24 Best One Day Trip Ideas to New York City

Home to iconic architecture, world-class museums, high-end fashion, trendy restaurants, and chic bars, and known as the city that never sleeps, New York is packed with a wealth of things to see and do. This high-energy city could keep you occupied for weeks exploring museums and art galleries, visiting historical and cultural icons and sites, dining out at award-winning restaurants and tiny hidden gems, and dancing the night away in one of the many buzzing nightclubs. However, if you have limited time in the Big Apple, here are a few must-dos that shouldn’t be missed. Photo: SeanPavonePhoto/Fotolia


1.Central Park

Central Park


Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in 1857, Central Park is a world-renowned green urban space in the heart of Manhattan and most visited urban park in the United States. Located between the Upper West Side and Upper East Side and roughly bordered by Fifth Avenue, Central Park West (Eighth Avenue), Central Park South (59th Street), and Central Park North (110th Street), Central Park boasts more than 800 acres of rich heritage, beautiful landscapes, and breath-taking scenery. The National Historic Landmark and UNESCO World Heritage Site is also one of the most filmed locations in the world and home to the iconic Tavern on the Green restaurant which is one of the best spots in New York for a lazy brunch. Photo: AntonioLopez/Fotolia


2.Times Square

Times Square


Times Square is the beating heart of New York City where the bright lights, iconic buildings, and signature attractions draw crowds of tourists all year round. One of the world’s most visited tourist destinations with its colossal billboards, world-class theaters, and variety of entertainment centers, Times Square is sometimes referred to as ‘The Crossroads of the World.’ Formerly known as Longacre Square Time Square, the area was renamed after The New York Times moved into the Times Building in 1904 and is still the site of the famous New Year's Eve ball drop today. Times Square is also the center of the Broadway Theater District and the world's entertainment industry.

Boundaries: Broadway, 7th Avenue, 42nd and 47th Streets, Manhattan, New York Photo: f11photo/Fotolia


3.The High Line

The High Line


The High Line is a 1.45-mile-long linear public park that was built on a historic New York Central Railroad spur above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side and runs from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street on the West Side. Designed through a collaboration between Diller Scofidio + Renfro, James Corner Field Operations, and Piet Oudolf, the High Line was founded by neighborhood residents in 1999 to prevent the elevated rail track from being demolished and was transformed into a contemporary public space where visitors experience an array of nature, art, and design. The High Line is open daily throughout the year, with seasonal hours.

New York, NY 10011 Photo: Albachiaraa/Fotolia

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4.Empire State Building

Empire State Building


Located in Midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building stands at 1,454 feet tall with a roof height of 1,250 feet and was named after the nickname for New York, which is ‘the Empire State.’ Designed by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon and completed in 1931, the 102-story Empire State Building is located on the west side of Fifth Avenue between West 33rd and 34th Streets and was built on a site that was originally part of an early 18th-century farm. Today, the Empire State Building is synonymous with New York City and is one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, complete with its very own postcode! On a clear day, visitors can marvel at views of up to 80 miles on a clear day, which include Central Park, New Jersey, Manhattan, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts.

20 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001 Photo: katy_89/Fotolia

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5.Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center


Located in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, the Rockefeller Center is large complex comprised of beautiful Art Deco buildings, an ice-skating rink and the sunken Rockefeller Plaza. Commissioned by the Rockefeller family and hailed as one of the greatest projects of the Great Depression era, the complex features 19 buildings of varying design ranging from the original center to later International-style buildings and spans 22 acres facing Fifth Avenue from 48th to 51st streets. The complex boasts several features including the Radio City section, the Music Hall, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 600 Fifth Avenue, and an ice-skating rink. The Rockefeller Center is also famous for its annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, which draws crowds of locals and tourists alike.

45 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10111 Photo: Taiga/Fotolia

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6.Museum of Modern Art

Museum of Modern Art



Fondly known as MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art is a modern art museum on 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Housed in a striking, glass-enrobed Yoshio Taniguchi-designed building, the museum houses one of the most significant collections of modern art in the world, showcasing works by famous artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Cézanne, Magritte, Van Gogh, and Warhol. The MoMA’s collection also includes comprehensive collections of architecture and design, paintings, prints, drawings, photography, sculpture, film and media, and artist’s books. The MoMA is also home to an extensive library with more than 300,000 books and exhibition catalogs, over 1,000 periodical titles, and over 40,000 files of ephemera about individual artists and groups.

