Spending Two Perfect Days In New York City

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Packed with world-famous landmarks and world-class restaurants, New York is a mecca of art, culture, food, fashion and entertainment. To get you in a New York state of mind, we’ve got a 48-hour itinerary filled with timeless classics and new hot spots.

No visit to Gotham is complete without the perfect bagel, so start your first day at Ess-a-Bagel’s Midtown location. Relish a plump everything bagel (or ask for whatever’s hot) with cream cheese and lox, then head to the Museum of Modern Art. Get your fill of iconic images, from Monet’s Water Lilies to Warhol’s Gold Marilyn Monroe, and recharge at Cafe 2 or treat yourself to lunch at The Modern.

Stroll down Fifth Avenue to Rockefeller Center, strap on some ice skates and hit the rink, or head to the Top of the Rock for an awe-inspiring view of the skyline. If you’re feeling theatrical, take in a hit Broadway show such as The Book of Mormon (be sure to buy tickets in advance).

After the curtain falls, head east to Grand Central Terminal. You’ll marvel at the Beaux-Arts glory of the main concourse before heading out and up to the Campbell Apartment, where you’ll sip a Prohibition Punch in this classy hidden gem, the former office of a 1920s tycoon.

Once you’ve savored your Jazz Age cocktails and music, head back to your hotel. We suggest the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Peninsula New York for its prime location and impeccable service. Spruce up for dinner at Five-Star Per Se, chef Thomas Keller’s East Coast analog to The French Laundry (be sure to make reservations one month in advance).

Day 2 is all about Downtown. Since brunch is a New York tradition, fuel up at Balthazar, Soho’s buzzy French bistro (we suggest making reservations here too). Then hit up the designer boutiques and high-end chains in this popular shopping district.

Nothing says New York like pizza, so grab a fresh coal-oven creation at Lombardi’s, followed by a midday macchiato in Little Italy or a quiet haute chocolate at MarieBelle; go through the store to the Cacao Bar and Tea Salon.

After warming up with some frothy hot chocolate, make your way to Chelsea for a dose of fabulous contemporary art at the Gagosian and, since you’re in the neighborhood, get a tres leches or crème brûlée doughnut at Doughnut Plant. If the weather’s nice, walk along the High Line, the mile-long park built atop a 1930s elevated rail line. Then survey the bevy of gourmet offerings at the famed food concourse Chelsea Market.

The grand finale is dinner at Four-Star Del Posto, chef Mario Batali’s opulent, upscale Italian eatery. The night is young, so cap it off with a cocktail at The Standard’s rooftop lounge. This hip hotel (complete with ice rink) overlooks the High Line and the Hudson River, so enjoy one last sweeping skyline view before bidding farewell to the city that never sleeps.

Photos Courtesy of Per Se, Del Posto, Maribel Lieberman and Sylvia Paret

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