Our Short and Sweet trip to New York City
3 days in NYC is not a long time, but it is amazing what you can pack in.
My husband and I have both been to New York City before separately. We decided to go to New York right after our wedding. This was our first trip to the Big Apple together.
We got married in October of 2016 and wanted somewhere to sneak away to right after the wedding that wasn’t too far away from our home in Canada. New York in October sounded perfect so we packed our bags.
Where to Stay
Once again, we booked our accommodation on Airbnb. This is our go-to source for accommodation when travelling as we can often find a more unique and more affordable place to stay than traditional hotels can offer. Having also just paid for our wedding we were keeping budgets in mind.
We scoured the map of Manhattan looking for a good location and a non-outrageous cost and opted for Harlem, as the room was MUCH cheaper than accommodation in more popular areas.
We LOVED Harlem. Spitting distance from everything and right on the subway line, which we rode at all hours without any issues. The apartment was quiet and was just a couple of blocks from the subway station.
Staying in Harlem allowed us to better explore that part of NYC, a neighbourhood we may or may not have visited if we had stayed farther South. By staying there we were able to experience Harlem nightlife, amazing soul food, and the history of that area in a more in-depth way than if we had simply gone up there for one afternoon.
I would highly recommend staying somewhere different each time to go to New York. It gives you such a unique perspective on how people live and work in the city.
Next time we will probably stay in Brooklyn as neither of us has stayed there or spent a lot of time there yet.
Things to See
Since we had both been to NY on separate occasions we were able to skip a lot of the major tourist destinations as we had both already visited them. Times Square, the Empire State Building, The Top of the Rock, were all scratched off the list as we had seen them before and didn’t feel the need to make another special stop.
We actually managed to go this entire trip without setting foot in Times Square, which was semi-intentional.
Sites we had NOT seen yet and made it on the list were the New York Public Library, Grand Central Station (don’t know how I missed that before), Brooklyn Bridge, One World Trade, The High Line, and some bakeries and shops.
The Brooklyn Bridge
Walking from Manhattan to Brooklyn was at the top of my list for this visit. We walked towards Brooklyn and took the subway back, entering on the Brooklyn side at High Street station (a short walk from the end of the bridge). We didn’t explore Brooklyn really, which we regret, but definitely will next time!
One World Trade
We both wanted to see the World Trade Centre 9/11 memorial as it was not complete the last time we visited. To start, we were both caught off guard by how moving this memorial was. We spent quite a while reflecting and the pools and reading the surrounding materials and names inscribed on the memorials. It was something to see the small footprint where the twin towers once stood. There is also a new museum dedicated to 9/11 on the site, which we didn't visit due to a limited amount of time. We have heard from others who have been to it that it is very moving and worth visiting.
The High Line
The High Line is a pedestrian walkway above street level on old train tracks. The path has multiple access points and is lined with vendors and beautiful gardens. There is little shade on the walkway, so bring your sunscreen if it is a bright day.
We started at the Chelsea Market and walked North from there. It was amazing! A paradise in the middle of NYC. We walked along slowly as the crowds with thick and it was extremely hot. We stopped occasionally for a break and a snack. It's a nice way to spend a couple of hours if you have the time to fit it in.
The New York Public Library
We are both huge library nerds so we had to stop here. Neither of us had been before either. The architecture of the library is stunning and the Reading Room is a must see on your visit. Truly an iconic New York City landmark.
Grand Central Station
Another timeless NYC landmark I had somehow managed NOT to see on my previous two trips, Grand Central Station. It was the perfect place to cool down on a hot day and people watch. It's a historic building with stunning architecture, so I am so glad we stopped there.
It also happens to have an open concept Apple Store in its main concourse, which meant Max was happily browsing while I people watched and took some photos.
Things to Eat
Amy Ruth's - Soul Food
Soul food in Harlem is a must, even if you aren’t staying there, make the trip. You won’t regret it. We ate at Amy Ruth’s, ordering chicken, waffles, rice and beans, and cornbread. Food coma obtained.
The Halal Guys - Street Food
For street food, we dove into some platters (let’s call them platters) of food from The Halal Guys.
We each grabbed a platter and in retrospect, we could have easily shared one.
We grabbed these babies and headed to a rocky hilltop in Central Park, overlooking a path and watched the people cycle, walk, and jog by.
Dun-well Doughnuts - Something Sweet
What Fall afternoon in NYC would be complete without doughnuts? I had food allergies at the time of this trip, so we sought out the best vegan doughnuts that NYC has to offer. Meet Dun-well Doughnuts in the East Village. These were so good. Vegan or not, you should go check them out.
Tio's Bistro - Romantic Spot
For dinner on our last night, we ate in Harlem again and a small Mexican restaurant called Tio's Bistro.
Small, intimate, amazing staff, good food. A perfect way to end the trip.
Planning Your Trip
If you're heading to New York City and have questions let me know. As I mentioned, this was my third trip to NYC and I have been to most major sites.
The great things about New York City, much like London, is that it is completely different every time you go. There are always new places to eat and new things to check out.
Have a favourite spot in NYC I need to know about? Let me know in the comments!