TravelKaitlyn McKinley

A Perfect Winter Weekend in New York City

TravelKaitlyn McKinley
A Perfect Winter Weekend in New York City
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Let me start this out by saying, I've never been to any big cities with the exception of an afternoon in Chicago when I was still in elementary school. Needless to say, going to New York City, in the heart of the Christmas season, was just as magical as it was overwhelming. I loved every second of it, but it made me appreciate the smaller towns that I've lived in all my life.

Because it was my first visit, I also felt like I needed to see absolutely everything. I forgot how many movies I've watched that were set in the city, so things seemed strangely familiar. I loved walking down the streets and just seeing the people and shops and hearing the music and the enjoying the smell of fresh food from the street carts. It was so much to take in all at once from the Rockefeller Christmas tree to ice- skating in Central Park.

It was so perfect even though I was beyond freezing. I was so lucky to find this jacket on sale in Anthropologie. I would have been completely frozen without it. When you've lived in Florida long enough, you get so chilled when the temperature drops below 50 degrees. I understand that probably sounds ridiculous to anyone who doesn't live in the sunshine state, but still I was freezing. If you're looking for the perfect winter weekend in New York City, there are a few places you cannot miss.

1. Times Square: Our hotel was in Midtown Manhattan with gorgeous views of Times Square. Even though everyone talks about it, it's something you have to see for yourself. I'm majoring in Advertising, so it was so interesting to watch all the ads scroll by on thousands of flashy screens. It was a lot, to say the least, but the amount of people walking through this area was astounding. You can look around forever and still not see everything. If you look to the top of the buildings, you might even see the ball that drops every new year.

2. The Rockefeller Christmas Tree & Ice Skating Rink: Oh my goodness, this area is so beautiful. The tree is so tall and Christmassy. I don't have words. If you walk around the block, there are all kinds of adorable shops and cafes. My favorite was Bouchon Bakery. It has a giant glass window that looks out over the NBC Studio where they film the Today Show. I never went in the morning, but I got hot chocolate at least three times when we were looking at the lights, and it was SO good. P.S. Skip the skating at the Rockefeller Rink. It's $60 and the ice-skating in Central Park is much better.

3. Top of the Rock: If I could recommend one thing as a must see, it's the view of the city from the top of the Rockefeller center. You can see for miles because you're 850 feet in the air. There are wrap around views from the Empire State Building to Central Park. It's stunning. When I went, it was so quiet and perfect, but I hear it can get pretty busy depending on the time and day you choose to go. I went around 3 p.m. on a weekday, which was actually near sunset.  Definitely write this one down on your itinerary.  You won't regret it!

4. The Plaza Hotel: I have to admit, the Plaza hotel was on my list because I LOVED Eloise when I was little and always wanted to see the beautiful hotel she called home. It didn't disappoint. From the perfectly decorated Christmas tree in the lobby to the seriously amazing food, this hotel on fifth avenue is worth the trip. Plus, it's so close to Central Park that it makes a great stop for a midday latte.

5. Ice Skating in Central Park: I went to the Wollman Rink on the edge of the city for my very last day in New York . I had never been to an outside rink before, and ice-skating is one of my most favorite things in the world. The views of the skyline were stunning, and the ice was sparkly white. My mom went with me, and she had never skated in her life, so we had quite an adventure of me dragging her around in circles, so she could say she had her first ice-skating lesson in Central Park. 10/10 I would recommend this to anyone. Oh my goodness, I also forgot there was Christmas music playing, too. Ahh it was my favorite thing!!

There are about a hundred million things I could suggest for the perfect winter weekend in New York City, but these were the top of my list. New York City was all I ever dreamed it would be, busy and beautiful. I'd love to hear about all your favorite winter spots in the city, so comment below if you have recommendations or suggestions. Also, shoutout to my beautiful momma for exploring the city with me and being one of the best little photographers in the world. I can't even wait for my next visit, but until next time.

XOXO