Road Trip Holiday Edition: How to Spend a Weekend in NYC

NYC Road Trip
NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly

New York City is one of those destinations where you can visit countless times and have a different experience each trip. You start off with that super touristy first visit where you see the Statue of Liberty, and the Empire State building and then once you check off all the sites like that, you can explore the city for its shopping and food! 

 

Hotels

When deciding where to stay in the city, it’s really going to depend on what area you want to explore during that particular visit. There are plenty of hotels to choose from, but here are a few suggestions with modern amenities within close proximity to many of the activities we’ll be suggesting in this article as you read on!

 

Kimpton Muse Hotel

130 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036 / (212) 485-2400

themusehotel.com

Relive the touristy days by visiting Times Square lit up at night and enjoy being just a few short clocks from Rockefeller Plaza. It’s the perfect time of the year to see the tree!

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LUMA Hotel Times Square

120 W 41st St, New York, NY 10036 / (212) 730-0099

lumahotels.com 

In the center of all the hustle and bustle of the city is the LUMA Hotel Times Square. The hotel is just a block from Bryant Park where they host the Winter Village and close to the Museum of Modern Art, a perfect indoor activity if you’re hit with rough weather.

 

Bryant Park Hotel

40 W 40th St, New York, NY 10018 / (212) 869-0100

bryantparkhotel.com 

If you’re looking for something with more of a unique spin, the Bryant Park Hotel built inside of a 1924 midtown skyscraper is overlooking the park and all of its winter festivities! It’s a close walk to the subway, a short 4 minute walk to Times Square, and just a 10 minute walk to the Empire State building.   

Bryant Park - NYC Road Trip
Bryant Park – NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Bryant Park - NYC Road Trip
Bryant Park – NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Bryant Park - NYC Road Trip
Bryant Park – NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Bryant Park - NYC Road Trip
Bryant Park – NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Bryant Park - NYC Road Trip
Bryant Park – NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Bryant Park - NYC Road Trip
Bryant Park – NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly

Christmas Festivities 

It’s Christmas time in the city and there’s just something so magical about seeing the tree in person or hopping in one of those goofy rickshaws with your loved one, cozied up under a fuzzy blanket. Ours gets extra points because he pulled out a tiny boombox and blasted I wanna dance with somebody by Whitney Huston as he weaved in and out of NYC traffic to get us to our holiday destination!

Your first stop should definitely be the Winter Village at Bryant Park (bryantpark.org). It’s one of my favorite New York City holiday traditions. You’ll certainly be fighting some crowds, but the delicious food, jewelry, accessories, clothing, ornaments, and so much more for you to check off your Christmas shopping list at the holiday market makes it worth it. The kiosks are open until January 5th, giving you plenty of time to check out the holiday shops. I highly recommend grabbing a churro cup hot chocolate from the Stackery while watching the skaters at the ice rink (open all the way until March).

NYC Road Trip
NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
NYC Road Trip
NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
NYC Road Trip
NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
NYC Road Trip
NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
NYC Road Trip
NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
NYC Road Trip
NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
NYC Road Trip
NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly

The department stores take festive to another level with Saks Fifth Avenue putting on an incredible light show complete with cheerful seasonal music and Macy’s decking out their windows, keeping the tradition alive!

Of course, seeing the tree at Rockefeller Center (rockefellercenter.com) is just a spectacular opportunity. Having the chance to view that gigantic Christmas tree in person is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime. You can grab tickets to check out the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall or take a stroll through the snowy streets to find the big ornaments and Christmas decorations.

 

Central Park

centralparknyc.org

Of course people think to visit Central Park in the summertime, but it’s actually very beautiful in the winter, too. Not only is the Central Park Zoo open year round, but they have ice-skating, sledding, carousel rides, and more available while you take in the views of the snow covered trees.

 

The High Line

From Gansevoort St. to 34th St. on Manhattan’s West Side

thehighline.org

The highline is an elevated rail structure that’s now actually a public park, extending for 1.45 miles. When news hit the city that the rail track was set to be torn down, locals rallied together to turn the track into a park to keep that from happening and preserve the landmark. The highline pulls together art, nature, and of course plenty of amazing restaurants and things to do all in one place!

