nyc itinerary: solo trip

I've had so much fun writing up these New York City itineraries and sharing all of my favorite spots in the city with you guys. As far as I can tell, I think this itinerary for a solo trip to New York will be the last of this series. If you ever need personal recommendations though, feel free to send me an email because I'm always happy to share ideas!

So, this itinerary is for the solo traveler. That's usually me because I love traveling alone and when I lived in the city, I explored a lot on my own since my work schedule was so different than my friends. Luckily, New York is a really easy place to have a good time on your own and it's hard to find a place where I'd feel "weird" to go in alone.

STAY //
The Jane Hotel
I love this option in the West Village for a solo traveler because you can actually get a small, single room that feels like a ship cabin. The whole hotel is very Wes Anderson, which makes it a quirky, memorable pick. There's also a great little restaurant onsite called Old Rose, which you've probably seen on Instagram.

The Ace Hotel
I have a long history with The Ace, so I'd be remiss not to mention it. It has such a fun vibe with a lively lobby where it's super easy to socialize and make friends. There's a little outpost of Toby's Estate Coffee in the lobby as well as a fun photo booth and some shops. It's in a great location, too, in the middle of everything.

EAT //
Veselka
My all-time favorite restaurant in the city is a great one for dining alone or with friends. They're open twenty four hours, too! If you're alone, I recommend sitting at the counter. It'll be a shorter wait and feel more natural. Order boiled pierogies and an egg cream. Don't forget to request complimentary applesauce!

The Smith
Another option that's great for both groups and solo travelers is The Smith. If you're on your own, sit at one of the communal tables. You'll get in quicker and maybe make some friends! Order the French 75 cocktail and the macaroni and cheese, which is technically an appetizer but big enough to be an entree. 

Any restaurant that typically has a long wait
Like I've mentioned for the two places above, going to a restaurant alone has one major perk and that's a shorter wait. If there's a restaurant you're dying to try that has a long wait (AKA most restaurants during brunch hours), being a solo diner will give you a huge leg up!

DO //
See a movie at a cool theater
What's a better solo activity than seeing a movie? Check out theaters like The Angelika, Metrograph, and The Paris Theatre for a really unique experience. 

Walk the Brooklyn Bridge and surrounding area
Take a scenic walk from the Financial District, across the Brooklyn Bridge, and into DUMBO. Walking the bridge will take about an hour and then you can grab lunch by the water and explore Main Street Park. 

Take a fun walking tour
If you're looking for something a little more social, try out a walking tour. You'll learn something, you'll see cool things, and you'll feel a little less alone. Here's a good list of interesting walking tours you can take.

nyc itinerary: family trip

I'm back with another New York City itinerary and this time it's all about family trips to the city. Even though I don't have kids and wouldn't necessarily describe myself as being super knowledgable about the subject, many people comment that I have good instincts when it comes to suggestions for kids. New York may not seem like the most kid-friendly place, but there really are so many cool things to do.

I'm making a point with these recommendations to suggest things that would be fun for all ages. Family trips often involve every age from toddlers and older kids to teenagers, young adults, grown adults, and grandparents so it's important to keep things kid-friendly without being too "kiddie" and boring for the other family members. 

STAY

The Peninsula
This luxury hotel is next door to MoMA on the classic 5th Avenue. It's only a few blocks from Central Park and The Plaza (whose food hall and Eloise shop are worth a visit). There are tons of family packages with themes like Camp Peninsula as well as scavenger hunts, poolside picnics, and cooking classes.

Ganesvoort Meatpacking
Hotels in this area, especially the Gansevoort, are often thought to be go-to hotels for a younger, louder crowd but this one is actually pretty family friendly which makes it great for all ages. It's located right on the High Line, plus it's near Tribeca which is flush with playgrounds and green space for kids.

The James Hotel
This hotel in SoHo has a great restaurant, rooftop bar, lots of art, and is in a good location near lots of things to do. Kids can get milk and cookies at bedtime plus access to books and board games. There's a rooftop pool and a great restaurant onsite, The David Burke Kitchen, to make things easy.

EAT

Alice's Tea Cup
This is a classic spot for kids. It's a whimsical tea house with fun decor and full-on tea ceremonies which are family friendly. Great for little girls or anyone who loves Alice in Wonderland, fairytales, and so on.

Little Italy Pizza at Bryant Park
There are lots of restaurants near Bryant Park, but an easy meal idea is to pick up a pizza from Little Italy Pizza and walk it over to Bryant Park for an outdoor picnic.

Kellogg's Cafe
This spot in Union Square is one of my favorite places in the city. It's a full-on cereal bar where you can customize your bowl of cereal, set it up at an Instagram station, and sit in swings looking out over the park. A must-go for anyone, but especially great for kids.

Pizza Beach
With locations on the Lower East Side and Upper East Side, this is a fun, colorful pizza shop with a beachy theme. 

Bubby's
Go to Bubby's in Tribeca for a decadent brunch or a scoop of Ample Hills Creamery ice-cream. The atmosphere is relaxed and noisy, perfect for families. Try the stuffed pancakes!

Brooklyn Farmacy
This is such a cute spot in Carroll Gardens. It's a classic soda fountain that's been around as an apothecary since the 1920s. Sit at the counter and order a grilled cheese and chocolate egg cream for a fun, retro experience.

DO

Natural History Museum
A great spot for families as there is so much to look at. There's everything from dinosaurs to space ships plus all sorts of educational experiences for every age. If you're there in the summer, check out the secret splash pad on the roof.

Jane's Carousel & Brooklyn Bridge Park
Head over to DUMBO to ride Jane's Carousel on the waterfront. There are also a few playgrounds there with Tarzan swings, splash pads, slides, and epic sandboxes.

Children's Museum of the Arts
This museum in Lower Manhattan has tons of hands-on art related activities. You can learn to animate a video, do a sing-along, learn to paint, sculpt with clay, and look at really visually interesting art. 

The High Line & playground
Walking the High Line is great for all ages. There's so much to see and do along the way, like the rail yards, the Diller-von Furstenberg splash pad, and a really cool playground with beams. The first time I walked by the playground, I didn't even realize that's what it was. I literally thought kids were just climbing all over the framework of the High Line! Haha. 

movie inspiration for travel

You may have noticed I went missing last week after Tuesday. I had a super busy week and didn't get to work on blog posts, but we're back up this week. 

I always find that there are certain movies that really make you want to travel. I like to watch them on rainy days when I wish I were traveling or to inspire me about where to go next. Here are my favorites for when you want to get away without leaving home.

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The Darjeeling Limited 
India

Before Sunrise / Before Sunset / Before Midnight 
Austria, Paris, Greece

Eat, Pray, Love
Italy, India, Bali

Roman Holiday
Italy

Call Me By Your Name
Italy

The Holiday
England, California

Any Bond film
Pretty much everywhere.

Midnight In Paris
Paris.

 

where to eat + shop in palm beach

WHERE TO EAT
There are so many great places to eat in Palm Beach and wow, the vibes make you feel so special.

pizza al fresco
Hidden away in a little courtyard off Worth Avenue, definitely grab an outdoor table under the palm trees and string lights. Split a verde salad and share a pizza with your friends. I highly recommend the margherita. They have a great wine and cocktail menu so you can have a great Aperol spritz on a hot day.

sant ambroeus
Since this is such a popular restaurant in New York, having one in Palm Beach really makes it feel like home. It's located at the beautiful Royal Poinciana Plaza, making it the perfect spot to top off a day of shopping with a caprese salad, pasta, espresso, and tiramisu.

piccolo gelato
After your lunch at Pizza al Fresco, pop around the corner to this cute little gelato shop. They have all the classic flavors and a really good selection of non-dairy options too. Don't forget to ask for your gelato to be topped with a wafer!

surfside diner
Once known as Hamburger Heaven (an old haunt of Lilly Pulitzer's), Surfside Diner is a cute spot with vintage vibes a few blocks away from Worth Avenue. You'll find all the classic menu items here from blueberry pancakes and eggs benedict to cheeseburgers and grilled cheese sandwiches.

café boulud
Another favorite from New York (and Las Vegas, that location is incredible), Café Boulud is located in the beautiful Brazilian Court Hotel. There's a jazz pianist in the lounge area and overall, a really classic, luxurious vibe that will make you feel like you've gone back to another century. As with any of Daniel Boulud's restaurants, the menu is beyond. There's a prix fixe lunch and a la carte options, too. I highly recommend the eggs benedict, substituting tomatoes for the ham. 

