see Times Square. We went to Times Square right away. We didn’t spend time visiting shops but we did wander around, watch the buskers, and take in the lights. After we had our fill, we decided to head back to the hotel to get a good night’s sleep.
Day Two – Statue of Liberty, 911 Memorial, Wall Street
When I asked my son what he wanted to do in NYC, climbing to the crown of the Statue of Liberty was at the top of his list. After reading about all of the different options to see Lady Liberty, I tried to convince him to skip the whole thing and just do a Circle Line cruise. He was having none of that. I bought our tickets six months before we went, even before I bought our plane tickets! We have a lot of advice about visiting the Statue of Liberty and that will be in an upcoming post. We also visited the 911 Memorial. The memorial was incredibly moving and I am glad that we took the time to go. The charging bull on Wall Street is right down the road from Battery Park. I assume you have to get there pretty early or be prepared to fight the crowds. We couldn’t get anywhere near it. If one wants pictures, they should plan accordingly.
On this day, we also decided to see a Broadway Musical. School of Rock was just the ticket for us. We were thrilled to get seats (half price but still over $200) for that night just a few hours before the show.
Day Three – Central Park
By day three, we had enough of the city sounds and dodging people on the sidewalks. We wanted to spend the day at the American Museum of Natural History but we didn’t realize we would spend most of the day wandering Central Park. We spent hours meandering through the park. We sailed model boats, sat on benches and watched people. We finally made it to museum, where we spent the next few hours. At the end of our visit, we decided rather than taking a shorter route, we were going to walk back through the park. And wander we did.
Top of the Rock was our final stop on this trip. Oh, the views!
Posts on each of our adventures to come!