I think it’s fair to say that the weekend is everyone’s favourite time of the week. But when the weekend comes around in New York, the world really is your oyster.
There’s so much to see, so much to do, places to go, people to meet. Deciding how to spend your weekend in New York can definitely be classified as a First World problem.
Luckily, I’m here to give you the lowdown on weekends in New York, and how to maximise them.
Brunch is a ritual
Any New Yorker or wannabe New Yorker knows that Saturdays begin with brunch. It’s not compulsory, but it’s a custom.
My mouth waters just thinking about the plethora of brunch options in New York. Tartine in the West Village is one of my favourites: just look at that unbelievable Eggs Benedict above!
Unsurprisingly, there’s also a range of brunch destinations in Little Italy. My first ever brunch in New York was all the way back in August 2015 at Da Gennaro, just a short stroll past the Little Italy sign.
Brunch is the perfect way to get your Saturday up and running ahead of potential nights out.
What to do in good weather
The weather definitely has a huge impact on how you’ll spend your weekend. Hail, rain or sunshine, there’s lots to do.
If it’s a hot summer day, then there’s plenty of nearby beaches to savour. Coney Island is admittedly a place I never visited (due to sleeping in usually), but I’ve heard lots of great feedback about its amusement park, food options and, importantly for Instagram, sunsets.
Rockaway Beach in Queens was a favourite of my pals in New York and was one of the places to be on a sweltering day.
A stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge is a must-do. But let me offer some insider knowledge: if you can, get there really early in the morning, say 6am or so, and enjoy a magnificent stroll across the bridge during sunrise. You’ll not only experience wonderful views, you’ll beat the onslaught of tourists.
Brooklyn Bridge sunsets ain’t bad either.
If you’re either incredibly fortunate or well-connected, then why not take your boat out for a weekend cruise? Gather your pals, bring some food and drinks, and you’re all set for an afternoon on the high seas. It’s the kind of afternoon I unsurprisingly never experienced.
Central Park on a nice day is one of life’s greatest blessings. It’s so vast that you’ll find a new favourite spot every time you visit. Personally, a run or a stroll around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir is my favourite.
Finally, why not showcase your sporting talents with a game of mini golf. Mini Golf on Pier 25 is in a great location on the west side of Manhattan. Book early and let the battle commence!
What to do in bad weather
You’ve woken up on a Saturday morning but it’s absolutely lashing rain. You’re tempted to order food from Seamless and enjoy some Netflix and chill, but your intention was to seize the day.
Luckily, New York offers more than enough options for a day of indoor culture. The Financial District in Lower Manhattan is a great place to start.
I highly recommend the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, an emotionally chilling but inspiring location.
Afterwards, make your way towards Penn Station and there you’ll find Madison Square Garden. As a huge sports fan, it was great to get a tour of “The World’s Most Famous Arena” back in August 2015. Look out for a tour guide named Debbie: she’s quite a character!
Either side of Central Park are two of the finest museums known to man.
Located at Central Park West is the American Museum of Natural History. Hours of endlessly fascinating exhibitions fill every corner of every room in the museum. Some exhibitions are permanent but others change semi-regularly, offering something different on each visit.
On the Upper East Side, you’ll find The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Now, I’m far from an art connoisseur, but I would imagine that The Met is heaven for those who are.
Finally, why not go all out and treat yourself to afternoon tea at The Plaza Hotel.
Before you ask, nope I’ve never been there. However, when one of my sisters and her friend went to New York on holidays last October, they decided to splash out on a trip to The Plaza.
I won’t reveal their final bill: all I can say is that it quite easily cracked three figures!
The weekend is your oyster
Yes indeed, the weekend is your oyster in New York.
All the options above are my recommendations and, in my not-so-humble opinion, they’re darn good ones. However, there’s an infinite amount of possibilities for your weekends in New York.
Make the most of them.