Most of you already know that I live in Connecticut, in a suburb of the City That Never Sleeps. I feel blessed each and every time I’m able to venture into NYC, because I know it’s a luxury that most people don’t have. New York is one of my favorite places to spend a day – there’s always something good to do from exploring neighborhoods, museums, shops, and of course, restaurants to just hanging out and people watching.
Being such a huge proponent of self-care and lover of all things NYC, I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite places to combine the two. Hopefully these will be helpful to you as you plan your next visit to the city (come say hi!), or just provide you with some ideas for similar places to seek out in your own neck of the woods.
Laduree (Madison Ave.) – See those beautiful macarons up there? #eyecandy #actualcandy They’re from a French bakery and coffee/tea shop called Laduree, and it is a precious place to spend an hour in NYC. Aside from the delicious treats for the eyes and tastebuds, the French vibe will make you feel oh-so-fancy, and whether you venture to Laduree with your friends or by your lonesome, you will be sure to feel happier when you leave than when you first arrived. That’s a Self-Care Bestie guarantee. P.S. If you can’t get to NYC anytime soon, you can order many of Laduree’s baked goods through the mail! #godblesstheinternet
Central Park – Pretty general, right? Well, if you’ve ever been to Central Park, you know there’s just too many good things about it to be more specific. IMHO, there’s no excuse for coming to NYC and not spending at least a little bit of time in Central Park, doing whatever your heart desires. In reality, you could a week in Central Park and still not see it all! For those of you wishing I’d be a little more specific, I’ll say that Central Park is a great place to exercise (during daylight hours, please!) – jogging, walking, in-line skating, biking – take your pick! For a romantic lil’ self-care date, I recommend renting a rowboat on The Lake (yes, that’s what it’s called). For a fun family memory, the Central Park Zoo cannot be missed. For the most touristy self-care you can imagine, take a horse drawn carriage through the park #doitforthegram. Definitely wander around and see what you can see, but also be sure to get yourself a snack from a cart, find a bench and mindfully enjoy the changing views.
Alice’s Tea Cup – With multiple NYC locations, Alice’s Tea Cup is an amazing place to spend a morning or afternoon, either by yourself or with a Bestie or several. Traditional tea fare, served in a whimsical Alice in Wonderland themed cafe will warm you up and fill you up in the best ways imaginable. I spent a morning here with my BFF a few years ago, and we still talk about how amazing it was! If you’re looking for hygge in NYC, it doesn’t get much better than this!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art – This NYC institution is a place to visit over and over again! There are always amazing new exhibits to explore, and some of the most famous art in the world is housed here. Like Central Park, you could easily spend multiple days at the Met and still feel like there was more to see! One of my favorite spots in the Met for a bit of self-care is the Cantor Rooftop Garden Bar (0pen seasonally) where you get amazing views of the NYC skyline in a delightful garden setting, with a delightful beverage or snack of your choice. It’s relaxing, it’s fun, and it’s classy. #winning
North River Lobster Co. – A more recent addition to my favorite places for self-care in NYC, but definitely a winner! Especially if you are lobster obsessed, like I am! Even if you’re not, you’ll still have an amazing experience aboard this “boatstaurant,” open seasonally from April – October. Hop aboard at Pier 81 for a cruise down the Hudson River, affording you amazing views of the NYC Skyline and delicious seafood (and beverages!). I have been twice, once with a fun group of ladies, and once with my husband and our son – whoever you go with, you’ll have an amazing time. There’s just something about being out on the water that ups the self-care (and fun!) ante in my book. If you visit the North River Lobster Company, let me know what you think about it!
Battery Park – If you’re looking for a more low-key spot to hang than Central Park, I definitely recommend heading downtown to Battery Park. Each time I visit, I love just sitting at a table with lunch or a snack or bev and watching the boats go by on the Hudson. On a sunny spring day especially, Battery Park is an amazingly relaxing place to spend time. Much less crowded than it’s sister park to the north, Battery Park also boasts gardens, a sea glass carousel (so pretty and fun for kids of all ages!), and your access point to Lady Liberty.
The Skylark – Another fun place for views (and share-worthy photo ops)! The Skylark is a super-fun cocktail lounge in the heart of Manhattan with an especially amazing view of the Empire State Building. It’s hard to spend any time lounging at this height without feeling mesmerized and alive! It’s also hard not to belt out “Newwww York!” a la Alicia Keys. Or maybe that’s just me? 😉
Going to any Broadway play – I’m a HUGE fan of theater, especially musical theater, so this is the creme de la creme of self-care in NYC for me! When it comes right down to it, self-care is doing something you love that’s good for you. So if you hate musical theater (I guess we can still be friends!), you probably want to choose something else from the list – or figure out what makes you come alive and then do some of that. I guarantee you in New York City you can find what you’re looking for!
Le District – There’s a little something for everyone in Le District! Situated right across from One World Trade, Le District is a huge French themed shopping and dining destination that will have you ooohing and ahhing (or perhaps murmuring “ooh la la!”) at every turn. There are cafes serving everything from crepes and coffee to wine and cheese, shops where you can buy french candies, soaps, baked goods, etc. Finally, the far end of Le District is a sweet little grocery store where you can stock up on fresh foods, should you feel like a little health may be in order after making it through all the crepes, fromage, and macarons! But, I’m told Le District, like this site, is a judgment free zone, so feel free to just do you.
Well there it is, my friends! I hope you’ll tell me your favorite spot on my list, as well as share some of your own! It was so hard for me to narrow the choices down to fit in one post, so do tell me what I left out! And if you ever find yourself in NYC or Connecticut, your Self-Care Bestie would be happy to give you some more ideas and/or come hang out with you at Laduree. Just sayin.