Roadtrip USA: a weekend itinerary for New York City

It’s difficult putting your itinerary together when planning for a city as dense as New York. After 4 separate breaks to the city I finally feel like I might have got it down to a tee. Here’s my ideal itinerary for catching all the tourist hotspots in just 2 days.

Day 1.

9.00am – wake up early and head down to Brooklyn Diner (just off Times Square) for a great New York breakfast.
10.00am – jump onto the Downtown loop on the hop on hop off bus departing outside the Renaissance hotel on Times Square.

10.10am – not too far away is the Empire State Building, make sure visibility is clear before heading up. When you come out take a peek at Macy’s just across the street.

11.00am – take the stop closest to Ground Zero, tickets are free to enter the site although a recommended donation of $10pp gets you a souvenir wrist band. Look out for the survivors tree.

12.00noon – take a stroll through Battery Park towards the docks for Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island (if you pre buy a New York City Pass you save considerably on top attractions)

1.30pm – once off the ferry begin walking back uptown towards Wall Street and take a look at the historic church located directly opposite.

2.30pm – jump back on the city bus and head back up town towards China Town. From here you can stop and enjoy a quick lunch in either Little Italy or China Town before wandering over to Soho to explore the streets.

3.30pm – once in Soho be sure to check out all the boutiques and vintage hauls. You’ll find everything you’ll looking for here.

5.00pm – if you don’t fancy the bus you can take the subway back uptown from Soho directly to Times Square. A quick freshen up and you’re ready to head back out.

7.00pm – head down to Sardi’s for your evening meal located just off Broadway. The restaurant is a hot spot for celeb spotting and is also directly opposite the Broadway musical Matilda. Enjoy your evening at the theatre.

9.30pm – Broadway show’s don’t finish all that late and stores don’t close all that early. This is the perfect time to check out the shops of Times Square and get some of your own iconic photos on the platform before you turn in for the night.

Day 2.

8.00am – waking bright and early, you could take the uptown route today on the hop on hop off tour bus.

8.30am – stay on passed Columbus Square and jump off at the American Museum of National History (if you have your city pass this in included in the price). Here you can meet with t-rex and discover actual pieces of the moon! The café inside is great for grabbing a light breakfast.


11.00am – emerging several hours later you might want to jump back on the tour bus and sit tight whilst the guides enlighten you towards the wonders of Harlem and the Upper Eastside.

12.30pm – jump off at Central Park, here you can take a horse and cart ride or take out a city bike to discover your own New York.

2.00pm – feeling posh? Why not head into the Plaza for your very own Home Alone experience, you can book afternoon tea directly through the Plaza’s website. If you’re not, however, fancying that then pick up a falafel wrap from the guys on the street, you won’t be disappointed.

2.15pm – continuing your Home Alone experience, across the street from the Plaza is FAO Swartz, the store was used to film the inside of the toy store in Home Alone: Lost in New York and it’s well worth the look.

2.30pm – you’re now stood at the start of 5th Avenue, the home of some of the best shopping in the world. Take a look in the likes of Tiffany & Co, Victoria Secrets & Abercrombie as you head back towards Times Square.

5.00pm – in the winter months I would suggest now as a good time to go up Top of the Rock, a purely breath taking view of the city lights as well as a photo opportunity with the iconic Empire State Building lit up in all its glory.

6.30pm – again, winter months only, find your feet and go enjoy an hours ice skating outside the Rockefeller. Rediscover your inner child!

7.30pm – if you head back down to Times Square then try the Hard Rock Café, Planet Hollywood or Bubba Gump’s for your evening meal. The typical American experience.

9.00pm – finish your weekend off with a final bus tour. Sightseeing busses provide a Brooklyn night tour which gives you the chance to cross the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and photograph the city from one of the best views of the city.

Make the most of your time in the big apple! You’ll be exhausted but my gosh, it’s worth it.

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3 thoughts on “Roadtrip USA: a weekend itinerary for New York City

  1. Loving the pics! I love going to Times Square♥

  2. Sam says:

    The weather in some of these pictures changes quite dramatically. 🙂

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