3 Ways To Experience New York City

Every traveler arrives in New York with a specific fantasy of the city already in mind. Some come with visions of morning jogs in Central Park, swanky lunches accompanied by martinis and a house band. Others hope to attend the gallery, restaurant and store opening everyone seems to be talking about. And some want to bike across the Brooklyn Bridge to hunt down vintage T-shirts, under-the-radar restaurants and films.

Luckily, Manhattan and Brooklyn are large enough to hold all you might imagine and more. With help from our guide on where to stay, where to dine and what to do, you’ll make your NYC fantasy a reality.



The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad

The Ritz-Carlton New York, NoMad’s location makes it the ideal choice for visitors eager for action in any of downtown Manhattan’s hippest neighborhoods. The hotel offers distinctive sweeping views — guest rooms on the 25th floor and above feature unobstructed vistas of downtown. And with SoHo, Chelsea and both the East and West Village within walking distance, you’ll easily keep the pace of a New York minute.



Vestry shares the same qualities as its SoHo location — both blend old Manhattan with the new. The Old World ambiance of hanging vines accentuates the restaurant’s sleek and industrial design, while the surrounding cobblestone streets are filled with the trendiest restaurants, storefronts and nightlife. The restaurant’s menu is a fusion, too; chef Shaun Hegrett infuses Japanese flavors into American fare to an elegant result.


The Ritz-Carlton Spa New York, NoMad

Luckily, you won’t have to travel far to recharge from all the activity with the hotel’s subterranean 6,800-square-foot spa only an elevator button away. Below Manhattan’s busy streets, you’ll find a black-marble oasis in the spa’s eight treatment rooms, the locker rooms’ ample amenities and a treatment menu that features Augustinus Bader facials and mindful massages.

The spa recently launched two new treatments exclusively for National Wellness Month (August), a 90-minute Cupping Aromatherapy Massage and a 90-minute Natural Resilience Facial.

Union Square Greenmarket

Open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays year-round from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Union Square Greenmarket offers great picnic supplies. Take in the lively scene as you wander the lines of vendors selling farm-fresh cheese, bread, produce and specialty goods.

Elizabeth Street Garden

As you make your way to SoHo, walk through the neighborhood of Nolita to visit one of the city’s best-kept secrets: a gorgeous garden. You’ll be enchanted by the statues and chairs nestled amid the greenery and flowers.



The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel

Few hotels embody the Manhattan conjured up by a Sinatra song than The Carlyle. With a premier Upper East Side address, this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star gem has held onto its status as an uptown icon since it opened in 1930. You’ll find no easier way to time travel to the era of grand pianos (found in 20 of the hotel’s suites), lengthy martini lunches (a Bemelmans Bar specialty) and jazz music (Café Carlyle hosts nightly performances) than this hotel.



Make sure to arrange a reservation at the sophisticated Five-Star Daniel from its namesake owner and chef, Daniel Boulud. Select between a prix fixe four-course menu (with a vegetarian version available, an impressive accomplishment for a restaurant specializing in traditional French fare) or the seven-course chef’s tasting menu.

No matter which you choose you’ll enjoy an unforgettable meal that displays the technical elements of haute French cuisine without the fuss, thanks to executive chef Eddy Leroux’s embrace of American flavors and innovative flair. Precede or follow dinner with a cocktail at Lalique, the art-deco-inspired bar.



Stop by the shopping destination across the street from The Carlyle. The drugstore feels more like a department store with three floors carrying everything from Tylenol to Ralph Lauren socks to Chanel mascara.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir

An afternoon spent in Central Park might seem obvious, but the reservoir is easily missed by visitors who don’t know where to look. Reserved exclusively for walkers and joggers, the 1.58-mile track loops around Central Park’s largest body of water and offers skyline views in every direction. An insider’s tip: enter at 86th Street, as the loop runs counterclockwise.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Skip the Metropolitan Museum’s long lines and crowded corridors in favor of the museum dedicated to the history of modern design, fittingly housed in the former Carnegie Mansion. The Cooper Hewitt boasts an impressive collection of more than 215,000 design objects that span 30 centuries along with frequent exhibitions, a café and a garden that can be enjoyed for free.



The William Vale

The William Vale sits in the heart of Williamsburg, the neighborhood that has become a symbol to many of the entire borough. Modern, hip and built by Brooklyn-based architect Albo Liberis, the hotel strikes the Brooklyn balance: a laid-back ambiance humming with activity. Between the hotel’s rooftop pool and 15,000-square-foot green space’s events roster (which includes outdoor yoga and film screenings), you’re sure to keep busy.



A former autobody shop has transformed into a skylit restaurant with plentiful seating and an inspired menu to match: new American food with Indian flavors. Highlights at Nura include the array of dips (charred eggplant, curry leaf-cilantro yogurt and caramelized onion) served with naan or Parker House rolls and the creative cocktails shaken to perfection behind the restaurant’s centerpiece wrap-around bar.


McCarren Park

The always lively McCarren Park marks the border between Greenpoint and Williamsburg. It makes for an excellent spot for people watching and, on weekends, even better vintage shopping, courtesy of the market at Lorimer Street and Bedford Avenue.


Book a day pass or a treatment to enjoy the upscale amenities of Turkish baths in a converted warehouse. Alternate among the multiple steam rooms, saunas and, for the brave, a cold plunge. The all-day café and restaurant serve light bites and alcohol to enjoy in the comfort of your bathing suit.

Nitehawk Cinema

Catch a flick and dinner at this independent movie theater that hosts various exceptionally well-curated film series, including the signature Film Feasts. Conducted in partnership with local restaurants, courses are brought out to you as they appear on the big screen for a sensory feast.

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