A record-breaking 50 million tourists are expected to visit New York this year, according to New York Magazine. And we understand the appeal. The city is home to some of our favorite spots — The Carlyle, Jean Georges, Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa… But if you’re a newcomer to the Big Apple, you need to focus on the basics. So how do you fit it all in? Here’s our one-day-in Manhattan breakdown:
Grab a warm bagel and coffee at Midtown’s H&H Bagels, which many locals consider the best in the city, before heading to Lower Manhatten to hop a Liberty or Ellis Island-bound ferry from Castle Clinton National Monument. Spend a few hours searching Ellis Island’s immigrant database for information on your ancestors, perusing its artifact-filled museums, or climbing the pedestal of Lady Liberty. Head back to Manhattan isle and north to the trendy SoHo shopping district for boutique and department store goods, plus treats ranging from T-shirts to original pieces of art from street vendors. Leave enough time to enjoy a nice meal at the ever-popular French bistro Balthazar. You won’t go wrong with the steak frites, and be sure to buy a buttery pastry from the bakery before hopping a cab to Midtown for a Broadway show. (Check out TKTS Discount Booth in Times Square for same-day show discounts, but plan ahead for the perennially long lines.)
For one last nightcap (or the first of many in the city that never sleeps), take a cab downtown and step into one of the many lounges that fill the gritty streets of the Lower East Side, now one of New York’s favorite after-dark destinations. Or join the crowds in the Meatpacking District, where The Standard hotel has rejuvenated the nightlife scene. Its beer garden, located under the High Line, is an ideal warm-weather spot, as is the Standard Grill, which serves bistro classics until 4 a.m.