A couple of days before our trip, we started planning how to spend 8 Hours in New York City.
Eight hours is not a lot of time depending on what you want to do. We had to make efficient use of our time. That meant no waiting in long lines.
You could not ask for better weather as it was sunny and in the 70’s, compared to when we visited in January.
When we arrived in New York we headed to our first stop. We went to our favorite place to grab a quick bite, the Halal Guys street cart at 6th and 53rd Street. We decided to eat before our two hour bike ride. That was the best decision we made, as there was no line at 11:00 a.m. when we arrived, but that would change quickly in the next half hour.
For $7 dollars we got a huge helping of meat, rice and lettuce, along with pita bread. Don’t forget to add the white sauce from the packets they provide, it really makes the dish. This is enough for two people to share, unless you want left overs. It’s one of the best bargains in the city. We sat on a bench and enjoyed the food and people watched.
Biking Central Park
Our next stop was riding bikes in Central Park. We reserved two bikes for two hours the day before our trip. It’s cheaper to make reservations on line and much quicker to get in and out of the bike shop, as all the paper work is done in advance. Before reserving the bikes, I checked Groupon and found a deal for $20 for 2 bikes for 2 hours which was cheaper than the price on line. After purchasing the Groupon, I called and reserved our bike and told them we had a Groupon.
TIP: Check Groupon to see if there are any deals before booking.
Upon arriving at Central Park Bike Rental, we showed them our Groupon and gave them our reservation time. We declined paying the additional fees for a basket and lock, and the $2 extra insurance for damages per bike. They kept our driver’s license and we were on our way. Make sure you check the bike out carefully as J’s back tire was low and we did not realize it until we were in Central Park. It was to far away to go back, as we only had 2 hours and it took most of the time to get around the loop as we stopped a lot for pictures.
We walked our bikes about 2 blocks before reaching the outskirts of the park. It was way to crowded for us to try biking on the streets and crossing at the lights. Once we got to the park, it’s a 6.1 miles loop around. Follow the arrows as most of the riding is in one direction. People will holler at you if you go the wrong way. I am not admitting to going in the wrong way, just telling you. 😳
Strawberry Fields – John Lennon Memorial
We wanted to see the John Lennon Memorial in the park, so we took a slight detour to see Strawberry Fields – John Lennon Memorial. We had to get off the bike and walk the path a short distance.
The bike rental gave us a map and J would stop from time to time to make sure we went the right way in order to see the whole park. There were many places to stop and take pictures or just get off the bike for a break if you are not used to riding.
After returning our bikes we were ready for ice cream. We walked to Serendipity 3 at 225 E. 60th Street. When we arrived around 1:45 there was an hour wait. Being on a tight time constraint we did not have the luxury to wait. We decided to walk down 5th Avenue.
TIP: Make reservations for Serendipity 3 to avoid a long wait.
As we made our way down 5th Ave we passed many famous sites.
St Patrick Cathedral
New York Public Library
Big Gay Ice Cream
Upon reaching the famous landmark triangular 22 story Flatiron Building located at 175 Fifth Avenue, we found our next destination the Eataly at 200 Fifth Ave. This Italian marketplace features cafes, restaurants, cooking school, bakery and retail shops. It was way to crowded inside and we did not stay very long.
We knew Big Gay Ice Cream was close by and made our way there only to find another long line inside the store. Eating ice cream today was not meant to be.
We continued on to go get a slice of pizza at Bleecker’s. The Food Network named this the best pizza in New York and I have to agree the pizza was delicious. Guess what no lines. We were able to buy a couple slices of pizza and drinks and got the last available table. It felt great to get off our feet after all the walking.
It was getting late, how time fly’s when you are in New York. We needed to make our way back to our pick up point.
Madison Square Garden
Macy’s Department Store
As we got closer to Times Square the streets got busier and there was construction in Times Square.
We couldn’t go by the Disney store without stopping and buying something for our grandson. Two floors of Disney products, the place was crowded. After finding what we were looking for, we stood in the long line. It took about twenty minutes to check out and make our way out of the jam-packed store.
Heading back to our pickup point
Heading back to meet the bus, we saw people waiting in line just to get into Shake Shack.
We visited New York on a Friday and it was very busy, I could not image how bad it would be on a Saturday. By the time we returned, we had walked over 30,000 steps (15 miles) and biked 6.1 miles. We were ready to get on the bus, get off our feet and sleep on the way home. Another successful day trip to New York.