We are coming for our first trip to New York for my husband's 55th birthday on May 18-22 (arriving in the evening, leaving late afternoon on the 22nd). Unfortunately we don't have nearly enough time to really experience New York, but are looking for at least a good taste of it so we can be enticed to return. Here are some of the things on our list so far and I'd love advice on how to best arrange this into the small time we have (plus suggestions if we missed anything big in this list). First a bit about us: we aren't "big" museum people - we like to pick maybe one per trip and check it out...we are much more interested in walking around and looking at the sites. We love getting up into towers and buildings to check out the view. We like live entertainment, and although we aren't "foodies" we appreciate good food and unique restaurants. We aren't big shoppers either but would like to check out a couple of places. We are staying about 3 blocks from Grand Central, near the empire state building. Here's the list, and again, thanks for the help!
- go up to the top of the rock or empire state building or both for the views, look at cool buildings from the outside (e.g. chrysler building, flatiron building)
- 9-11 memorial
- maybe the staten island ferry to get a view of liberty (how long does the ferry ride take? and how long is the line to get onto it during the week, usually?)
- walk the high line
- My husband LOVES the music from the phantom of the opera but has never seen it. This is an absolute Must. If there is another show that has similar style of music, please let me know and maybe we can go to another broadway show (PS we have already seen Jersey Boys and Wicked, although not in NYC, and don't want to see Les Miserables)
- I would love to check out some live jazz. I have been looking at who's playing at the village vanguard, jazz standard, etc. I'm not familiar with many of the groups playing but might need to do a bit more research
- shopping: want to see the giant Macy's and everyone recommends Century 21
- We want to go to the Tenement Museum (it was recommended by a few friends), but I'd like suggestions on specifically which tour to see. There are a number of tours and when I look at the reviews on Tripadvisor, I'm not seeing a standout leader for "the one" to go to
- see Times Square (maybe at night with all the lights)
- walk around various neighbourhoods and central park
- and just for fun, experience some iconic new york food (e.g. cheesecake, manhattan clam chowder, bagels, etc.)
We are super excited, and want to hit the ground running when we get there.