• Big Apple Beginners: A Guide for New York Newbies

    Big Apple Beginners: A Guide for New York Newbies

    My endless love affair with the Big Apple began as a young tween when I started traveling each summer to NYC for ballet summer intensives with the Joffrey Ballet and the American Ballet Theater. New York is the kind of city that you can return to time after time – it just steals your heart. With so much to do and see, it truly is one of the world’s most special cities. The endless list of attractions and possibilities is always changing, making each visit all the more fun. However, for the first-time visitor, there is no doubt that it can be overwhelming.

    So, if you have booked your accommodation ( Best Western Plus Newark Airport West is super affordable and handy if staying near the airport), sorted your flights, and bought your travel guide/perused the heck out of pinterest, here are just a few things that you don’t want to miss. Enjoy! (and here are some SUPER old photos taken with a disposable camera, hah!, have a laugh!) NYC circa 2000 & 2001. This was also an era pre-cell phones, social media, and internet fame. Crazy huh?

    NYC Ballet Intensives

    My first starbucks EVER – the moment my addiction began. Also wearing crystal bracelets I found in my first venture to China Town. We’re flying home after a summer full of dancing with the Joffrey Ballet Theater – So much fun.

    My non-existent eyebrows compared to my now micro bladed beauties CRACK ME UP YALL!

    Get a load of my hair – it was so long and curly (and that prada dupe, China Town strikes again)!

    The best group of girls with a summer full of memories. I wish we all kept in touch.


    Start Slow in Central Park

    Though you are bound to be surrounded by countless other tourists when you are wandering around Central Park, it doesn’t detract too much from what a special place it is – especially when the weather isn’t freezing. The best way of covering a lot of ground in a short space of time is by renting some bikes and covering some of the top attractions including the sailboats at the Conservatory Water (so dang cute), the Alice in Wonderland sculpture (in lots of movies!), and Belvedere Castle.

    Central Park Romance


    Stroll in the West Village

    The West Village has remained fairly consistent since the 19th century with its tree-lined cobblestone streets. You could bring a map with you to navigate your way around, but it is more fun to simply get lost in the maze and stumble across some fantastic independent stores, cafes or bars. Personally I love boutique shopping – it’s the best with the most unique finds!


    Ascend the Empire State Building

    Of course it is hugely popular, but can you imagine all the reasons why? The view from the top of New York’s tallest structure is staggering to say the least. You can telescope breathtaking beautiful views of the city including historic New York City staples like the Chrysler Building and Central Park. Do be prepared, however, to stand in line as you certainly won’t have the place to yourself. The elevator up is pretty tiny, I don’t recommend for the claustrophobic. Come early or buy your tickets online to help beat the queues.


    Set Sail in New York Harbour

    When you are in central Manhattan, it is very easy to forget that you are on an island at all. Sailing around gives you a beautiful view of the geography of the city, and its water-based location which has made it so successful. Obviously, while you are here, you won’t want to miss a trip to another of New York’s landmarks; the Statue of Liberty and the historic Ellis Island.

    Get Lost in the Met

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art can be overwhelming when you first step inside – the place is huge! You could spend hours and hours taking in the various collections and historical pieces which span from ancient civilizations to the modern impressionists. You can spend an entire day in there and not see everything. But hey, now you have an excuse to return to NYC again! I visit the Met every time I venture to NYC.


    Watch a Broadway Show

    Nothing completes your trip to the Big Apple better than an evening watching a Broadway show, hands down what NYC is famed for! There are so many to choose from that there really is something for everyone. Plays, musicals, one man shows, you name it – it’s there. My last trip to NYC was for fashion week and I saw The Play that goes Wrong – SO DANG FUNNY yall! I also love the classics  like Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables. Of course, it can get a little expensive so check out the deals that are available online or visit the TKTS booth in Times Square (go early!) for cheap same-day options.

    After your first time in New York is over, you will almost certainly want to return again and again, I know I do. Hopefully, this guide takes you through your first time through the Big Apple in small and manageable steps, so you can explore the city in more depth once you return.    

    Tell me – if you’ve been to NYC, what are you favorite spots? If you haven’t, what are you dying to see?





    1. March 20, 2018 / 9:34 am

      These are such good ideas! Love how you’ve only added a few things – New York can be majorly overwhelming first time round!

      • March 28, 2018 / 2:46 pm

        I agree! My very first time there was super overwhelming – and it was pride week, so everyone was super hyped up with lots of festivities! little 13 year old me was wide-eyed and fully surprised!

    2. March 20, 2018 / 11:53 am

      Great blog! Going to see a Broadway show is definitely a must when visiting NYC! One of my favorite places to eat is Carmines.

    3. Kristy Bullard
      March 20, 2018 / 1:29 pm

      I love Central Park and the Empire State Building. Getting to the top of the Empire State Building isn’t like it’s portrayed in movies. We waited in line a LONG time. That view was worth it though!

    4. March 20, 2018 / 5:40 pm

      These are very good ideas! I remember my first trip to NYC and I just loved relaxing in Central Park, even though it was freezing! I also totally agree that one shouldn’t miss the Empire State Building.

      • March 28, 2018 / 2:48 pm

        I remember seeing people sun-bathing in central park. Being from texas that threw me off a bit, but then I realized there aren’t an abundance of pools for public use in NYC. So funny!

