How to Explore New York City Like a Local in 1-day

How to Explore New York City Like a Local in 1 day

So you’re planning an itinerary for your trip to the greatest city in the world, but unfortunately you’ve only got 1 day to explore this massive playground we call New York and you need recommendations. Challenge accepted!

When brainstorming for something like this, there’s two directions I might go in: I could recommend to you what I like to call the “essential landmarks” of New York – the Statue of Liberty, the One World Trade Center, Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building, you name it. Or, taking into account you only have one day in the city, I can help you experience a day in the life of a local (that’s me!). That’s what we’ll do here, and you’ll thank me later for it.

Everyone already knows what these touristy attractions are in New York anyway, so what use am I to you if that’s all I can plan for you? Whether you’re a tourist or yourself a local, I’d recommend the following one day itinerary for just about anybody. Now let’s check out my one day itinerary for New York City:

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMa)

11 West 53 Street, New York, NY 10019

Start your morning off at 10:30 by visiting the MoMa – an awe-inspiring museum in Midtown. The MoMa holds art collections from the world’s most revered “moderns” in contemporary history like Van Gogh, Monet, Pollock, and Picasso, and houses multiple exhibitions that rotate year-round. Since its inception, the museum has had a large vision of “art” and its collection encompasses paintings, electronic media, prints, film, sculpture, photography, and design objects. What this entails for you is that you’ll have copious amounts of art to view from top floor to bottom. In reality you could spend an entire day at the MoMa, but by lunchtime you’ll be heading for a nice stroll down the High Line.

High Line

Enter at either 34th St. & 12th Ave. or 30th St. & 11th Ave.

The High Line is unapologetically one of my favorite spots in all of NYC. Too many, this distinctive park represents the best of contemporary landscape architecture. The 1.45 mile-long park was originally a railroad track built way back in the mid 1800s. That railroad track was so notoriously dangerous it came to be known as “Death Avenue!” Thankfully the last train ran through this track in 1980, and then circa 2009 the High Line was reopened – reimagined into the park it is today. Now, it’s covered with 120 different plant species, and has many magical and unique spots all throughout. You should be able to walk down to your next destination – Chelsea Market – in about an hour. After working up an appetite walking through the MoMa and the High Line, exit at 16th St. to go to the Chelsea Market and indulge.

Chelsea Market

75 9th Avenue (Between 15th and 16 Streets), New York, NY 10011

Chelsea Market and the High Line are the perfect pair. During warmer weather, I’ll often take a promenade down the High Line and finish up at Chelsea Market with some delicious food, which the Market is famous for. Reminiscent of Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, it’s hands-down one of the best concentrations of great food and drinks in New York City (DeKalb Hall in Downtown Brooklyn isn’t far behind).

Be sure to check out Corkbuzz Wine Studio for an eclectic selection of wine, beer, & cocktails, followed by Takumi Taco for extraordinary Japanese-inspired tacos. Doughnuttery will satisfy all your dessert cravings, with fresh doughnuts, coffee, and even hot cider. After stuffing your face with some of the best delicacies in NYC, it’s time to bar hopping in downtown Manhattan to end your night.

Stone Street Bar Hopping

In a narrow, cobblestone road tucked away in FiDi lies Stone Street, packed to the brim with 13 different pubs, wine bars and taquerias on that one street. Personally, I absolutely love going out here. Stone Street offers a microcosm of a bar hopping experience, where you can stop by 10+ bars all in one street conveniently blocked from traffic, and each one of them has something different to offer. Take Underdog for example – a personal favorite of mine. A criminally underrated bar, you can stay on the main level for great beers & modern pub food, or you can go downstairs for their fantastic cocktails, which is their bread & butter. Not to mention, downstairs they have an eclectic collection of vinyl records.

After, make sure to grab a drink at Stone Street Tavern, a laid back locale with a low-key vibe and refreshing drinks. If you’re looking something other than beer & cocktails though, don’t miss Vintry Wine & Whiskey, which focuses on – you guessed it – wine & whiskey. Vintry is a speakeasy style bar, with over 50 wines by the glass. Their whiskey selection is from all over, including Scottish, Japanese, American, and Irish whiskeys. These are just three of the many fantastic bars on Stone Street worth bar hopping, and it is a truly epic way to end your one, only night in New York City.

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