New York - Tour Solver Travel Diaries

Following their recent trip to New York, our Tour Solvers Paula and Laura tell us about what they got up to; including the must-see sites, Broadway shows, foodie hotspots and more!

So read on to find out what happened on their jam-packed trip to New York.

Day 1 on our New York trip

We both had an early start, but even earlier for Paula who departed at 05:45am for our morning flight from London Heathrow. Travelling with Virgin Atlantic, we took advantage of our long-haul flight to sit back, relax and catch up on some well-deserved shut-eye!

After landing late afternoon at JFK Airport, it took nearly 4 hours to get to our hotel. Word of advice don’t book an airport shuttle where you are sharing the bus with other travellers. This is a door-to-door service where you can guarantee you’ll be the last drop off as we were. Hopefully your group would be on a private coach transfer to avoid this issue.

Arriving at hotel at nearly 8:00pm it was a flash check-in, twirl with a costume change in the lift, throw your suitcase in the bedroom door and back out for dinner. 

A power walk up 5th Avenue, a left down 34th to Broadway (passing the Empire State Building on our way) and then up Broadway to the Hard Rock Café for the largest burger and slice of strawberry cheesecake in the world. 

After letting out a notch on the belt and wishing we were wearing jeans with elasticated waistbands, it was a gentler stroll/wobble over to the Top of the Rock. Excellent views of the New York skyline and neighbouring Empire State Building, which lit up a different colour every night.

With mild jetlag and after our delicious meal, we were soon ready to head back to our accommodation at the Hotel Wolcott for a good night’s rest.

After being awake for 2 minutes less of 24 hours we were ready for bed.

Our top tip: From the start of our trip, we found it easy to navigate and walk around the city on foot by following the grid system. It is also a cheap, quick and healthier way to get around and a great way to soak up the city atmosphere.

Day 2 in New York

Feeling refreshed the next morning, we took full advantage of the ‘Grab and Go Breakfast’ at Hotel Wolcott before setting out for a full day of exploring. By the evening, we were ready to relax and following a tasty evening meal at Bucca di Beppo (where a main course for one is adequate for three), we were excited to collect our box office tickets for ‘The Prom’ and wander over to Longacre Theatre on West 48th Street.

We located our seats and admired the stunning classical architecture of the theatre, before settling down for the performance. The musical comedy was a thoroughly entertaining show about Broadway stars on a mission to change the world, a girl who wants to change her small town, and a love that brings them all together.

Day 3 in the Big Apple

The sun was shining bright once again and we were ready for our tasty meal at Bubba Gump Shrimp by the time midday rolled around! Located on 1501 Broadway, it was the perfect central location to enjoy a tasty meal that will keep you fuelled, whilst exploring the city. Even after a lot of walking in the afternoon, we just were not quite ready for yet more food so we ducked out of a healthy meal at Planet Hollywood and had a couple of Cannoli’s that we had bought from Carlos Bakery earlier in the day. 

Our next evening performance was ‘The Cher Show’; we wandered over to the Neil Simon Theatre on West 52nd Street. The show is a must-see for any die-hard Cher fans, performing a punchy collection of hit-tunes that are sure to have you dancing in the aisles, singing along and laughing.  It was that amazingly good it gave us goose bumps. 

Day 4 on our trip

"Do we really have to get out of bed today Laura!?" 

But after a couple of muffins each and copious amounts of tea and coffee we were back in the zone.

In the afternoon, we had our Madison Square Garden’s Tour, which was a great way to experience exclusive VIP areas of the famous arena. We also heard interesting facts about the moments that made sports and entertainment history. We were both amazed by the incredible virtual reality section.

After a lot more walking, we had certainly worked up quite an appetite! Luckily, we had plans to dine at Ellen’s Stardust Diner on Broadway, where we planned to grab some delicious diner-inspired American classics. From epic hot sandwiches and stacks of waffles to towering burgers and pasta bowls, their grand menu has so much to choose. The retro 1950’s décor and performing waiters are sure to keep you thoroughly entertained.

27,000 steps later, it was off to bed.

Day 5 and off we go

As our last morning in New York, we were keen to squeeze in a visit to the iconic 911 Memorial & Museum. Located in the middle of the World Trade Center site, the history museum crafts a poignant narrative of past events, with most of the museum located underground 70 feet below street level. It was an incredibly humbling visit, with the unique opportunity to see artefacts from the site up close – but it is an emotional visit so just remember to take some tissues.


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