Ohhhh New York! One of my favorite cities! So I've been to NYC a few times before, but both times have been super rushed, so this was my first time to actually go to a few places I had been dying to go to. AND I got to spend my birthday in NYC which has always been on my bucket list! So here's where I went on my trip, what I thought, and a few places I have on my list for next time!
I opted to dress super comfy and casual for my flight there and back! From Dallas to NYC it's about a 3 hour flight- which is just long enough to justify wearing sweatpants ? I also had to wear the two flat brim hats because I couldn't fit them in my suitcase (literally had to sit on it to close it in the airport lol) so that meant they went in my carry-on!
THINGS TO DO
This is a new architectural exhibit in Hudson Yards, and it is SO cool! There isn't anything in it, it's just a really cool open-air building that you can go in and take super cool pics. It's definitely worth seeing! You have to get tickets (they're free), so be sure to plan ahead. When we went, it was raining a little outside so there was no wait to get our tickets, but as the rain stopped there was quite a long wait. I think they do tickets just to make sure there aren't too many people inside at once so everyone can have an enjoyable experience and get good pics. But be prepared to walk some stairs! My legs were jello after going up to the top ?
THE SHOPS AT HUDSON YARD
So this is RIGHT next to The Vessel! If you do one, you have to do the other ;) This is basically the brand new mall in New York and it is EPIC! Seriously so gorgeous, and just about every store you can imagine, plus awesome restaurants, and any designer you might want to shop from (I wanted to live in the Fendi store- so dreamy)! Anyways, you could easily spend all day in this mall so if you want to shop indoors, this is the place for you!
5TH AVE SHOPPING
You have to shop 5th Ave. in New York at least one time in your life! IT's seriously incredible to see some of these designer items on display when you've literally only seen them online! The displays are all so stunning and more mesmerizing than you ever imagine! My favorites are Bergdorf Goodmans (a MUST if you're shopping in NYC) and the Gucci store (3 STORIES TALL)! Save your money before your trip so that you can buy yourself a little goodie on your trip- there's nothing like buying something designer in NYC- they give you the royal treatment ?
We got SO lucky on our trip to be able to enjoy Central Park! It was literally supposed to rain on us the entire time, but one of the days we were there turned out SO PRETTY so we decided to enjoy the weather out at the park. If you're into biking/running/power walking/outdoors, this is the place for you! Even if you're not, it's so gorgeous just to see. There's beautiful green grass everywhere and people just enjoying themselves reading a book, having a picnic, napping, you name it. Oh and TULIPS EVERYWHERE! ? We stopped at this small outdoor food stand and got a glass of wine and some snacks, and it was absolutely perfect.
We didn't spend too much time here, but ended up passing it while walking so we went in to see what it's all about. If you're hungry, this might be a good place for you to stop :) Basically a bunch of different shops/restaurants/samples of different foods/wines/desserts/flowers/merch/etc. It is free to enter, and all indoors. We didn't go too far in, so we might have missed more, but that was the basis of what it was. If we wouldn't have just eaten we probably would have spent a little more time here ;)
This is definitely a site to see if you've never been to NYC before. There is really no other place like it. Since it consists of a bunch of bright signs and lights, I would say night time would be the best time to see it, but beware there are some crazies that come out on Time Square at night, haha! I wouldn't say there is much to do here, but a must if you've never seen it before.
We didn't go to a broadway show this time, but I went on one of my previous trips, and if this interests you AT ALL then you should totally go! I saw Wicked and it was AMAZING! Unlike any other performance I had ever seen. If you get the chance, do it!
PLACES TO EAT / GRAB A DRINK
SERRA BY BIRRERIA - Cutest place EVER! Great food/drinks
I'm pretty sure the pictures of this place speak for themselves, but incase they don't let me just tell you it is ADORABLE!!!! It's actually located at this place called EATALY (also so cool to see) which is basically like a eatzi's on steroids haha! Then you go up to the 14th floor to get to this precious little rooftop restaurant! There are flowers everywhere (the most instagramable place ever) and their food and drinks were so yum! Just a heads up tho, their portions are rather small, so if you're looking for a big hearty meal, you might want to eat before you go! This was hands down my favorite place of the trip.
ARTICHOKE - Best Pizza EVER!
People always say they had the "best" of something, but I really did have the BEST pizza at this place, lol. No joke, this place does pizza unlike any place else. It's a tiny little hole-in-the-wall bar (doesn't seem like much), but their pizza was drawing people in by the droves! If you go, you HAVE to get their signature Artichoke pizza! Oh and the slices are HUGE!!!! One slice took up two paper plates ? I really tried to finish my piece but half way through I was nearly in a gluten-coma haha! But it was worth it!
PALETTE- A pink sparkly dream!
Okay, so I went here on my last trip with my mom, and loved it so much I decided to come back :) It's a little hidden gem! It's actually inside of Bergdorf Goodmans on 5th Ave. Go to the beauty department and it's tucked away in a corner! The entire restaurant (it's small) is covered in work by a super amazon artist, Ashley Longshore. Just imagine pink and sparkles, and colors! SO INSTAGRAMABLE! We stopped here for mimosas before shopping- it's definitely a must!
PIETRO NOLITA - Pink Everything (great cocktails)
I'm SURE you've seen this place all over Instagram! Everyone seems to make this place a stop on their NYC list to get a pic in front of their iconic all-pink exterior! It's super cute, but prepare yourself- this place is literally TINY, haha! You walk downstairs to enter into this cute little basement type bar. Everything is pink, inside and out! The napkins say "Pink as F***" lol and they sell merch that says the same! We went at night for a cocktail after dinner, so I didn't try their food, but apparently they have great pasta! It's very casual, so don't feel the need to dress up when you go! If you're looking for a good photo op, this is a fun and well-known spot!
NOMO KITCHEN - Atmosphere only!
Okay, sooooo I will have to say if there was one disappointment on my trip it was this place ? I hate even saying that because aesthetically it is SO STUNNING, and I've heard wonderful things, but I was NOT impressed with the food/service. It's located inside of NOMO SOHO, a hotel in Soho, and has gorgeous chandeliers everywhere! It really is a cool spot! Maybe the kitchen was just having an off night, but our food was super bland, came out cols, and everything took forever. Totally not suggesting to not go here, because this was just ONE visit, but maybe just go for a cocktail and a snack instead of a meal! We also went for dinner, so perhaps their lunch menu is better! BUT for a pretty atmosphere, I give it an A++
JACK'S WIFE FREDA (Amazing brunch!)
We didn't get a chance to go here on this visit, but I've gone once before, and OH EMGEE! Their brunch is absolutely killer and SO PRETTY! As most places in NYC tho, this place is TINY! Like no joke it probably holds about 20 people max, lol. My tip for you would be to get there when (or before) it opens to make sure you have a seat! I'm not sure if they do reservations or not, but with finding out. And even if you have to wait, it's totally worth it. I tried the poached eggs and the waffle- both were incredible! Also they have 3 different locations that offer more than just brunch, so you can most likely find one near you at some point in your trip.
PARK CENTRAL HOTEL - Great central location
We stayed at this hotel on this trip, and we REALLY enjoyed the location! It's such a good central location and you can easily walk to Central Park, Times Square, 5th Ave, etc. The lobby is super pretty, and there's a full bar that is open pretty late. The rooms are pretty basic, but honestly we weren't in our room much so it was perfect. Rooms weren't very big, but I feel like that's pretty much every hotel in NYC, lol. Would recommend if you're looking for a decent price, and want a central location.
ARLO NOMAD - Amazing View
This is the hotel I stayed at on my last visit and AHHHH, LOVE! If you want a place with a view, well this is for you! Literally the walls are glass, and you feel like you're on a floating bed overlooking the city! If you happen to be scared of heights, well I'm going to discourage you from staying here, haha! I took my mom to NYC for her bday and we stayed here- it was SUCH a cool experience, and if you've never been to New York, it really makes you feel like you're IN New York. These rooms are little bitty too, so be aware of that! As far as price goes- considering the amazing view you have, it is very reasonably priced.
ON MY LIST FOR NEXT TIME
WHILE WE WERE YOUNG
BAR SIXTY FIVE
THE BAGEL STORE
THE BUTCHER'S DAUGHTER
DOMINIQUE ANSEL BAKERY
CITIZEN'S OF CHELSEA
BEAUTY & ESSEX
Well I’m sure you’re all wondering the same thing… “Why were you in Branson?” Haha! I have actually never spent a Christmas anywhere except for my grandparent’s house, near Houston, so this was a very different year! My entire family just decided to it was time to do something different, so off to Branson we went! It was actually so great! I will say, I don’t think I would ever do a second Christmas here, just because it is a small town and we did just about everything lol, but I would say it’s a fun holiday destination. It's honestly like a miniature Vegas, haha! Everything it super over the top, but on a much smaller scale than Vegas of course.
I thought I’d share what we did while we were there in case you’re interested or planning a trip there yourself! Here we gooooo!
Polar Express Train Ride
Probably my favorite activity! I’m pretty sure they only do this at Christmas time, so I totally recommend it if you're there for the holidays. So funny story- I grew up in Grapevine, TX and there is a train and they do a Polar Express train ride at Christmas. We were supposed to go there for a field trip when I was in elementary school and it ended up getting cancelled! I was seriously SO upset, and have wanted to do it ever since haha! Lucky for me, I think this Polar Express is WAY better than the one I was supposed to go on, lol. It’s actually supposed to be for kids, but there were 8 of us adults and we all thought it was great! You wear your PJs, you get hot cocoa and cookies on the train ride and then you get to meet Santa, haha! Totally recommend.
Silver Dollar City
SO COOL! This is basically a theme park with shows, food, and LOTS of Christmas lights! There are over 6 MILLION lights, and it’s truly a Christmas dream! Such an Instagram worthy place! It is outdoors (except if you want to see a show) so make sure you don’t go on a day that the weather is miserable. There is some walking involved, but plenty of places to sit down, eat, or shop.
This is basically like Medieval Times, but a country version, haha! It is owned by Dolly Pardon, so super cute and fun! You get a meal while you watch the show (but no silverware so be aware to eat with your hands!) and the food was great. The show is a bunch of horses/tricks/and it’s very entertaining and comical!
I hope you guys enjoyed this!