11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019 Photo: Museum of Modern Art

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7.American Museum of Natural History (AMNH)

American Museum of Natural History (AMNH)


The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) is one of the largest museums in the world. Located in Theodore Roosevelt Park opposite Central Park on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the vast museum is made up of 28 interconnected buildings which house 45 permanent exhibition halls, including a library and a planetarium. The museum’s collections feature more than 33 million specimens of animals, plants, human remains, and cultural artifacts, meteorites, minerals, and rocks, only a small fraction of which are ever on display at any given time. The American Museum of Natural History is open every day of the year and can be explored on self-guided or guided tours.

Central Park West & 79th St, New York, NY 10024, Phone: 212-769-5100 Photo: Rafael Ben-Ari/Fotolia


8.Fine & Rare

Fine & Rare


Set on a quiet street near the Morgan Library & Museum, Fine & Rare is a sophisticated spirits den that takes guests back to Old New York with vintage décor, Art Deco wallpaper, midcentury-style Chesterfield sofas, tufted leather banquettes, and a grand fireplace. Exuding a retro glam ambiance, the cozy retreat serves a menu of delectable dishes, unique and visually stunning cocktails, and hard-to-find spirits and rare spirits, along with live jazz and throwback bands every night. Signature cocktails include the ‘Choose Your Own Smoke’ with a rye or rum base, or the gin-based ‘Forever Young’ with mango puree and cucumber and lime juice, and menu favorites are tuna sashimi with pickled sea beans and watermelon radish and a seafood tower stocked with fresh oysters, briny clams and lobster claws.

9 E 37th St, New York, NY 10016, Phone: 212-725-3866 Photo: Fine & Rare


9.Underwest Donuts

Underwest Donuts


Underwest Donuts is a boutique donut shop located inside the 24-hour West Side Highway Car Wash on West 47th Street. The unique no-frills take-out joint serves a mouthwatering variety of donuts and baked treats along with freshly brewed coffee, including espressos, macchiatos, cappuccinos, latte, and Americanos, from Brooklyn Roasters. Signature donuts include Maple-waffle and Brown Butter, Almond, Pumpkin Ginger, Halva (a Middle Eastern confection of ground sesame and honey), Coco Raspberry, and the popular vanilla-scented ‘Car Wash.’ Underwest Donuts is open for breakfast and lunch, seven days a week.

638 W 47th St, New York, NY 10036, Phone: 212-317-2359 Photo: Underwest Donuts


10.River Park NYC

River Park NYC


Tucked away in a quiet garden plaza Manhattan's Kip's Bay neighborhood with beautiful East River views, Riverpark is a stylish, contemporary restaurant that serves a dynamic menu of modern American cuisine accompanied by a globally inspired wine list. Using fresh locally sourced ingredients from the restaurants own farm which is a few feet away from the kitchen and prepared from scratch daily, dishes on the menu reflects Chef Tom Colicchio's vision of offering a unique dining experience to a rapidly evolving neighborhood. River Park NYC is open for weekday lunch, dinner on Thursday through Sunday, and weekend brunch.

450 East 29th Street, New York, NY 10016, Phone: 212-729-9790 Photo: River Park NYC


11.Burke and Wills

Burke and Wills


Burke and Wills is an Australian-themed bistro on the Upper West Side that seamlessly blends regional fare with traditional Australian food for a unique and enjoyable twist on the standard American bistro. The menu features Aussie specials such as kangaroo burgers made from ground kangaroo loin and served with triple-fried chips and a tomato jam, lamb merguez sliders with creamy charmoula aioli, and ocean-fresh raw oysters, along with an array of fresh East Coast seafood and gamey Australian meats. Don’t miss the traditional Australian dessert of lamingtons – strawberry-filled sponge cake covered in dark chocolate rolled in coconut. The exceptional cuisine is accompanied by a variety of creative libations such as a Bushfire Margarita of mezcal and orange bitters, which can be enjoyed in the elegant lounge on the upper level of the restaurant.

226 W 79th St, New York, NY 10024, Phone: 646-823-9251 Photo: Burke and Wills


12.Du’s Donuts and Coffee

Du’s Donuts and Coffee


Located next to Williamsburg’s William Vale hotel, Du’s Donuts is a modern take on the classic coffee and donut shop and serves an array of creative and unusual donuts alongside the regular favorites. The namesake proprietor Wylie Dufresne experiments with cake-donut formulas and produces some innovative twists in the standard donut, such as Brown Butter Key Lime, Blueberry Crumble, and Chocolate Caramel Brownie. His signature donut tastes like a campfire with a smoky chocolate glaze and topped with crushed Golden Grahams and tiny dried marshmallows. Select, locally-roasted espresso, drip coffee, and cold brew coffee from Brooklyn Roasting Company is available to enjoy with the donuts.

