My mother had once said she’d always wanted to go on one of the Christmas shopping in New York trips that are advertised each year, so 2 years ago I surprised her by booking the Bath Travel 4 day trip from Bournemouth to New York that they run every November.
We stayed at the Marriott Marquis & I can’t recommend it highly enough. The hotel is absolutely exquisite but the main reason to my mind is its location. The first thing we did when we arrived was to have a cocktail in the bar overlooking Times Square. The view is really quite magical. Immediately opposite we found a classic American diner which plunged me straight into an episode from Friends, and the Rockefeller Centre, Broadway, Fifth Avenue, the Empire State Building…nearly everything we wanted to see was within easy walking distance.
Going to the top of the Empire State Building is something you just feel you have to do whilst in New York. I’ve heard complaints about the queuing time, but we went on our first evening and walked straight in with no queue at all. The view is absolutely stunning, particularly at night but I must confess I preferred the view from the top of the Rockefeller Center as then the view actually includes the Empire State Building itself.
The Statue of Liberty is another must-see, but rather than wait in the horrendous queue to go to the island we took a river boat cruise on the Hudson. It took in many other sites as well as pausing close enough to Liberty Island to take plenty of photos, and I think the photos were better than if we were directly at her feet trying to squish the whole statue into the frame.
We had 3 full days in New York and they were extremely action packed – we didn’t really get time to do any shopping at all! – and there are still many things that I want to do or see in the Big Apple. You could quite easily fill a week there. I can’t wait to go back one day.