Start your short getaway in New York City in Midtown, taking the elevator up to the 86th-floor observatory of the Empire State Building. A panoramic view of the city unfolds, with the Chrysler Building rising above the jagged skyline and Central Park laid out like a green carpet. Book ahead to avoid the lines. Walk north along Fifth Avenue, past the stone lions guarding the New York Public Library, to 42nd Street. A block east stands the Beaux-Arts Grand Central Terminal station. Make your way to 49th Street and Fifth Avenue to wander the shops around Rockefeller Center.
Start: Empire State Building.
Nearest subway: 34th Street
A trip to Lombardi’s for some of the best New York-style pizza will satisfy the biggest appetite. Since 1905, the pizzeria has served an almost grease-free pie, with fresh Italian mozzarella and fresh-from-the-market toppings. A couple of blocks west, SoHo is the shoppers’ sanctuary. Fashion lovers come to browse designer stores like Prada and Kate Spade, as well as chic boutiques you won’t find elsewhere. Before heading back to your New York City hotel, stop in at the mountain lodge-style MercBar for a late-afternoon drink.
Start: Broadway and Houston.
Nearest subway: Broadway/Lafayette
A night at a Broadway show beckons. Book tickets in advance or score discount tickets at the TKTS booth on 47th and Broadway. Sardi’s is the classic Broadway restaurant – a crowd of resting actors and theatergoers makes for an electric pre-curtain atmosphere. The hot tickets are the musicals and dramas, but off-Broadway takes on classic plays are also worth checking out.
Start: Times Square.
Nearest subway: Times Square
Grab a bagel at a deli, then head uptown for a visit to one of New York’s finest museums. The Metropolitan Museum of Art holds one of the largest art and antiquities collections in the world. Across Central Park, the dinosaur display at the American Museum of Natural History will excite both kids and adults.
Start: Upper East Side.
Nearest subway: 86th Street
Weather permitting, picnic in Central Park, then rent a rowboat on the lake. Stop for an ice cream on the Mall or climb to the top of Belvedere Castle for views of the whole park. Make your way downtown to Greenwich Village. A smattering of funky boutiques and used record stores line this street, perfect for an afternoon stroll. Watch the open-air chess in Washington Square Park or get lost among the 18 miles of bookshelves in Broadway’s Strand Book Store.
Start: Central Park.
Nearest subway: 72nd Street
End your New York short getaway in style with dinner in Union Square. Craft and Union Square Café create innovative New American dishes, or try Mesa Grill for its spicy Mexican flavors. After dinner, catch some jazz at the Village Vanguard in Greenwich Village. Or dance to the house beats at Cielo in the Meatpacking District.
Start: Union Square.
Nearest subway: Union Square