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New York City is the capital of so many things. It’s where the arts and entertainment fields come together with the economic engine that drives the economy and the world of history. For visitors, New York City is a chance to see a place where eight million people make this lively place a world-class city.

One of the best things about New York City is just how easy it is to get an excellent feel for the entire city during a single day. A well-planned schedule that makes use of the many things to see here is essential. This is the ideal way to savor this fantastic place and participate in the energy that keeps it humming every single hour. Whether you’re catching a flight or a train from Penn Station, as long as you have the right luggage storage in New York City, you’re good to go.

What to See in New York In A Day

Photo by Jonathan Riley

Get Breakfast

The first thing you’ll want to do is fuel up. Now is the time to aim for a big breakfast. New York City has many iconic breakfast foods and places to grab a meal. Stop by Russ & Daughters for a marvelous everything bagel that speaks of the local cuisine directly. Top it with cream cheese, lox, onion, tomato, and capers, and you’re in for a real treat. If you’re nowhere near East Houston Street, head inside a local bagel place along the way. New Yorkers like them fresh out of the oven-toasted and smeared with butter, and so should you.

Head Up to a Park

That’s right: up. The High Line is one of the city’s newest attractions, and one of its most admired. What was formerly an abandoned railroad track is now a public park. If you’re with children, there’s an elevator. Otherwise, it’s up two flights of stairs. When you’re there, you’re rewarded with intricate plantings, public art, and a view of the shoreline that you can’t beat. Sit back on one of the many benches along the way. This is an excellent chance to see how existing city spaces can be re-imagined for the modern world.

See History and Get Lunch

As one of the earliest of all settled areas in the United States, New York has layers of intricate history. Discover what life was like in this part of the world for centuries at the National Museum of the American Indian. This is the only branch of the Smithsonian in New York. It’s a relatively small museum. That makes it easy to see all it has to offer in an hour or so. There’s a guided tour that speaks about the artifacts on display. Children can play along with a game that invites them to go on a treasure hunt and find things in the museum as you stroll.

When you’re done walking the halls of the museum, head just a little bit south, Fraunces Tavern has been part of the scene in New York for over two centuries. Located in the very heart of the financial district, the tavern makes a great place to stop by for a meal any time of day. This is where Washington gave his famous farewell address after the Revolutionary War. General Washington probably headed inside to grab something to eat. The menu here is simple and easy, with an emphasis on cold drinks to warm up if you’re here in the winter.

The Staten Island Ferry

After lunch, it’s time for a boat ride. Staten Island is the city’s least populated borough. Getting there by ferry is a chance to discover the waters that make New York such a fantastic natural harbor. The ferry’s free. Check the schedule online and then grab a seat. You’ll want to get one on the outside. This way, you can see the Statue of Liberty as the boat passes it. Make sure you have a good camera on hand as you’ll get fairly close. The ship also lets you sit back and see much of the sweeping Manhattan downtown skyline. The return trip is just as easy. Boats leave quickly. For an hour of your time, you get a chance to discover New York City as travelers for centuries first saw it.

Time For Dinner

Dinner offers a vast array of eating choices. If you love Chinese, you’ll want to take a bus to Chinatown. It’s inexpensive and convenient. Think about a splurge. New York City is home to many four-star restaurants. Now is the time to celebrate your wedding anniversary or see what the critics admire so much. Places like Le Bernardin and Jean-Georges are world-famous. After dinner, you’ll want to make time for a show. Broadway and Off-Broadway shows are perfect. Order tickets in advance and immerse yourself in world-class performances.

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