New York City Travel Guide

WHERE TO GO IN NYC sparkleshinylove





I tend to travel to New York City often since I live only a short plane ride away, so I thought I would put together a list of some of my favourite spots when I head into the city!

If there is a suggestion of a place I must try that isn’t on my list, please let me know in the comments so I can check it out the next time I go.

How I Get There

I always fly Porter Airlines because it’s just so easy, and I can usually find a return flight for around $260 with a sale. I use their partnership with Standard Parking to leave my car in one of their lots nearby and take their designated shuttle to the airport.

I love that I only need to arrive at least an hour before my flight with Porter! They suggest to arrive 1.5 hours prior to an international flight which works perfect for a girl like me who’s always late getting out the door and ends up arriving just an hour before take off. I do try to make it well before my flight but it rarely happens, and getting there with an hour to spare has never been an issue.

Once I get off the plane I take a train into the city to Penn Station, and then I’m ready to go.







Where to Stay

Hotel 48Lex


Review of Hotel 48Lex sparkleshinylove


This cute hotel is near Times Square and shopping on 5th Ave, but just far enough away that the streets aren’t lined with people. The hotel includes a restaurant called Lexington Brass, and I’ve written a full review here which includes details of their free wine and cheese afternoons and other amenities. The rooms are huge!


The W Hotel Times Square





LOVED this one! Right in the middle of Times Square. The rooms were large, the view of Times Square was amazing, and we loved the modern feel. They have a sushi restaurant and a Mexican restaurant in the hotel as well, and I will stay there again for sure!

The Paramount

The lobby was very cool to hang out in, but I didn’t love this hotel. Rooms may include single beds (be careful during your reservation) and although the bathroom was nice and modern, my view was of another hotel room window 10 feet away! It was across the street from the theatre Hamilton was being shown and was very close to Times Square, but it wasn’t my favourite.

Cassa Hotel Times Square

This hotel was lovely – I had a courtyard view with the hotel restaurant below, the room was large and clean, the bathroom was modern, and it was super close to Times Square. I would absolutely stay again!


Where to Eat

Tavern on the Green









The quintessential spot to brunch in Central Park. Not only does it have a year-round outdoor patio (even in winter it’s really fun!), but inside there are a few different rooms you could be seated in which include a glass room with views of the patio and park, another room with a fireplace and a cozier feel, or further into the restaurant a room with exposed beams and tufted seating. I highly recommend the mimosas and Eggs Benedict.

Laduree SoHo









The outdoor patio in this pretty little spot includes full sized trees with lights, a bar, and seating in cooler months is possible with heaters and fur throws. On the inside you will find renaissance paintings and French finishings – very Parisian. I’ve had both breakfast and lunch there and all of my meals have been amazing.

They have a tea service available, and also what they call sipping chocolate – it’s their super rich version of hot chocolate. The storefront is very busy and you can buy Macaron’s (of course), desserts, and even coffee or tea for pick up.


The Plaza Food Hall


Within the basement of the Plaza Hotel resides a space full of little shops to eat with food like lobster rolls, sushi, burgers, sandwiches and everything in between! Perfect for a quick bite but with very good food.







My husband and I just tried this Korean steakhouse restaurant on our last trip and it was one of the best dinner’s we’ve had. Reservations were difficult because of the length of time needed for each seating so I would recommend booking far in advance.

We actually didn’t do the cooking ourselves (which I expected to do) but instead the staff handle it for you. We had the Butcher’s Feast which included more food than we could handle, but we would do it again in a heartbeat. I’ve never had such amazing steak in my life. A must-visit.


BG at Bergdorf Goodman





My favourite spot to eat after shopping! On the top floor of the department store the restaurant has some pretty incredible views of 5th Ave and Central Park. Shoppers often go to the bar for a snack or a glass of champagne, while I’ve found the food is pretty amazing for lunch and dinner. Think white glove service while taking in beautiful views and giving your feet a rest from all of the shopping you just finished. It’s perfect!






On one of my trips to NYC I was waiting in the terminal and heard more than one person talk about how excited they were to head to Eataly. I decided to venture there myself and I got it – it’s just perfect for a foodie.

It’s a market, but it’s also a spot for cooking lessons, kitchen supplies, and has a little restaurant in every corner. Check out my review from a few years ago here!


The Little Prince





We had brunch at this little French bistro in SoHo, and it was the perfect way to start a Saturday morning. The food was so good, and we loved the tiny patio. The ambiance was what made it really memorable.

Katz Delicatessen





Walk in, take a ticket, and either be seated or try to find your own spot to sit! It’s a little chaotic, but you make your way to the counter and place your order, and pay with your ticket on the way out. My pastrami sandwich was AMAZING! As expected – this has to be the best place to get a deli sandwich in the city.







