nyc: what to see when you have the time.

new york city: what to see when you have the time!

In December, I spent a wonderful week in NYC with my best friend {ch}. Though she currently has her nose in business school books in North Carolina, she had an address in New York City until last June. {ch} always seems to know the perfect little places to visit, so my trips are infinitely more authentic than the trips I took as a tourist back in my high school choir days.

grand central station.

Grand Central Station doesn't count as a non-touristy destination, but it is quite possibly my favorite train station in the entire world. It is just so beautiful. It also saved me from paying an arm and a leg in parking: I opted to park my car in Stamford, Connecticut and take the train into the city. For someone who is in driving distance of NYC, this was an easy way to save some time, money, and frustration.

the statue of atlas in rockefeller plaza.

{The Statue of Atlas in Rockfeller Plaza doesn't necessarily count as a hidden gem, I just loved this photo.}
fishs eddy.

Now to the good stuff: shopping!  There are endless {and I mean endless} places to spend your hard-earned cash in NYC. New Yorkers might shrug off the suggestions I have below, but for a non-New Yorker, I can't recommend these stops enough. First off: Fishs Eddy. To me, this store is like my favorite section of Anthropologie on steroids. The cutest home goods and fun little gifts will call your name from the minute you walk in the store. You'll be glad you made the stop.

eataly: the italian experience.

My uncle {jn} raved about Eataly years ago, but I didn't braved this Italian mecca until 2013. It is truly a sight to behold. A New Yorker might avoid the craziness of this massive and marvelous "food court", but a visitor to the city shouldn't miss it. {Note: I am including this in my "what to see" post because it is so much more than just food. It is an experience. Keep your eyes peeled for a "where to eat" post later this week.}

I know this dress isn't actually a "sight" in NYC, but I'm sharing it as a great reminder: you can visit one of their two Rent The Runway showrooms and find a dress for a fabulous night out in the city. I opted to rent this Theia Dress for a fun and festive Christmas party. It helped me feel less like a country bumpkin and more like a city girl.

I did not want to put you into a serious photo coma, so I will just list a few of my other favorites here:
-You cannot go to NYC without shopping {or at least browsing} in Soho. Going shopping south of Houston {not Texas, the street} was one of the things which the high school me never did. I love roaming the streets without constantly walking in shadows, thanks to shorter buildings. It doesn't hurt that nearly every shop I care about is within a few blocks radius.
-Strolling the streets of the West Village also ranks up there for this former small town girl. It may simply be the pace I like to take vacations, but I love just soaking up this adorable neighborhood when I visit the city. 
-The High Line offers unique views of NYC and a little breath of fresh air for the weary traveler. The city views may not disappear, but for a second, you might actually feel like you are out of the hustle and bustle.

Phew. I feel like I only touched the tip of an enormous iceberg. I'll add food into the mix later this week, but for now, this capture my favorite stops on a slightly-less-touristy trip to NYC. What other stops are on your "must see" list in NYC? I am always looking for new favorites for future trips. xoxo {av}

P.S. I may have grown up in southern Indiana, but I can manage the subway. You can too. Don't be afraid! Mastering the subway is much cheaper than taking taxis during your entire trip.


  1. Love these tips! I haven't been to the Rent the Runway showroom yet and I didn't even think of that! That would be absolutely brilliant for seeing a show or going to a fancy party. Bring a classic pair of heels and you're good to go.

  2. Oh my goodness, cat bowls and plates! I love them. My cousin and his wife moved to New York last year and I can't wait to visit them.

  3. great tips chickadee! and psst you are FAR from a country bumpkin ;) !!
    chicago has an EATLY now and im dying to go! and i would LOVE to visit fishs eddy in person :) so glad you had a fun trip! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  4. So fun! I love Fishs Eddy, and definitely need to hit up Eataly next time I'm visiting. Awesome suggestions!!

  5. I'm visiting NYC in May & the High Line is definitely a must-stop on our list! Can't wait until your food post! :)

  6. I miss NYC so much! Living out here in the frigid Midwest is so not the same as the great hustle and bustle of Manhattan. I'm jealous of your trip. Need to plan one of my own soon. - Katy

  7. One of my best friends from the UK is visiting this summer and I've promised her a trip to NY (I live in Philly so it's not that far). She's a crafter so the garment district is a must!

    I'm also a secret lover of Coney Island. I spent a summer working on the boardwalk there and love all that kitschy seaside appeal.

  8. Eataly is all kinds of awesome. I used to love stopping in there during city jaunts after visiting my husband at work.

  9. I love NYC & loved reading this, you have made me yearn to visit again!!

    Am really enjoying your blog, just discovered it this morning via Pinterest, it's completely made my Saturday morning, thank you!

  10. PS That is a wonderful photo of Grand Central Station, just fabulous!