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WHERE TO SHOP
Beyond the obvious shops on Worth Avenue and department stores like Neiman Marcus & Saks Fifth Avenue, there are so many perfect little boutiques where you'll find the prettiest bohemian dresses and colorful accessories. Plus, three of the stores are neighbors!

aerin
This store is absolute heaven. It's a tiny boutique across from Pizza al Fresco where you'll find a selection of Aerin Lauder's beautiful home decor. There's even a beautiful outdoor patio!

cj laing
Next door to Aerin, this store is your go-to for beautiful resort wear. There are endless amounts of gorgeous bohemian maxi dresses, beach cover-ups, and tropical accessories. Lots of blue and white!

margaux
The third store in this perfect trio off Worth Avenue is the Margaux shop. You may have heard of this shoe brand as it's a blogger favorite. The shop is beautifully designed and makes every shoe feel so special.

the church mouse
A short walk from Worth Avenue (towards the Surfside Diner) is this great little consignment shop that's a go-to for people like Aerin Lauder and Celerie Kemble. It's no wonder because I quickly found a beautiful vintage picnic basket and ice bucket here. Not to mention the fact that there was a white The Row blazer for $175 and several pairs of vintage Louboutins for sale under $50.

royal poinciana plaza
A short drive from the main stretch of Palm Beach, this is the most beautiful shopping center with checkerboard walkways and palm tree shaded seating nooks. You'll find a Vespa store, multiple art galleries, and stores like Hermès, Magasin, Cynthia Rowley, Saint Laurent, Assouline, and Joey Wölffer. I could spend a whole day here!

travel diary: sunshine + flowers in palm beach

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You guys! I am in love with Palm Beach. I grew up and went to college in Florida and, somehow, had never been to PB before. I'd been to West Palm Beach but never across the bridge to this heavenly spot. I really wanted to make the trip for my birthday and am so glad I did! At some point during the trip, I made a comment that Palm Beach was like me in the form of a city and I'm sticking to that!

The drive in is pretty typical Florida, but once you get down to Worth Avenue, it honestly feels like you're in Italy. There are so many great shops, you could spend the whole day browsing and still not see everything! 

One thing I really loved was that everyone we saw looked super chic. I swear, I saw so many beautiful dresses, I wish LikeToKnow.it was something I could use in real life! 

Between browsing all of the gorgeous shops, we had the most delicious lunch at Pizza al Fresco. Margherita pizza, verde salad, and an aperol spritz! The perfect meal for a hot day. The restaurant was super cute too. We sat outdoors and got to enjoy our water in these beautiful blue glasses.

I'll be doing a full post on where to eat and shop, but I want to mention how much I loved the Aerin store. It was one of those places where I wished I could literally buy every single thing. 

We ended up buying an adorable vintage picnic basket and ice bucket from The Church Mouse as well as the cutest popcorn bowl from Kate Spade. After shopping, we drove around for a bit looking at houses. There was one in particular that completely stole my heart. It was this beautiful Italian style villa with mint shutters and olive trees. I ended up finding it online and found out it was originally built in 1930. Look at the photos here! How beautiful is that?

We ended the day at Royal Poinciana Plaza (and a quick beach stop) where I lived out my Audrey Hepburn fantasy by posing on a vintage Vespa from the 60s. One thing that pleasantly surprised me about Palm Beach was the amount of fantastic contemporary art! I saw a Hunt Slonem piece in the window of a gallery on Worth Avenue and some gorgeous work at the Fritz Gallery, too. 

I loved how at home I felt in Palm Beach! It really felt like the New York of the South which, if you ask me, is about as perfect as it gets.

Have you been to Palm Beach?