Thursday, July 18, 2013

Instagram Travel Thursday: New York City

I'm thrilled to be taking part in Instagram Travel Thursday, a new weekly feature set up by several fabulous bloggers, sharing their favorite trips captured on Instagram. We LOVE to travel and discover new places, so I look forward to sharing several with you on a weekly basis!

This week I'm featuring some pictures from our April Spring Break trip to New York City. We spent four days with the family exploring some new spots in the city. I love this city more and more every time I visit. Our goal was to check out some new places that were amazing but did NOT break the budget to visit. Below are some of the great spots we hung out.

This view is taken from the top of the Rockefeller Center (Top of the Rock). This was a great opportunity to get some history on the building and the view at the top was an amazing 360 view of the city. We went around 6pm to watch it as it got dark and the lights went on around the city. The view of the Empire State building was not to miss. It was also much cheaper to take a family of four to the Top of the Rock versus the Empire State building. Well worth it!!

Another great stop that's free and easy to access is Grand Central Station. We got there early in the morning and caught the morning hustle and bustle of people heading to their destinations. The sun streaming through this spectacular space is awe-inspiring. AND, JOE Coffee is located in the Food Court and is well worth the wait in line to get a cup of Joe!!

We were lucky to be staying in a hotel just across the street from Bryant Park where the New York City Public Library is located. We took a short walk up to the library and walked right in and it was like stepping back in time walking through this incredible building. (Did I mention it was free?)

A cab or subway ride across town is the Chelsea Markets. This place is a culinary treat! Not only is it fun to walk through, but its tasty too! Lots of great food to sample from cupcakes to fresh crab! Its also close to the High Line a (free) public park built on the freight rail above Manhattan's West Side. You will catch beautiful views of the Hudson River and there's plenty of places to sit and relax.

A local beer and a Curiosity Cola pit stop in SOHO at Back Forty West. Cozy and quaint in an otherwise very busy neighborhood.

My favorite building in all of NYC - The FlatIron building.

Window shopping on Fifth Ave (a girl can dream!)

A fabulous stop at The Pony Bar for some cold craft beverages.

Our favorite breakfast and coffee stop each morning just off Times Square across from the beautiful Bryant Park, Le Pain Quotidien!

A quick ride on the cool glass elevator at the mothership of Mac stores!

We also stopped in across the street at the Plaza. Another NYC institution worth checking out and the kids enjoyed it as well.

We love to go to Eataly when we are in NYC. Its Mario Batali's little "everything Italy" block in the city. Our favorite is a quick stop at the rooftop beer garden, Eataly Birreria Restaurant. It's always a lively spot!

More fun shopping on a beautiful day in Manhattan.

Fun photo-ops in the Financial District.

Our last stop and probably most moving of the whole trip was visiting the site of the 9/11 Memorial. We had planned to visit to see the twin reflecting pools that have been completed. The entire site is still a construction site and even though it is FREE, you must sign up in advance to get passes. We showed up there the first day to a HUGE line of people waiting to walk through the memorial park. We were told to go to an office on another street or go online and get timed passes. We did this later from our hotel room and got four passes for our last day with no problems. We showed up and the line moved right along after passing through security and it was very meaningful to share that experience with our kids. They are old enough to understand the events of 9/11 and it provided a great opportunity to learn, talk to them and share some quiet moments to remember and reflect. We look forward to coming back again in a few years to see the Memorial when it is 100% complete.

PS: FOR THE COFFEE LOVERS...MUST STOP COFFEE STOPS: Joes, Stumptown, Gorilla Coffee and Cafe Grumpy (below)!

For more pictures and NYC favorites, check out my Pinterest NYC Board!


  1. Thanks for participating and letting us travel to NYC with you :)

    1. Anytime! Love NYC any season , any day of the week. It's an easy trip from where we are (Raleigh, NC) and there's always something new to explore! Thanks for joining me!

  2. It has been a LONG time that I've been to NYC, your post made me want to return back so badly!! Thanks for sharing this with us!

  3. I don't get there often but I love it when we do. Rockefeller Center is my fave. So full of energy, culture and food options :-)
    Following you now on IG and can't wait to see your pics.

    1. So many things to do in the big city! Lots of reasons to keep going back! Thanks for the follow on IG! We are headed to the Western mountains of North Carolina very soon! Stay tuned! :)

  4. I've actually never been to NYC, unless you count being stuck in an underpass in traffic beneath it, or circling it several times because the driver is lost.

    I would love to get there soon! Eataly & Chelsea Market are on my list, as well as The National, Momofuku & Milk Bar, Red Rooster, Mission Chinese.............

    1. Easiest to fly in and cab it to downtown. So many great places to eat, drink, see. You can plan a different experience in the city every time. I didn't mention we spent some time in Central Park as well and that's worth adding to the list! Hope you get there soon!! Thanks for checking out my post!

  5. I've been in Charlotte so I just got back in town. Love your post this week. Thanks for linking up. You always capture a city so well. Great eye for the camera.

  6. Thanks Leigh!! And thanks for including me in your lineup!