As a solo female traveler you are faced with decisions and issues that men usually don’t think about. As much as I can reassure you that it is safe to travel alone, you still need to put some consideration into choosing your destinations. Not only do the places that you go to, need to suit your personality and your interests, you do need to consider your safety. Here are some suggestions with my pick of the finds for the 8 Best Places to go to in New York City.
I recently spent several days in the city and I was surprised that I enjoyed it so much, because generally I am not a city person. I stayed at an Air BnB in Jersey City, which was quite a lot cheaper and the Public transport or even the Uber services were very good. The savings that I made on the cheaper accommodation outweighed the transport costs.
I tend to travel in the ” Follow my nose ” style so usually I book the accommodation as I go. In this case I booked about a week before I arrived but sometimes I choose to book accommodation for the night when I am tired of traveling for the day and book with as little as one hour notice.
I always travel with my laptop so I am able to work as I travel and book accommodation as I go. If this is something that you also want to do then I suggest that you use a VPN which s a Virtual Private Network so you can safely access your information on the net. I use Express VPN and find it is excellent. I feel totally safe from hackers and any spy software. Here is a link to find out more.
Here are my 8 Best Places, that I liked in New York City, but they are not necessarily in order of preference, and in fact if I was asked to choose my favorite, I might have trouble with that.
You cannot go to New York City without a visit to Broadway. This is not something that I planned to do until I got
there and when I saw the signs and found the Theater District, I realized that was something that I needed to do.
The musical that I went to was “Beautiful“. It was played at one of the 41 Professional Theaters in the Theater District of New York City.
You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face, and show the world all the love in your heart, then people are gonna treat you better, you’re gonna find, yes you will, that you are beautiful….
So many people grew up knowing and loving, Carol King and they resonate with the music and the wonderful lyrics. Watching the show was such an amazing treat and as it finished I was surprised when I realized that I had tears in my eyes, just from the feelings that the show evoked.
There are so many choices of shows to see on Broadway….. so when you are down and troubled, and you need some love and care, just go to Broadway and you’ve got a friend.
If you are interested in this show here is the link to book to see Beautiful
2. Hop on Hop Off Bus
You won’t have to go far to find a ticket for the hop on hop off bus. There are sellers all along the street usually near
the bus station. I paid $99 USD for a ticket to last me for 5 days on the bus. This also included a night tour and a ferry trip to the Statue of Liberty.
The tour also allowed for free access to the Museum of the City of New York which was one of the 25 stops that you could get of at. After exploring that particular area you could then hop on the next bus and carry on around the city listening to the very interesting and informative guided tour that was playing on ear buds provided when you got on the bus.
The tours take you to areas of the city include, Downtown, Uptown, Harlem, The Bronx, Central Park, You get a great view from the top of the bus. I was lucky that the weather was nice at the time which made the tour enjoyable.
It is also a great way to meet fellow travelers, which I did. I see that some sites recommend not to take these tours and go on a smaller group tour, but for me and my time frame and budget, I think this was a great way to get an overview of the city.
You can use this link to get your tickets for the New York City Bus Tours
3. Central Park
Most people will be familiar with Central Park after watching various movies that are set in New York City. The movies are wide-ranging and include, Spiderman 3, Vanila Sky, Serendipity, Cruel Intentions, Home Alone 2 and Wall Street.
When you hop off the bus near Central Park you can go for an iconic ride on the horse drawn carriages through the park. You can wander around the Park and watch walkers, cyclists and skaters as if you are in a movie. Check out the squirrels under the trees. I was watching one for a while. They are pretty used to people and not very skittish at all.
Central Park has the most visitors of any urban park in North America at almost 38 million visitors each year. It must have been a quiet day when I was there because there didn’t seem to be that many people there at all. I walked across the park and saw a wedding, people fishing in the lake and kids watching the turtles and bird life in the turtle lake.
There is also a Castle and the Zoo within the Park, but leave yourself a whole day if you want to see everything there is to see in the park.
