48 Hours in NYC | Our Mother/Daughter Trip

Empty Nest Blessed by Suzy Mighell
woman over 50 standing on driveway going on Nyc trip wearing spanx black perfect pants, black booties, red cashmere sweater, burberry scarf with suitcase and tory burch tote

When you only have 48 hours in NYC, you’d better know what you’re doing! Luckily on the mother/daughter trip I recently took with my daughter, we had a clear agenda, a master plan (thanks to her!), and the right clothes and travel gear to conquer the city (thanks to me!).๐Ÿ˜‚

Although I’m sharing details of our 48 hours in NYC trip, I’ll be sprinkling in advice throughout the post that you can use if you’re planning your own quick trip to New York City! Look for that advice highlighted in yellow.

My Travel Outfit Above: Puff Sleeve Crewneck Sweater (Best quality item I’ve ever purchased from Amazon – I also own it in black and light tan.) | “Perfect Pants” (They suck you in and boost you up in ALL the right places!) | Similar Block Heel Booties | Lightweight Wool Silk Scarf (at Burberry) or HERE at Nordstrom (same price) | Black Cashmere Duster (in my hand) | Black & Gold Drop Earrings | Black Crossbody Handbag | Briggs & Riley Lifetime Guaranteed Hardside Luggage (updated style linked) | Tory Burch Tote (updated style linked) | Pink UV Sanitizing Water Bottle

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Why We Spent 48 Hours in NYC

It was essentially a birthday trip for our daughter, Becca. As a self-employed musical theater actress, she works all across the country, going from contract to contract. It’s challenging for her to get time off. With 48 hours off and a very important place she needed to go in New York City (so she could be fitted for her birthday gift from us), we decided to make reservations!

Since she couldn’t come until Sunday morning, I decided to arrive Saturday night in order to (1) get good rest the night before, and (2) get all checked in and situated so we could hit the ground running once she arrived.

Where We Stayed

We love New York and have stayed in lots of different hotels, including the JW Marriott Essex House (Highly recommend.), the New York Marriott Marquis (Good if you want to be in Times Square.), and the Central Park Ritz Carlton (Lovely.). Like most of you, we try to be brand loyal in order to earn those valuable loyalty points! Marriott Bonvoy has one of the best loyalty programs in the industry!

But recently, Bob’s company shifted from Marriott to Hyatt, so earlier this summer when we went to NYC, we tried out the Park Hyatt New York. We fell completely in love with it! So (thanks to Bob’s points๐Ÿ˜Š), that’s where Becca and I stayed. When you only have 48 hours in NYC, it’s important to stay somewhere that is convenient to the places and restaurants you’ll be visiting.

The Park Hyatt New York is located on 57th and 7th, which was an ideal location for us! It’s across the street from Carnegie Hall and the iconic Russian Tea Room restaurant. It’s also close to Central Park, the fancy shops on 5th Avenue, Times Square, Columbus Circle shops & restaurants, and Broadway, as well as being right across the street from a grocery store, and near lots of restaurants. The service is impeccable! It might be my favorite hotel in the world. I am not even kidding you!

Watching the Weather

When you only have 48 hours in NYC, you need to watch the weather, to know what to pack. We’d both been watching the weather all week, and we knew it would be nasty! A Nor’easter blew in, along with the remnants of Hurricane Ian, so it was blustery, rainy, and cold the entire time we were there. ๐Ÿ˜† That meant it was important to dress in layers, wear rainboots and a raincoat, and have a good travel umbrella on hand.

Day One

woman taking mirror selfie wearing red sweater, black cashmere scarf, good american faux leather black jeans and black sneakers

Cashmere Crewneck Sweater | Faux Leather Black Straight Leg Jeans | Black Cashmere Scarf | Machine Washable Wool Sneakers | Black & Gold Drop Earrings | Black Rain Booties (not pictured – swapped out when it rained!)

When Becca arrived at about 10:30 am, we hit the ground running! When you only have 48 hours in NYC, an agenda and a timeline are critical! Thanks to her expert planning, we had both! We had originally planned to window shop and browse the shops on 5th Ave. before lunch. But with the uncooperative weather, we changed our plans and headed to the Nordstrom store around the corner from our hotel.

Water Resistant Leather Combat Boots

With her schedule, Becca doesn’t have a lot of time for shopping, and she needed a pair of brown boots. Thankfully, we found the perfect pair at Nordstrom! ๐ŸŽ‰ We dropped them off back at the hotel, and then headed to lunch at Friedman’s in the Edison Hotel.

Friedman’s is one of our very favorite restaurants in New York! They’re a family-run business, with 9 locations in NYC. They serve “American comfort food.” Virtually the entire menu can be prepared gluten-free, which is great for celiacs like Becca and me.๐Ÿคธโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿ’ƒ

two women standing next to a baked by melissa sign in the store

Next, we stopped by Baked by Melissa, and treated ourselves to a 25-pack of gluten free mini cupcakes, which we enjoyed over the next two days!

into the woods playbill

After lunch, we headed to a Broadway matinee. We saw Into the Woods, which was excellent! (Going to a Broadway show with a musical theater actress is quite the experience and I always learn a lot!) When you only have 48 hours in NYC, you need to buy show tickets in advance!

