New York City – The Definitive Travel Bucket List

New York is so many things to so many people. From the gritty lower east side to the posh upper west side, there is a place for everyone in this diverse, creative, and high energy city! I’ve spent a lot of time in New York City, from living there to visiting as a tourist, and there are just so many fun things to do and so many amazing restaurants to try that it’s impossible to fit it all in on your first visit. This is a good thing though, as it makes for reasons to come back! If you’re a first-timer to the Big Apple, then you are in store for a lot of fun bucket list activities! I’ve laid out my Eat-See-Do list for New York City below.


Things To Do

Explore Central Park – Take a spin through the park on a carriage ridge, or stroll through the lovely fountains, playgrounds, bridges, and ponds of this enormous park.

Make a visit to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum – a perfect time to break from Manhattan’s madness, catch perspective, and honor those who gave all. The Wall Street Charging Bull, New York Stock Exchange, and Trinity Church are also nearby.

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge – Spend an hour or two crossing the Brooklyn Bridge on foot or by bike. Be sure to look back and take in the Manhattan skyscrapers. Once across the bridge check out the DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights’ neighborhoods and pop into their shops and cafes. Once you’ve had your fill, take the East River Ferry back to Manhattan.

Hail a Cab – You haven’t had the full New Yorker experience until you’ve hailed a cab. Stand on the side of the street where traffic is going in the direction you are headed. Step off the sidewalk and like a true New Yorker, stick your arm out like you mean it!

Go Shopping in SoHo – SoHo has so much to offer when it comes to shopping and the wide cobblestone streets offer endless amounts of charm. There are always new pop-up shops and unique spots to visit that you can’t find anywhere else.

Things To See

Marvel at the Statue of Liberty – Take a ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. For a free option, hop on the Staten Island Ferry (you can’t get off at the Statue of Liberty, but you will get a nice view).

Enjoy the views of NYC – Visit the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock for an amazing view of the city. Top of the Rock is less expensive and you’ll have views of the Empire State Building in your photos, but the Empire State Building is a classic sight to visit. Both options will provide you with a great view!


Walk along the High Line –  An urban 1.5 mile walking path on an elevated rail trail.

View the famous paintings at the Met – New York has so many great museums to visit, but the  Met is the largest art museum in the United States. You’ll find Van Goughs, Monets, and so much more! There is also a great rooftop for a glass of prosecco and a view of the city.

See a Broadway Show – Seeing a show in New York City is a quintessential experience and should not be missed. Whether you love musicals, dancing, or comedy, there is something for everyone. Dress up a little and make it a special night.

Things To Eat And Drink

Enjoy a leisurely brunch – Brunch is a BIG deal in New York. Pick a morning (or several) to sleep in and do as the locals do.

Eat a mile-high sandwich at a Deli – Katz’s Deli is a classic option for a pastrami or corned beef sandwich. It’s also famous for the Meg Ryan “I’ll have what she’s having” scene from “When Harry Met Sally.”

Taste-test the best pizza in New York – Indulge in a slice of New York style pizza (be sure to eat it folded in half). Joe’s (located in the Village) is my absolute favorite slice in the city!

Order Soup Dumplings in Chinatown – Joe’s Shanghai is the perfect place to try soup dumplings (aka Xiao Long Bao or “Little Dumplings in the Basket”). According to their website: “To prevent burning one’s mouth and to savor the dumpling, the preferred method of consumption is to bite off a little piece of the doughy wrapper, drip the broth to a spoon or suck the broth with a “slurp”, then eat the rest.”

Order a fun cocktail at a speakeasy – The speakeasy “Please Don’t Tell” is accessed through a vintage phone book in a hot dog shop called Crif dogs! Call ahead in the afternoon to make reservations for this unforgettable experience!

Enjoy a New York Bagel – New Yorker’s have a lot of pride in their bagels and strong opinions on where to find the very best. Order one with lox and cream cheese for a true New York experience.

Planning a trip to New York?

If you’re traveling to New York City, I’ve created the perfect itinerary for first-time visitors that includes a wonderful mix of tourist sights and local favorites. This itinerary makes sure you aren’t spending wasted hours going back and forth across the city and allows you to maximize your limited time.

If you’re a first-timer to the Big Apple, this itinerary and travel guide will help you check off the boxes for all of your must-see activities. If this is your second or even 25th visit, you’ll find great recommendations for restaurants, activities, and local favorites that will help you to pretend you’re a New Yorker (even for just a little while!).

What you’ll find inside:

  • 30 page comprehensive travel guide
  • Five full day itinerary with only the BEST places to stay, things to do, sights to see, and restaurants to try
  • Stylish, full-color photos and an easy-to-read layout that you can access on your phone or print-out and bring with you
  • Helpful details about the city, cultural insights, kid-friendly recommendations, and other tidbits to maximize your experience and minimize your stress
  • Over 35 hotel recommendations and
  • Planning a trip to New York City is overwhelming and very time consuming. With this guide, you’ll save yourself hours of planning and can be confident knowing you’ll be maximizing the time you have in this incredible city!

This 30 page comprehensive travel guide includes everything you need to plan your trip to New York. You will only need to book your accommodations and make reservations. Seriously, that’s it! If you prefer to do some planning yourself, then you can use this guide as a starting point to create your own personalized trip. Either way, with this itinerary you’ll be able to touch down in New York City and hit the ground running!

Sample Itinerary Pages:

Buy the New York City Perfect Itinerary and Travel Guide for First-Timer’s Here:

Looking for more travel Tips?

Traveling Chic’s New York City Restaurant Guide Here.

Traveling Chic’s New York City Hotel Guide Here.

If you’re planning a trip with your family or kids, check out Traveling Chic’s list of kid-friendly recommendations here.

If you’re visiting over the holidays, check out Traveling Chic’s “Christmas in New York” travel guide here.



Happy Travels!

xo, Jenny

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