We were on a trip visiting the USA from Australia for a not-for-profit I was volunteering with in November of 2013. We had just one day in New York City. Crazy, huh? Most people take three days to a week, but here is what we did in just one day.

We were staying at a friends place somewhere around Guttenberg, NJ and caught the Ferry across to Manhattan. It was a brisk morning – there is definitely a cool breeze on the Hudson this time of year, but I’m told it is much nicer in the Summer.

Being my first trip to this city that never sleeps, I had Alicia Keys singing Empire State of Mind on repeat in my head.

There’s nothing you can’t do now you’re in new york!

And of course, I had to repeat it aloud for my travelling companions to enjoy.

After a quick stop at B&H Photo to pick up some film supplies for my movie making friends, we headed to the heart of Manhattan, Time Square.

Time Square

It was a great time of the year to be walking through the city. There was an air of festivity. Decorations were already out in preparation for Christmas and the Salvation Army collectors were ringing their bells.

Time Square in NYC

As with all things in America, Time Square is larger than life. As you’ve probably seen in the movies, there are TV screens and lit billboards everywhere. NYC Taxi Cabs buzzing by. I can’t imagine what it would be like standing here when the square is packed on New Year’s Eve as everyone waits with anticipation for the ball to drop.

From Time Square, we took a classic New York Cab down to Central Park. While cool, it was still a beautiful day to take a stroll through the park.

Central Park

The Autumn leaves had turned, there were a bunch of people ice skating and it seemed like everywhere you turned you saw something from a movie, including the renowned stone bridge. It was also a peaceful space to escape the hustle and bustle of 5th avenue just a short walk away.

Central Park leaves changing

Top of the Rock

We wrapped up our day in New York heading to the Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan. We paid the fee (about $40 today) to go to the Top of the Rock and get a 360 degree view of the city. It was breathtaking. To the North you can see Central Park and Upper Manhattan stretch out before you.

Looking North from the Top of The Rock.

To the immediate South, the Empire State Building and then…

Looking Toward The Statue of Liberty from the Top of The Rock

…way off in the distance in the glistening water of the Hudson Bay is the tiny silhouette of the Statue Of Liberty. This is definitely a great vantage point to take in the view of the cityscape.

When I go back…

We did as much as we could in one day. when I go back I hope to stay somewhere in Manhattan and hope to…

  • Ice skating in Central Park or at the Rockefeller Center
  • Ground Zero of the Fair Trade Center
  • Empire State Building
  • The Statue of Liberty

What do you recommend doing in NYC? Or if you are planning your trip, what do you want to do?