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Your Disney Vacation Specialist
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New York City getaway

Have you ever done a long weekend getaway? Just pack up and head someplace? If you live on the eastern seaboard, you are just a few short hours from the Big Apple – whether by car, plane or train. As a native daughter of New York I often forget that it truly is a great vacation destination. One of my favorite things to do is a long weekend in Manhattan to reconnect with my roots and recharge my batteries. (Yes, I realize most people head someplace quiet to rest and recharge but I thrive on the energy that the big city has to offer.)

broadwayWhat makes a great weekend itinerary for you? Well, that partially depends on the time of year. Winter activities are very different from summer ones. But some are year-round awesomeness. Take in a Broadway show – if you are on a budget, or don’t plan 500 years in advance, Hamilton is probably not in the cards. But there are some great shows on Broadway – whether you want a drama, a musical or something for the whole family. And want to play it by ear, head to TKTS in Times Square where you can find discounted tickets for shows the same day.

Take a walk down Fifth Avenue and browse the infamous window displays. Stop by St. Patrick’s Cathedral – no matter your religion, the architecture is beautiful. Head down to the New York City Public Library and yes, go inside! Take a walking tour of the library. If you are there in the summer we may even run into each other in the first floor reading room. Once you have explored the library, head around to the opposite entrance and walk around Bryant Park. In the spring time, it is a beautiful park to walk, explore, or just stop and have a conversation. But the winter is my favorite time at Bryant Park, it is transformed into a holiday market with all sorts of vendors with everything from homemade chocolates to custom socks. There is even an outdoor bar with firepits to fortify you before you continue shopping. And best of all, an ice-skating rink. Skip the over-priced, over-crowded spot at Rockefeller Center and head to Bryant Park instead!

Spend your second day exploring the museums – whether art, history, or science is your thing you will find a museum to love. The Metropolitan Museum of Art houses some of the great classic works of art whereas the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) appeals to those who love modern art. Fans of art and architecture would be well served to check out The Guggenheim.

20160810_124959My personal favorite of all museums in Manhattan (and the one I would spend countless hours at as a child) is the American Museum of Natural History. Fans of the movie, A Night at the Museum will recognize it from the movie, and all of your favorites are there – from the Easter Island statues to Dexter, the Capuchin monkey. History fans will want to visit the Statue of Liberty (here’s a hint: skip the trip to the top, take the ferry ride out to the island and walk around. The trip to the top is crowded and not as awesome as you want it to be.) And of course, One Freedom Plaza. This is a space that feels different for everyone. For me, it is still a very raw emotional space and I have avoided it for that reason. Some view it as a memorial and a tribute. Some as a historical marker. Whatever it is to you, it is a powerful space.

17aug campbellOther, less emotional, ideas for a quick trip: hop on the subway and head to the Bronx to visit the zoo, stroll through Central Park (the 72nd Street entrance is the way to Strawberry Fields and the Imagine memorial or head deeper into the park to see the Bethesda Fountain or Cleopatra’s Needle), grab your appetite and take a walking tour of Chelsea Market, and don’t forget to meet under the clock and explore Grand Central Terminal.

In the city that never sleeps there is something for everyone. And next time you stop in, I’ll be at my favorite watering hole – PJ Clarke’s where they really do know your name and always have a glass of Chardonnay waiting for me.chardonnay

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