Autumn is one of the most wonderful times to visit New York City. But what if you only have 24 hours to take in all the wonders? Get ready for a whirlwind of activity that includes fresh air, landmarks, pumpkins (!), cocktails and fine art. But honestly, one never knows what might be around the next corner…Let’s get started!
La Tarte Flambee (1750 2nd Avenue) Savory or sweet, this breakfast treat will give you energy for next few hours of touring.
The Drunken Munkey (338 East 92nd Street) This spicy Indian spot will delight the senses, along with a craft cocktail or two.
Central Park Now that you’ve filled the belly, it’s time to get touring. Central Park has so many notable spots that a bike ride might the best way to see the far corners. You can rent a bike for two hours for around $20, or you can book an expedition through Central Park Bike Tours for about $45 per person. On foot or wheels, you must see some of the park’s most visited locations like a climb up to Belvedere Castle and Shakespeare’s Garden, a stroll through the grand Poet’s Walk or a glimpse of the oft-photographed Bow Bridge. Get lost in the Ramble or lay down a flower at Strawberry Fields. There is nothing like an afternoon spent meandering through the park. Autumn’s rich colors make these iconic places pop in the sunshine! Grab a copy of a map of the park here!
Museums Running from 82nd up to 105th Street on Fifth Avenue, Museum Mile offers some of the world’s most famous places to see art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Guggenheim are the largest and most famous — the spiral staircase is a favorite at the Guggenheim while the Temple of Dendur and the mummies are not to be missed at the Met! The Neue Gallery boasts a stunning permanent Klimt collection while the National Academy Museum and School display students’ current work. The Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum houses modern design work in a century old mansion. Take a trip up to the top of the “mile” to see the Museum of the City of New York and its extensive collection of over 750, 000 city artifacts, maps and a dollhouse!
Need a snack? Grab a sweet and a latte at Cafe Sabarsky. The Neue Galerie’s cafe (1048 Fifth Avenue) is known for the best pastries outside of Vienna. Fancy a hot cocoa after all that leaf peeping and Monet dreaming? Bluestone Lane (2 East 90th Street) has bites and brews for every palate. Maison Kayser (1535 Third Avenue) is fantastic for a croissant or a tartine. Don’t want to leave the park? Lunch at the Loeb Boathouse (East 72nd Street) is a dream on a crisp fall afternoon. Views of the rowers and nearby Bethesda Fountain might make one linger…
Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Flotilla Each Halloween, revelers (adults and kids!) can carve and decorate a pumpkin to add to the flotilla in the Harlem Meer in upper Central Park. The afternoon is filled with excitement with a parade of costumes accompanied by spooky music and sweet treats. Waiting is the hardest part as they line up the pumpkins on their individual floats to glide across the water led by a resident witch or pirate!
Sunset at the Reservoir A day in Central Park and New York City isn’t complete without a trip to the reservoir. With wide views across the water, grab a perch to view the setting sun and watch the sky put on a free show! Some of the most unassuming days have turned into a spectacular evening…
Worked up an appetite after a day in the fresh air and hustle of the city? You’ve earned it. One thing New York doesn’t skimp on is restaurants and bars. Check out a few favorite spots to enjoy a meal and libation (and plan your next trip back)!
Dinner Uva (1486 Second Avenue) for the best gnocchi. Ever have truffled gnocchi? Once you’ve had truffled ANYthing, you want truffled EVERYthing. San Matteo (1739 Second Avenue) for the best pizza outside of Sorrento (seriously, they’re from there!). The simple style and incredible crust make this the best pizza in the city. Period. Candle Cafe (1307 Third Avenue) to get your vegan fix. Bocado Cafe (1293 Lexington Avenue) is bistro-style with something for everyone. A great wine list accompanies the menu!
Balon (245 East 81st Street) Intimate, warm wine bar with European atmosphere. Delectable little bites including guacamole perfection!
JBird (339 East 75th Street) Cocktails. Many, many cocktails.
Earl’s Beer and Cheese (1259 Park Avenue) Beer and cheese. What more do you want?
Kaia (1614 Third Avenue) South African wine bar with unique, small bites.
The Penrose (1590 Second Avenue) Irish gastropub with craft pours, cocktails and a youthful crowd.
Bemelmans Bar Art Deco and steeped in history. You just might see a bit of old New York here.
The Carlyle (35 East 76th Street) Posh boutique hotel with plenty of service and amenities. Downstairs is Bemelmans Bar and the Carlyle Cafe. Located on Madison Avenue with shopping and restaurants galore.
The Franklin Hotel (164 East 87th Street) Quaint and unassuming townhouse on a side street. Lovely, cozy rooms with boutique style. Cheese and wine served in the evenings in the lobby. Convenient to express subways and Central Park.