A few weeks ago my sister and I traveled to NYC for a girls weekend. We were determined to make it different from our other trips where we were just running around like crazy the entire time! By this trip, we had been to NYC a few times and had checked many of the big landmarks off of the list, such as the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Top of the Rock, Times Square, The Met, The High Line etc. This time we had a different list of sites to see and neighborhoods to wander. So if you’re looking for things to do in NYC in the summer if you’ve already been there and seen the major sites.
Never been to NYC Before: Check out this post: The Tourist’s Guide to New York City: What To Do in NYC
Things to Do in NYC in the Summer
See a Broadway Show or a Ballet at Lincoln Center
Broadway shows are not exclusive to the summertime, but I had to mention it because I think if you can, you should see one every time you go! Megan and I saw Aladdin which was absolutely amazing. The effects and set were incredible and the genie was so fun to watch and they updated some of the references from the movie. I also recommend any of the classics. On Broadway, we’ve seen Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, and School of Rock. If you’re a ballet fan, I highly recommend heading to Lincoln Center to see an ABT ballet. Last summer we saw Misty Copeland perform in Swan Lake and it was the most amazing performance! Still on my list of shows to see: Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Mean Girls, The Cursed Child, Frozen, Anastasia, Hamilton, and basically all of them.
Summer Concert Series
If you’re willing to wake up early on your vacation this is a really fun thing to do! We’ve talked about going to the Today Show or trying to get into a taping of Jimmy Fallon, but we were never prepared ahead of time to do it. This trip was thrown together quickly (less than 3 weeks ahead of time) so we weren’t able to get into Jimmy Fallon, but we did see that there were 2 summer concert series happening that we could go to! We chose the GMA Summer Concert Series purely based on our musical preferences. Fall Out Boy vs a singer song writer who I already forgot their name.
Megan and I woke up at 4:30am to make our way to Central Park where the concert was being held. We stood in line for a solid hour then were finally let into take our spots on the lawn. We proceeded to stand there for another few hours surrounded by a couple thousand of Fall Out Boy’s biggest fans. We heard a couple of half songs as they did sound check (since it’s a neighborhood, they weren’t allowed to begin until 7am. Finally around 8:30am they began taping with the hosts in the crowd and on stage, and around 8:50am they introduced Fall Out Boy. We heard 3 full songs, and had a great view. We were only about 5 people back from the stage! It was a long morning, but we did have fun, and we were able to check it off of our bucket list. All in all, we’re happy we did it, but unless it’s a show/singer/band we couldn’t get into otherwise, we agreed we would probably not do it again.
Have Breakfast at Tiffany’s
On 5th Avenue, stands the most magnificent Tiffany’s Store in the country. While there’s now a cafe inside where you can actually can have breakfast, I prefer the Audrey Hepburn version of a coffee and croissant while looking into the windows longingly (it’s also in my budget). This was made slightly difficult with all of the barriers and guards outside. (Tiffany’s resides directly next to Trump Tower.) I didn’t exactly eat breakfast, but I did get to sip my iced coffee outside the windows and take a photo in front of the sign which I had been dying to do every time we’ve been in NYC! Since we were right next to Central Park, we walked that way to continue our day.
Walk through Central Park
This is something I have wanted to do since Gossip Girl came out, and we never seemed to have enough time to just wander around the park. It’s also massive, so if you don’t know where you’re headed you end up walking in circles, which we did! After an early morning (see Summer Concert Series above) we wandered around the park. I love having the freedom to get lost and find fun things that you didn’t know were there before. Had we not been up and standing around for hours already I’m sure we would have walked around more.
See the Original Winnie The Pooh
Megan and I grew up reading and watching Winnie the Pooh, so when she mentioned that we could see the original dolls which the books were based off, we ran to the Library before they closed! (Leave it to us to wander all day and only make it at the last second!) Luckily, we didn’t need a lot of time for this one. Just plan for a few minutes to run in and take a peak, but it is really cool to see if you’re a fan! The original Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, and Tigger dolls are located in the New York Public Library, in the Stephen A. Schwarzman building.
Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge
Sensing a theme here? Walking is a big theme in most of my NYC posts. It’s the cheapest way around the city and the best way to experience all it has to offer. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge was my favorite part of our trip! It was a great to see the city from a different perspective, and of course we took tons of photos! Once we made it across, we saw Jane’s Carousel and made it to DUMBO where we bought lemonade from a little boy’s lemonade stand.
We knew we wanted to go to Brooklyn, but weren’t sure what our plans were once we got there. We thought about going to Red Hook Winery (we even made it there and changed our minds). So we headed to Smorgasburg in Williamsburg and then decided to check out Brooklyn Brewery. There was a line outside, but it moved quickly and we were inside in just a few minutes. We grabbed beer and a seat at a community table to finally take a break from standing and walking. We did want to go on the tour, but we couldn’t make it work with our evening plans. I guess we’ll just have to go back!
See where we ate here: NYC Guide: Where to Eat in NYC!
Find the Art Installations
NYC is a city filled with art and sculptures. You could walk right by without noticing them, but I recommend you take notice. In 2017, Jeff Koons had giant balloon-like sculptures across the city. We saw the ballerina installation in Rockefeller center and it was such a fun site (especially since I love Jeff Koons and I used to be a ballerina). This time we noticed a the inflated flowers. Each had a sign next to it telling us where they all were, so we were able to look for them as we were wandering around the area. We found all but one! There are also the paths. On Fashion Ave (7th Ave) there is the Fashion Walk of Fame with plaques in the sidewalk featuring designers who have made a significant impact on modern dress. There is another path called Library Way where 41st St from Park Ave to 5th is studded with plaques featuring book quotes or poetry.
Go to a Rooftop Bar
There are several rooftop bars in the city, but if I had to pick one, it would be Top of The Strand at the Marriott Vacation Club, Pulse. It was a small bar with a quieter atmosphere (not a club) and the absolute best view! Unfortunately it was raining when we went, so I couldn’t get a great photo, but the Empire State Building was right outside, it was such a magnificent view!