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If you’re like me, you’re eager to travel again. However, instead of focusing on the places I can’t go right now, I’m currently using this travel “downtime” to plan future adventures.

One place that’s on my travel calendar every year is New York City. Even though I missed a 2020 trip here, I’m hopeful 2021 will bring me back to this vibrant travel destination.

Maybe NYC is on your bucket list too. If so, below are a few helpful tips for your trip.

Discover real New York
Spend about 20 minutes in Times Square and then move on. There’s so much more to see in New York City, and you don’t want to waste your time stuck in a tourist trap of chain restaurants and souvenir stores. If you’re looking for cool souvenirs? Check out Chelsea Market for unique finds. While you’re there, you can stroll New York City’s High Line. The High Line is a super cool public park built above the streets of Manhattan.

Use the subway
The subway is the fastest way to get around New York City, and it’s relatively easy to navigate. You can buy a 7-day MetroCard pass for $33 at a MetroCard machine found within most subway stations. Even if you’re only in NYC for a long weekend, you’ll still save a lot of money with a 7-day pass. Keep a MTA  subway map handy and pay attention to the letters and numbers on the train lines rather than just the colors.

Do you want to see The Statue of Liberty?
Consider taking in the views from the Staten Island Ferry. The ferry is free and runs every half hour. You can also get a great view of Lower Manhattan from the ferry. Avoid rush hour times.

Enjoy local foods
NYC is a food mecca. One block alone can literally take you around the globe with different cuisine experiences. Even if you’re not a huge foodie, you need to at least find a good bagel with schmear and a tasty slice of New York-style pizza. Seek out Kossar’s Bagels and Baileys or historic Russ and Daughters for the perfectly baked bagel. You’ll most likely find a hot slice of New York-style pizza on every corner. However, a few that stand above the rest include Prince Street Pizza, Lombardi’s, and Artichoke Basille’s.

Don’t make a ton of plans
Roam. Linger. Let the city guide you. One of my favorite things to do is wake up early in New York City’s Lower East Side with zero plans. A wide-open day for any vacation is important, but especially in New York City. The energy of this city is hard to ignore. It’s best for planners to just give in to the flow of the city and see where it leads you.

These are just a few tips from my NYC experiences. I encourage you to do your own research and check out the extensive collection of travel material your library has to offer.

New York City: top sights, authentic experiences

Fodor's 2020 New York City

Fodor's 25 Best. New York City

Bubby's brunch cookbook: recipes and menus from New York's favorite comfort food restaurant

If you’re missing New York City right now due to COVID travel restrictions, here are a few TV Series to take you back to The Big Apple.

Sex and the City
30 Rock

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

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