    5. the sophia diaries
      March 20, 2018 / 7:55 pm

      omg i love the throwback photos!!!! hahaha the empire state building is definitely worth visiting! not sure about setting sail in the NY harbor – might have to try that when it warmer tho hahaha

    6. March 20, 2018 / 9:37 pm

      I actually lived in NYC for almost a year and these are great suggestions! I would also include Time’s Square and then if you’re there during the winter to check out Bryant Park’s winter village (I’m kind of obsessed with it) and Smorgasburg in Brooklyn in the summer!

      xoxo Brie

      • March 28, 2018 / 2:50 pm

        OMG bryant park’s christmas village/winter village is the CUTEST!! I always get some cider or hot cocoa and shop around. Makes me feel like I’m in the movie Serendipity!

    7. March 20, 2018 / 9:52 pm

      Great ideas! There are so many fun things to do in NYC – it’s hard to narrow it down! Central Park is a definite must-do though!

    8. March 20, 2018 / 10:17 pm

      Amazing post. Makes me miss living in New York!

    9. Daisy
      March 20, 2018 / 11:46 pm

      It looks like so many super fun things to do in NYC!!! I’ve never been there but hope to visit it someday!

    10. March 21, 2018 / 1:04 am

      I have been to NYC a bunch of times and have never seen The Statue of Liberty! I definitely need to add some of these to my bucket list 🙂

      -xo, Azanique | http://www.lotsofsass.com

      • March 21, 2018 / 1:24 am

        What?!?! Girl you have to go – seeing the Statue is great but Ellis island is the best. There’s the neatest historical museum there, I even found an old ancestor of mine in the books!

    11. March 21, 2018 / 1:23 am

      I freaking love NYC! Haven’t been in years, and haven’t done all the things on this list, so it looks like I have another adventure to plan 😉

    12. March 21, 2018 / 1:40 am

      I didn’t know that Central Park had a lake or a river in it. New York has always been one of the places that I want to visit at least once in my life time. A city that has so many cultures in such a little place.

    13. March 21, 2018 / 7:33 am

      I would love to visit New york! I am thinking a long weekend sometime. Watching a show on Broadway would be a highlight although expensive totally worth it.

    14. March 21, 2018 / 7:58 am

      I would love to visit NYC someday! The Empire State Building and Central Park are some must-see destinations for me, of course. 🙂

    15. Geraline Batarra
      March 21, 2018 / 8:16 am

      This is truly a bucket lists material. I have never been to New York but I always wanted to visit. Such a wonderful place.

    16. March 21, 2018 / 8:20 am

      great ideas! New york has sooo much to do! my fave is usually central park. I just need a break from the concrete jungle!

    17. Elizabeth O
      March 21, 2018 / 8:32 am

      You provided some really great tips for newbies in NYC. I am sure this post will really help a lot of people visiting!

    18. Megan
      March 21, 2018 / 9:39 am

      This is a great tourism guide! I live in NY and I love to do touristy stuff too 🙂 Might just have to follow this myself! x

    19. March 21, 2018 / 9:55 am

      This is such a great guide for beginners! NYC is a favorite of mine but it can definitely be overwhelming!

    20. March 21, 2018 / 10:42 am

      I’ll be honest, I stepped out of the taxi from the airport onto the sidewalk and was immediately overwhelmed! I’ve never experienced anything like it. I wanted to experience a lot of the things on your list but we only had a weekend and I definitely took New York VERY slowly!

    21. March 21, 2018 / 2:19 pm

      Yup. I too love New York and I approve this message! ☺️ Looks like you’ve got the best covered.???????? Central Park is a WONDERFUL place to start???? Xo, Evelyn, PathofPresence.com ????

    22. March 21, 2018 / 3:48 pm

      Loving the disposable camera photos – super cute! I loved New York when I visited in Jan 2015, despite the crazy blizzard hitting and being locked in my hotel for 2 days haha! x

      • March 28, 2018 / 2:55 pm

        omg my brother was there when that happened. He was definitely going stir crazy being stuck in his hotel!

    23. March 21, 2018 / 4:20 pm

      This is so beautiful post, love the pointers and the pictures. I was planning to visit New York during Spring break but was not able to due to some last minute issues, I am planning to visit during the Summers, thank you for all the tips. Central Park looks so beautiful and Empire State Building is majestic.

    24. March 21, 2018 / 4:37 pm

      New York is my favourite place to visit. the people are wonderful and the food is amazing too

    25. Lisa Rios
      March 21, 2018 / 5:35 pm

      I need to take time to explore NYC. It looks like a fabulous city and one of my bucket list items is going to Broadway. So many fun activities and sights to see!

    26. March 21, 2018 / 11:09 pm

      I love New York so much! I want to take my boyfriend there sometime soon. He’s never been 🙂

    27. March 22, 2018 / 10:44 am

      I wish I had your NYC guide last weekend. The throwback pictures of you as a teenager are so cute too! I need to plan another trip to NYC soon, it’s a long haul from Seattle but always worth the trip.

      • March 28, 2018 / 2:57 pm

        haha thanks, they crack me up! I need to get out to seattle!! I’ve only been once and didn’t see much – need to go again!

    28. March 23, 2018 / 4:30 pm

      What fun!! I’ve lived in NY my whole life & haven’t done some of these! Need to check them out


      • March 28, 2018 / 2:58 pm

        Really? Wow, now I feel like a pro, haha! But isn’t it awesome discovering new ways to explore your city? makes it more exciting!

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