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15 Day Itinerary Help

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15 Day Itinerary Help

Hi everyone, so some quick background-it is mine and hubbies first trip to NYC. We are both in our late 20's, we are really looking forward to trying different types of food and of course see the usual tourist things. We aren't really into Art so we are not planning to go to MOMA or Guggenheim at the moment.

There are quite a few things that we have booked already in terms of evening activities. There are quite a few blank days. Any help and recommendations are very much appreciated.

Dates of Travel: 17th Dec-27th Dec




Carmel Cab

Hotel Newton UWS (check in 15)

Explore UWS: buy essentials!

Go to hardware store opposite McDs

Dinner: Halal Guys W53rd and 6th

Times Square

FAO Schwartz Times Sq

ESB by night



Big Apple Greeter

East Village & Greenwich Village 10am-4pm



Xmas Windows on 5th Ave

Atomic Wings Factory



Central Park, Strawberry Fields + Dakota Building

Columbus Circle Xmas Market

Trump Towers

Mandarin Oriental Lobby Bar

Drink at the Waldorf Astoria: Peacock Alley

Apollo Theatre @ 7.30pm


Dinner at Sylvias?


9/11 Memorial

Statue of Liberty

Bronze Bull



Lukes Lobster?

Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory

Janes Carousel

Jacques Torres Chocolate

4pm Barge Music @ BK

Dinner @Julianas

Walk BB back to Manhattan (weather?)


Tribeca + Meat Packing District

Little Italy, Chinatown



Chelsea- High Line and Market

Lobster Rolls from Lukes (if not eaten on Sun)

Penn Station

Madison Square Garden

Jimmy V Classics @ MSG


Korean BBQ Kette Sau?

BK Nets vs Washington Wizards

@ Barclays Center BK


Hells Kitchen

USS Intrepid

Discovery Museum

Roosevelt Island

Four Freedom Park?


Breakfast around Radio City Hall?

10am-12pm Radio City Xmas


TOTR weather?

NY Public Library

Rockerfeller Centre + Tree

Grand Central Terminal- Audio Tour

Chrysler Building

Le Parker Meridian?

Bryant Park Xmas Market + Bryant Park



IHOP (hubbies choice-but I was thinking of putting Clinton St Bakery as they are quite famous for their pancakes?)

Jazz Standard at 21.30


AMNH + Planetarium

Night Out!


Wed (Xmas Day)

Havent booked dinner yet-waiting for Thanksgiving to pass-any recommendations?

Thurs (Last Full Day)

I haven’t put Central Park in on a particular day as I think we will probably be in there every other day or so as it is so close to our hotel :)

TOTR is again not in the itinerary because we will wait for the weather/visibility to dictate when we go visit it-but we are aware that it will be a day time visit.

We are quite interested in visiting the other boroughs as we only visiting Mahattan and Brooklyn. Not sure if yet if we want to do Woodbury Commons there or the Jersey Gardens Mall-I would buy some cheaper designed products such as leather goods from MK and hubbie would go nuts in Nike. I have read on the forum that most branded stores would have a lot of promotions-especially at that time of year.

Any food recommendations for lunch/dinner are welcome-alcohol with dinner is probably less likely as we would prefer hitting a pub or dive bar for “cheaper” drinks. Budget for dinner is around $30-$35 each before tax to start off with-however we have a Cab Allowance a day and if we do not use this daily allowance (we will be purchasing the unlimited metrocards for both weeks) then this money can be diverted into food instead.

Xmas day dinner budget is around $100 each before tax and we will not be drinking with our meal (most likely before or after-will hit a bodega for some drinks to store in our room)

Thanks everyone!

Syracuse, New York
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21. Re: 15 Day Itinerary Help

The reason I mentioned the Jacques Torres stall at Bryant Park is that the Bryant Park stall was fairly well stocked & that would mean you wouldn't necessarily need to go to both the store & the stall at Bryant Park - freeing up some time since you had both on your itinerary.

Sydney, Australia
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22. Re: 15 Day Itinerary Help

I was talking about the Tuesday when you have Chelsea Market on the list. There is a Lobster Place store in Chelsea Market (sorry I said Lobster Man before, which is wrong) so that is the day I thought there is no need to go to Luke's. There are no 'stalls' in Chelsea Market that I know of, it's all regular shops in an old warehouse.

