*This trip was taken before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Welcome to New York!
We wanted to celebrate our daughter’s seventh grade graduation and surprised her with a trip to NY. I am going to share what we did to experience NYC on a budget(ish). Let’s get started…
DAY 1 ARRIVAL
We decided to drive from Virginia to New York. We drove through Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey. Super cool! It was fun crossing state lines. We opted to stay on Staten Island at the Navy Lodge. You have to be military to stay there. If you are military (active duty, reserve, or retired) I highly recommend this. The hotel was spacious and had a full sized fridge and stove with electric cooktop. Having a kitchen helped us keep our food budget in check.
Once we arrived, we checked in and got settled. We then drove to the Ferry station and rode the Staten Island ferry over to Manhattan. At the Ferry station we surprised our daughter with tickets to see Hamilton on Broadway. She was so happy.
When we got to Manhattan, we hopped on the train and made our way towards Times Square. Once we got off the train, we rushed through Times Square so we can make it on time for our show. We made it and it was amazing! I do want to say, Hamilton tickets are NOT budget friendly, but it’s something we wanted to splurge on and I’m sure glad we did. If you can budget for it, it’s so worth it.
After our show, we walked around Times square and visited the New York Public library. For food, we shopped at Whole Foods. For dinner, we went to Beyond Sushi. On our way back to the hotel we saw a guy jumping on a car that was at a red light, there were tons of cops at the scene and in the end he was tasered and apprehended lol. What a sight to see.
It was a great first day, we walked about 9,700 steps in total.
Here’s what we spent on day 1:
Navy Lodge $330
Ferry Parking $12
Metro card $23
Times square $FREE
NY Public Library $FREE
Whole Foods $60
Beyond Sushi $36
DAY 2 RAIN IN THE CITY
It’s a rainy day in the City. We started our day making breakfast in our hotel room. We then drove back to the ferry station and headed over to Manhattan. We walked over to the 9/11 Museum and spent a few hours there paying our respects.
Afterwards, we went on a mission to find vegan bagels. Along the way we saw the American Stock Exchange, the Charging Bull, the Highline, and Hamilton’s burial site. Once we got to Thompskin Square bagels, we ordered six bagels and enjoyed a few of them there. There rest were for later lol. Here’s what we spent on day 2:
Metro card refill $11
Ferry parking $12
9/11 Museum $46 for three tickets
Water + snacks $13.15
6 bagels $30
DAY 3 WE IN BROOKLYN
We decided to drive to Brooklyn. We found parking near the Brooklyn bridge which was perfect proximity to the access point to walk on the bridge. We had breakfast at Champs diner which was delicious. Then we explored Fort Wadsworth and bought a large vegan pizza for dinner. We walked about 6,600 steps. Here’s what we spent on day 3:
Champs Diner $80
Walked on the Brooklyn Bridge $FREE
Vegan pizza $26.13
Explore Fort Wadsworth $FREE
DAY 4 LAST DAY TO EXPLORE NY
This day it was sunny and hot in the City. We explored Rockefeller, Central Park, the Plaza Hotel (Home Alone vibes), Dylan’s Candy bar, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, window shopped on 5th Ave, explored the Upper East Side, and ate tons of food. We went to a juice shop for some delicious smoothies and went to byChloe for lunch. Total steps for the day 15,000. Out of everything we saw this day, my favorite was Central Park. We visited the Bethesda fountain, there was live music throughout the park, people canoeing, turtles in the water, food market, and a festival. So much fun! Here’s what we spent on day 4:
Ferry parking $12
Metrocard refill $17
Cinnamon roll $3.75
Tip for guitar player in the park $1
Juice for 3 people $12
Central Park $FREE
Dylan’s Candy bar $FREE (we didn’t buy anything just looked around)
New York is an amazing place to visit. I hope this gives you some ideas if you decide to visit NYC!