24 Hours: New York City
That red-eye finally got into JFK. Somehow that coach seat was actually comfortable, and here it is 7 AM, and there’s a full day to kill before the cruise and no need for a nap. But having such a short time to spend in such a huge city is a little overwhelming. Need to know the major things to hit in the city that never sleeps? Here’s our best 24 hour schedule for New York City.
7:30 AM - Arrival
OK, JFK is no fun to fly into. Get the bags quick and head out on to Manhattan. Taxis take about an hour and cost $45.00, but the better deal is the Long Island Rail Road. Take the inter-terminal air-train to Jamaica station and board the LIRR to Penn Station. Cost? About 12 bucks.
8:30 AM – Empire State Building.
Just a few blocks from Penn Station, the Empire State building is one of the best views in the city, for obvious reasons. After all, 86 stories in the air is an excellent vantage point. We suggest getting here early to beat the lines, 8:30 is usually one of the best times to get up there quickly. It’s not cheap, but the view is worth it.
10:00 AM – Bergdorf Goodman’s
New York is known for its shopping, but with Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s showing up all over the country these days, the one truly New York shopping mecca left is Bergdorf Goodman‘s. It’s the home for everything luxury, and everything has the price tag to match, but just like we say about Harrod’s in London, its worth the window shop if nothing else.
12:00 Noon – Central Park
Central Park is timeless, and long a feature in the center of the city. One of the largest parks in the US, it at times has been the cultural lifeblood of the city, and get there in the summer and luck might win out and a free concert could manifest itself before your very eyes. The park, which is 150 years old, features over 800 acres and even gives visitors a chance to ice skate in the winter as well.
2:00 PM – Lunch
There’s plenty of good food in New York, and we’d recommend two amazing spots in Harlem. There’s Sylvia’s, New York’s home of soul food. Located on 127th and Lenox, its become an icon and one of the premier soul food locations. There’s also Dinosaur Barbeque on 125th street, just off the Hudson river. Amazing barbecue and reasonable prices bring a constant crowd. In New York, find the best restaurants by looking at the lines in front of the door. Just want a quick bite? We’d recommend Shake Shack. Over the last ten years, these burgers have become a New York icon and isn’t so heavy on the wallet either.
3:30 PM – The Cloisters
Our favorite museum in New York is the Cloisters. Just north of the George Washington Bridge in Fort Tryon park is this museum, built by the Rockefellers in the 1930s to showcase art and architecture from Medieval Europe. Our favorite story about the museum is that the Rockefellers bought several hundred acres across the river from the Cloisters museum in the Palisades, New Jersey. Why? To protect the view from anything that wasn’t natural. We recommend finding the garden and the tapestries when visiting, they’re our favorite spots in the sprawling complex.
5:00 PM – The Subway
OK, so midafternoon rush hour isn’t the best time to get a seat on the Subway, but its great people watching time. We love the trains that run under New York almost as much as the city itself. The truth is that there’s nothing that defines a city quite as much as its public transportation system, and New York’s may not be the prettiest, but its quick, efficient and it never stops.
6:00 PM – The Brooklyn Bridge
It’s a major suspension bridge and an artery keeping traffic flowing between Manhattan and the outer boroughs of the city. But unlike other major bridges in the country, cars share the span with pedestrians and walking across the Brooklyn Bridge has become a great way to see and feel the city move and pulse. Also great views of the skyline are available on the walk over. We recommend walking across and taking the subway back into Manhattan.
7:00 PM – Grimaldi’s
Brooklyn is known for its Bagels and for its pizza. And there’s no better place to experience Brooklyn pizza than Grimaldi’s itself, just under the Brooklyn Bridge. Remember, they don’t sell pizza by the slice, and when a place used to get orders to deliver their pies to Frank Sinatra… in Las Vegas… they get to make whatever rules up they want.
9:00 PM – Times Square
No visit to the city is complete without a visit to Times Square and the plaza in midtown New York is buzzing late into the night. It’s a wonder of light and sound and best seen at night!
Of course, there are all sorts of other great things that someone can do in New York City. The list of good museums alone would take over a week to visit! But with 24 hours in the city, we think this is a pretty good taste of what New York has to offer.
Get a full taste of what New York has to offer with a pre-cruise visit to New York before boarding the Norwegian Breakaway, New York’s ship built to be just like the city it lives in! Click here to see your options!