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As some of you may know, I recently visited the USA for the first time and more specifically New York City! I was fortunate to be a part of the Residence Inn City Swap (if you've seen The Holiday, it's the same concept but with hotels rather than homes), where New York resident Will (@brightbazaar) swapped with little old me to experience each other's cities. Before the trip, I was given a rough list of activities to do in NYC - recommended by Will and his followers - which was fun as it wasn't your regular touristy locations. I also added a few places I really wanted to visit on my list.

I received a few lovely messages asking me to post a blog when I was back and include what I thought was worth visiting so here we are! We visited a multitude of places which I'll include in another blog post but for the moment here's my Must-See Guide to New York City - which includes 10 of my favourite places I visited in no particular order!

1. The High Line 

When I received my itinerary from the Residence Inn, I was delighted to see that the High Line was on their list as it's something I'd been wanting to do ever since I started my own NYC research. I have to say it did not disappoint!
The High Line is an old freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side that ran until the 1980s. After it closed, a group of property developers lobbied for it to be demolished, however, Peter Obletz, a Chelsea resident, activist, and railroad enthusiast, challenged the demolition efforts in court. Thankfully, Obletz won as now the trail way track is a luscious walkway between GreenwichVillage to the Meatpacking District.
We happened to visit on a very hot and humid day so it was lovely to spend the evening walking through the green spaces enjoying the breeze!


2. The Met and a wander through Central Park

How could I write a blog about NYC and not include the Met or Central Park! I could easily have spent a whole 3 days (the length of time you get when buying a ticket) exploring the Met, unfortunately, we had a fairly strict time constraint but what we did see of it, we loved!

Since the Met backs onto Central Park, we made the most of our time and explored a little of the park. A few things to look out for are Bethesda Fountain, the Alice in Wonderland statue, and the model boats in Conservatory Water.

3. The New York Transit Museum 

Next up is the Transit Museum, something I had never heard of and after chatting to a few locals apparently, not many people have! Tucked away in a (partly) decommissioned subway station in Brooklyn, the Transit Museum displays historical artifacts of the New York City Subway, bus, and commuter rail systems.

First of all, the museum is crammed full of fascinating facts and stories and a great place to bring your family, but my favourite aspect of the museum was the lower level subway platform there's a wonderful collection of subway carriages from different eras!


4. Walk over the Brooklyn Bridge 

Slightly touristy? Probably, but I really enjoyed walking over the Brooklyn Bridge. It has wonderful views of the Manhattan skyline and on a hot day, the breeze up there was such a treat!

5. Enjoy an Afternoon Snack or Brunch at Buvette then explore the West Village

Thanks to Will for this recommendation! We visited Buvette last Tuesday after spending a little time wandering around West Village. Shortly after we sat down, we noticed two customers scurrying in from their outdoor seating area and moments later torrential rain battered off the window and thunder rumbled in the distance. We ended up sheltering in Buvette for a few hours but it was one of the highlights of the trip as I couldn't imagine anywhere else I would like to be stranded than Buvette.


6. Visit the Strand Bookshop!

I love bookshops! So, naturally, I had to pay a visit to one of NYC's most famous bookshops. Strand Bookshop is famously known for having 18 miles of books and I could easily have spent a whole day browsing through their various bookshelves across the different floors. They also have wonderful souvenirs and gift ideas dotted around the shop. I almost treated myself to Par Avion's Unicorn Tears (colour changing) tea - yes, I slightly regret my sensible decision not to purchase it!

7. Views of Manhattan from the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock 

Some of you may disagree, but, I think visiting the Empire State Building in NYC is a bit like visiting Edinburgh Castle when in Edinburgh, something that is a must if you haven't done it before. Many of my favourite movies (An Affair to Remember, Sleepless in Seattle, Gossip Girl etc) feature the Empire State Building so it was an absolute must for me!

Since we had bought the Explorer Pass before we left for NYC, we decided to visit Top of the Rock too! It turned out to be a good idea as the day we went up the Empire State Building it was slightly misty/hazy so my photos didn't turn out great.

After reading online that it can get extremely busy, we opted to visit both the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock just after they open in the morning and I would highly recommend you do the same if you're planning to visit!

View from Top of the Rock looking onto the Empire State Building

8. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Having seen The Guggenheim in films, naturally I wanted to see it in person if possible! Thankfully, we managed to squeak it in on our last day. First of all, the building is utterly stunning (potentially one of my favourite pieces of architecture I've seen). Also, we happened to bump into a lovely lady called Ellen who works at the museum as we were getting our tickets, who informed us she was leading a free tour of their latest exhibition "One Hand Clapping" which we decided to join. Thank goodness we did, as we learned a fair amount about the building and Ellen brought the exhibition to life for us!


9. See a Broadway Show

Whether you're an avid theatre-goer or not, seeing a Broadway show is a MUST! Both my mum and I enjoy a trip to the theatre but we're not usually huge fans of musicals, but we were absolutely blown away by the talented actors and the set! Definitely, one of the highlights from our trip.

10. Take a Sightseeing Boat Tour 

We were wondering what to do with our last day in the city, and since we were both fairly exhausted after a hectic week, we thought it'd be nice to sit back and enjoy a boat ride. It's also become a bit of a tradition of ours, where ever we go we try to take a boat ride.
We opted for the Landmarks Tour with Circle Line Sightseeing Tours and signed up for their first tour of the day (roughly 11am). It was a very relaxing way to learn a little more history about New York as well as seeing the Statue of Liberty up close!


Well, I hope you found my Must-See Guide to New York City interesting or useful! Keep an eye out for a few more NYC blog posts coming up soon.

Till next time x

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