The sun may be setting earlier and that distinct winter chill is in the air, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until next summer for a holiday. There are dozens of destinations that don’t require a swimsuit and the autumn months are a perfect time to check them out. Nothing compares to autumn in New York. The major crowds die down by October, and the big Christmas draw hasn’t quite hit en masse. Not only that, but the weather is perfectly crisp and the leaves are red and gold. Whether you are a regular of the Big Apple or a first timer, a big spender or on a budget, you’ll never be bored in the city that – literally – never sleeps.
As a native of the Empire State, my family and I would make an annual pilgrimage to NYC and due to the hot, humid summers and the cold snowy winters, we always visited during the autumn. Each year I looked forward to our holiday. I loved the tall buildings and, needless to say, the perpetual energy. It’s not just a city, it’s New York. Of course, if you’re a first timer, there are the obligatory attractions everyone must see; the Statue of liberty, the Empire State Building, Times Square. They’re all impressive and definitely worthwhile, but they don’t even scratch the surface of what the city has to offer.
Keeping little ones entertained can be difficult, and expensive, but bring them to the historic FAO Schwarz toy shop on 5th Avenue and they’ll be occupied for hours. Even if you don’t buy, play is encouraged throughout the multi-storied shop and don’t worry, there is plenty there for adults too, like the floor piano made famous in the Tom Hank’s film Big. Done playing, then head over to Alice’s Teacup on East 81st street. This child friendly restaurant serves a full tea and features an affordable menu, including a variety of sandwiches and cakes. Bonus: they sell picnic baskets that can be taken to the park.
For a more grown-up crowd, New York is perfect, whether it’s a romantic getaway or just a getaway. During any season, snow or shine, check-out any of NYC’s parks. My personal favorite, as clichéd as it may be, is Central Park. Walk/run/skate throughout the 843 acre landscape, a quiet, lush, world inside the hectic city. For something different, take a carriage ride through the park. Prices depend on the company but it’s an experience you’ll never forget. For indoor lovers and theatre fanatics alike, you must take in a show on Broadway. Beware, seats sell fast, especially for hits, so book your New York attraction tickets ahead to guarantee the best seats in the house.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a travel piece about New York if I didn’t mention the shopping. Anywhere you go in Manhattan there will be plenty of shopping but there are a few must see staples: Tiffany’s, Macy’s, and for kids of all ages, the Nintendo World Store. Just take a stroll down 7th or 5th avenues and I promise you will be coming home with an extra suitcase.
As for room and board, there are literally hundreds of hotels throughout all five boroughs at all different price-points, and most of them are in the centre of it all, regardless of cost. If you’re looking to save a few pounds check-in to the Pennsylvania New York Hotel, located on 7th Avenue. Feeling like a splurge? Perhaps the very modern and chic Andaz Hotel on 5th. Same goes for food and drink. You can grab a quick slice of New York pizza (Lombardi’s on Spring Street is the best), or you can go all out and indulge in a decadent five course meal. Fear not, all the walking you’ll do over the course of your trip will more than make up for your epicurean appetite.
Whether you decide to make NYC your over-the-top trip of a lifetime or travel on a budget, you’re guaranteed to have a blast. It’s not all crowds and flash, and it can be a great family getaway. Either way, you haven’t seen anything like it until you’ve been there.