We love NYC and have been there many times. But we’ve never been by ourselves. Since we checked all of the touristy spots off our list when we went with the kids, we had some different activities on our to-do list this time! (Honestly, that’s something we’ve come to love about an empty nester getaway!) Today I’m sharing details on where we stayed, what we saw and did, and where we ate. (Oh, and just maybe on this darling Madewell embroidered top — now 66% off and still available in lots of sizes!)
Why We Went
Well, we kinda went to NYC just because it’s always fun and there’s always so much to do. But we really went to see Billy Joel! At age 69, he doesn’t tour anymore. Instead, he plays one night a month at Madison Square Garden. Bob LOVES Billy Joel, so his monthly gig was just the excuse we needed! (He was great, BTW, and Bob was all fan guy and totally adorable!) 🙂
Where We Stayed
We decided to stay near Central Park because we knew we wanted to spend some time there. We stayed at the Marriott Essex House, and it was the perfect, lovely spot. We walked to all of our shows and meals, and it kept us away from the craziness that is Times Square. (Well, except for passing through on the way to Broadway.)
What We Saw
When you tell people you’re going to NYC, the first thing they always ask is what shows you’re going to see! This time, Bob and I saw School of Rock, Come From Away, and Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. We adored Come From Away because it’s an uplifting, true story and the actors each play multiple roles. We saw Beautiful in the front row, and we were utterly blown away by the talent of the performers. Since we were so close, they actually made eye contact and sang right to us, and we loved that. I highly recommend both of those shows! We decided to see School of Rock because we liked the movie, and Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote the music for the show. Big mistake! The audience was full of kids and families (Duh! We should have known.) and the message that parents are out of touch and stupid, and kids know better didn’t resonate with us.
I’m taking our daughter, Becca, back in August for a couple of days, and we’re going to see Frozen (Of course!), Come From Away (Yes, again!), Mean Girls (Of course!), and Once on This Island (It just won the Tony for best musical revival.) I can’t wait!
What We Did
Besides seeing shows and eating (LOL), we also took 2-hour private Bike Tour of Central Park. Our guide balanced historical and geographical information about the park with gossip about famous New Yorkers and where they lived, etc. We loved it because he always told us the gossip in hushed tones like it was super secretive scoop. It was hilarious!
One afternoon, we set out for 5th Avenue, and we walked by all of the designer shops. The people watching was divine, and we totally looked like tourists, but we didn’t even care. We were too busy gaping at everything and everyone!
Another day, we checked out the High Line, a public park on Manhattan’s West Side built along an old, historic elevated freight rail line. It runs for 1.45 miles between 10th and 12th Avenues from Gansevoort Street down to the Meatpacking District. I’ve never seen anything like it, and it’s a must-do if you go to NYC on an empty nester getaway! We got off it in the Meatpacking District, because we’d heard about Chelsea Market from our Central Park Bike Tour guide, and we wanted to grab lunch there. Chelsea Market is an indoor food hall that runs a block long and a block wide. It’s right near the Hudson River, so we checked that out too! There are shops there too, with over 35 vendors selling everything from nuts to wine. It was also unlike anything we’d seen before, and I’d highly recommend it as a place to stop for coffee or a meal if you’re going to walk the High Line.
Where We Ate
We had a few favorite places we went back to, like Serafina and the Todd English Food Hall at The Plaza Hotel (So cool!). We also tried a few new spots that we’d read about, or that friends had recommended like B, Nino’s 46, and Carmine’s. We went to Bare Burger for lunch one day because we are pretty much burger connoisseurs (Sad, I know!) and we have a funny tradition where we find a cool local burger joint anywhere we vacation. Another unique place we went was Friedman’s. It’s a family-run NYC chain specializing in food that contains antibiotic-free meats & locally-grown vegetables. (They also have an extensive gluten-free menu which includes waffles, pancakes, and fried chicken!) We went for brunch, and it was full of locals. We might have been the only tourists there! It was fantastic.
Every time we go to New York City, we start a list of where we want to stay/see/eat the next time. I’d love to know your recommendations. Please share them with me in the comments!
SHOP MY LOOKS
P. S. I think one of the best things about the empty nest is the freedom to travel more! Don’t you? Did you know I’ve got a whole section of my website devoted to ideas for empty nester getaways? You can check it out here. xoxo