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Grand Central Terminal

89 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017

grandcentralterminal.com

There’s more to Grand Central Station than standing on the upper level reciting Gossip Girl lines. Spotted, an absolutely amazing food market that you need to check out. XOXO, the vendors. If you love food markets, you know New York City has a plethora of options, like the Grand Central market. We stumbled upon it when we were looking to find the holiday market in Vanderbilt Hall. We did check out the holiday vendors, open until December 24th with 40 different vendors selling art, clothes, accessories, and toys. But now, back to the food market! We discovered this European style gourmet market full of candies, cheeses, meats, breads, spices, and more! They even have specialty items like caviar, 160 different types of seafood, 400 types of cheeses and meats, and the best part is every merchant located in the market is from local businesses and many of their products are locally sourced. Although the holiday shops are seasonal, the food market is a permanent fixture!

Grand Central – NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Grand Central – NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Grand Central – NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Grand Central – NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Grand Central – NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Grand Central – NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Grand Central – NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly

Eataly NYC Downtown

101 Liberty St Floor 3, New York, NY 10007

eataly.com

Eataly NYC Flatiron 

200 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

eataly.com

Although it’s not just a local to New York City, I’ve visited a few Eataly’s in other cities and the New York City one is my absolute favorite. You can explore the cookbook section, rummage through the seafood department, and even relax while enjoying a charcuterie platter and plenty of freshly made cheese. Spend the afternoon discovering all of the Italian classics within the market before you head upstairs to the stunning winter greenhouse Serra Alpina where you can enjoy delicious food and an impressive cocktail menu. 

 

Urbanspace Vanderbilt 

East 45th Street & Vanderbilt Avenue

urbanspacenyc.com

When I learned that there was a food hall walking distance from Grand Central Station from Rachel Peace, Domestic Communications Manager for NYC & Company I knew I had to check it out. Urbanspace Vanderbilt has a rotating selection from a wide range of culinary concepts. The bao buns and dumplings from Mian Kitchen were amazing and you can’t leave without trying the hibiscus donut from Dough. Red Hook Lobster Pound brings Maine lobster to New York City, serving items like lobster BLTs with crispy bacon and plump lobster rolls!

Urbanspace Vanderbilt - NYC Road Trip
Urbanspace Vanderbilt – NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Urbanspace Vanderbilt - NYC Road Trip
Urbanspace Vanderbilt – NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Urbanspace Vanderbilt - NYC Road Trip
Urbanspace Vanderbilt – NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Urbanspace Vanderbilt - NYC Road Trip
Urbanspace Vanderbilt – NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Urbanspace Vanderbilt - NYC Road Trip
Urbanspace Vanderbilt – NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Urbanspace Vanderbilt - NYC Road Trip
Urbanspace Vanderbilt – NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Urbanspace Vanderbilt - NYC Road Trip
Urbanspace Vanderbilt – NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
Urbanspace Vanderbilt - NYC Road Trip
Urbanspace Vanderbilt – NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly

 

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Levain Bakery

levainbakery.com 

In case we haven’t mentioned enough treats, Pam Weekes and Connie McDonald brought the ultimate sweet treat into our lives. They concocted a delicious, 6 ounce cookie, freshly baked and put on this earth to satisfy your sweet tooth. The cookies are so giant, the outside has a nice crisp, despite them being warm still, while the inside is almost like a warm, gooey cookie dough. 

NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly

RedFarm

529 Hudson St. New York, NY 10014 / 2170 Broadway New York, NY 10024

redfarmnyc.com

With two locations, this modern Chinese restaurant is serving, in my opinion, some of the best dumplings in New York City. The crispy duck and crab dumplings, lamb dumpling shooters, and the Pac-Man shrimp dumplings are some of my favorite options there. However, you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Their food is absolutely incredible!

NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
NYC Road Trip / Photo x Jessica Kelly
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