1.See the city from above at night
I would recommend that you go to the Top Of The Rock Observation Deck at the Rockefeller center to see the city rather than the more common option of going up the Empire State building. Why? Well first of all you actually get to see the Empire State building which looks beautiful lit up! Also, it may be a slightly shorter queue than the Empire State building, which is well-known to tourists around the world.
2. Hitch a ride around Central Park
We got driven around Central Park by a man on a bicycle which was a great way to cover a lot of ground in Central Park. Central Park is huge, and even has a whole zoo inside it. We also saw the fountain they used to film the opening sequence of Friends.
3. Go on a movie bus tour
If you’re a film fan, this is a must-do. We went on the TV and Movie bus tour, and got taken around on the city on a bus. The tour guide points out places where well-known tv shows and film scenes were filmed (we’re talking Ghostbusters, Friends, Sex and the City etc). There was also a tv on the bus that would show the accompanying scenes. We spent some time off the bus, and had a chance to wander around locations. I got to see the friends building in real life which was great for an avid Friends fan like me! We also made a short stop where you could go to a few shops, including Dash (the Kardashian’s New York franchise) or Bloomingdales and get the classic ‘Big Brown Bag’.
The tour began on a street outside Ellen’s Stardust Diner. The diner was actually used in an episode of Glee and myself and my family returned afterwards to eat there. It was a proper ‘American’ experience, and all the waiters and waitresses were aspiring Broadway actors, working shifts in the diner as a side job! Every now and then they would burst into song and stand on tables and bring a collection bucket around. Perhaps not everyones cup of tea, but I loved it!
4. Try and catch a movie being filmed
When you’re wandering around the city, you might happen to bump into a scene being filmed! A tip we learnt from the movie tour is to look at lamp posts – companies put posters on them detailing when a scene will be shot there.
5. Go to the ‘posh’ McDonalds
We stumbled across a McDonalds on Wall Street that had a pianist playing background music on a grand piano! The decor inside was very upmarket for a McDonalds and they even had a doorman! McDonalds in America is very different from the UK, the portion sizes are so much bigger – for example the menu had two cheeseburgers and chips as a meal!
6. Watch a baseball game
This was a great ‘American’ experience. We caught the subway and got chatting to Americans (who are always happy to start conversations with total strangers, unlike the British experience of catching the tube). The Mets game was great fun to watch and we ate hotdogs and pizza which came in ginormous portions.
7. Catch the subway
We happened to see a guy playing the sax on the subway which I really enjoyed. It’s a quick way to get around the city, however it felt more safe during the daytime.
8. See the Statue of Liberty
Take the Staten Island ferry – you get a nice view of the parameters of the city and get to see the Statue of Liberty.
9. Walk across Brooklyn Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge connects Manhattan and Brooklyn, and is a great photo opportunity as you get to see the skyline of the city. While we were exploring this area we also got to see some street artists who did magic and dance routines.
10. Go to Times Square
One of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, Times Square is a must see. It was a bustling environment so not for the faint-hearted, however I loved the vibrant atmosphere and managed to pick up a few souvenirs there too.
Here are a few other pictures I took from the trip: