Tag Archives: Central Park

1st Cheap NYC Guide: 40+ Top Attractions

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Central Park The Pond

Our 1st cheap NYC guide features 40+ top attractions that you must-see! Touristy or not, these are the classics spots that have changed New York’s history. Come explore New York with us!

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Central Park The Lake San Remo
The Lake and The San Remo towers at Central Park © Behind the Scenes NYC

I have been living in NYC for more than two years now and considering that I always have friends and family visiting me, I’ve created my own touristic route to take them through the most iconic highlights of the city. They are entertaining, fun and best of all, CHEAP routes that I want to share with you.

First Route: From Central Park down to Union Square

Before I start, it is necessary to give with you some tips. First, NYC food stores and restaurants are not required to offer restroom services, so I have included this item in my tour routes. Second, you can access the WIFI networks in all subway stations, NYC Parks and Starbucks for free (which also have restrooms. YAY!). Finally, if you like something you want to buy and you can afford it, just BUY IT. You probably won’t have time to go back or even remember where you saw that precious item.

I recommend you start with this route, since it’ll give you a broad view of the city and Midtown. The first day is always the most intense day of all. Or, at least it’s what I tell my friends to give them the illusion they won’t walk “that much” for the rest of the trip. By the way it’s a total lie. Hahaha!

Central Park & Plaza Hotel

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Central Park The Pond
The Pond at Central Park © Behind the Scenes NYC

This route starts at Central Park, on the corner of 5th Ave and 59th Street. Here you can access one of the most iconic areas of Central Park featured in several movies like Home Alone 2 or Enchanted. You will see the amazing contrast between nature and the city, giving you incredible pictures at The Pond and the famous Gapstow Bridge. If you’re lucky, you can even take a picture of the most famous bachelor of NYC today: the gorgeous Mandarin Duck who is living at The Pond! Also, close to this area you can walk around the Hallett Nature Sanctuary (be aware of the Raccoons that lives in a tree there), skate at the Wollmann Rink Ice and visit the Central Park Zoo.

For those that have more time to spend around Central Park, walk up to The Lake, to cross another famous bridge – Bow Bridge. Be sure to snap a picture with The San Remo towers at the back! You might also want to get a row boat at The Loeb Boathouse.

Now, if you are in a hurry, just walk around and keep going down 5th Avenue, heading South (downtown direction). How do you know you’re heading South if you’re in the middle of the 5th Avenue? Cars are moving South too, so just follow the flow!

*Restroom Spot: go inside the beautiful Plaza Hotel and down to the food court located at -1 level. They have restrooms you can use at the end of the left alley.

5th Avenue, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral & Rockefeller Center

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Top of the Rock
Top of the Rock © Behind the Scenes NYC

Between 59th Street and 42nd Street, when you walk through 5th Avenue, you’ll find the biggest and most fashionable stores in NYC. Be sure to check the 4th floor of Victoria Secret’s store, where you can see a small exhibit of the costumes used at their world-famous shows. Walk into the Neo-Gothic Saint Patrick’s Cathedral dating back to 187 and, of course, the Rockefeller Center. If by this time you are getting a little hungry, pass by the Lindt Chocolate, on 5th Avenue store where they will always welcome you with a delicious chocolate truffle. And La Maison du Chocolate at the on 49th also offers tastings. Yum!

If you are coming to New York for the Christmas holiday season, don’t forget to take pictures of the Christmas Tree at the Rockefeller and enjoy the Saks’ light show every night starting at 5pm to 11pm. It happens every 10 minutes. These shows gets really crowed, so try to come early to see it all. If you have time and have to pick one of the buildings to walk up – Empire State Building or Top of the Rock, go up the latter. It will give you the best 360º view of downtown, stretching to our Lady Liberty, and also Central Park. Plus, lines are much shorter compared to the Empire State.

Bryant Park & Food

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Bryant Park
Bryant Park © Behind the Scenes NYC

By the time you hit 42nd Street and 5th Avenue, I can guarantee you’ll be quite hungry. What I usually do is turn right at 42nd Street and walk to 6th Avenue to grab some food inside Whole Foods. They have a delicious food buffet with tons of vegetarian, vegan and organic food, if you enjoy, besides other options too. And, the best part is that they have a sitting area, where you can eat and admire Bryant Park. If the weather allows, I recommend you enjoy your lunch at Bryant Park, where they have several tables and chairs available. It might be a bit hard to find a spot during the warmer months though…

Now, during the winter season, you can also visit Winter Wonderland Village at the park that offers over 150 stores, surrounding the Ice Skating Rink. Skating and lockers are free if you own your skates and have a padlock, but you will have to pay if you need to rent skates, want to check bags, or need to buy a lock for your locker. By the way, this is the cheapest place to skate in the city, if you want to experience it.

*Restroom Spot: the Le Pain Quotidien, by Bryant Park is an easy spot to.

New York Public Library

When you’re done, head back to 5th Avenue and visit the New York Public Library (NYPL). They offer free guided tours at 11a and 2pm, Monday through Saturdays, and at 2pm on Sundays. Tours are available on a first come basis and are limited to 25 people, so try to be there early. It’s definitely a place to spend some time in and, of course, don’t forget to pass by the famous reading room. It was renovated a while back and is stunning. Do remember be absolutely silent in there! Oh! The Public Library was featured in the Sex and the City movie, when Big left Carrie practically at the alter, remember?

*Restroom Spot: the Public Library has several restrooms in almost every floor.

Grand Central Terminal & It’s Secrets

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Grande Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal © Behind the Scenes NYC

The next stop is Grand Central Terminal. To get there, just walk two blocks East on 42nd Street and you’ll find it. Atop the Grand Central Terminal is the world’s largest Tiffany Clock and the iron eagles. The best shots from the outside is on the corner of at 42nd Street and Park Avenue. When you walk inside the terminal, look for the Main Concourse where another Tiffany Clock is located right at the middle. Take time to look straight up and admire the massive painting of the constellations on the ceiling and try to find a small, dark patch of brick next to Cancer, the crab. This brick reveals what the terminal’s ceiling looked like before it was cleaned during the restoration project in 1998. Yup, this place was the former home of homeless people and was even dangerous to walk in. Can you imagine?

Nestled between the Main Concourse and the Vanderbilt Hall is an acoustical architectural anomaly called Whispering Gallery. Here, sound is thrown clear across the 2,000-square-foot chamber, “telegraphing” across the surface of the vault and landing in faraway corners. Feel free to try it out!

*Restroom Spot: Grand Central Terminal also has restrooms located at the food court, on the -1 level.

Again, walk back to 5th Avenue and keep walking downtown. Between 33rd and 34th Streets you will spot the Empire State Building. To get the perfect picture of the building, I recommend to walk to 28th St x 5th Avenue. In addition, close by at 32nd Street, you will hit Koreatown. There are great places offering delicious food like Jongro BBQ, karaoke spots and countless beauty stores.

Flatiron District & Food

When you arrive at 26th Street, you’ll walk into the Flatiron District by Madison Square Park. Here, for the best picture of the complete Flatiron Building, go to the intersection of 5th Avenue and Broadway – right in front of the sculpture placed in the middle. It’s the General William Jenkins Worth Monument. Walk into Eataly to visit! It’s the most famous Italian market in the city that offers several restaurants and all sort of food to buy. Its deliciously beautiful. If you’re not hungry, you can just order some appetizers and a glass of wine at an area with bar tables. There aren’t even stools there, since people are in an out pretty quickly.

* Restroom Spot: Eataly has restrooms next to the fresh pasta section.

On the other hand, if you are hungry already but don’t want to spend tons of money, try a traditional NYC hamburger at Shake Shack, located in the middle of Madison Square Park. They have vegetarian options that are pretty good too!

Down Through Broadway & Union Square

Curiosities Our Bucket Lists Cheap NYC Guide Union Square
Union Square © Behind the Scenes NYC

Once again, keep walking downtown, but this time lets change and take Broadway instead of 5th Avenue. Broadway is the only avenue that crosses the entire city from West to East. By the time you hit 17th Street, you will be close to our final destination for the day: Union Square! Here you can enjoy a year-round Farmer Market every Monday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday, between 8am – 6pm. If you do intend in going there to shop, head there early morning, since vendors sometimes leave, once they have sold out).

Around this area you can find several stores and lots of restrooms: Whole foods, Burlington, Best Buy and Starbucks to name a few. If you are traveling on a budget, but still want to buy clothing and shoes, I recommend you go to Burlington and DWS located in 14th Street. They have great deals with amazing brands. To finish the day with another food spot for a quick bite, try Maoz Vegetarian, serving Middle Eastern vegetarian food, with some of the best falafels in town!

So, our 1st Route has come to an end. And, believe or not, you have walked around 13km, or 8miles. Not bad for your first day, right!?

If you enjoyed the 1st cheap NYC guide featuring 40+ top attractions in the city, stay tuned for next week! I will share my 2nd Cheap NYC Guide starting at Union Square and ending at Chinatown. Oh, and take a look at 10 Top Secrets about New York too!

See you then!


Text Credit: Written by our contributor Magdalena Concha

Outdoor Activities You Never Thought About Doing

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Outdoor Activities Jet Ski Hudson River Skyline

New York is known for being a real concrete jungle, but today I’m going to show you some of the most amazing outdoor activities you never thought about doing in New York! So, see below how to explore NYC in a different way!

People come to New York and end up doing the most common activities and experiences like visiting famous landmarks, restaurants, bars, shopping, museums and galleries, etc. But, not everyone knows the different and pretty special outdoor activities you can though out the city.

I decided to show you 3 of them for you to try out! From customized picnics at the park, to horseback riding and jet skiing in the Hudson River, I’m sure you’re going to have a fantastic time!

But wait! There is just so much more that we can organize for you: rollerblade rentals, bike rentals, bike tours, walking tours, pedicab tours, food tours, secret tours, and more!

If you have time, why not book all three? You don’t need to do anything, just contact us with your request and we’ll set is all up to you and your friends/family.


Picnic at the Park

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Outdoor Activities Picnic at the Park Fernanda Paronetto
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Outdoor Activities Picnic at the Park Platter
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Outdoor Activities Picnic at the Park Dishes
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So many people come to NY and tell me that they’d love to have a picnic at the park. They see so many locals having fun and they want the same experience, but don’t know where to start from or don’t have time to plan it all.

In addition, going to Central Park can be an overwhelming experience due to all the tourists roaming around. But, going to Central Park, with the right information of the best hidden spots for a delicious, unique picnic, can be priceless!

Plus, it’s also a great idea for a special celebration or a romantic afternoon at the park!

Well, we love this experience, so do many of our private and corporate clients, and we’ve written about it before!

You will definitely have a great time! There are countless different options to choose from so contact us for more information and to book the experience!


Horseback Riding

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Outdoor Activities Horseback Riding Central Park

Yes! You can do horseback riding at Central Park too! Different from the carriages that over work the horses, our partner takes really good care of them.

Each horse works a maximum of 6hours a day and are transported to the park properly.

The tours are 1 hour long and pass by the most beautiful spots in the park from Strawberry Fields, where the John Lennon memorial is, to the Reservoir and other special spots.

If you have kids, it’s also a great activity since they have 10min pony rides. Little ones should be 2 years old at least and the guide is beside them all the time.

I rode Oscar, a huge, beautiful, white horse and had a great time exploring Central Park through another angle.

Contact us for more information and to book the experience!


Jet Ski in the Hudson River

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Outdoor Activities Jet Ski Hudson River Skyline
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Outdoor Activities Jet Ski Hudson River Manhattan
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Outdoor Activities Jet Ski Hudson River Ferry
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Outdoor Activities Jet Ski Hudson River Marina
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Outdoor Activities Jet Ski Hudson River
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Outdoor Activities Jet Ski Hudson River With Guide
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Outdoor Activities Jet Ski Hudson River Group
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Outdoor Activities Jet Ski Hudson River Fernanda Paronetto
BTSNYC Experiences On Going Outdoor Activities Jet Ski Hudson River Statue of Liberty
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I had heard before that people could rent a jet ski, hop on and enjoy the Hudson River! But, I had never really tried it.

Well, I finally decided to be brave and go try it out, after all, how cool is it to actually ride a jet ski on this famous river?!

We got the ferry at a downtown spot, ride beside the 9/11 Memorial and head to a Marina on the Jersey side. It’s only 15min away from Manhattan. Super quick and seamless.

Each way costs $8/person and ferries leave quite frequently, so don’t worry.

There are 2 types of rides, a shorter one that covers mostly Midtown Manhattan and downtown, and the 2.5h ride that you actually drive around the entire Manhattan island. So cool!

I had a great time! The view is truly spectacular, it’s a priceless experience and the Hudson water is quite, by the way!

Contact us for more information and to book the experience!


If you enjoyed this post, and you’re into outdoor activities and love moving your body around nature, be sure to see our suggestions on Day Trips & Travels.

Also, if you prefer classes to sweat it all out, see our Fitness & Health posts, where you can explore countless other tips of what to do throughout the city!

Have fun!


Videography and PhotographyRenata Meirelles 
BeautyLeila Soldeira
Styling:
 Camilla Adão

The Secrets of Central Park Walking Tour

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Secrets of Central Park Walking Tour View NYCLovesNYC

Central Park is certainly one of the most beautiful and famous parks around the world! But, its secrets are still very well-kept. Come explore the Secrets of Central Park Walking Tour.

BTSNYC Experiences On Going Secrets of Central Park Walking Tour NYCLovesNYC

Did you know that Central Park was once the site of a former African-American village?

Or that it was previously home to an infamous casino, where alcohol flowed throughout the Prohibition?

BOOK NOW!

For almost 160 years, Central Park has been the green heart of the city, serving as a pastoral haven for New Yorkers and visitors alike.

It’s been not only the scenery of countless famous movies, but also a memorable spot in many hearts that have experienced breathtaking wedding proposals in the middle of the park.

Even so, it still holds many secrets that have yet to be discovered. On this walking NYC tour we’ll explore the history behind some of its best-loved and hidden sites.

Learn about the genesis, design, and evolution of the immense green space, while uncovering its many outrageous happenings, scandals and more.

Tour Highlights:

  • Hear about the massive civic project that transformed a wasteland into an urban pleasure ground
  • Learn about the curious origins of the Central Park Zoo and the corruption scandal that caused a riot
  • Uncover the hidden meaning in Bethesda Terrace’s sculptures and the forbidden love that inspired the park’s most famous statue
  • See the secret bolt left behind from the creation of Manhattan’s street grid
  • Discover the secret navigational device that keeps pedestrians from getting lost on the park’s winding paths

DETAILS:
Price: $35 / person
What to bring:
 Comfortable walking shoes
What to know: The tour is approximately 2 hours long and covers 2 miles. Note: some of the walking surfaces are uneven and require ascending a moderate incline.
Ticket Confirmation: After you book this experience, you will receive a confirmation email from our partner confirming you are attending the tour!

BOOK NOW!


This is truly a great NYC tour and we always love doing it.

You might also enjoy the “Secrets of the Brooklyn Bridge Walking Tour“,  “Behind The Scenes Tour at the Abandoned Ellis Island Hospital” and “Secret Behind The Scenes Grand Central Terminal Tour“.

If you are looking to book a Private Tour for your family and friends, contact our experts. For Corporate Group, let us assist you too!


Photo Credit: Courtesy of Noel Y. C. (aka NYCLovesNYC). Pictures taken during the Fall season.

Love the Burn with Central Park Track Club NYC

Fitness Health Central Park Track Club Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir Team Running

Running has become almost a mandatory sport for those in search of the perfect body! Central Park Track Club NYC is a fantastic option for beginners and professionals.

Fitness Health Central Park Track Club Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir

As we all know, health has become a mainstream subject all around the world.

More and more, people are changing their daily habits. What you eat, is just as important as what you buy (i.e. clothes, products, etc) and obviously, how you deal with a daily exercise routine.

For those who REALLY want to take it seriously, sign up for the Central Park Track Club.

Founded in 1972, they are a competitive running team looking for serious runners. Note: Serious does not mean professional. It just means that you need to be committed and opened to their training methods.

Running can be a tough exercise to add to your routine and it demands focus and discipline. But, we have to say, it’s a fantastic sport once you get the hang of it. Feeling the adrenaline fall into your blood stream is priceless.

Our Founder, , just loves it!

They have workouts for the following groups:

  • Road runners who primarily race 5K to the marathon
  • Cross country and track runners who primarily race 800m to 10K
  • Sprinters, 400m hurdlers, and throwers
  • Jumpers and short hurdlers

Their mission is:

“To develop athletes for national and international competitions in track and field and long distance running; and to promote health, physical fitness and the achievement of competitive excellence through participation in track and field and long distance running competitions.”

If you’d like to apply to the Central Park Track Club NYC, HERE is the application form.

After the run? There is nothing better like just laying in the park and getting some prana (i.e. energy), from the Earth. So, take some time to just enjoy for beauty and peace at Central Park.

www.centralparktc.org

 

 

Photo Credit: We’re not sure! If it’s your, please claim it or help us find the photographer’s credit!

