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From tropical rainforest bird species to the now famous gay penguins, the Central Park Zoo has a multitude of exciting wildlife to observe. The zoo is a tranquil and inexpensive refuge in the middle of the city.
Sitting on the garden terrace of Cafe St. Bart’s, in the shade of the Byzantine-styled St. Bartholomew's Church, is a breathtaking dining experience. Historical architecture and live jazz give the place an atmosphere that can’t be beat. In cooler weather, the Great Hall provides an indoor refuge from the cold.
4. Walk down Park Avenue to Grand Central Station and New York Public Library
This walk is beautiful, a perfect way to get some exercise while taking in some of the famous landmarks such as the Seagram Building, Lever house and the Metropolitan Life Building. Through Grand Central Station with its bustling market and to the west is the New York Public Library, Beaux Arts architecture flanked by grand marble lions.
After all of the walking, Bryant Park is the perfect place to escape the bustle of the city and just relax your feet for a little while. You can watch the public chess matches or eat a picnic lunch. There is also free Wi-Fi in the park if you have a laptop and want to check your email.
6. Dinner and drinks at Heratland Brewery and Chophouse before heading back to hotel
The food is good and the atmosphere fun, but the real draw to this place is the handcrafted beer. You can get a sampler of ten beers, or try the seasonal brews the pub offers. This is a terrific way to cap off the first night in New York City.
Located in the East Village, Kate's offers a variety of delicious vegetarian brunch and breakfast choices at reasonable prices. For a healthy start to a day of exploring the Village, there is no better place to eat.
No trip to New York is complete without a visit to the West Village, home to myriad restaurants, boutiques, bars and theaters. Walk along Bleecker Street from LaGuardia Place west and north to 8th Avenue and you will find trendy stores for shopping, bookstores, bakeries and local art.
10. Take in an Off Broadway play at the Village Theater
Don’t fear the Borough! Brooklyn has rich history, and the Brooklyn Heights Promenade is one perfect way to experience it. Offering fantastic views of the Manhattan skyline, the promenade is a great place to stroll, rollerblade, jog or cycle, and is also home to playgrounds for the kids and green spaces to relax in.
Just off of the promenade is the Plymouth Church of the Pilgrims, a historical landmark that was once a stopping point on the Underground Railroad. You can still tour the tunnels beneath the church sanctuary
13. Lunch at Relish
Designed like a railroad car, this diner is in the heart of Williamsburg, home to many of New York’s emerging artists. Plush retro chic décor and affordable southern-style food make this place a great spot for lunch or dinner.
If you want a taste of what is new and happening in the arts scene in New York, Williamsburg is the place to be. With numerous small galleries, boutiques, arts and crafts lining the streets, this neighborhood mixes the vivid artists’ sector with the local flavor of its residents.
M is a fantastic restaurant in Williamsburg that showcases Chinese cuisine with subtle perfection. The food is delectable and the atmosphere friendly, with banquet tables and warm colors. The popluar lounge downstairs entices you to stay after dinner for a taste of the Williamsburg nightlife.