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Hotel Deals for New York
The Allen Hotel
May 21 - May 21, 2019
per night from
$ 900
$ 81

2016 brought with it plenty of new and interesting trends. While some can feel a bit tired at this point (we’re looking at you, crop-tops), there’s one that we hope continues to rise: the stopover. Travelers across the world can thank the country of Iceland for making “the stopover” trendy again. Some years ago, Iceland starting advertising their destination as the perfect place to visit to or from Europe. Now, travelers can purposely book an Iceland layover, spend a day exploring with an obligatory dip in the Blue Lagoon, and then carry on to their final destination. Two birds, one stone. We dig it.

So considering millions of travelers pass through New York City on an annual basis, why not purposely carve out some time to experience the Big Apple? To make the most of a 24-hour stopover in NYC, we’ve put together a guide that will get you out of the airport and into the city that never sleeps.

10am: Head to the city for a proper picnic breakfast

From JFK, you can take the subway directly into Manhattan. Hop on the JFK AirTrain and transfer to the E train (blue line) at Jamaica Station. From there, you’ll ride straight into Penn Station. To start your NYC stopover adventure, switch to the 1 train and get off at 86th Street. You’re on the Upper West Side headed to the iconic Barney Greengrass to grab some of those famous NYC bagels and lox to-go.

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An Upper West Side icon | Photo by Compass and Twine

With breakfast in hand, make your way to that great oasis amid the concrete jungle, Central Park. Stroll in via the 72nd street entrance and pass by Strawberry Fields, where no doubt you’ll enjoy a serenade by at least one Beatles fan. A five-minute walk further into the park and you’ll come upon Cherry Hill. Pick a good spot on the grass overlooking the row-boats gliding on the lake below and enjoy your breakfast.

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Watch the rowboats float by from Cherry Hill | Photo by Compass and Twine

12pm: Explore Midtown Manhattan

As you make your way out of the park, call an Uber and head to Rockefeller Plaza. If it’s holiday season, you’ll see the giant tree and skaters whizzing around the busy ice rink below. Otherwise, meander around all the great shops and restaurants around the plaza, inside and out. Across the street lies the famous Saks Fifth Avenue, for those looking for some serious retail therapy. After soaking in all that 30Rock has to offer, walk to the 1 train on 7th Ave to continue the journey southward. We suggest, though, popping into Magnolia Bakery whencrossing over 6th Ave to grab one of their famous cupcakes for a snack on the train.

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Rockefeller Center | Photo courtesy of Flickr CC: Jeff Hitchcock

2pm: A West Village lunch

Jump off the subway at Christopher Street. Full of character and charm, this is one of the best neighborhoods in the world. Take your time exploring tree-lined streets like Bleecker, West 4th and West 10th, where cute boutiques and cafes lie alongside pretty brownstone facades.

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West Village stoops | Photo by Compass and Twine

You’re probably getting a little hungry, so make your way to the Spotted Pig for a proper lunch. April Bloomfield’s acclaimed restaurant serves English pub-fare, along with one of the best burgers in town. Wash it all down with some of New York’s finest ale, Brooklyn Lager.

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Lunch spread at The Spotted Pig | Photo by Compass and Twine

4pm: Downtown is the new Uptown

If the weather’s nice, continue your southwardjourney by renting a CitiBike and coast down the West Side Highway bike path towards the beautifully revitalized World Financial Center. Start at the swanky, new Brookfield Place for high-end shopping and Le District French market, then walk over to Ground Zero. The reflecting pools, while sobering, are truly a sight to see. The same goes for the World Trade Center Museum. Brilliantly and thoughtfully curated, it displays information, artifacts and history from the tragic day of September 11th, 2001.

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1WTC | Photo by Compass and Twine

Afterwards, make your way due North. Sunset is the perfect time to head 104 floors up to the 1 World Observatory Deck. The views are incredible and we challenge to you to see how many neighborhoods and sights you can spot from so high up in the sky.

6pm: When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie…

You can’t come to NYC without noshing on some of what the town’s famous for: pizza! Luckily Chef Mario Batali just opened another outpost of his beloved Italian-food mecca, Eataly Downtown. Pop into the market for some well-deserved pizza and vino.

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A delicious cheese spread at Eataly | Photo by Compass and Twine

8pm: Laugh Til It Hurts

You might be dragging a bit now, but you’re in the city that never sleeps, so we’ve got something planned to help you get a second wind because it’s time to enjoy the city’s nightlife. Head over to the Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village for the 9:30pm show. The hangout serves as a stage for tons of comedians and “SNL” folks practicing new material and you’ll spend the next few hours laughing until your cheeks hurt. It’s not uncommon for folks like Louis CK, Amy Schumer or Aziz Ansari to stop by unannounced.

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Comedy Cellar | Photo courtesy of Flickr CC: SnippyHolloW

11:30pm: Seek and you will find …a cocktail

Take a post-show cab to Chinatown and head to one of our favorite bars hiddenon Doyers Street. Search for a unassuming sign above door that reads Chemist. You’ll enter through a heavy, velvet drape into the dimly lit mixology bar that once served as an opium den. Keep the cocktails coming until they close at 2am!

2am: Late night munchies

Lucky for you, late-night grub is in the cards next and you’re in the best neighborhood for it. A couple blocks away, snag a table at Wo Hop. Beloved by famous chefs like David Chang, this late night eatery, set in a downstairs basement, serves some killer Cantonese fare.

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Delicious soup dumplings at Wo Hop | Photo by Compass and Twine

4am: The City That Never Sleeps

Sunrise in New York City is a magical time. For just a few minutes, it seems like the city goes quiet; people haven’t yet begun to stir. Take advantage of this solace, grab a cup of joe and take-in the sunrise from the East River.

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The Brooklyn Bridge | Photo by Compass and Twine

6am: Time for cardio

After all the last-night eating, you need to move a little! Head onto the Brooklyn Bridge, looking back at the skyline while the city comes alive. Usually packed with tourists, this time of day you’ll likely have the bridge all to yourself. It’s a lovely walk andyou’ll end up across the river in Brooklyn BridgePark.

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Walk the Brooklyn Bridge | Photo by Compass and Twine

8am: Bubby’s for breakfast

This TriBeCa standout is famous for two things: breakfast and pie. The friendly cow statues and ever-changing colored benches outside will beckon you in…if the smell of fresh baked breads and just-poured pancakes doesn’t get you first. Order a big breakfast to tide you over until the airport…and if you have room, a slice of pie just for good measure.

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Bubby’s | Photo by Compass and Twine

9am: Wash off the night

Before your flight, you’ll likely want to wash the grime off and there’s no better place than a secret spot in TriBeCa called Aire Ancient Baths. They open at 9am and for $77 bucks, you can use their steam rooms and aromatherapy baths. It’s a tranquil oasis that feels lightyears away from the chaos of rush hour outside.

From Central Park to the Brooklyn Bridge and cupcakes to Chinese food, you’ve definitely gotten a lay of the land here. Now, it’s time to head back to the airport. At Fulton Street downtown, take the A train to Howard Beach station, where you’ll transfer to the AirTrain. You’ve made it just in time for your flight and earned yourself a well-deserved nap.

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Tagged: New York

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Compass + Twine
Sarah Driggs and Lindsay Ridenour are the story-tellers behind the NYC-based luxury travel blog, Compass + Twine. Follow along on Instagram @compassandtwine as they unearth some of the best hotels and travel experiences around the globe. From scenic landscapes to local cafés, they reveal the true character of a destination, always highlighting the best place to stay on .

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