100% vegan, and it’s all so good! I try something different every time I go, and it’s all amazing. Nothing beats a healthy burger and fries, but picking up a fresh coconut to drink from is pretty cool too.


Where to Snack


Sprinkles Cupcakes









There are three locations in NYC, but the largest location that has the famous Cupcake ATM is on Lexington Ave. It’s good to note that the ATM is open longer than the storefront next door. It’s really the cutest photo op, and the cupcakes are actually pretty amazing! Lots of great flavours with cool fillings.






Who doesn’t want an ice cream in a fish-shaped cone? Get off the subway after the SoHo stop in Chinatown, or take an Uber to this part of town to check out this very Instagrammable ice cream shop.








There are two locations in NYC, but SoHo is the one I frequent. Get in line for fresh Macarons and other treats – there is ALWAYS a line so be prepared to wait!




On my last trip to NYC we stopped in twice in 3 days. The cupcakes are just that good – they are also famous for their banana pudding. Again, always a line so be prepared!

Sweets by CHLOE.




Located right next to by CHLOE. in SoHo, so how can you not stop in here for a cupcake? Pies, cakes and more! AND it’s cute.


Cha Cha Matcha





A pit stop in SoHo for Matcha drinks, soft serve, and more. Everything is pink and green!





For a pick me up stop at the cafe for a quick coffee or snack, or head into the restaurant for their famous brunch.



Favourite Shopping Stops

And Other Stories

This store has everything from clothing, shoes, jewelry, bags and bath and body. I have bought some of my favourite dresses from this pretty store! Two locations in NYC, but I frequent the 5th Ave shop!


Charming Charlie

I love the NYC outpost of this store because it’s HUGE! I’m a sucker for all of the little trinkets and treasures.

Century 21

It’s a daunting experience walking into this store, but if you have a few hours on your hands and you love a good discount then it’s the place to go. There are many mid-range brands there such as Michael Kors, Hunter and more, but check out the vintage designer section for some really cool finds.

City Target

As a Canadian gal I need my Target fix, and this little Target is the perfect mini outpost to get my fix. They have everything a regular Target store would be with a smaller selection. Perfect if you need some essentials!


The Oculus





The architecture is a sight to see in this building, and it houses some really fun shops and restaurants including a Sugarfina, Sam Edelman, and Vince Camuto.


What to See

The Brooklin Bridge





My first time visiting was just this last trip and it was really fun! It’s busy – very busy! Full of people walking from one side to the other (and beware of walking in the bike lane). In the middle of the bridge there were a few photographers who would print your photo on the spot for $10 which we took advantage of. It’s one subway stop past SoHo, and there’s no need for a map because everyone is walking towards the bridge it seems!


The 911 Memorial & Museum





I wrote a bit about the museum here. Something you really need to see, but it’s best to buy tickets in advance for an entry time as it’s very busy. Also, a very emotional experience so be prepared.


Top of the Rock



Book your entry time online before you travel so you don’t wait in line! Getting up is easy, coming down is a little more busy. The views are incredible – a must see on a clear day!







For me SoHo is all about shopping and eating. Some very cool restaurants reside here, and it’s one of the main shopping stops in the city. The buildings will have you taking photos just because they are so gorgeous.


5Th Ave

This is where all of the high-end shopping resides, along with every brand in-between! At the edge of Central park you will find major outposts like Bergdorf’s, Gucci, Saks is nearby, and of course The Plaza Hotel.


How to Get Around

The subway is your best bet – a taxi ride could take 20 minutes in traffic, but a subway right to the same location can take 8 minutes. The only way to beat traffic is subway, so ask your hotel for a subway map, OR Google Maps has a function where it will tell you what subway to take! I used it for our last trip and it was very cool! Pick up a Metro Card and load it up again if you need more rides.

Uber is my second favourite way to get around, but note that some areas of NYC have higher rates (Times Square, 5Th Ave) and peak periods which jack up the prices. Also, Uber drivers often try to pick you up outside of these areas because they are just too busy so do yourself a favour and walk out of these zones before requesting a car.



What did I miss? Let me know in the comments! On my next trip I do have plans to check out While We Were Young, and Sezane – two stops I completely missed on my last adventure there.




Xoxo Mandy


  1. June 18, 2018 / 8:42 pm

    Do you recommend any car services?

    • Roxymandy
      June 19, 2018 / 10:15 pm

      Actually I just used Uber! I haven’t used any car services there at all – just cabs and Uber! Sorry I wish I could recommend someone or a business!

  2. Ashley C
    January 19, 2019 / 8:39 pm

    Shake Shack in Madison Square Park is a MUST every time my husband and I go to NYC (at least once a year). The Highline in springtime. Central Park in autumn and seeing all the leaves changing colors is so beautiful. I also always try to hunt down really cool street art for IG photos haha. Some of the places on your list are new to me so I will definitely have to try them out!

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