7 Tips for a Last-Minute Manhattan Retreat

Last weekend Hubby and I had managed to plan a last minute retreat to the New York City. So what do you do when you have a weeken trip booked, and no other plans….that’s where the fun begins!

Here are my 7 tips for a last-minute Manhattan Retreat.

1. It’s not the destination, it’s the journey (or the flight).

When a weekend retreat is just that  – a weekend, the getaway starts from the minute you lock your front door. Given that time is of the essence consider what the journey itself will involve. In our case, this meant flying out of Billy Bishop airport with Porter. Between a 20-minute walk to the airport and complimentary coffee, wine and snacks throughout the flight (I can’t make this stuff up!) they’re pretty hard to beat.

2. Select your home base wisely 

We stayed at the Kimpton 70 Park Avenue Hotel located in midtown Manhattan. Kimpton is comprised of boutique hotels focused on creating a homey retreat for travellers to retire to after a long day of vacationing – exactly what we had in mind! Our room was cosy and spacious (by Manhattan standards at least) with complimentary bar snacks and wifi.

One of the nicest perks of staying at a Kimpton hotel is their complimentary (and unlimited) wine hour every evening in the hotel lobby. Who hasn’t returned to their hotel after a long day of exploring and heard a wine bottle beckon!? Kimpton gets this, so by default, Kimpton gets me.

3. Indulge in some cheap eats 

New York  City is such a fun place to try new food – there is (literally) something new to try around every corner. We popped into Two Boots pizza in Greenwich Village with high hopes for cheesy, fluffy pizza loaded with toppings. To summarise –  mission accomplished.

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This slice barely made it lasted through the photo.

4. Go for a picnic on the High Line 

Taking a leisurely stroll along the High Line on a sunny day feels like such a treat. The street views are stunning and walking above street level really does feel otherworldly. Swing by the Chelsea Market, located partway along the High Line, and grab the accoutrements for a five-star picnic overlooking Chelsea.

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Views from the High Line

*Tip: have you ever wondered what an apartment in Manhattan really looks like? This is your chance to find out – look five feet to your left and right and you’ll get a full view into more than a few living rooms.

5. Find a Museum  

When in Manhattan it’s really not a question of whether to go to a museum but which museum to visit. Having visited The Met and Museum of Natural History on previous trips, we decided to head to a lower key destination, The Museum of the City of New York. We didn’t know what to expect, but we were both delightfully surprised!

Housed in a stunning historic building on the Upper East Side, the museum is small enough to get through in an afternoon. While the exhibitions were small, they were incredibly well curated and interesting.

6. Take an early morning walk through Central Park 

I know I already recommended going for a walk on the other end of Manhattan, but what can I say, we like to walk. Once Sunday morning rolled around we were up bright and early, coffee in hand, headed to Central Park for an early stroll while the city was still asleep. I think it’s amoments like this that people fall in love with the city – we did anyway.

7. Brunch (enough said)

How could we go through an entire weekend trip without mentioning my favourite meal of the week – brunch! I think that New Yorkers just might take brunch as seriously as Toronontians do, which was great news for us. There are tonnes of tried and try brunch places throughout the city with killer cocktail menus and generous servings of classic brunch options – The Smith just so happens to be one of those restaurants.

With a location conveniently located just west of Central Park (W 63rd & Broadway) we found ourselves filling up on Deviled Eggs, Bagels and Lox and the Fried Chicken Sandwiches after working up an appetite walking around Central Park.

That’s it for a whirlwind weekend retreat to Manhattan! What’s your favourite thing to do on a weekend retreat?

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