New York City: Rockefeller Center + Central Park
Sunday provided us with just a few hours of sightseeing in New York. We decided to explore as much as possible, leaving enough time to make it back to Penn Station for our bus ride back to DC. We jumped on the train downtown and exited 42nd Street to check out Times Square. Yes, it’s touristy, but seeing as how we are tourists, we found it only fitting that we check it out. We grabbed coffee from Starbucks while I pondered the price of real estate in the area. (Seriously, how much does Hard Rock pay for that location?!)
From Times Square, we headed to the Rockefeller Center to scope out the area and watch the ice skaters. By the way, how gorgeous is the Rockefeller Center this time of year?! With the ice skating rink and the area lit up for the holidays, the city felt magical. From there, we headed up to the MoMA en route to Central Park. Now, I’m sure the MoMA would have been cool, but seeing as how they charge a sizeable fee for entry ($20 for adults, $12 for students), we opted out. After seeing so many incredible museums in London and DC on a complimentary basis, the idea of paying for a museum seemed like a bit of a blow. Instead of spending time (and money) there, we headed to Central Park to catch a glimpse before parting ways with New York.
We headed back uptown quite early, grabbed our stuff and made our way back to Penn Station to say farewell to the city. It was an incredibly quick trip, but so amazing. Even in the short time we had there, the energy in the city was palpable. It’s really a unique mix of posh, fast-paced Type A personalities and a grittiness that adds an inexplicable level of charm. I’ll definitely be heading back there in the future, but with more time to explore and with more money to spend. Not only is there fabulous shopping, but there are so many amazing plays and musicals going on at any given time plus an unrivaled array of eateries and lounges; in short, too many ways to spend a lot of money very quickly. As a budget traveler, though, I’m proud to say that we spent very little money on this trip. NY is hard to do on the cheap, but it can be done!