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How to Have the Ultimate Girls Weekend in NYC

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New York City is one of those places that is likely on everyone’s list to visit, especially for us women. The allure of the high fashion, the bright lights, and non-stop nightlife has everyone hungry for a taste. It’s the perfect destination for a girls getaway and in this post, I’m sharing the best things to see and do to have the ultimate girls weekend in NYC.

NYC Skyline

Getting to NYC

Depending on where you are coming from driving or taking a bus may be an option. If you are driving, however, be aware of high parking fees and difficulty in finding a parking space. New York City also has a major train station, as well as a port frequented by some cruise lines.

There are three airports in the area; JFK and La Guardia in New York, and Newark in New Jersey. Personally, I prefer La Guardia as it is closest to Manhattan and not overly crazy busy. If you arrive here expect to spend about 30-45 minutes to get into the city by taxi (depending on traffic). Both of my visits in NYC have been short 3 day visits, so I want to get as much time as possible. Most airports also offer a shuttle bus service, however, depending on others’ destinations and traffic the ride may end up taking a couple of hours. If you aren’t in a rush or have longer, say 5 days or more to explore, you can save some money by taking advantage of one of these shuttle buses. Your best bet is to book online in advance (try Super Shuttle) to cut down on waiting time.

When looking for a flight to NYC, I recommend using Skyscanner. They are my go-to for finding cheap flights. 

Where To Stay in NYC

Renaissance New York Times Square Hotel

For your girls weekend in NYC, you probably want to be in Manhattan. Manhattan is rather large, so try to pick somewhere close to a subway station or closest to the main sights you want to see. I like staying near Times Square as it is very central and a lot of fun to walk through at night. It’s also close to Broadway theatres and numerous restaurants. If you can afford to splurge on a hotel, I highly recommend The New York Renaissance by Marriott in Times Square; the lounge overlooking Times Square is the perfect place to relax with a drink and some appetizers after a busy day and the view through the floor-ceiling glass windows can’t be beat!

For something more affordable, try the Four Points by Sheraton Midtown. It’s only a couple blocks from Times Square this hotel has fantastic customer service (free bottled water and cupcakes anyone?) and a cool sky bar.

A third option which I also liked was the RIU Plaza Times Square. It’s a large and busy hotel but rooms are clean, comfortable, and breakfast is included in most rates. Plus it’s only a block from Times Square.

Don’t forget to check out Airbnb for good deals too!

Shopping

5th Avenue NYC

Shopping is a must for any girls weekend in NYC because New York City is a shopaholic’s dream come true. From the fancy high-class stores on 5th avenue to trendy boutiques in the boroughs, there is something for everyone to be had.

Not to miss is, of course, is 5th avenue. Take a peek at the luxury goods in Bergdorf Goodman and Saks 5th Avenue. Keep up with the techies and the innovative apple store, and of course, find your perfect diamond at Tiffany’s. Even if you could never in a million years afford anything on 5th avenue it’s worth the walk to window shop and just experience for yourself. The area is full of tourists and dreamers, so don’t worry about not belonging; you will be greeted and welcomed the same as everyone else.

If you happen to visit during the holiday season, then you absolutely HAVE to walk down here and check out the amazing window displays. Word of warning; the crowds are insane, especially on weekends, so make sure you have time and don’t need to leave in a rush.

For discount luxury goods, pop into Century 21 on Broadway. While reviews are mixed, those who are willing to spend the time and do a little digging have come out with some great finds.

For something more budget-friendly, be sure to head down to the flagship Macys store at Herald Square. With two buildings at 9 floors each there is plenty to choose from for both men and women, and as an added bonus they frequently have sales. Here you can also find the world’s largest shoe floor with brands to fit every budget.

The Best Places to Eat on a Girls Trip to NYC

Breakfast at Tiffany’s used to just be a movie, but now you can actually eat in this famous 5th avenue store. The Blue Box Cafe opened in November 2017 and has been full up ever since. Reservations open online 30 days in advance at 9am EST and book up quickly, but if you are lucky enough to get a table, it’s definitely worth it and the perfect place to have a meal for a girls trip to NYC. It’s a small but cute cafe with a varied menu offering different breakfast, lunch, and even afternoon tea options. Learn more here. 

Breakfast at Tiffany's Blue Box Cafe

For an afternoon break while shopping head the restaurants in Macys or Bergdorf Goodman. Whether you are looking for a meal or a small treat, these venues make a great place for a little rest. The BG restaurant offers gorgeous views over Central Park while Stella’s restaurant in Macy’s offers a beautiful skyline view by the Empire State Building. Or, if you’re in Central Park head to the MET and, weather permitting, go up to their rooftop martini bar for a refreshing drink and a bite.

