OUR New York CITY TOP 5
*Items marked with an asterisk contained gifted elements however as always,
we are 100% honest with our experience and opinions.
As many of you may know, Chris is 3 years younger than me... I know - a toy-boy forever, that’s how I like to think of it! (He however just liked to remind me of how I'll hit the big age milestones YEARS before him!)
A few years ago, Chris whisked me away to Lapland for my 30th birthday, a huge life long dream of mine and he went above and beyond (and proposed!) during our magical, snowy adventure (click here to read all about it). So.. the challenge was set with 3 years (3 and a half shh) notice to plan and execute an equally amazing trip for him when he turned 30! That's the reason for our trip to New York City - a real trip of a lifetime!
There were so many things that were simply incredible to see and experience but I've compiled together a list of our NYC TOP 5 'best and favourites' here for anyone who might be going and wants to read.
Sight Seeing by Helicopter
There's many ways to see New York and the Manhattan skyline but one I definitely wanted to get us doing for Chris' birthday was by Helicopter!
The company we used was called FlyNyon and wait for it... they offer doors on OR doors off experience, I chose the DOORS OFF!! This was something I definitely did not regret in the slightest. We sat there facing out with our feet dangling above the concrete jungle and it was ammmaaazzing!
We were very fortunate to actually do 2 flights, one in the day time and one at night time. Chris’ parents contributed to this for his birthday so it made it a family present to Chris, not just from me which I thought was lovely.
Personally, I loved the night flight as it was like flying over an endless Christmas tree city covered in fairy lights - Times Square was absolutely breath taking in terms of its brightness, you could work out were it was from so far away. Central park was a perfect black rectangular hole in the star like sights of Manhattan. Chris said he couldn’t pick which he preferred, which is classic Chris, ever so grateful and polite for everything he is given.
One huge bit of advice, book the weather insurance, we used ours as it was cancelled due on the first day and rescheduled. If you're doing this then try be flexible and don’t book it on your last day as if it rains, they can’t reschedule for a day that suits you (that's when you'd need the insurance)!
Bike ride & Rowing in Central park *
This was probably the cheapest thing we did in New York and it was one of the best, if not a joint winner! I loved the freedom and ease of renting the bikes with our New York Passes*, I especially loved the cute little baskets on the front of the bikes. We spent quite a couple of hours cycling around the park then having lunch like locals sitting on a park bench, people watching.
This was followed by rowing on the lake in the sunshine. We had read about the bikes because of the New York Pass app but totally stumbled on the Rowing Boats whilst cycling past the Loeb Boat House in Central Park, such an oasis and only $15 for the hour. It felt very cliché but totally idyllic rowing on the sparkling water in the sunshine. This led us perfectly into the shade of the boat house to enjoy an ice cold Coca Cola after being in the sunshine. It felt magical, a true escapism cycling the winding lanes through the trees and rowing on the lake, a welcome change from the bustling streets and avenues of New York.
Seeing The Lion King on Broadway
Two words...DO THIS! It was A-MA-ZING and will stay with us forever, you don’t need kids to enjoy the Lion King (although Rose was in my tummy)! We were very lucky as I had planned this super early so managed to get great prices (literally booked this the day I booked the flights) and got front row aisle seats.
I made Chris sit on the aisle as after reading reviews because... well, I don’t want to spoil it for you but you get very close to the actors and I'll just leave it at that!
We picked up our tickets when another show was on during the day so there wasn’t a queue at the box office, then just before our show started we could walk straight in after a yummy dinner, ideal!
New York Harbor Tours - Manhattan Circumnavigation*
I did SO SO much research about to the best way to see New York by boat and New York Harbor Tours ticked all the boxes. Firstly, a private charter boat tour of NYC (!!), then talk about tailoring everything to your needs; from start times with changing weather, to photo opportunities by slowing down or doing 360s in the water until you get the photo you want! Also, we really love the deck chairs and drinks cooler on the board allowing us sit back and relax whilst soaking in the towering sky scraper views but also cheers to Chris' birthday with an ice cold drink...It couldn't have been more perfect really.
We finished the 3hr circumnavigation tour of Manhattan at the magnificent Statue of Liberty. We would 1000% recommend this wonderful private boat tour rather than the busy ferries which is always jam packed full of people and cameras above heads.. you can get much closer to sights like the Statue of Liberty and it's a much calmer and serene way of seeing the 'city that doesn’t sleep'.
View from the Top Of The Rock *
This is what we both wanted to do as soon as we arrived. Chris has always said this has the better view compared to going up the Empire State Building and he is totally right! Yes Chris you read that correctly, I said YOU’RE RIGHT haha.
If you can only do one of the two locations, our top tip is to definitely do this! Try to be clever with the weather though and work out which day to go, as on a clear day you can see really very far.
We used the The New York Pass app for access to The Rockefeller, you have to go a day or two before to reserve your entry (as it sells out VERY quickly on the day). The app gives you lots of information like busy times so we went straight away in the morning, before breakfast when it was quieter then, once we had taken in the view, we went and ate a yummy breakfast to fuel us up for the rest of the day.
So there you have it...there are many more things that I would like to squeeze into the top 5 as it was such a once in a lifetime trip! You may already think I cheated by putting the Cycling AND Rowing in one category (haha!) but I thought that was acceptable and then I could share more with you!
We both cannot wait to travel more of the world, I wonder what’s next! I hope you enjoyed reading, please comment down below if you have other recommendations so that anyone reading this can get all the advice possible before visiting New York City.
NEW YORK CITY
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