We arrived on a balmy New York morning and our first port of call was to view the city by boat. This reasonably priced 90 minute boat ride allows you to take in the sheer scale of Manhattan from the water, passing the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, whilst also allowing you to see the New York boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.
Once we were back on land, we made our way to the busy Times Square. Times Square is effectively the commercial centre of New York and is characterized by its array of large neon billboards. Here you are likely to get approached by a range of movie characters for photo opportunities from Batman and Iron Man to the minions from Despicable Me!
Next up, was an afternoon stroll through the famous Central Park. Located in the middle of Manhattan, the park is about 4km long and offers a brief getaway from the hustle and bustle of New York City. You can also hire bikes to explore this famous park where there is plenty to see and do, including a zoo!
For the evening, we decided to go interstate across to New Jersey. Just a 15 minute bus ride from the bus terminal at Times Square is the vibrant little town of Hoboken. Hoboken is only a square mile in size but boasts plenty of hip restaurants and bars. Located on the banks of the Hudson, you also get some impressive views of Manhattan.
After viewing New York from the water the first day, we decided to get an aerial view the second day. The Rockefeller Center (also known "Top of the Rock") offers less queues than the Empire State building whilst also offering unparelled views of Central Park and the surrounding New York area.
Next up was the financial hub of Wall Street to see the famous bull and then the memorial where the World Trade Center once stood. A sombre experience, the site where the two towers once stood is now two large fountains inscribed with the names of those who tragically lost their lives on 9/11.
The afternoon was spent exploring the borough of Brooklyn and in particular the neighbourhood of Williamsburg. Williamsburg is known for its hipsters and offers some interesting people watching and street art that can be viewed from its selection of quirky bars and cafes.
At night, it was off to Broadway to view the musical "Rock of Ages". This musical is thoroughly enjoyable especially if you are into your 80s rock music like I am! New York really is the home of theatre and there are plenty of musicals to choose from on Broadway.
Take me back to the ball game…off to the Bronx to see the New York Yankees play at Yankee Stadium to witness my first ever baseball game. Although not the most interesting sport to watch, it was an experience soaking up the atmosphere whilst chowing down on a hot dog and having a couple of beers. Tickets start from US$30 and for that price we were fortunate enough to get seats up the top of the stand behind home base.
For our final night in New York, we decided to check out a stand up comedy club for a few laughs. At Stand Up NY you get to witness up-and-coming comedians (Chris Rock has also appeared here) share their funny stories. A word of warning, don't sit in the front row if you have thin skin!
This was my second time to New York and it is definitely a city I will visit again. Both times were just fleeting visits so next time I will definitely stay longer! However, you can still fit in a lot if you are just here for a stopover!
Getting around New York
If you are in New York for a few days, I would highly recommend getting a 7 day Metro pass. This costs US$30 and allows unlimited travel on the metro network for 7 days. It is a convenient way to get around with the trains running at regular intervals and stops near all major attractions. If you want to stay above ground, sightseeing bus tours offer a variety of options - whether you want hop on/hop off around Manhattan, visit the outer boroughs or add on a boat ride to see the Statue of Liberty and view the city from the Hudson River.
What did you love about your holiday in New York? Let us know in the comment section below.