If you really want to spoil yourselves, then indulge in an English tradition New York City Style and have afternoon tea. There are plenty of choices around the city ranging from a traditional English tea to Asian inspired menus such as that offered at the Mandarin. To avoid disappointment, most places recommend making reservations ahead of time. If you can afford the splurge, afternoon tea at the Palm Court in the Plaza Hotel is delicious and perfect for a special girls trip to NYC.

Afternoon tea at the Plaza

While there is no shortage of restaurants, of any variety, in New York City, it can be tricky to find a good meal pre/post-Broadway show. My personal favourite is John’s Pizza on 44thW. Located in an old church, the venue is gorgeous with fast service that will have you out in time for the show. And their pizza, in a constant battle as one of the best in the city, is to die for. Be prepared to wait a bit though as this is a popular spot and they do not take reservations. If you’re not seeing a show, come a little later (around 8pm) and you will find a much smaller crowd.

Another of my favourites in the same area is Trattoria Tre Colori. Again, you may have to wait a while (although you can make reservations online) but the pasta here is delicious making it one of my top go to places to eat in New York City.

As for something sweet? You can’t leave New York City without trying Junior’s Cheesecake!

Girls’ Night Out in NYC

Times Square NYC

In the city that never sleeps there is plenty to do at night, even if dressing up and hitting the club isn’t your thing. A Broadway show is always a great way to spend an evening. If you have your heart set on a certain show, book online in advance. Top seats will run you over US$300 but you can still sit in the Orchestra for half of that. Low-end tickets tend to run around the US$50 mark depending on the show. If you don’t care what you see, and you’re up for anything, join the TKTS queue in Time Square to get discount last minute tickets on any shows that haven’t sold out. The earlier you arrive, the better.

My favourite shows (so far!) are The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, and Wicked.

On a nice night why not get dressed up and head to a rooftop bar. There are plenty around the city, ranging in price. For a budget-friendly option head to the Lounge at Pod 39 in Midtown for some incredible views of the Empire State Building. Before heading anywhere though, be sure to check the dress code. While some venues are casual others have high expectations.

Broadway shows and bars aren’t your thing? Then why not take this opportunity for a bit of sight-seeing. Depending on the season, boat cruises offer night tours for breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline lit up against the night sky. The Top of the Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Centre and the Empire State Building are also open late for night time views. And of course, Times Square is pretty amazing at night.

Touring Around New York City

Brooklyn Bridge

New York City has so much to see and do, but here are a few of my favourite suggestions that are perfect for a girl’s trip to NYC.

New York City is home to many celebrities and serves as the set for a multitude of films and tv shows including Sex and the City and Friends. Choose your favourite and take speciality tours that will lead you around the city to the top film spots. Try a Sex and the City Tour like this one.

One of my favourite NYC tour companies is A Slice of Brooklyn. Foodies will love their pizza or chocolate tours. Or, if you are visiting NYC at Christmas, then the Dyker Heights Christmas tour is a must!

One of my favourite ways to site-see around New York is by taking a Circle Line Cruise. It’s relaxing, with awesome views, and is perfect for escaping the crowds (and the heat if you are visiting during the summer!) Book your Circle Line Cruise tickets here.

On a budget? Check out this list of fun things to do for cheap or free or this post of some of the best photo spots in the city.

New York City has a ton to offer and cater’s to everyone’s interests. A girls trip to NYC is the perfect way to spend a weekend with your best friends.

Psst: Hoping to get some amazing travel photos of yourself? Have you considered booking a photoshoot with a local photographer? Localgrapher offers photoshoots around the world for solo travellers, couples, friends, and families. I did a shoot in Santorini and it was fun and resulted in amazing photos. Check out my experience here.

Girls Getaway NYC

34 Comments

  1. Megan Claire on September 16, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    LOVE NY! Such a great spot for a girls weekend – I also got a photo outside Tiffanys lol sadly couldn’t afford anything in the store though :P!

  2. Claudia on September 16, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    I LOVE NY. Mine has literally been love at first sight. The first time I have been there, I had arrived from Philadelphia at Grand Central Station and remember getting out of the subway and instantly saying: “I love NY”. That was it. A love affair. I then went several other times and got to live there for around 3 months, but this was back in 2001/2002 so I am a bit out of the loop. I did love, however, Brooklyn. And the lower east side, not to mention Soho, the Village… wow. Why did you have to bring this up? Now I am all homesick again! 🙂

    • Hannah Logan on September 16, 2014 at 8:44 pm

      Haha perfect excuse to go back! There’s so much to see I need to make another (well probably a few) trips as well 🙂

  3. Alli on September 16, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    I have not been to NYC yet! 🙁 🙁 Cannot believe it. Looks like you had an incredible time there and I cant wait to get there soon 🙂 Was this your first time thereÉ

    • Hannah Logan on September 16, 2014 at 10:23 pm

      ahh you will have to go! This was actually my second time, I went last year around Christmas to see all the winter magic- beautiful but the crowds were crazy busy and I didn’t get to see too much. This was definitely more relaxing 🙂

      • Alli on September 18, 2014 at 6:36 pm

        Wow! That is when i would want to travel to New York the most – around Xmas! Would you still recommend it despite the crowds!