Rare Vintage: Each Vintage Piece Has Its Own Story

Shop Ladies Rare Vintage

We are always searching for secret New York City vintage stores that offers the most exclusive brands. Located a few blocks from Central Park, Rare Vintage is one of these amazing vintage shops!

Shop Ladies Rare Vintage

THIS STORE IS UNFORTUNATELY PERMANENTLY CLOSED!

You’ll be able to find the very best of two centuries of fashion with a highly edited collection.

The store was founded in 2007 by Juliana Cairone. Juliana is Diane Vreeland’s grand daughter. At a very young age was exposed to amazing pieces of “art” by renowned designs.

Today, most of the items are bought from private collections found in the four major fashion capitals – New York, London, Milan and Paris. Items are unique, in great conditions and were statements in their own decades.

Juliana is passionate about buying and collecting pieces that have a story behind them! As she explains in the video below:

“I like buying pieces that have a history behind them. I like to buy pieces that went to a great party, or someone fell in love with their husband when she wore that dress, and all these wonderful stories.

People hold on to these pieces for so long because they love them and it means something to them.”

A few of the designers you’ll find are: Bill Blass, Halston, Thea Porter, Ossie Clark, Valentino Couturem Federico Forquet, YSL, Pierre Balmain, Madame Gres, Rive Gauch lines and numerous other big names!

Rare Vintage pieces have been worn by beautiful ladies from Giovanna Battaglia and Carine Roitfeld.

Other names like Anne Hathaway, Angelina Jolie and Lady Gaga are also some of their top clients!

A little bit more about Rare Vintage:

New York City has other countless vintage stores that we’ve written about.

Plus, there are a few very high-end luxury stores that don’t only offer fantastic products, but offers a shopping experience, like Fivestory.

Need help to discover them all? Contact us so we can arrange a Personal Shopping consultation with our fashion experts!

Location: 24 West 57th Street – 5th Floor

 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Rare Vintage

A modern tavern in the park, Tavern on the Green

Dining Tavern on the Green Garden

Not a huge secret, yes, we knoooow…but after it’s renovation, this modern tavern in the park, Tavern on the Green, is still an interesting and well located place to stop by. Besides being inarguably beautiful and relaxing.

Dining Tavern on the Green Garden
Dining Tavern on the Green Restaurant Entrance
Dining Tavern on the Green Outdoor Area
Dining Tavern on the Green Kitchen
Dining Tavern on the Green Restaurant Sandwich
Dining Tavern on the Green Restaurant Avocado Shrimp Toast
Dining Tavern on the Green Restaurant Waffles
Dining Tavern on the Green Restaurant Sandwich at Garden
Dining Tavern on the Green Restaurant Weddings
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Nestled in a bucolic Central Park setting, Tavern on the Green is an iconic, landmark restaurant unlike any other in Manhattan.

After being closed for around 4 years, from 2009 through 2013, New York City invited restauranteurs Jim Caiola and David Salama to take over and run the business.

Centered around Chef Katy Sparks’ hearty, rustic American menu shaped by local, seasonal ingredients, Tavern on the Green invites you into a warm, gathering space that captures the spirit of Central Park and the energy of NYC.

Originally designed by Calvert Vaux and built in 1870 it housed the sheep that grazed in Central Park’s Sheep Meadow. To date, Tavern on the Green has served locals, presidents, royalty, artists, actors, and first-time visitors since 1934.

In addition, it’s also a great place for a wedding ceremony or a party! The space is beautiful and their service is great. You’ll definitely have a priceless experience in the heart of Manhattan with all your guests!

Do you need help to organize this? Contact our experts and see all the Concierge Services we can offer you!

Lastly, this is also a great place for corporate events, meeting, brunches or cocktails, so send us an email to learn more about how our Corporate Services can assemble everything for you and your team.

This tavern in the park will definitely be a good surprise and the experience will be unforgettable. Plus, you can stroll through the park on your way back home!

Hours:

Monday – Friday: 11am – 4pm; 5pm – 11pm
Saturday & Sunday: Brunch 9am – 4pm; 5pm – 11pm

Location: Central Park West & 67th Street

www.tavernonthegreen.com

 

Photo Credits: Courtesy of Tavern on the Green and nycarchitecture

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