Anyone that knows me, has followed this blog for a while, follows me on Instagram or have just generally spoken to me for more than a few hours will know that New York is my favourite place on earth. I find it hard to explain quite why – although so much LOL at this post I once wrote when I was very jet lagged and not in the best place and I basically had a meltdown over my love affair with new york – but there’s just something about it, the atmosphere shall we say, that makes New York feel simultaneously like home and the most exciting place on the planet all at once.
I honestly don’t know how it does that, clever little sasspot!
But the thing with New York is that it gets better the more you know it, and despite having now been 4 times, I am forever learning the best spots, discovering new favourites and new places to avoid. So rather than put together a guide – because I have a) done a foodie guide before and b) let’s face it, there are people that have been umpteen times and could probably do a better job – I thought I’d give some tips on how best to do New york. Because as much as I could just wander and have the best time of my life… I also feel that to get the best out of the city, you do need to have some kind of plan!
Go with the right group/person
I genuinely believe that the company you keep in NYC plays a huge part of how good of an experience you actually have. Because there is so much to do, you need to be able to agree on what to see and what to sacrifice. You walk and explore constantly in NYC so I would recommend going with people that you can talk to all day and never ever get bored of. You want people that can make you laugh and appreciate the same things that you do. You could also TOTALLY do NYC by yourself and actually, that’s something that I very nearly did not long ago. But the last trip I made I went with Jess and Gemma and it was genuinely one of the best trips of my entire life. We laughed, we cried with laughter, we spoke about everything and anything and I still smile away thinking about all the incredible memories we made.
Stay in a good location
Accommodation in NYC is an absolute minefield. There are hundreds to choose from with the locations and quality varying vastly. We decided to stay in the Westin Times Square and in all honesty, you just cannot beat the location for having the most incredible buzz at all times. Times Square is pretty love or hate but it’s far enough down the street that you don’t feel like everyone is on top of you, but near enough to wander down in minutes. I personally absolutely adored waking up every day really feeling like I was in NYC. We stayed in one of the beautiful Junior Suites and slept like babies every night in their Heavenly beds (they’re actually called heavenly beds too and there is good reason for that), and woke up to views of the empire state every morning. The total NYC dream! The Westin focuses on Wellbeing and a new initiative of theirs is the Sleep well programme which includes a Sleep well menu comprising of superfood sleep-enhancing meals, the sleep well balm infused with lavender and chamomile which helps soothes and calms the mind… and of course, the Heavenly beds. Enough said!
Plan ahead – stalk instagram, read guides, screen grab away
So as I mentioned, there are some incredible guides out there but my favourite way to discover new places is through Instagram. I like to look at where NYC based bloggers go to as they’re usually finding the best spots. A few of my favourites are Noelle Downing, Rach Martino, Emily Lucianoand Retro Flame but even just searching some New York hashtags will bring you up some fab recommendations. There are so many New York guide blog posts so have a good google and you will most definitely find some amazing options. It’ll also be good if you’re on a bit of a budget too as you can work out what places to prioritise.
Mix it up – Tourist attractions Vs Wandering
If it’s your first time in NYC, or even if it isn’t, I would always suggest doing something touristy… maybe a trip to the Top of the rock (always my favourite and I never fail to go every single time), maybe it’s the statue of liberty, maybe Central Park. But I think it’s important – and just straight up enjoyable/amazing/exciting af – to see something typically New York. At the same time, if there’s one thing I urge you to do, it’s scheduling in some time to just wander and get lost. Some of my favourite discoveries have been from just taking a random turn and ending up on an amazing block. This is how I discovered Bistango (amazing for gluten free pizza and carrot cake) and Free People (just amazing in general, insert all the heart eye’d emojis here).
Take time to totally enjoy
I feel like I slightly cover this above with allowing yourself to wander but in this day and age, switching off is outrageously hard. And if you’re a blogger/instagrammer/photographer etc. then you will struggle in NYC because you want to capture every darn corner. However, take it from a girl that never switches off, the best moments come from living in those moments and not through your iphone screen. One day in NYC last month, the girls and I strolled down to Central Park, sat on a bench and chatted for hours straight. About everything (lol’ing inside over our conversations that will never see the light of day/this blog). And it was one of my favourite moments of the trip!
So those are some of my tips for being able to see the best of New York. I think the thing with New York is that unless you spend a decent amount of time there – which I may actually be doing soon so watch this space (omg the excitement) – you will always feel like you’ve not seen or covered enough, because there’s just so much to do and endless things to see. But I hope these tips help you to cover as much as possible.
I’d love to know if you’re off to New York soon, have been recently or would love to go one day? Do you have any tips for conquering the best place on earth the big apple? I always love hearing your thoughts!