        • Hannah Logan on September 18, 2014 at 9:52 pm

          Haha totally- insane but, well, magical. The tree is amazing, the window displays are insane, and I even went to the Rockettes Christmas show which I LOVED. If you get a chance do it!

  4. Lauren on September 17, 2014 at 1:00 am

    NYC is such a great spot for a girls weekend! It’s a great spot for any kind of vacation, really. I have been to NYC 3 times in the past and had a different type of vacation every time, there’s so much to see and do that you’ll never get bored! Justin and I haven’t been there together (although he’s been as well before we started dating) so I think we’ll have to go there together sometime!

  5. Samantha on September 17, 2014 at 2:47 am

    I’ve always wanted to go to NYC for a girlf getaway, my best friend and I always talk about it. Your flats are so cute! And that dessert looks so good. I love that it’s so pink 🙂

    • Hannah Logan on September 17, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      gooooo! lol. And the cheesecake was delish!

  6. Anne Sutherland-Smith on September 17, 2014 at 7:00 am

    Hannah, thanks for sharing a great guide to making the most of a weekend in NY. I love the cheesecake and pizza photos – they look great! We hope to get there one day but it is a long way from Australia…

    • Hannah Logan on September 17, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      They were sooo good! And you have lots of time still..just think one day 😉

  7. Andy on September 17, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    I’ve never been fascinated by NY. But after reading this post, I’m certainly beginning to develop and interest!

    • Hannah Logan on September 17, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      I think it’s definitely one of those spots that, should you have the chance, you should see for yourself! So much to do and see you won’t get bored!

  8. Milosz Zak on September 17, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    What’s your opinion on the redevelopment of Ground Zero? I was there before and after September 11th, and it’s been very interesting, albeit controversial how the space has been managed. Did you have a chance to talk to New Yorkers about it?

    • Hannah Logan on September 17, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      Being there right before Sept. 11 anniversary it was incredibly busy so I didn’t actually go to a tour this time around. It’s definitely a tough topic with the locals- I did speak to a couple of them about it. Most seem to approve of the One World tower and what it stands for. The top section, by the way, was a gift from Canada so it was nice to talk to the locals about that and hear how grateful they were about it.

  9. Jazzy on September 17, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    I am glad that you visiting my hometown. NYC just has so much to do, I lived there for 20 somethings years and still haven’t done the majority of great things that the city has to offer. While I was reading, I was like I really hope she tried so NYC pizza lol and you did !!

    • Hannah Logan on September 17, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      Omg NYC Pizza has a special spot in my heart. I’m going to crave it now for sure!

  10. Bailey K. on September 18, 2014 at 2:40 am

    I’ve only been to NYC once, but that was 10 years ago, and with my family right after I graduated high school. Needless to say, I didn’t have that great of a time. I’ve wanted to go back, and it looks like I just need to go with girlfriends!! 🙂

    • Hannah Logan on September 18, 2014 at 10:00 am

      I’d say you would for sure have more fun with your girls than you did 10 years ago 😉

  11. selims raasta on September 18, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    NYC great place for a girls weekend away! My sister and her 4 friends just did, had a blast! Will send this to her so she can plan their next girls weekend away 🙂

    • Hannah Logan on September 18, 2014 at 9:54 pm

      I bet they did! I feel like there will always be something new everytime you visit.

  12. Raphael Alexander Zoren on September 18, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    This really reminds me of Sex and the City haha Long live NYC!

    • Hannah Logan on September 18, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      There are entire tours focused on the show if that’s your thing 😉

  13. Margherita @The Crowded Planet on September 18, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    This really makes me want to grab my girls and head to NYC! What a place… I’m not a girly girl but I could surely do with a spot of shopping and a Magnolia cupcake!

    • Hannah Logan on September 18, 2014 at 9:50 pm

      Girly girl or not I think every girl would be happy here 🙂

  14. Antonette on September 18, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    NYC would be THE place to go with friends. We loved it! Unfortunately we didn’t know about the martini bar at the MET but then again, it was freezing so not a really good option 🙂

  15. Sam @ Travelling King on September 19, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    I would love to come over to New York however its such a long flight!! (from Australia!)
    It does look like a lot of fun though!

  16. Cheryl on September 22, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Love NYC with my girls! It’s been a while since I’ve had a girls getaway but when I have time again one day that’s one of the first places we’ll be visiting. My last visit consisted of just shopping the entire time and unfortunately we didn’t get to catch a Broadway show – next time we’ll have to squeeze one in!

    Looks like you had a great time.

    • Hannah Logan on September 22, 2014 at 11:14 pm

      haha well you can definitely get caught up with the shopping!

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