How to Do New York in a Day

by Tori Fourman

There’s a lot to see and do in the city that never sleeps.

Last weekend, two of my harebrained friends from back home in Indiana decided it would be a good idea to road-trip out to New York City for a three day weekend. However, starting from Indiana, their drive was roughly eleven hours long. This meant that two days out of their three day weekend were spent driving. Being their only contact here, I decided they were going to see and do as much of the city as they possibly could in one day. Loved ones unfamiliar with New York will show up for a short trip, and you, being a dutiful daughter/niece/cousin/friend, will find yourself trying to give them a full experience of the wonderful-ness that is New York City. Here’s how to make that happen in one day.

Supplies needed: Metro card, good walking shoes, money for food, your NSOP bracelet (kidding), and a cheerful attitude.

Start at 9:30 AM

  1. Breakfast: wherever your guests are staying, start out with breakfast nearby. Preferably at a non-chain place, somewhere as New York-y as possible.
  2. Take the subway all the way down to South Ferry. Yes, all the way down. We’re starting at the bottom of Manhattan and continuing our tourist trek from there.
  3. Start in Battery Park, and stroll along to get a good view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Since you only have a day, you’re going to have to settle for the view from the park, as you don’t really have enough time to take the ferry to visit.
  4. Head towards Wall Street. You’ll pass the famous Charging Bull, and then walk over to Wall Street itself. Stroll along for a while, and then take a left and go towards the Brooklyn Bridge.
  5. Once you get to the Brooklyn Bridge, decide if you want to walk across or not. It’s pretty impressive to just look at, but you can also walk 1/3 or halfway across for some good photo ops.
  6. Next you’re going to want to walk up toward Chinatown. Explore there for a while and then continue your cultural experience in Little Italy along Mulberry Street. Find a cute little cafe to eat lunch.
  7. If you’re up for a little more walking, visit Soho next.
  8. That’s it for Lower Manhattan so take the subway up to Grand Central Station and explore for a bit.
  9. Once you exit Grand Central, make your way towards Times Square. Once you get there, step to the side (out of everyone’s way!) and have your guests take a good look around before they get too fed up with all the people and demand to leave and why is New York so crowded and ugh how can you stand to live here (because this is where that moment is likely to occur).
  10. Emerge from the hell that is Times Square. Take a breath.
  11. Walk east towards Fifth Avenue, and then turn left to go north. Stroll along and window shop to your heart’s content.
  12. If you walk up Fifth Avenue to 59th Street, you’ll run into Central Park. Head into the park and spend some time there walking around. Or sit on a bench, because your feet should hurt by now. You can also visit FAO Schwartz or the portrait of Eloise at The Plaza.
  13. This part’s up to you, but you can walk across the park to the west side of Manhattan, and you’ll end up close to Lincoln Center. Or you can stay on the east side. Either way, stop somewhere and get dinner.
  14. Lastly, take your guests to the Empire State Building. I haven’t done this myself, but I’ve heard it’s an excellent idea to coordinate your visit so that you’ll be there when the sun sets, so you can see the city during the day and at night.
  15. If you’re really ambitious, try and see a Broadway show to complete your day.

Good luck!

Tori Fourman is a first-year at Barnard and a staff writer for The Nine Ways of Knowing.

Image courtesy of tripadvisor.


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