Each time I’ve been in New York City I have stayed on the Upper West Side. So I may be biased, but if you want to experience NYC like a local, I think this is a great start. Here are a few reasons I love calling Upper West Side home when I visit The Big Apple!
- Finding your (breakfast) spot
I know, I didn’t go to a local coffee shop. But I did check out a local bakery and my everything bagel with cream cheese was perfection. And just around the corner from my hotel.
- Central Park
Crisp, bright and the most invigorating way to start a day. I love strolling through Central Park on my way to Manhattan any time of the year, but those Fall colors are a special treat. Brightly colored leaves fluttering to the ground all around as I sipped hot coffee and made my way to 5th Ave was like walking in a dream.
- Park 79
An easy walk from the 79th Street Subway stop or the 81st/Museum of Natural History stop which makes getting to Manhattan a breeze. Not to mention the Museum of Natural History is just outside the front door. You know, the museum where everything comes to life and they have grand adventures. The rooms are cozy and comfortable and the staff is kind and welcoming. Bonus: friendly doorman and hot coffee or tea each morning.
- All the macaroons, please!
My first trip to New York I stumbled upon the cutest little French pastry/brunch spot just around the corner from my hotel. Needless to say, macaroons are something that now happen on the daily whenever I’m in the city. Sugar and Plumme is definitely worth the visit (and the re-visit).
- Front door envy
The Upper West Side is full of personality and design. I love studying the similarities and contrasts from house to house while I imagine what life would be like if I called one of those lovely places home.
- It’s not Times Square.
Maybe that’s an experience I will have one day, but today is not that day. When I travel I want to experience things that aren’t on the typical itinerary and I enjoy wandering and getting lost. I like to go at my own pace. I like to wake up early and enjoy the sunrise before the city wakes up. Times Square is a party, and it is fun to stop by and snap some pictures. But not only does it cost more to stay there, I think it makes for a more narrow view of what city life is like.
- Museum of Natural History
You never know what to expect here. Plenty of dinosaurs and inpspiring Teddy Roosevelt quotes to fill an afternoon. The park in the back of the museum is directly across the street from the Park 79 hotel. Meaning, you have the perfect spot to read a book and drink your coffee in the morning, or a lovely place to enjoy a post dinner stroll.
After a long day of walking it was nice to have so many delicious dinner options right around the block from our little room. Plenty of places within easy walking distance made grabbing dinner on the way back to the hotel so convenient, and going out for drinks in the evening a breeze. And with plenty of options ranging from local, hole in wall to well known chains, you have the choice to go for an old standby or try something new. Note: honestly, this Chinese take out was nothing to write home about. However, the Margarita pizza a couple blocks down and the Shake Shack around the corner totally made up for it!
- Shops (particularly the book kind)
On our way to pick up take-out we walked past the most picturesque little book shop. It was full to the brim with books both old and new, throwback VHS tapes, and collections of vintage postcards. Random bust sculptures and globes sat atop stacks of books. And those stacks of books that sat atop beautiful old book cabinets. I couldn’t spend enough time there! And this was only one of many similar to it.
- Wildlife in the Subway
I mean, who doesn’t love calling this your ‘home’ Subway stop?
Have you ever stayed on the Upper West Side? Did you like it? Got any tips or suggestions?
This is not a sponsored post. All photos and opinions are my own.