107 N 12th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249, Phone: 718-215-8770 Photo: Du’s Donuts and Coffee


13.Rabs

Rabs


Located on the corner of Hylan Boulevard and Rab Wilkinson Way (Delaware Avenue) in Staten Island, Rab's Country Lanes is a family-owned and operated neighborhood bowling alley that has been providing fun for the whole family for over 20 years. The venue features a smoke-free bowling alley with automatic bumpers and state-of-the-art touch screen computers with 40? LCD overhead monitors, a full-service lounge with pool tables, darts, live music and karaoke, a snack bar and pizzeria, and a pro shop and awards center. The venue hosts bowling leagues for a variety of teams and tournaments all year round, as well as Cosmic Bowling evenings with LED light shows and trendy music.

1600 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10305, Phone: 718-979-1600 Photo: yossarian6/Fotolia


14.City Wine Tours

City Wine Tours


City Wine Tours offers a different way of exploring New York - with a tasting glass and some fine wines along the way. The company provides three tours in New York – in Soho, the West Village, and the Upper West Side, all of which visit several wine shops and restaurants and taste a variety of excellent local and international wines and sparkling wines. Tours are led by friendly, charismatic wine ambassadors who share their love of wine and passion for the city with guests, as well as offering expert knowledge on how to taste, pair and buy great wine. Guests will also get to sample some of the city’s finest fare from charcuterie and cheeses to mouthwatering appetizers and snacks at some well-known restaurants and lesser-known gems. Private tours for special functions and groups can also be arranged.

67 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, Phone: 844-879-8799 Photo: Monkey Business/Fotolia


15.Carbone New York

Carbone New York


Set in the heart of Greenwich Village, Carbone is an A-lister Italian-American restaurant created by Mario Carbone, Jeff Zalaznick and Rich Torrisi that serves upmarket takes on classic red-sauce fare in a retro-glam space. Hailed as one of the city best restaurants, the theater-style eatery pays homage to the great Italian-American restaurants of the mid-20th century, where exceptional food was served with grace and flair in just as extraordinary settings. The elegant ambiance is complemented by the mouthwatering menu which features classic dishes such as Veal Parmesan, Lobster Fra Diavolo, Linguini Vongole, Chicken Scarpariello, and an ocean fresh seafood salad. The outstanding cuisine is accompanied by an impressive wine list of fine wines from around the world and other upscale libations. Carbone is open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Sundays and dinner only on Mondays.

181 Thompson St, New York, NY 10012, Phone: 212-254-3000 Photo: Carbone New York


16.Pig Bleecker

Pig Bleecker


Pig Bleecker is an airy, rustic-chic barbecue eatery that serves a menu of meat-centric American and Italian comfort food in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. The small, cozy space has a charming, slightly sultry vibe and the menu features every kind of meat imaginable from duck lasagna, meatballs, and brisket ravioli to whole fried chicken, melt-in-your-mouth baby back ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, and homemade sausage. Renowned for their huge burgers which are served on fresh buns with salad and golden fries, Pig Bleecker is open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, seven days a week.

155 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10012, Phone: 646-756-5115 Photo: Pig Bleecker


17.Pig Beach

Pig Beach


Pig Beach is a laid-back outdoor eatery and bar in Union Street that serves an array of pit-smoked, hot-off-the-coals barbecue along with craft and draft beer and handcrafted beachy cocktails. The outdoor Brooklyn restaurant Pig Beach also has a 7,000-square-foot indoor warehouse space next door at 480 Union Street that offers ample indoor seating for more than 170 people. The menu is similar to the original Pig Beach with plenty of barbecues, and signature extras such as smoked pork tomahawk chops, mac, and cheese with toasted Goldfish and waffle fries, and smoked fried chicken sandwiches. Cocktails follow the Southern- and beach-theme and include a pink sangria punch and a gin pop.

480 Union St, Brooklyn, NY 11231, Phone: 718-737-7181 Photo: Pig Beach


18.Tavern on the Green

Tavern on the Green


Tavern on the Green is an iconic restaurant in the heart of Central Park that has been serving elegant American cuisine in a beautiful park-like setting for more than 84 years. After having recently undergone a major renovation under the new ownership of Jim Caiola and David Salama, the landmark restaurant now celebrates New York and Central Park in all its glory, serving a menu of diverse and globally inspired cuisine and libations. Diners can sit inside the charming restaurant or outside in the courtyard surrounded by the greenery and goings on of Central Park. Tavern on the Green is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week and weekend brunch.