4. Statue of Liberty
Taking advantage of the Ferry that takes you to Ellis Island to see the Statue of Liberty is a highlight of the Hop on
Hop Off Tour. If you do not purchase this as part of the bus tour you can get an individual ticket to take the ferry and get a close up look at the Statue of Liberty. The Statue was gifted to the City of New York on the 4th July 1884, by France to represent the alliance between the two during the American Revolution.
The Statue was built in France and then shipped to New York where it was reconstructed after intensive fundraising within the New York City community, to complete the pedestal base to hold the huge commemorative icon.
Between 1892 and 1954 Ellis Island was the inspection station and entrance for more than 12 million immigrants who came with the hope of a better life. She echos the words of the famous poem by Emma Lazarus :
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”
5. Museum of the City Of New York
Although there are many choices when it comes to Museums in New York, I can tell you firsthand, about the Museum of the City of New York. This is an easy stop from the Hop on Hop off bus. There is no charge if you present your bus pass as this allows for a complementary entry.
The Museum isn’t huge and can be seen in about 2 – 3 hours. I really liked it because it gave a complete overview of the History of New York, which was very interesting. The explanation of how the City developed over time with so many immigrants coming in makes complete sense when you get the overview of the city from the tour bus.
Neighborhoods like Little Italy, China town, Little Germany, The Bronx, Greenwich Village, Flatiron District, Soho, Korea town, all have their own unique and interesting history.
6. Times Square
Another iconic, must see in New York, New York is Times Square. You can get an over view of the square from the bus tour but to really experience it is to walk through.
It really does feel just like it looks, people everywhere, yellow cabs, billboards and neon lights and huge buildings dwarfing the street. Amazingly you can still see the sunset as the light changes as you look along the streets through the High Rises.
From the area of Times Square you can also access, Madame Tussaud, Ripley’s Believe it or Not, National Geographic Ocean Odyssey, and of course you can Hop on and Hop Off th Bus Tour to join the night tour which is really good.
7. The High Line Walkway
This elevated, disused railway line, meanders through the Meatdistrict, and you can follow it at above street level to
be away from traffic. It is a popular walking park and when I visited it with friend and her children it was a fun way to spend a summer’s evening. You can follow along the walkway for quite a distance or step off at various places to explore the city underneath.
We arrived at the Chelsea market in an historic biscuit factory which was very popular for interesting shopping and eating places that you could enjoy healthy, and not so healthy meals and snacks. We started the walkway at the new Hudson Yards Vessel which is an artwork structure and a building all in one.
It is 16 stories high with 2500 steps. You need to reserve your ticket to climb the building as it is very popular, but is also free of charge.
The eating and food choices are endless and universal in New York. It just depends on how adventurous you want to
be. My favorite while I was there was one visit to the Hard Rock Cafe, because the food and service was good and it was an iconic place to go as I had already been to the Hard Rock Cafe in Hawaii and then later in Prague.
The other meal that I really enjoyed was from a Halal food cart in Harlem. I sat on a concrete step eating the most delicious meal from a plastic container, and people watching. This was both entertaining and a little border line as there was an altercation brewing between two street people over a tarpaulin, and who owned it and who moved it. That was interesting, free entertainment and a culture insight which I love to experience.
Other food choices, if you want to be traditional to New York are plenty of pizza places, New York Bagels and of course. New York Cheesecake. Or you can be an international eater and for more traditional food, you can go to Little Italy, Little Germany, China Town, or go to Delmonico, the oldest restaurant in New York. Just be aware that if you are watching your budget then avoid the more touristy areas because you will pay more for less. Actually this is the norm where ever you travel.
To go or not
I think that even if you don’t particularly like big cities you should still consider a visit to New York city. It feels quite familiar because we have all seen some city when we watch TV and movies. There is so much to see and do and a five day stay was just perfect. I got to see heaps of the city and experienced the feel of it, but by the time I left I had had enough of the city.
Breaking it up with visits to the Central Park and the High Line Walkway was a good way to feel that it wasn’t all city. The city attractions can offer a wide variety of activities to suit every taste. Here is a link for discount tours and attractions that you can book if you want something more.
Wandering around at night was not a problem or a safety concern, and in fact the sights were even better in some instances.