3 Days in New York City

Advisor - Samantha Vanderhorst
Curated By

Samantha Vanderhorst

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  • New York City

  • New York

  • City Travel

  • Weekend Getaways

  • Sightseeing

  • Entertainment

  • Girls Getaway

Top of a brown bridge with buildings in the background.
Curator’s statement

I've had the pleasure of calling New York City home for the past three years and fall is one of my favorite seasons. The leaves are changing, the weather is perfect (aside from this frequent rain) and people are back from summer travel. There are so many incredible neighborhoods to check out in New York. If you only have a weekend in New York and want to see a variety of what the city has to offer, here’s what I would recommend from a local's perspective.

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Where to stay

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Crosby Street Hotel

A stylish gem on a quiet cobblestoned street in the heart of SoHo, with tastefully designed rooms and an extravagant bar.

Fora Perks
  • Welcome amenity.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Soho Grand Hotel

An enduring favorite with revamped guestrooms, nightly entertainment and a plum location close to all the downtown sights.

Fora Perks
  • $50-$100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade and extended check-in/out whenever possible

The William Vale

Ultra-modern, five-star property in one of Brooklyn's most vibrant neighborhoods featuring unparalleled views of the NYC skyline.

Fora Perks
  • Breakfast daily.

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Advisor - Samantha Vanderhorst

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Day 1: SoHo and Nolita

An array of colorful buildings.

I’d stay in SoHo (South of Houston Street) in Downtown Manhattan as it offers a central location in the city, along with a plethora of restaurants and shops on every corner. SoHo Grande is one of my favorite hotels. This luxurious boutique hotel nestled right in the heart of downtown Manhattan. It features exquisitely decorated rooms and has several dining and bar options, including the stylish Club Room at SoHo Grande and the SoHo Diner. You'll also have easy access to other exceptional dining access such as Little Ways, Felix and Mamo (to name a few).

For your first day in New York, I'd go to Sadelle's for brunch - located right in the heart of soHo. Be prepared for a bustling atmosphere, as it's a popular weekend spot. Don't miss their exceptional French toast and indulge in their famous bagel tower topped with salmon lox.

Afterward, explore the shopping paradise that is SoHo, featuring a plethora of high-end trendy stores, art galleries and charming street vendors offering unique jewellery and art pieces.

Apart from all the stores on the main strip on Broadway Avenue, there are a bunch of amazing shopping spots in Nolita. Nolita is “North of Little Italy” and sits right next to soHo, which shares its trendy charm with SoHo but offers a slightly quieter atmosphere (slightly quieter for New York).

Elizabeth Street frequently has pop ups, with vendors that are giving out free food or coffee (Thursday - Sunday). Explore INA (women's store at 21 Prince street) for fantastic designer consignment clothing, check out Never Fully Dressed for a variety of fun prints in all sizes and peruse Isalis for an array of clothing, shoes, and jewelry from brands like Alchemist, House of Sunny, Rolla's, Stella Nova and Mandinga. Nati Boutique, a California-based store, offers versatile basics, from sweaters to dresses, while Clever Alice showcases a revolving selection of clothing options. For stylish small jewelry and piercing needs, head to Studs, and don't forget to drop by Goods for The Study for the cutest journals and stationary supplies. SoHo and Nolita offer a variety of alluring shopping choices, ensuring you'll depart with some stylish new clothing.

For a quick coffee fix, % Arabica is conveniently located near the shopping and it offers a chic and trendy vibe along with a selection of delicious espresso-based drinks. My personal favorite coffee place around Nolita is Stone Street Coffee Company, situated at the beginning of Little Italy. Here you’ll discover exceptional coffee, delectable pastries and a charming outdoor seating area to sit in.

After a day of walking around, get dinner at Raf's or Torrisi if you’re looking for a delicious Italian meal. At Rafs, I’d recommend the rigatoni alla trapanese and dry-aged cote de boeuf for two. At Torrisi, try the Italian and American hams with zeppole to start, the rotisserie lamb, tortellini pomodoro and the penne with black winter truffle. Make sure to get the hocolate & hazelnut for desert.

I’d highly recommend booking either dinner spot above far in advance and using the Instagram @nycresx to check for last minute reservations if you didn’t plan ahead. This Instagram is a valuable resource for booking last minute reservations at the finest restaurants in New York. If you’re looking to walk in a spot for dinner, there are endless restaurants to choice from depending on what food your craving and what vibe you’re looking for.