Central Park West & 67th Street, New York, NY 10023, Phone: 212-877-8684 Photo: Tavern on the Green


19.The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art


The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York, also known as ‘the Met,’ is one of the world’s largest art museums with an exceptional collection of more than two million works spanning 17 curatorial departments. Located on Museum Mile on the edge of Central Park, the museum features a main building with one of the biggest gallery spaces in the world, and a second smaller location known as the Met Cloisters at Fort Tyron Park in Upper Manhattan that focuses on art and artifacts from Medieval Europe. The museum also recently opened the Met Breuer on Madison Avenue, which extends the museum's modern and contemporary art program. The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York’s permanent collection includes painting, drawings, and sculptures by European masters, art from ancient Egypt, an extensive collection of Modern American art, an encyclopedic collection of costumes, and musical instruments, and impressive holdings of Asian, African, Byzantine, Islamic, and Oceanic art.

1000 5th Ave, New York, NY 10028, Phone: 212-535-7710 Photo: Luciano Mortula-LGM/Fotolia


20.Top of the Rock

Top of the Rock


The Top of the Rock™ Observation Deck offers spectacular 360-degree panoramic views of New York and beyond from high above the hustle and bustle of the city. Located on the 70th-floor of the commanding GE Building and the focal point of the Art Deco Rockefeller Center in Midtown, a dazzling three-story Swarovski chandelier greets guests on arrival before they make their way through a multi-media exhibit area on the mezzanine, showcasing the rich history, art, and architecture of Rockefeller Center. High-speed glass ceiling sky shuttles then ascend 70 floors into the sky and take in sweeping 360-degree views from Top of the Rock’s interior and exterior viewing decks on the top three floors of this magnificent art deco building.

30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10112 Photo: kmiragaya/Fotolia


21.Liberty Park

Liberty Park


Liberty Park was built at the site of the World Trade Center to honor the people who lost their lives on 9-11. Located in the Westfield World Trade Center, the elevated public park is situated above the Vehicular Security Center and overlooks the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, the St. Nicholas National Shrine, and the iconic Sphere sculpture that was created with materials salvaged from the World Trade Center site. Other features in the park include a ‘living wall’ of 826 panels of wintercreeper, periwinkle, Japanese spurge, and Baltic ivy; pedestrian bridges and walkways, a small amphitheater, and a life-and-a-half scale bronze statue of a man on a horse known as America's Response Monument, commemorating the actions of U.S. Special Operations Forces in the first few weeks of the Afghanistan War.

155 Cedar St, New York, NY 10006 Photo: Sergey Novikov/Fotolia


22.The Frick Collection

The Frick Collection


The Frick Collection is located in the Henry Clay Frick House on the Upper East Side in Manhattan and is one of the pre-eminent small art museums in the country. The Frick features 19 galleries of varying sizes in the former residence that house an exceptional collection of Old Master paintings and period furniture that is shown in both permanent and focused temporary exhibitions. The collection features well-known paintings by major European artists, as well as Limoges enamel, 18th-century French furniture, pieces of porcelain and sculpture, and oriental rugs. Notable works include Mistress and Maid by Johannes Vermeer, Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s masterpiece The Progress of Love, and Piero Della Francesca’s St. John the Evangelist.

1 E 70th St, New York, NY 10021, Phone: 212-288-0700 Photo: The Frick Collection



23.Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts


Founded in 1955 by John D. Rockefeller III, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, or simply the Lincoln Center, is a 16.3-acre complex of buildings in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Manhattan. One of the cornerstones of New York City’s culture, the center is comprised of 11 organizations that are focused on the various genres of performing arts from music and dance to theater and is famous for hosting nationally and internationally renowned performing arts organizations such as the New York City Ballet, the New York Philharmonic, the New York City Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera. The various venues of the Lincoln Center can be privately rented for special events and functions.

10 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023 Photo: katedurkin/Fotolia



24.Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden


Home to the New York Rangers ice hockey side and Knicks basketball team, this iconic 20,000-seat venue in the heart of Herald Square has witnessed Marilyn singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to JFK, two Ali-Frazier fights and The Rolling Stones in concert. Madison Square Garden, colloquially known as The Garden or in initials as MSG, is a multi-purpose indoor arena situated atop Pennsylvania Station and is used for professional basketball and ice hockey, as well as boxing, professional wrestling, circuses concerts, ice shows, and other forms of sports and entertainment. Opened in 1968, it is the is the oldest major sporting facility in the New York metropolitan area and the oldest arena in the National Hockey League.

4 Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY 10001 Photo: Stefan/Fotolia





25 Best One Day Trip Ideas to New York City