These are the shops within Chelsea Market: http://www.chelseamarket.com/index.php/Shops

Rockville, Maryland
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23. Re: 15 Day Itinerary Help


Edited: 3:48 am, November 22, 2013
Rockville, Maryland
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24. Re: 15 Day Itinerary Help

I hope one or more of these thoughts can be helpful as you further refine your itinerary:

1. You list a lot—perhaps too much. If you had to cut, what would you cut? Then cut as you wish.

2. I have enclosed a first-day "orientation" overview to help you get started; it immediately follows as the next post. The days move forward—one less "empty": day to plan. Other considerations reducing the number of "empty" days are possibly sleeping late the morning after a show, and allowing space for new activities that are not planned in advance or ones to which you would like to return.

3. Get a detailed map of Manhattan. Geography is important for planning and efficiency of time in traveling between attractions. .

4. It can be helpful if you organize the day (or ½ day) on a general theme—such as “Fifth Avenue”. Then you can move other nearby things flexibly to join and complete that day's plan.

5. You have time in the evenings. You might consider these shows, among others.

a. Book of Mormon

b. The Lion King

c. Matilda

d. Blue Man Group (off-broadway)

Some will be hard to get tickets for, and may not have tickets at the ½ price kiosks. Use discount sites like www.broadwaybox.com. Order now.

6. Calendar. The pacing will result in less time for a long list. Put the Bronx and Queens in the final ¼ of your trip in case you want/need that time for other things.

7. The Statue of Liberty requires advance reservations. Do it now. You have enough time in your 15-day visit to be flexible if needed. www.statuecruises.com/choose_tickets.aspx Reserve the boat plus pedestal, and NOT the crown.

8. It is HIGHLY desirable to order your Empire State Building passes now; schedule and go 30 minutes before it opens if possible.

9. Add the Apple store, Fifth Avenue between 58th and 59th Streets; drop IHOP. Eat a Nathan’s hot dog--real New York cuisine.

Rockville, Maryland
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25. Re: 15 Day Itinerary Help

Continuation from previous post


Reserve an AM bus tour (such as CitySights) for lower Manhattan (not the whole island). Pick up tickets (if CitySights) on either 42nd St. or 8th Avenue. The bus will depart from 8th Avenue. Board the bus.

Sample bus tour of lower Manhattan has approximately 2 dozen sights and neighborhoods. https://maps.google.com/maps/ms…

After the bus returns to 8th Avenue, go across the street to the famous Shake Shack for lunch. Get a burger, and a shake if you like that. One tourist attraction here the line out the door.

Arrive at Circle Line around 1:00 PM, 42nd Street at the river (12th Avenue). Take a “one-half” Manhattan circle line cruise of Lower Manhattan, passing more than 1 dozen sights. approximately 2 hours. (The full tour is too long, and the most picturesque part of Manhattan is south of 42nd Street). You will see the Statue of Liberty, but not stop there. circleline42.com/new-york-cruises/home.aspx

Then, just down the street from Circle Line terminal. Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, 12th Avenue and 46th St. (approximately 2 hour visit; optional guided tour). From around 3:30-5:30 PM).

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26. Re: 15 Day Itinerary Help

@LittleBiffOne I think the restaurant is beautiful and of course this adds to a romantic setting. I totally get that-you just get the feeling that you have added a positive experience to someone elses trip! I have just checked out Mas (farmhouse) the menu looks great-I spy the Prix Fixe menu for $78 which could be another "treat" dinner. Will have to see how the food spending goes and decide from there-but thanks again for the recommendation; it has gone into my little book.What are your thoughts on 'The Little Owl'?

@cyblume ahh I see :) As the Bryant Park Festival is-at the moment planned for after I visit BK then we will see how we feel on the day re Jacques Torres. I have split the first Sunday so that the FiDi bits are on the Monday; as someone mentioned to get a real feel I should come on a weekday. This did occur to me, but I glad I got the feedback!

