Everything in New York is just a yellow cab drive away and you’re going to have a lot to do. Meandering through Times Square (main photo), Central Park or the Museum of Modern Art is a must, and seeing a Broadway show is also compulsory. It’s highly advisable to check the schedule before and pre-book. You can check out reviews, showtimes and prices here.
Rockefeller Center is known for its exquisite sightseeing vantage points that will give you Instagram likes for days. While you’re there, grab a cupcake at Magnolia Bakery (above) on 49th Street: the bakery was made famous after being featured on Sex And The City. Have a look at their website and you’ll feel your mouth watering already.
Stretch it out
The city can take it out of you, no doubt about that. Famous for its yoga, New Yorkers can’t get enough of the mind-and-body exercise regime. Rally your besties together and book yourself a class. It’ll give you just the lift you need.
If you have the time, why not plan an escape to a Victorian castle? Nestled in the Hudson Valley, just 145km north of New York City, is the castle which is surrounded by 160 sq km of forest with its protected wildlife. Mohonk Mountain House (below) is a national landmark and offers hearty cuisine, a world-class spa, and various activities.
Shop your heart out
No matter how much research you do, you’re just not going to get the sweet shopping spots that a local would know all about. That’s why booking a personal shopper for a day is going to solve all your problems. Pre-book to ensure that you are given your time slot. If that doesn’t float your boat, then here are some hidden gems you must add to your itinerary.
Opening Ceremony: This trendy store (above) is known for its massive sales with bargains that will keep you busy for hours. Here you’ll find lots of cool casual wear with funky elements thrown into the mix.
Jerome Dreyfuss: The French-inspired fashion (above) here is fun and fresh. If you’re looking to invest in a quality bag that will last you decades then you’ll have to add this store to your shopping itinerary.
Snazzy watering holes
You’re going to want to indulge in snacks and cocktails and here’s a list of some of the more low-key yet classy establishments in the city.
The Back Room: One of the few New York eateries that takes bookings, The Back Room is made even more splendid by the Victorian-inspired ambience and the serving of drinks in teacups (above). If you dare to go a little further, you’ll find a hidden bar behind a secret bookcase – you’ll feel like you’re on the set of a movie on the lower east side.
The Mulberry Project: Fancy checking out some art while having a custom-made cocktail (above)? Then this is the spot for you. The walls here are adorned with works by some of the city’s most famous street artists, and the frozen margarita is popular amongst locals. You can also get a table outside and stargaze in an intimate setting.
Mercury Lounge: You’re in New York and you’re going to want to sample the local music. Trust us – this is Manhattan at its best. Up-and-coming artistes have been talent-spotted here and it is at places like this that people like Lady Gaga used to perform at before she found worldwide stardom. Don’t be surprised if you see a famous face among the crowds.
Birdland: Birdland (above) is a jazz mecca and has been hosting the greats since the 1920s. Michael Brecker, Clark Terry, Ron Carter and Jon Hendricks have all played here and even if you aren’t a fan of jazz, you’ll leave feeling a little more soulful.
The award-winning Baccarat Hotel and Residences is luxury at its best. Not only does it have top-notch spa services at the Spa De La Mer (above), a luxury car service is available to drive guests anywhere within 15 blocks of the hotel.
Since you’ll be with a group, you can also pre-book the glorious Harmonie Room for your exclusive use. It overlooks the Museum of Modern Art, which is just across the road on West 53rd Street. The room can accommodate 40 guests for any kind of celebration.
– TEXT BY JESSICA FARAH
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This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings.