I just got back last night and wanted to share the trip so many helped make happen! I traveled with my two teen girls (13 & 16) and my husband, who had a conference most of the days.
We arrived Sunday, the 23rd, around 10 a.m. We used Boston Coach from LaGuardia (my husband uses them each time he's in Manhattan and swears by them). It was a very efficient and pleasant ride.
Our rooms at the Marriott Essex House were ready, so we were able to check right in. I've reviewed the hotel on that page. Completely wonderful! After a unpacking we took a stroll through Central Park (thank you www.walkingoffthebigapple.com) heading toward the ANHM. Upon leaving the park at Central Park W and 77th we saw a Shake Shake! It's at the corner of 77th and Columbus Ave. Best burger, yummy concretes (like a Blizzard), shakes not that great - don't forget the fries (I did the first time). This was a pleasant Shake Shake as there was almost an abundance of seating compared to others, check downstairs (and lots of benches in the shade if you still can't find a seat). Now full, happy and cooled off we went to explore the ANHM. While I enjoy all kinds of museums, I really loved this one. It was too much to do after a full day already, but I pushed the kids as far as they would go. While I think they would have enjoyed The Met, they definitely enjoyed this one a LOT. We went back to rest, then ate dinner at Taò off of E 58th. The kids LOVED this restaurant. It's a pretty nice restaurant, asian food, but we saw a few families with kids even younger than ours, so if you have pretty well behaved kids I'm sure they would be fine. The food was excellent! Very, very good, and fun drinks. I felt it was a little expensive, but I guess by Manhattan standards it was average - drinks, an app, 4 dinners, tip, just under $200.
We needed some things from the drug store and were, as always, pleased that there is a Duane Reade on every corner.
Monday, the 24th, we got up early to shop. As this is my least favorite thing to do on the planet (seriously) I was not looking forward to this, but we tagged along on this business trip to celebrate my daughters 16th b-day and the ONLY thing she wanted to do was shop. Shop at stores we already have here in Atlanta, shop at stores she could never afford, shop every minute of everyday of the trip. On the way to the airport Thursday she said the only thing she wished she would have done was shop more. Oh, well...
Anyway, we headed to SoHo. I had the cab driver drop us at Washington Square Park and we strolled down through NYU (can I count this as a college visit??) toward Broadway, South of Houston (SoHo). She shopped at H&M and Mystique Boutique (thank you whoever recommended that for teens!). I tried to explain the brilliance of the Prada store (cast iron facade, wavy wood inside - thank you walking off the big apple), but to def ears. I gave up on more "sight-seeing" during shopping. We went to a few more stores that I can't remember (Kate Spade and Coach have super cold ac and great couches for worn out family members!).
I keep a "cheat-sheet" of restaurants, etc. organized by city layout so I can find good places to eat/things to do quickly when I'm in an area. THANK GOODNESS!! We were right around the corner of the Nespresso Boutique Bar at Prince and Mercer. I reviewed it on that page. It was the absolute perfect thing for a worn out family!
We walked down Prince a little and then up to Houston. I was headed to François Payard Bakery. I think this may have been the highlight of the trip, no, really! We asked for recommendations and all were wonderful, but then I noticed they had macaron ice cream sandwiches and was told that they were the best thing they had. NO DOUBT! It became our goal to have one every day! There are 5 locations that carry them. One of which is the Food Hall in the basement of the Plaza, which was our go-to place for all of our meals - YAY Todd English!!
We walked back through Wash Sq Pk and ate a very late lunch (early dinner?) at Mario Bateli's Otto Pizzeria. It was nice, hit the spot, didn't need to make an extra trip to visit again, but if in the area definitely try it.
We walked around 5th Ave that night (more "shopping") and ate at Todd English's Food Hall at the Plaza. Very, very yummy. My husband's meal was the best - Goat Cheese Ravioli with beets (btw, I hate beets, if you do, get it anyway, they made the dish!).
I'll add the next two days in a little bit.