One World Observatory

There’s a first time for everything, right? Well for us, our first time to New York was just a week ago! I know, kind of a big deal… AND we only had 36 hours in the city! There are so many fun things to do, see, and great restaurants to try while visiting. It is impossible to fit it all in, especially in 36 hours, but we sure tried! Our itinerary started with a red-eye flight arriving to New York Friday, a little after midnight, and departed Sunday early afternoon, around 2 pm. Here’s how we made the most of our trip.

First stop, bagels and lox. If you are a lover of smoked fish and a plethora of cream cheeses, this is the place for you. Grab a ticket when you enter and find a place to stand while you wait for your number to be called. The wait is a bit longer than you’d hope and it’s a bit pricier than your average bagel and lox, but it’s well worth it!

.Russ & Daughters.

Russ & Daughters
Russ & Daughters Smoked Fish
Russ & Daughters Cream Cheese & Caviar

.One World Observatory.

Surpassing the Empire State Building (1,250 ft.), Freedom Tower is the tallest building in New York at 1,368 feet. The observation deck has three levels with panoramic views all around New York. To bypass the long line out front, we bought our tickets online and headed to the entrance towards the elevators. The ride up is fast and smoother than you’d think as you progress from 0-102 floors in less than a minute, but it can still leave you a bit motion sick. There is a video displayed on the inner elevator walls that shows the history development of the city. Once you reach the observation deck, visitors watch another short film, and the mini screens lift to reveal a spectacular view of the Hudson skyline. iPad's are available for rent to help identify what you’re looking at on the observation deck. We skipped this and still had an amazing time viewing the city. 

Freedom Tower
One World Observatory


Time for a cocktail or two… and rooftop views! Located on the rooftop of the Conrad Hotel on 102 North End Avenue, Loopy Doopy exceeds all expectations when it comes to rooftop bars. It has a killer view and an interesting twist on a champagne mimosa. One of their most famous treats are their boozy infused popsicles that are dunked in a glass of your choice of rosecco or prosecco. These tasty treats are a bit pricey running from about $22-$25 each, but the take-away is more for the experience and stunning views.

Loopy Doopy NYC People's Pops
Loopy Doopy NYC People's Pops

Two in one! After getting a little sauced from the pops, we decided to take a stroll in Manhattan – down Chinatown and Little Italy (since the two neighborhoods are right next to each other.) It was a short little walk, but nice to just soak up the ambiance of these historic districts. Streets filled with vendors in Chinatown and fresh pasta shops in Little Italy, such amazing history in a few short blocks.


Little Italy NYC
Little Italy NYC
Chinatown NYC


The cutest little pencil shop we ever did see. Emphasis on the little, this shop located on the lower East Side, is an artist’s dream. The selection doesn’t stop at pencils, there are also dozens of erasers, sharpeners, and notebooks to choose from! My favorite novelty in the shop had to be the old-school vending machine that popped out a vintage pencil once you inserted two quarters in the slots. 

CW Pencil Enterprise

.Chelsea Market.

Between 15th and 16th streets in the Meatpacking District, Chelsea Market is a utopia for food lovers and unique shopping. The extensive variety of food and awesome flea market steered us in this direction. As our appetites grew and so did the word about some of the best tacos in town, we had to give them a try. Los Tacos no.1 was our first stop in the market. Judging from one of the longest lines a food vendor had, this was the right choice. You order at the counter and give your ticket to a staff member where the food is served. As you wait for your food to be ready, you can choose from a variety of house made salsas – a plus! After we inhaled these delicious tacos, we walked off our calories in the flea market section of the shopping center. Such cute little vendors and unique finds, we could’ve easily spent a few hours here if we had the time! 

Los Tacos No. 1 Chelsea Market NYC
Los Tacos No.1 Menu Chelsea Market NYC

.Central Park.

Located in the heart of the city, this is truly an urban oasis. Although, we did make it before sunset, our time here was short. We arrived later in the evening, so we only got to take a short stroll in the park before the rats scurried their way onto our path. Yikes! It is, however, a beautiful sight after dark with the scenic lights of the city that reflects off the lakes, ponds, and streams. Here’s a snapshot near the Belvedere Castle and turtle pond.

Central Park NYC Belvedere Castle

.Time Square.

It’s everything we imagined… Bright lights, big city, and overly crowded. For someone who grew up watching TRL on MTV, this is pretty exciting. Also for those who watch the ball drop every New Year’s Eve! 

Time Square NYC


Located in the Flatiron District, Eataly is a street-level market with every Italian treat you can think of: gelato, cheese, wine, meats, chocolate, coffee, and more! This was a pleasant surprise since we were passing through to try out the rooftop bar La Birreria. Unfortunately, the bar was closed for a private event, but finding this little gem of Italian cuisine is definitely one of the reasons we’ll be making a trip back for round two!

Eataly NYC

.230 Fifth.

It’s not a trip to New York without hitting up more than one rooftop bar. Expect a little cheesiness during the winter months, as the bar lends red snuggies for their guests to keep warm, but it doesn’t take away from the spectacular views of the city. With a view of the Empire State Building at this 22,000-sq. ft. space, it’s an unbeatable scene. 

230 Fifth Rooftop Bar NYC

.Taxi's and Subways.

Part of an authentic New York experience is travelling the way New Yorkers do. We hopped on the subway and even hailed a cab, not as exciting as the rest of our activities… but we’re happy we got to experience it!

NYC Subway Station
Hailing a Cab in NYC

Since we couldn’t fit everything in on this trip, we have some good reasons to come back! Here’s our short-list of things for next time!

5th Avenue Shopping
A Broadway Show
The Brooklyn Bridge
Bryant Park
Empire State Building
The Guggenheim
The High Line
Katz’s Delicatessen
The Met
New York Botanical Garden
Rockefeller Center
Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
Wall Street

Hope you enjoyed our first time as much as we did! If you have any suggestions, please help us out by sharing your own tips in the comments, we’d love to hear them! xx