Your First Time Visiting NYC: Top 5 Things to do

Caila Quinn in New York City Cab

Bright lights, Big City! But where to start? 

For those wondering where to direct your cab driver, look no further than this local's... 

  Top 5 Things To Do in New York City

for First Time Visitors

1. Central Park

2. Top of The Rock 

3. The Met

4. Brooklyn Bridge

5. Broadway

From first-timers to fifth-timers, I'm sharing the best of what New York has to offer and their hidden gems - no one's telling you about...




1. Central Park

Pathways woven around ponds, lakes, and meadows make this 843-acre park an endless adventure. The manicured greenery leaves visitors in awe of its Eden-like perfection and refreshed with ice-cream & dew laden water bottles only ever a few steps away for constant convenience.

Hidden Gems: 

- Loeb Boathouse A picture perfect water view for lunch or afternoon activity of boat rowing. April to October from 10am - dusk. Located on the East side of the park between 74th & 75th Street. 

- Sheep Meadow Ideal people watching and picnic spot. Bring a book for company or invite everyone you've ever texted, just a warning... there are undercover police looking to fine those with visible open wine bottles. Ahem... not speaking from experience or anything. Entrance on West side of Park from 66th - 69th Street. 

- Central Park Zoo A hidden gem, along the main walkway you'll find a musical clock that plays whimsical nursery rhymes on the hour as a carousel of animal dance to it's song. Located on 5th Ave & 64th Street. 

- The Plaza Hotel's Underground Food Market From Frozen Yogurt to Pho, crafted cupcakes to caviar, gourmet vendors serve only the best in this dining oasis. One of New York's best kept secrets, even most locals don't know about it. Open daily 8am to 10pm. Located on 59th & 5th - the corner of Central Park - with "Food Hall" signs above each inconspicuous entrance. 





2. Top of The Rock

If you've always wanted to make it big - to the very top, the fastest way is by elevator. 😉Rockefeller Center's observation deck will take your breath away with views of Central Park, Midtown, and downtown. Open from 8am until midnight, the last elevator runs at 11:15pm. 

Entrance on West 50th Street between 5th & 6th Ave. 




3. The MET

Spend hours admiring works of art from A.D... to X.Y.Z. The spacious wings are home to one of the world's largest collections of fine art spanning over five thousand years...

Tickets: $25 

Sunday - Thursday 10am - 5:30pm, Friday - Saturday 10am - 9pm

Located on 5th Ave and East 82nd Street. 

- Rooftop Garden Bar Beautiful sweeping view of Central Park with quite tasty cocktails - a wonderful way to spend the summer and gather friends together. Seasonally Open: Hours same as Museum

- Egyptian Art Wing Pictured above & by far my favorite exhibit. Take a few deep breaths in front of the serene pool that surrounds the Temple of Dendur to be transported back to Roman times in 31 B.C. 

- Neue Galerie Museum Just around the corner from The MET is my personal favorite home of art on Museum Mile. The Neue Galerie is a museum dedicated to twentieth-century German & Austrian Art. When I first moved to the area I would come sit and sketch Gustav Klimt's elaborate Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (1907) from the movie Woman in Gold with Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds or get tea in the museum's restaurant to feel like I was living in Germany again. For those like myself that have an affinity to artists of this period, an upcoming exhibition to look forward to is that of Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele this summer! (July 12–September 4, 2018)

Located on 5th Ave and East 86th Street - only a few block north of The MET. 




4. The Brooklyn Bridge

Take time to enjoy the view as you stroll or bike along the wood laden path. This 30 minute walk leaves the perfect amount of time for personal reflection or even to make a afternoon connection... ahem.. great date spot. 😉You'll be able to see the Statue of Liberty and a skyline built by dreamers. And once you make it across to Brooklyn make sure to stay in the Dumbo neighborhood a while. It stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass and has much to be discovered. 

Entrance to walk the Brooklyn Bridge Located on corner of Center Street & Brooklyn Bridge Promenade at City Hall Park. 

- Jane's Carousel Bring your inner child to life under the glow of this restored vintage carousel overlooking Manhattan. Open Thursday - Sunday 11am - 6pm

- Main Street Park Pop by One Girl Cookies and grab some coffee and cupcakes for a picnic atop this grassy hill . You could spend a day enjoying the view and shops along this walkway. 




5. Broadway

With over 40 theaters home to talented storytellers in Midtown, Broadway is - by far - the heart of Manhattan. From bold new musicals to classic heart wrenching hits, you'll be mesmerized by all the bright Theater District has to offer. Basically... if you're visiting, living, or breathing air in New York City - YOU NEED to see a Broadway show... and take me with you please. 🙈

Which one should I see? Broadway is my not-so-secret lover (don't worry Nick isn't jealous), so here are categories to help you decide on which tickets to purchase. 

- Favorites I've Seen: Frozen the Broadway Musical, Once on this Island, Waitress

- New To Broadway that I'm Dying to See: Mean Girls, My Fair Lady, Dear Evan Hansen, Hamilton

- Favorite Classic Shows: The Lion King, Wicked

- Shows Your Man will Enjoy too: Come From Away, The Book of Mormon, A Bronx Tale

For an up-to-date list of shows on Broadway, check out 


And a special thanks to Belight Photography in Central Park, Jason Huang Co. at the Top of the Rock, Shadi Garman Photography at The MET,  and Kayla Coleman Photography of the Brooklyn Bridge & Broadway for capturing these memories. 


🗽Thank you all for reading about my favorite spots in the City! 

Comment & share your favorite spot below. Of if you end up using my guide would love to hear about it! 🙈

Hope you enjoy exploring them as much as I do. 

With Love, Caila