If you’re looking for a nightcap at a vibey SoHo bar, head over to the temple bar, located conveniently near Rafs and Torrisi.

Day 2: Upper East Side

A body of water surrounded by trees with people on small boats.

Upper East Side Day:
If you’re visiting New York in the fall you have to visit the Upper East side. Apart from the cute apartment stoops with fall decorations, Central Park has some really stunning fall foliage in mid to late October through early November. Take a morning walk around Central Park and once you’ve had your fill of exploring the park and seeing the greenery New York has to offer, stop and grab lunch at Tavern on the Green, the iconic Central Park restaurant right in the middle of Central Park. Grab a quick bite before embarking on your exploration of all the Upper East Side has in store.

As someone who considers themselves an art enthusiast, I wholeheartedly recommend visiting the MET and/or the Guggenheim, two of the world's most renowned museums. You can spend a whole day in either museum so, depending on timing you may only want to stop by one.

Afterward, if you're in need of some coffee or an afternoon treat, visit Ralph's Coffee on 72nd and Madison, conveniently situated within the Ralph Lauren store. Next, take a leisurely stroll along 5th Avenue if you're looking to explore more shopping. Later on, venture back to Soho or enjoy the delectable culinary experiences awaiting you in the Upper East Side.

For dinner, I highly recommend the Monkey Bar, a retro American steakhouse known for its classic midtown feel with a vibey twist. You can’t go wrong ordering any of the pasta, especially the chicken parm. I’m also a huge fan of the Lobster Club, a high end Japanese restaurant with a unique twist. The wagyu slider has me thinking about the restaurant for days.

If neither of the above options piques your interest and you're looking for something more affordable, check out J.G. Melon. The burger is famous in New York, but the restaurant is cash only so come prepared. Or check out Uva if you’re looking for some Italian in a cute, enclosed garden. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, from meats, cheeses, pasta and fish. Make sure to save room for the tiramisu for dinner.

Lastly, if you're looking for a bar around the Upper East side, stop in Bemelmans. This is an old fashioned bar covered in murals with a live jazz band, located right in the Carlyle Hotel.

Brooklyn

View of bridge from a street between buildings.

Now that you’ve explored SoHo and the Upper East side, it’s time to check out Brooklyn. Spoil yourself in a shopping and spa day. Williamsburg is a trendy neighborhood, full of restaurants, stores and bars. It’s only a 25-minute drive or subway from soHo (the same distance it takes to get uptown or to the Financial District) and you’ll feel a slight breath of fresh air from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Begin your day by indulging in bunch at Cafe Colette, where you’ll discover a cozy ambiance and an extensive brunch menu. Make sure to order the colette rolls. After, take a leisurely stroll through Domino Park to stare out at Manhattan. If you're in the mood for an afternoon indulgence, get a coffee or tea at Devoción, conveniently situated in close proximity to the park.

After you’ve walked around for a bit, check out the shopping around Bedford Avenue. Here, you will find streets and streets of shopping. Williamsburg boasts some of the city's best vintage shopping and I wholeheartedly encourage you to explore it. Some of my favorite stores include My Cuzin Vintage, L Train Vintage and Awoke Vintage Brooklyn. Check out the mini mall (behind Awoke Vintage) filled with frequently changing stores full of local vendors, artists work and clothing. I like include Norbu Bijoux and Printing Garage (cool art & posters).

After your shopping adventure, or if you'd rather skip the stores, pamper yourself with a few hours of relaxation at the Bathhouse Williamsburg. Whether you're looking for a quick massage or scrub, or wish to purchase a day pass for the afternoon, you'll find a charming cafe on-site for a post-relaxation meal or a refreshing juice.

Grab dinner at Birds of a Feather, an inviting and affordable Chinese restaurant with amazing Dim Sum. If you’re not done with your time in Williamsburg and want to finish your day off with a drink on a roof while staring at the Manhattan skyline, stop by Westlight NYC, which offers a gorgeous view of Manhattan.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Things to do in the Adirondacks — Lake Placid.

Advisor - Samantha Vanderhorst

Travel Advisor

Samantha Vanderhorst

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to New York City.