Welcome to MarieClaire.com's new series on weekend travel—a smart girl's guide to making the most of those glorious two days off.
Where to begin. You can't *quite* do New York City in 48 hours, but you can sure try. (Then book your ticket back, ASAP). With new restaurants, bars, galleries, exhibits and more opening every. damn. day, it may seem a bit stressful trying to cram everything into a weekend. My advice? Pick one activity, two restaurants (one for brunch, one for dinner), and a bar (#obviously) for a day, then wing the rest. Here, a few of my favorites.
Where to Stay
There are literally SO many options to stay in NYC, but here are a couple that are definitely worth noting: The Marlton Hotel (old-school, small but adorable rooms, walking distance to Washington Square Park), 11 Howard (#InstagramWorthy), 1 Hotel (eco-friendly, with one in Central Park *or* Brooklyn), The Bowery Hotel (cute rooms, great lounge/bar, great restaurant—Gemma), Hudson Hotel (near Central Park, check out the Library Bar, Hudson Common, and Private Park, their outdoor eating/drinking area), The Roxy Hotel (often featuring live jazz, with a jazz club downstairs—The Django), and Baccarat Hotel (all your chandelier/luxe dreams come true here).
What to Do
Um, see everything? But really pick a landmark or museum and *just work on that*. From The Whitney downtown (they have a great restaurant, FYI—Untitled) to the Met (if you have time, head to the Cloisters!), the American Museum of Natural History, and the Guggenheim uptown, you have a lot to see! Stroll through Central Park, walk the Brooklyn Bridge, and take in some art gallery viewing in Chelsea. And obviously, topping off the night with a play or show on Broadway can't hurt (Anastasia is coming!).
Where to Eat
If Uptown/Midtown: In Harlem, head to Row House for an awesome dinner or brunch—and make sure to order a cocktail (or two). Brunch at Jacob's Pickles is worth the wait—truly. With the parents (or want to treat yourself)? Head to the iconic Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center for a decadent brunch with #views. If you find yourself on the Upper East Side, head to J.G. Melon's for *the* burger (a favorite of Gigi Hadid, FWIW), and then head to Seamstress for a yummy cocktail. Treadwell Park is great for a beer, as is The Jeffrey.
If Downtown: Head to Squares for drinks/dancing in NoMad, where—yes—everything is reminiscent of the shape—including Lego Mules AKA Moscow Mules served in Lego mugs (psssst...JLo attended their opening party). Head further downtown, and grab some pizza (and enjoy the ambiance) at Pizza Beach in LES—make sure to get the grilled corn "elote" side and the mushroom pie—before heading across the street to Mr. Purple (if weather permits—'tis a rooftop bar). Doing it for the 'Gram? The Lucky Bee, Dimes, Pietro Nolita, Mother of Pearl, Cha Cha Matcha, and Cafe Henrie are all Insta Fodder x a million. For a sweet treat, head down to Chinatown to Egloo and grab a Hong Kong egg waffle cone with ice cream and toppings galore. If it's cold, head to City Bakery for a hot cocoa. You can't go wrong with a meal at The Spotted Pig, Lombardi's pizza (#IconStatus), or Rubirosa, and brunch at Sadelle's is on point (get the bagel tower). Drinking in East Village? Head to ABC Beer Co. for a (you guessed it) beer and games, The Wayland for a crafted cocktail, The Garrett for drinks before heading to the speakeasy-esque Dinner Table in the back (be sure to make a reservation on resy), and Ace Bar for drinks, pool, and games like Skee-Ball. Want a dinner place to set the night right? Head to Vandal for bites, booze, and a general We're About to Do the Night Right vibe.
If in Brooklyn: Head to Emily on the earlier side to grab one of the #limited Emmy burgers they make in a day—or go on Sunday for unlimited Emmy burgers/all the chances of getting one. (Yes, it's a pizza place.) Head to Radegast Hall & Biergarten for a daytime beer, grab a pizza at Roberta's, or head to Bar Omar for some delish North African dishes (like Tagine) and cool cocktails. Hometown BBQ is A+. The Woods is great for dancing, and Freehold has a fun back patio. The William Vale in Williamsburg just opened, so head to the rooftop for a bar and a great view.
1. Know the lingo—uptown means north, Houston street is pronounced "how-stun", and you tell cab drivers cross sections, not addresses. (Think: "86th street between 2nd and 3rd"). And a lot of the times, it's faster to travel via subway.
2. NYC-ers are actually nice, but we will run you down if you walk slowly/stop in the middle of the sidewalk. Checking out a sight? Kindly step to the side. (Or prepare to get scowls and perhaps a yell or two.)
3. Brunch at most places runs every weekend from around noon to anywhere from 2 - 5 p.m. Not a joke. We take brunch very seriously in this town.