When COVID is under control and cities reopen, we will all be in need of a little vacation… And who doesn’t love a NYC girls’ weekend?! Now, living in New York City, I may be biased, but New York has always been my favorite destination for a trip with my best girlfriends. With tons of shopping, adorable brunch places, rooftop bars and gorgeous hotels, New York City screams “girls’ weekend.” Check out this sample itinerary for the perfect NYC girls’ weekend, and get ready for the best three days off the beaten path.
Day 1: Friday– Uptown Girls
Get up and get excited. It’s a NYC girls’ weekend! Depending on where you’re traveling from, allot enough time for transportation into the city to get there by lunchtime in order to squeeze in as much New York time as possible.
Okay, so first stop: check into and drop your bags at the hotel. Below I listed my top three favorite hotels in NYC, one for each price-point. Whether you’re ballin on a budget or going for a splurge, NYC has the perfect hotel for you and your girls.
Low-Range, Hotel 50 Bowery: Just south of Little Italy and on the border of Chinatown and the Lower East Side is Hotel 50 Bowery. A room for four goes for about $150 a night, almost a steal for this up-and-coming Manhattan neighborhood. With a rooftop lounge and beautiful skyline views, you’ll never want to leave!
Mid-Range, NoMo SoHo: If you’re a brunch connoisseur in NYC, then you know about the NoMo SoHo. Above one of the most iconic brunch spots in Lower Manhattan is one of SoHo’s most popular boutique hotels. For about $300 a night for a room for four with sweeping views of the city, you can call this hotel home for your NYC girls’ weekend.
This hotel speaks for itself. Located in the Upper East Side on Madison Avenue, staying at this hotel will make you feel like you’re on the set of Gossip Girl. With gorgeous rooms, a short walk to Central Park and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and luxury dining experiences, this life will definitely be something you’ll want to get used to.
Okay now, for general tips about getting around New York City, your best bet is the subway. If you can brave the confusion of the different lines and trains, it’s the cheapest and fastest way to get around the city. Download the app “Citimapper,” and don’t worry, I’ll be your guide! If the subway still seems daunting and you don’t mind spending extra money, opt for an uber or your classic New York City taxi, although the cost will add up.
Now the fun stuff– your adventure beings! Start uptown today and make your way down to Midtown. For lunch, start at The Loeb Boathouse, a beautiful lakeside restaurant and bar in central park. I promise you, this is the dream. The price is worth it.
Then take a stroll north through Central Park to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You could spend all day here… It’s so big! Choose your favorite exhibits and of course get the classic photo on the steps. Did you really go to the Upper East Side if you didn’t take a pic on the steps of the Met?
From the Met, walk 15 min South on 5th Avenue and admire the gorgeous architecture and views of Central Park as you approach your afternoon snack spot, Laduree. The French macaroon specialist is the perfect place to boost your sugar levels and take a cute photo.
Another 15 minutes down 5th Avenue is where the shopping starts. That’s right, what’s more iconic than a shopping spree on 5th Avenue? Make your way down to Bryant Park at 42nd Street, and walk two blocks east to catch a subway at Grand Central Station. Hop the 6 train and get off 28th street. Your dinner awaits!
Upland is one of my favorite places for pasta in Midtown. The decor is elegant, the pasta is to die for, and if you’re dining with a 21+ crowd, a bottle of wine is a must. Also, this restaurant is right by the Flatiron Building, so be sure to take a peek!
For your NYC girls’ weekend Friday-night activities, take a 10 min taxi over to Le Bain, the penthouse nightclub at The Standard Hotel on the High Line. This nightclub has everything you ever wanted for your Friday night in Manhattan– world-famous DJs, amazing views, and even a pool! Get there early because this is not something you want to miss!
Day 2: Saturday– A Day Downtown
Start with a slow morning, but not too slow! There’s so much to see. Today we’ll start where we left off yesterday, and head downtown.
Walk the High Line on your way to breakfast. This elevated trail will take you from Hell’s Kitchen, through Chelsea, and down to the top of Greenwich Village. Walk the trail and get off at the end to get in line for Bubby’s— the best pancakes in Manhattan. I swear, these pancakes are to die for (go for the sampler, you can thank me later).
Right next door is the Whitney Museum of Art. Take as much time as you’d like to wander around the exhibits and make sure you hit the rooftop– one of the best views of Lower Manhattan!
Next, walk down the cobblestone streets of Chelsea to the Chelsea Market, a converted factory in the Meatpacking District, now home to popular eateries and shops.
Fullness from breakfast wearing off yet? Stroll through the winding streets of Greenwich Village, stopping into its quaint bookshops and high-end boutiques. Just off of Washington Square Park is Boucherie, your express ticket to France. Grab a bite, transport yourself to Paris, and get a photo for Instagram too.
After lunch, wind through the iconic Washington Square Park and head towards SoHo, Broadway more specifically– your afternoon shopping destination. With a store for every price point, you’ll fall in love with the streets of SoHo and its elegant charm.
Shopping can be exhausting, and a NYC girls’ weekend isn’t complete without a trip to the spa! Head to Chillhouse, get a facial, a mani/pedi, and sip on an iced matcha latte in the cutest little lounge.
Is it time for dinner already? Head to Galli, a short walk from the spa. Galli is my favorite Italian place in SoHo, with the best vibes, the best food, and the coolest ambiance. Since it’s Saturday night, make sure you have a reservation! This place gets crowded.
To switch things up for your nightlife activities, try Paul’s Cocktail Lounge at The Roxy Hotel, only a short walk from Galli! With a gorgeous spin on vintage Palm Beach luxury, this lounge looks like something out of a movie.
Day 3: Sunday– Brooklyn Babes
Today, take on Brooklyn. Sundays spent in Brooklyn are my favorite, and I’ll show you why.
For brunch, take the subway to Jay Street in DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), and walk to Cafe Gitane on Hudson Avenue. This adorable little hole-in-the-wall cafe is so inexpensive for New York, so cute, and the food is delicious. This is by far my favorite spot in Brooklyn.
Walk along the waterfront of the East River until you get to The Brooklyn Bridge. On Sundays, underneath, is the Brooklyn Flea Market. With lines and lines of tents filled with art, vintage clothing, antiques, and food from local eateries, you’ll want to wander these streets for hours.
Next, walk over to Brooklyn Bridge Park, a beautiful overlook of the East River and Manhattan. From here you can catch a ferry to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, your next stop on the itinerary.
Hop the ferry and get off in Williamsburg, a hipster neighborhood working to preserve its industrial charm and culturally diverse heritage. For lunch, stop by the House of Small Wonder, another hole-in-the-wall place you’d never know was there. Serving all-day brunch as well as traditional Japanese meals, House of Small Wonder will be your new favorite.
Next, head to Bedford Avenue– the best spot for thrifting and vintage shopping. My favorites are Awoke Vintage, Armacord Vintage, and Monk Thrift, but there are so many to explore.
Last stop– Smorgasburg and sunset on the beach. Smorgasburg is Brooklyn’s best and most extensive collection of local eateries, all set up in tents along the East River. Grab a bite and sit on the shoreline of the river to watch the sunset over Manhattan. A NYC girls’ weekend doesn’t get better than this.