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Itinerary help

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Telford, UK
posts: 12
Itinerary help

Hi all,

We are a recently married couple in our early 30's who will be spending a week in NYC early August. I've done lots of reading and research and I've put together the following itinery. I'm a little bit worried we'll be doing fly-by's of everywhere so I wondered if you could share your knowledge with me and see if we could tweak anything. I'm also a little worried that I moght have taken too much out! We still be staying in the Garden Inn Hilton in Times Square and intend on buying metro passes to get around as much as possible.

Day 1

We arrive late so just a chilled out evening taking in Times Square and some food. Possibly Planet Hollywood (I know it's not to everyone's taste).

Day 2

Up early due to our body clocks being out so well head to Top of the Rock. Probably get the Sun and Stars package.

Shopping on 5th, FAO Shwarz, Lego, Tiffanys plus a few more.

Dinner reservation is at Devi the Indian Restaurant, making the most of restaurant week.

Afterwards back up to Top of the Rock to see NYC in the dark.

Day 3

Natural History Museum in the morning. It doesn't open until 10am so well hang around Central Park til then.

Lunch will either be Shake Shack by Central Park or Grimaldi Pizzeria in Brooklyn.

Afternoon will be over to Brooklyn to visit the park, ice cream factory and then walk back over the bridge when the sun is setting.

Day 4

Morning in Central Park.

Lunch in BB King Blues Club to watch a Beatles Tribute.

Afternoon spread between SoHo, China Town and Little Italy.

Dinner at Peter Luger's Steak House.

Day 5

Morning walking Highline Park stopping at Chelsea Market to browse and get some lunch.

Afternoon well try and see Empire State Building, Macy's, Chrysler Building and Grand Central Terminal.

Dinner at Capital Grille - Time Life Building.

Day 6

Up early and at 9/11 memorial for opening.

Helicopter flight at 12pm through heliny.com.

Zephyr Statue of Liberty Tour at 2pm.

Dinner at Don Antonio Pizzeria followed by Wicked on Broadway.

Day 7

Met Museum in the morning

Lunch reservation at Gordon Ramsey's restaurant The Maze.

Afternoon free to do more of what we liked or something that we had to drop.

Day 8

Morning free to chill or see something that we've spotted out there.

Go home mid afternoon.

Telford, UK
posts: 12
1. Re: Itinerary help

Also, any evening entertainment or good food that fits in would be most welcomed.

Thanks in advance.

Dallas, Texas...
Destination Expert
for New York City
posts: 10,940
reviews: 13
2. Re: Itinerary help

A few thoughts...

Day 2 seems a bit light. it's basically an entire day of shopping. It might be better to split that up.

Rather than returning to TOTR for an evening view, consider doing Empire State Building instead (but only if more tall buildings are really important to you -- many people do only one of them, just once). Also consider seeing GCT and Chrysler building this day.

For Day 3 The Natural History Museum is quite large. You will want to give it more than a couple of hours, so hopefully you are planning on a late lunch.

This day seems too full. What about doing AMNH on Day 2 (along with some shopping). Then do some shopping and Brooklyn on Day 3.

For Day 4, there is lots of great eating when visiting Chinatown, Soho and that whole area. But you are eating all of your meals elsewhere and squeezing this in between lunch and dinner? You also have two back-to-back steakhouse dinners planned (both Day 4 and Day 5). That's a gut buster and also a little monotonous. Consider having dinner in Chinatown, or just grazing your way around that whole area. Also note that Soho has great shopping.

For Day 7, the Met museum is truly huge. Just a morning there will be tough. Unfortunately, your lunch restaurant is not very near the museum, or I'd suggest you go back after lunch. I might suggest that anyway. When is your lunch reservation? Afternoon at the Met may be better.

For evening suggestions: You could see a Broadway show, go to a Comedy Club, a Jazz Club, a rooftop bar, take an evening cruise, find a bar with live music, stroll through Greenwich Village,

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for New York City
posts: 80,933
reviews: 2
3. Re: Itinerary help

I think it's a good itinerary but I wonder with a week, why you wouldn't take an overview tour of some sort. Otherwise, you're missing out huge areas that most people love like Greenwich Village and Soho. Rather than shopping on Fifth ave. that first full day, I'd take a tour like





I'm all for using restaurant week but I'm not sure it's worth travelling to Union Square from your hotel to go to Devi on your first night when you'll likely be tired. If you like Mexican, nearer your hotel is Toloache which is very good. Maybe save Devi for another night. I also highly recommend Tamarind in either of their locations for Indian but they're only participating for lunch, not dinner.

We're heard the Mus. of Natural History is filled with kids in the mornings. If there's away to switch your timing and do it in the afternoon, I would try. You might want to save walking the bridge for a weekend day and combine it with visiting the Brooklyn flea market where there's also lots of food.


On day 4 which I assume is a Sat., you're trying to do too much and cover too much.

As for evening entertainment, if you like jazz, Iridium, Birdland and Dizzy's Coca Cola are all nearish your hotel and have very good music. As much as I'm a fan of the pre theater dinner at Capital Grille, I think on a night when you've got no show planned, I'd probably go for dinner either in a different neighborhood from your hotel/the theaters like Greenwich Village or Soho OR I'd go some place like Dizzy's Coca Cola or 54 Below where there are different live performers and good food (although pricey).

