This February, together with my travel partners Click & Go, I’m launching my ‘Off the Beaten Track in NYC’ tour where I will be hosting a group trip to the Big Apple.
Visiting New York was at the top of my bucket list for as long as I can remember. Influenced by some of my favourite TV shows and movies, I always had this huge desire to go there. I just knew I was going to love it.
Not only was it as amazing as I invisioned, it exceeded every expectation I had. It’s the New York that waits for you away from the usual tourist spots that I fell head over heels in love with.
I love the real New York. The places where New Yorkers go for pizza and the the popups that only locals know about. I love the coffee shops in Dumbo and the speakeasys in Williamsburg, and the fact that New York is like one giant outdoor urban art gallery (if you know where to look).
I’ve made some wonderful friends in the city over the years, and when I decided to put this trip together they had a crucial part to play. I ran every idea past them and I made sure that everything I included would represent THEIR city.
I want this to be unlike any other packaged holiday that is out there – I want to take you guys off the beaten track and experience the real NYC.
Interested? Here’s everything you need to know.
What to expect
The trip will take you off the beaten track and give you a sense of the real New York. But don’t worry – you will still get to see plenty of the iconic sites along the way.
The group will be nice and small, there are 10 spaces available. There will be an option to join a WhatsApp group ahead of the trip for anyone who feels like getting to know the group before we leave.
Over 5 days, we are going to explore Manhattan as well as some funky areas in Brooklyn. There will be a mixture of organised tours with a local guide as well as some free time to explore.
You will receive a bespoke travel guide with lots of info on all the main tourist attractions, in case you want to squeeze in some extra exertions during your free time. It will also include info on the likes of using the subway, how to get to Sephora and many other NYC necessities!
Is it for me?
The trip is open to anyone over the age of 21.
I really want to encourage anyone who is interested in solo travel, to use this as an opportunity to dive in. You will have all the excitement of doing it by yourself, with the security of a group and guide for the entire trip.
Groups of friends are also welcome, so get in touch with your travel buddies and see if they fancy coming along.
For those who have visited New York before, this will be a great way to see the city from a different perspective and get to know it like a local.
Day 1 – February 1st 2020 – Travel day
Flying with Aer Lingus
Departing from Dublin at 10:55am
Arriving at JFK 1:45pm
Flight time: 7hours 50 minutes
Private transfer from JFK Airport to hotel
We’ll be staying at Pod 39.
I chose this hotel as it’s in a great location in Midtown Manhattan, it’s right between the Empire State Building and Grand Central Station, meaning we have lots of subway lines right on our door step.
It’s also super funky and has a gorgeous roof top area, perfect for chilling in the evenings.
Once everyone is checked in, we’ll take a couple of hours to settle in and then meet back up as a group for an early dinner.
We’ll start our first day by heading to an amazing little foodie place called OatMeals. As their name would suggest, they do a wide selection of delicious oatmeal dishes. We’re going to grab it to go and enjoy it in the iconic Washington Square park.
After breakfast we will take the subway towards the Brooklyn Bridge and walk across it – a rite of passage for any visitor to NYC. Once we reach the other side, we’re going to explore Brooklyn Pier. I’ll take you to the smallest beaches while we’re there.
For lunch we’re going to head to the other side of the borough, to an area called Greenpoint and do a pizza hop. some of the most amazing pizzerias can be found here and for anyone who is vegan there will be lots of options for you to try.
This area has been called a vintage lovers paradise, so we are going to spend a little bit of time shopping before heading back to Manhattan.
Tonight, we be taking a sunset cruise around Manhattan, which will include sailing past the Statue of Liberty. The city at night is so magical, and seeing it from the water is a real pinch me moment. I can’t wait to share that with you guys.
Today we will enjoy a full day tour of Manhattan with a talented local tour guide and great friend of mine. Greg lives in Brooklyn and has been a tour guide in NYC for 20 years – he is a waelth of NYC knowledge and I promise you are all going to love his tour.
During the day we’ll Learn all about NYCs history, urban culture, art and also get to see lots of famous TV and movie spots.
Today is going to be full of photo ops and we will also have a local New York photographer with us (don’t panic though, if you don’t want to be photographed that’s fine, just let me know in advance). For those who would like some beautiful candid shots of themselves in some of iconic spots around the city, the photos will be available for free afterwards.
We’ll finish the tour off in China Town, a part of the city I absolutely adore. We’ll enjoy some authentic Asian food for dinner – I recommend trying some dumplings!
Up nice and early today, for sunrise yoga in Central Park. This is one of my favourite tours that I have done in the city. You’ll get to learn about the history of the park and enjoy some light yoga along the way. This tour is suitable for all fitness levels and no yoga experience is necessary. Even if you’d like to come along and sit the yoga part out, that’s ok. You’ll still get to see loads of the park and enjoy it at a lovely time of the day.
After the tour we’ll head towards the Upper East Side, stopping at the famous MET steps along the way. We’ll enjoy an Upper East Side brunch and Ill take you to Sprinkles, home to some of NYCs most famous cupcakes.
Today you’ll have an afternoon to yourself to explore at your own pace. There will be lots of suggestions in your guide (maybe you would like to take this time to visit the Empire State Building? Or see the dinosaurs in the Natural History Museum?) or maybe you found somewhere online that you really want to check out.
We’ll meet back up again as a group in the evening and head to Brooklyn. We’re going to visit Champs Diner, for some traditional American diner food – with a twist!
After dinner Greg will be joining us for a street art tour of Williamsburg followed by a pub crawl around some of the funkiest bars in the neighbourhood.
Our last day in New York!!
Today some of you may wish to take the morning off, but for those who are happy to get up and explore, we are going to go ice skating at the Rockefeller centre!
We’ll continue to work up an appetite and walk the amazing highline Park together. This park is so unique, it’s an old railway line that was restored and transformed into a beautiful park that sits high above the streets. We can walk it all the way to the Chelsea food market where you will have a huge selection of places to get some lunch.
After lunch you can enjoy a few hours of down time, squeeze in that last bit of shopping or take one more stroll around Central Park, before we get picked up for the airport for our overnight flight.
We arrive back in Dublin at 8am Thursday morning and will say our goodbyes after what I hope will have been the trip of a lifetime.
Things to Know
- Max 10 spaces available on the tour
- There is an option to share a twin room with a fellow solo traveller (or friend), just like a normal hostel experience, or you can opt for a private room. If you choose the solo traveller sharing option, we will do our very best to find you the perfect roommate.
- All activities are subject to change, depending on weather and other factors. I will keep you in the loop along the way, so you’ll always know what to expect.
The New York Trip Includes
- 4 nights accommodation
- Return direct flights
- Transfers – airport/hotel
- Subway fees
- Photos from walking tour
- All tours and activities
The selling price based on 2 sharing a bunk pod will be €1,249pp
The selling price based on sole occupancy of a single pod would be €1,449pp
NOTE: This trip is subject to minimum numbers, booking deadline is November 22nd 2019.
Written with love,