After the show, we headed to the Columbus Circle shops & restaurants to get warm and do a little browsing. Then we made our way back towards the hotel to Bareburger (313 W 57th St.) for a delicious chef-crafted burger with a gluten free bun and gluten free fries. Like Friedman’s, it’s a local-to-NYC chain. When you only have 48 hours in NYC, you need to coordinate your meal locations with the spots you’re visiting.

Day Two

Puff Sleeve Crewneck Pullover (30% off right now & also comes in blue/black/tan stripe) | “Perfect Pants” (They suck you in and boost you up in ALL the right places!) | Machine Washable Wool Sneakers | Red & Gold Drop Earrings | Delicate Diamond Initial Necklace | Black Crossbody Handbag | Burberry Quilted Jacket (updated style)

When you only have 48 hours in NYC, you need to have a mission, whether it’s visiting a certain NYC-specific spot, seeing a certain show, or whatever. For example, one time, Bob and I planned an entire weekend NYC getaway around one of Billy Joel’s monthly shows at Madison Square Garden ๐ŸŽน! (It was SO good!)

After a sumptuous room service breakfast at the hotel, we Ubered to LaDuca Shoes. LaDuca makes the finest dance shoes in the world. For her birthday, Bob and I gave Becca LaDuca booties, and she needed to be fit for them in person.

sign at the drama book shop

Since the entire trip was really a birthday gift for Becca, she had a few other places she wanted to visit and cross off her bucket list. Next, we headed to the Drama Book Shop, which is NYC’s best source for theatrical works, with over 8,000 plays regularly in stock. She loved browsing and bought a few plays to source for monologues for her upcoming Grad School auditions.

When you only have 48 hours in NYC, don’t be afraid to just “stop by” places on your bucket list! Don’t avoid them because you feel like there isn’t enough time to really enjoy them. A cursory look will let you discover places you want to revisit the next time you’re in the city. The Drama Book Shop will definitely be one of those places for Becca!

lincoln center on a rainy day
Lincoln Center on a rainy fall day.

After that, we Ubered to Lincoln Center, the location of the New York Library for the Performing Arts. It’s home to one of the world’s most extensive research collections in the fields of theatre, film, dance, music, and recorded sound! We had fun browsing and then made our way over to Pappardella for lunch. It’s a delicious and atmospheric Italian restaurant with lots of gluten free options, including gluten free garlic bread!

When you only have 48 hours in NYC, eat well and enjoy yourself! You’re probably walking off most of the calories you’re eating! ๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿšถโ€โ™€๏ธ

We’d planned to spend the afternoon in Central Park, but with the bad weather, we decided to go to the American Museum of Natural History instead. We spent a leisurely and fun afternoon with dinosaurs, fossils, and the solar system!

When you only have 48 hours in NYC, stay flexible and have some “Plan B” ideas in mind, in case you encounter bad weather, huge crowds, or whatever.

Becca had to fly out that night, so after the museum, we Ubered back to the hotel and grabbed her suitcase. Then we walked to Serafina Broadway and ate more gluten free Italian food! ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ•

woman's hand holding up a menu from serafina restaurant in nyc

After dinner, Becca grabbed an Uber from the restaurant and left for the airport. Her tired mama headed back to the hotel for a great night’s sleep, followed by another giant room service breakfast, and then a cab to the airport.

We ate great food and visited cool places, and in between and during those things there was a lot of laughter and deep conversation. One of the things I love the most about travel is the intimacy of shared experiences. No matter how many pictures you take and share, the travelers are the only ones who really lived the time together. The shared memories are priceless and precious to the travelers in a way they can never completely be to anyone else. Becca and I had such a sweet, sweet time together and I’m so grateful for our awesome 48 hours in NYC.๐Ÿ’—

What to Pack for 48 Hours in NYC

When you only have 48 hours in NYC, it’s important to pack weather appropriately! Also, pack for utility and comfort more than fashion. (Yes, I actually just said that! Don’t faint! ๐Ÿคฃ) As any seasoned traveler knows, layers are the way to go when you travel! Even if you go in the middle of summer, someone is going to be blasting the A/C somewhere, and you’re going to wish you had a wrap!

I Was So Glad I Brought:

Thanks for journeying along with us! Please let me know if you have any questions on anything I shared. Do you have any NYC must-do spots or must-pack items? Please share them with us in the comments!

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  1. So much to say. I love your red sweater from Amazon. And I have never bought leather pants and I’m going to try the NYDJ ones in your post because I like the fit of the Marilyn straight leg jeans. And these trips with your daughter while she is able to get away and before she has littles (even though it was short) are a blessing. A few years ago, my girls and I went to Vegas to see the Backstreet Boys together. Just spent one night. So much good food and nostalgia and reminiscing about the time I took them to see BSB when they were in Jr. High. Sounds like you had a wonderful trip and many good memories

  2. A 25 pack of cupcakes!!๐Ÿงโค๏ธ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿคช๐Ÿง

    1. Suzy,

      In my defense, they were “mini” cupcakes – and we split them – and neither of us could eat the chocolate ones because chocolate is a migraine trigger for both of us. Soooo….๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚


    1. Kellie,

      I did a cab from the airport. They have a very organized and orderly system in place and I felt safe. Becca took an Uber when she arrived. The prices were pretty much the same. We did Ubers the rest of the time when we weren’t walking.

      I hope that helps!


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