You’ve recently moved into your new Bedly unit and your best friend from home is coming to visit. After following house rules and checking with the roomies, you confirm they can stay with you. Now, what to do once they are here? You know they certainly aren’t coming to spend the weekend cuddled up in your full size bed together binging on Netflix (although I understand that is a viable option).
One of the best parts about living in arguably the greatest city in the world is having people come to visit. Not only do you officially have bragging rights once you live here, enabling you to show your guests all the coolest spots while dropping “city knowledge” on them, but you also get to experience New York through the eyes of someone else, or maybe even re-discover why you moved here in the first place. Whenever I take friends or family out, I fall in love with this city all over again. Sometimes it just takes a conscious effort to seek out the qualities of the city that make it so great, acknowledging that with the endless daily grind, there still exists the cultural, unique, timeless intrigue of the city that never sleeps.
Since you chose Bedly for your housing needs, we already know you’re one smart cookie. You understand that time is money and planning is stressful. By following these guidelines, you’re well on your way to having a stress-less time with your friends and family!
If you live on the Upper East Side, perhaps in one of Bedly’s UES units, I have a great route that’ll help you check several NYC attractions off your list in one day. When someone visits us for the first time, we typically walk down 2nd Avenue to grab a coffee and breakfast and make our way through Central Park and south to Columbus Circle. Next we’ll either take Broadway or 6th Avenue down (if you want to see Radio City and Rockefeller). We hit up Times Square and Herald Square (along with any shops in either location), and of course pause for any necessary photos. Next we make our way to Washington Square Park and I excitedly exclaim “This is where they hang out a lot in Broad City! Recognize it?!”
A walking tour is obviously ideal in warmer weather, but as long as it’s a sunny day and temperatures are bearable, you’ll be surprised at how warm you’ll get walking from place to place. It’s also a great excuse to stop and try new restaurants along the way. Go for lunch on 9th Avenue (also known as Restaurant Ave), or hit up a new bar for happy hour drinks in the West Village. The best part, too? You can do all of this and not break the bank.
If your guest is visiting in warmer temperatures, a morning or afternoon in Central Park is a must. Pack a picnic and play frisbee in Sheeps Meadow, or eat outside on the patio at Le Pain Quotidien. Shop the local artists posted up on the Mall, get lost in the Ramble (forest reserve), and explore the beauty of the Conservatory Gardens. The massive reserve of land is kept up in the middle of Manhattan for a reason, and I can guarantee there won’t be any complaints from your visitors.
Because does a trip to NYC even count if you didn’t? Check out Bedly’s list of the best brunch spots in NYC!
Broadway Show (or ANY show)
If your guests are music fans, there are plenty of live music venues big and small ranging from rowdy crowds to the more intimate vibes. Theater goers? You’re in luck! NYC is the theater center of the world, so whether it’s Broadway, Off-Broadway, or your roommate’s friend’s show in the basement of a bar, you’ll have no problem finding a suitable night of entertainment. For discounted Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, check out Rush, Lottery, and Standing Room Only options. I absolutely love the online lottery, and there is even an app for easy entry on the go. The TKTS stands, along with the website and app Today Tix, offer great discounted prices as well. Moral of the story: there is no need to pay full price to see an incredible show!
Or any fun and favorite food of yours. We had never experienced the delicious wonder that is Korean BBQ before moving to NYC, so we love taking visitors to Korea Town to eat. Between the selection of tasty meats and appetizers (we usually go with a pre-set meal for 2 or 4 and add on apps) and the servers grilling everything fresh at the table, it’s really tough to disappoint. We took our vegetarian friend there as well, and she was able to enjoy a meatless dish herself! Some personal favorites are Miss Korea BBQ, New Wonjo, and Gaonnuri, an upscale restaurant on the 39th floor with panoramic views of the city. And if you’re feeling really frisky, you can always make your way to one of the infamous karaoke bars on the block.
Walk The Brooklyn Bridge
I’ve done this several times with friends and it never disappoints. The iconic architecture with the Manhattan skyline set out in front of you is something everyone is familiar with, and it’s an easy and surefire way to impress your guests and give them the images of NYC they dreamed about. Not sure where to begin? Visit Free Tours By Foot for info on your adventure!
While you’re in Brooklyn, you might as well take advantage and show your visitors Brooklyn Bridge Park. Walk along the East River and take in the views. And don’t forget about the funky neighborhood of Dumbo! The photo-op of the brick laden street with the Brooklyn Bridge set against Manhattan is not to be missed.
Trek to Another Borough
I say “trek” because let’s be real, it’s very easy to get stuck in your borough. Living on the UES in Manhattan, I always want my guests to get an idea of what else constitutes NYC. I love taking them to a show at the Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg and showing them the alternate views of the city from East River State Park. Queens has an incredible array of food offerings, so if they are really craving some authentic Greek, take them to Astoria or Flushing for Chinese. Each borough is so unique, and they all make up what’s so amazing about New York City.
A popular destination for tourists, the Highline is a converted old railway track turned elevated park which results in a unique and newer attraction in the city. Stretching from Gansevoort and Washington Street up to 34th and 12th Avenue, the Highline is lined with grass, trees, and plants, all maintained through sustainable practices. It’s a really cool way to see some architecture and public art in the city, all while meandering along the Hudson with views of Jersey. The Highline also hosts fun events, such as food markets or art shows. Visit their calendar of events for more information.
Night Out in Your Neighborhood
I love my neighborhood, so it’s no surprise I spend the most amount of time here on a regular basis. The ease of having everything you need within walking distance, whether it be coffee, dinner, groceries, or drinks – you can’t beat that. I typically recommend a few neighborhood spots for dinner to choose from, then take them to my favorite bar for drinks afterwards. I also like to invite my group of friends to join so they can meet the people that make living in NYC awesome! Introduce your guests to YOUR life. That’s why they came to visit you after all, isn’t it?
Photo credits in order of appearance: Wikipedia, City Rover Walks, NY Post, Timeout