Tips For Planning A Long Weekend In NYC


Tips For Planning A Long Weekend In NYCPlanning a trip to New York City? It’s the ultimate destination for a long weekend and a perfect spot for a girls’ weekend, family trip, or romantic getaway.

My college bestie and I went to NYC a few weeks ago to celebrate our summer birthdays and take some time for ourselves. We planned and researched for weeks to come up with what we consider the perfect itinerary for a long weekend in the Big Apple.

Below, I’m sharing some travel tips and our itinerary in hopes they spark some ideas and maybe save you some time in planning your own adventure:

Try to arrive in NYC as early as you can!

It’s a short flight from Knoxville, and totally feasible to get there by 9am or 10am. Take a taxi to your hotel (they’ll be lined up at the airport waiting for you) and if you can, try to arrange an early hotel check-in. If that’s not available, your hotel should have a place to hold your luggage until your room is ready.

We stayed in Times Square, at the Margaritaville Hotel. It was immaculately clean, with impeccable service and great amenities. I felt safe there, and it was convenient and within walking distance to everything.

DAY 1:

  • Have Lunch at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. You’ll be serenaded by aspiring Broadway stars while eating your burger. It’s really a fun experience.
  • Visit Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and marvel at the intricate architectural details and the stunning stained glass windows. A reverent oasis amidst the big city experience. This is a must see.
  • Walk through Rockefeller Plaza, peruse FAO Schwarz for toys for the kiddos, and see Radio City Music Hall and NBC Studios.
  • Walk down 5th Avenue and do some shopping.
  • Stop in at Grand Central Terminal for some people watching, and don’t forget to walk through the Grand Central Market for a snack and a complete sensory experience.
  • Have dinner at an authentic Italian restaurant like Tony’s or Carmine’s.
  • See a Broadway Show. We saw Wicked at the Gershwin Theater and I cannot recommend it enough. It was fantastic.
  • Walk through Times Square at night and experience the energy and atmosphere there. It’s really something special.

DAY 2:

  • Learn how to navigate the Metro Subway system, then take the subway to Lower Manhattan.
  • Visit the 911 Museum and Memorial. This is a must-see; it’s a fascinating, harrowing and emotional experience. We spent two hours here, but could have easily spent three or four. Advance ticket purchase is highly recommended.
  • See the Statue of Liberty. Take the subway to Battery Park and ride the Ferry over to the island. Expect large crowds, and purchase your ferry ticket in advance.
  • Visit Brooklyn Heights and stroll along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade for exquisite views of the Manhattan skyline.
  • Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. We took the subway over to the Brooklyn side and walked back across to Manhattan.
  • Visit SoHo and do some more shopping.
  • Head over to Chelsea and peruse the shops at Chelsea Market.
  • Walk along the Highline for a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle, and amazing up close views of the surrounding architecture.
  • Have dinner at Peak at Hudson Yards. It’s located in the 101st floor of the Edge building with exquisite views of the city. You’ll definitely need a reservation, and I recommend going at sunset for the ultimate experience.

DAY 3:

  • Shop for souvenirs.
  • Visit Central Park and grab some lunch from a street vendor. Check out the Zoo, and if you have time, do a carriage ride around the park.

There is so much to see and do in NYC, but this itinerary hits most of the major tourist spots and is great for a first visit to NYC. Hopefully this will give you some ideas as you plan your own adventure. What would you add to the list?

Previous articleMust-Have Back to School Supplies + Free Printables
Next article5 Hacks Every Bookworm Should Use
Haley McManigal
Hi there! I’m Haley, a middle-aged-momma to Lukas and Laney, and wife to Dan. I’ve lived in East Tennessee my whole life, and I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. After moving all over Knox County and surrounding areas, my family has settled in Hardin Valley where we intend to stay at least until the kids graduate from high school. My son was born in 2017, changing my life forever, and my daughter completed our family in 2020. I work as an architect and project manager at a global design firm. I think it’s pretty cool that I get to meet with people from all over the world from my home office on a daily basis. I am happiest when I’m able to strike just the right balance between home and work life. But my family is my greatest treasure and my most fulfilling role in life so far is Mommy. My favorite things are reading, writing, cooking, exploring, and making things. I don’t have much free time these days but when I’m able to squeeze in a few of these activities it really pays off. I love being a part of Knoxville Moms and I cherish the opportunity to share this journey of motherhood here with you!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here