I just had a wonderful restaurant week lunch at the Monkey Bar and they also do a restaurant week dinner (Mon-Fri) and I saw a sign they have live piano music a few nights a week. Not sure if it was Wed/Thurs or Thurs/Fri.

posts: 339
reviews: 89
4. Re: Itinerary help

A couple of ideas and suggestions:

I would think about reorganizing things a bit to reduce transportation time and hassle. For example, plan to go to the Met or Museum of Natural History on the same day of your visit(s) to Central Park. The Met visit might be combined with your Fifth Avenue shopping. Central Park is also huge, so you might want to focus on one of the available tours:


If you want to go to two steakhouses, think about Keens instead of Capitol Grille. Keens (on W. 36th St.) is a real NY institution.


I would consider taking a sail in NY Harbor. The Adirondack offers a nice trip (about 2 hours) and on a nice night the views are great and the break from the heat, the asphalt, the noise and the fumes is really enjoyable.


I assume you mean the Brooklyn Bridge when you refer to walking across the bridge. I am pretty sure portions of the bridge will be covered for ongoing work when you are here. If that deters you, you might consider walking across the Williamsburg Bridge (which brings you very close to Peter Luger's) or the Manhattan Bridge from Chinatown to Dumbo.

I hope you are prepared to be flexible and take the opportunity to do outdoor things when the weather is best.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 1,366
reviews: 104
5. Re: Itinerary help

I agree....on day 2 you have shopping listed. I would move some of my later activities into that day. I would try to add Greenwich Village (probably half to 3/4 of a day), SOHO (fill the rest of that day) instead of the shopping day. You could probably squeeze 20 or 30 minutes out of some other days to hit a store or two if you are walking by. You may also want to look at the Cloisters (a great way to spend a day).

We have walked the Brooklyn Bridge several times. With the construction sheeting it is certainly not as stunning, but is still enjoyable. When in Brooklyn, be sure to walk along the promenade.

Whatever you do.....you will enjoy it immensely.

Telford, UK
posts: 12
6. Re: Itinerary help

This is great, I'm going back to the drawing board and will post up v2 a bit later if you wouldn't mind giving it another critique?

I'm really grateful for your help, thank you. I'm just looking at the See It All tour from Onboard Tours (thanks nywhiz) and then I'll start shuffling round.



Brooklyn, NY
posts: 9,615
reviews: 1
7. Re: Itinerary help

2 additional things:

-Please make a reservation at Luger's if you have not already.

-Grimaldi's in Brooklyn is such a tourist trap with at times 1 hour waits(for pizza.) It is not even the best pizza in the Bklyn Heights/Boerum Hill area.....Just an FYI.

Telford, UK
posts: 12
8. Re: Itinerary help

Thanks, I'll probably drop Grimaldi's then as we've already got pizza on the plan. I'll reserve Luger's as soon as I've firmed up the plan.

Telford, UK
posts: 12
9. Re: Itinerary help

Right, after a lot of moving around I've come up with v2. I'm happier with it but day's 4 & 5 may be a little cramped, and I still haven't fitted Greenwich in but we do have a fair bit of free time on days 7 & 8 where we could do it. Itinerary below:

Day 1

We arrive late so just a chilled out evening taking in Times Square and some food. Possibly Planet Hollywood (I know it's not to everyone's taste).

Day 2

Following advice from nywhiz and lots of positive reviews on here I'm planning on booking the NY See It All Tour. It's $95 each including fees but it will give us a a brief stop at the following:



It includes tickets up the ESB and the Zephyr tour I was planning. It will also be nice to see all of that early on in our trip.

The trip is due to finish at 2:30 but lots of reviews say it runs late. We'll have a couple of hours, at least, to fill before we need to start thinking about changing for dinner.

I'm planning on keeping the dinner reservation at Devi as it's something we're looking forward to and

Day 3

Central Park in the morning followed by Natural History Museum in the afternoon.

I might book Peter Luger's for this evening.

Day 4

Morning free to do as we wish.

Lunch in BB King Blues Club to watch a Beatles Tribute at 12pm.

Straight from the show to the helicopter tour, then over to Brooklyn to spend a few hours in the park/flea market. Walk back across Brooklyn Bridge about sunset.

Day 5

Morning walking Highline Park stopping at Chelsea Market.

Afternoon we'll do a tour of SoHo, China Town and possibly Little Italy if we have enough time.

Dinner at Capital Grille - Time Life Building.

Day 6

Early start and some shopping on 5th followed by Met Museum.

Dinner at Don Antonio Pizzeria followed by Wicked on Broadway.

Day 7

Free time in the morning.

Lunch reservation at Gordon Ramsey's restaurant The Maze at 12:30.

Afternoon free to do more of what we liked or something that we had to drop.

Day 8

Morning free to chill or see something that we've spotted out there.

Go home mid afternoon.

It's nice to have the flexibility of free time but I don't want to spend it wandering around pointlessly. All three times we're free we'll be in the vicinity of Times Square if anyone has any suggestions. It will only be a couple of hours at a time.

Thanks again for your help.

Destination Expert
for New York City
posts: 4,988
reviews: 23
10. Re: Itinerary help

"We arrive late so just a chilled out evening taking in Times Square"

I'm looking forward to your Trip Report to find out how 'chilled' you stayed on your visit to Times Square that first evening!!!!

Edited: 6:33 pm, July 25, 2013