@cyblume I had no idea-not sure why I didnt google Chelsea Market before-but I went onto the link (thanks for that!) and checked out the places. I remember reading another post about visiting the market and someone eating Lukes Lobster Rolls at Chelsea Market-but they may have been mistaken, as you said there is only "Lobster Place". OMG I just went onto Lukes Lobster website and they have many locations-not just the Dumbo one-interesting! I have never had lobster before so I will be glad of the experience. In terms of taste-have you tried both? which did you prefer and why?

@LittleBiffOne Its difficult as it is a really long list on TA, but I have it in Calendar Form in Excel and it seems very spaced out to me-so I don't think we will have to drop anything just yet-but if I did have to drop anything it would be the Four Freedoms Park in Roosevelt Island and just view it from the Tram.

I have been using googlemaps dilligently and also my guidebook has pull out maps and stuff so that is super handy. I have also noticed that we have a fair amount of time in the evenings, but we have all of these productions in London so dont feel like its worth it (for us imo). I agree about putting Bronx and Queens in the latter part of our trip. I just realised that I didnt make it clear that we are viewing Lady Liberty from the SIF so we wont be booking the Statue cruises.

I think we will book the ESB tickets the week that we fly out; just because the weather report will be more reliable; I like that the first day is no commitments as I know what I am like; I will just rush around trying to get to where I need to be on time. I like the appointment free first day-but I do like the sound of that circle cruise to view the island from a different perspective. Thanks for all your suggestions!

Rockville, Maryland
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27. Re: 15 Day Itinerary Help

Shika: You've done a remarkable job in your research and prioritizing. As you can see, it inspired me.

And thank you for the rare courtesy of acknowledging each person who wrote in about your trip. A traveler (you) thought their idea was worth considering and responding to--that's the enjoyment you wrote about. As more than 125,000 comments here show, the quest to share and contribute--and the fulfillment from it--are powerful forces.

As I read you post, I saw an irony: I mentioned the possibility of a Day #1 ground and a water "survey" of Manhattan; you shared your opinion. The Christmas restaurant--lo and behold--was "One if by Land, Two If by Sea".

The very best wishes on your adventure

Rockville, Maryland
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28. Re: 15 Day Itinerary Help

Shika: You asked me what I thought of the Little Owl. The Little Owl, Mas, and One if by Land are comparable in my opinion--not the same, but comparable. All flat-out superb, They are within a few blocks of each other. .I recommended One if by Land specifically for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day--the restaurant is like a little box that is enchanting, captivating, and radiates warm-all-over-feeling. I don't know how the others decorate for Christmas. I like their style of restaurant--small, structures with a history, outstanding chefs, and well-trained eager staff. I think you cannot go wrong. Reviewers give The Little Owl the edge on food, but it's so close between them and Mas in particular, that it comes down to personal taste. Of the three, The Little Owl is better known to TA readers--but not necessarily "better"..

There's only one way out of this dilemma--try all three! Any way you slice the pineapple, it's a treat,

Hervey Bay...
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29. Re: 15 Day Itinerary Help

Feel free to call my nosey and tell me to mind my own business but I keep seeing this and have to ask what's with the hardware store? It's not the kind of shop that springs to mind when you are on holidays.

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30. Re: 15 Day Itinerary Help

@LittleBiffOne I agree that even though we use the 'anonymity' of a forum as a way to voice opinions/concerns-we also need to give credit to everyone who helps shape their holidays/trips. As they say the memories are priceless so everyone is helping everyone achieve that! (in my optimistic opinion)

I am very tempted to try all three now-I would not be able to afford the a la carte-but the prix fixe is still quite dear, but of course we are paying for quality. I may treat hubbie to these restaurants-although I have to admit I am concerned he is going to turn into a steak (his fave thing to order)!

I will ask hubbie if he wants to do the circle line cruise for one of our many free evenings!

Are you planning a trip to NYC?

Your suggestions have been very thought provoking and interesting to see what I would I cut out-if I had to!

@Ktsnowowl haha I didnt even realise that it would seem rather strange seeing that on the itinerary-but I just copied and pasted it straight from excel so no hiding. The hardware store is on the list, because we are buying our travel adaptors from the hardware store-in fact kinda creepily I have already seen where they are in store because of the maps "see inside" function. I did hastily close the window and shake my head in disgust after though.