I am a city girl. Every chance to travel I get, I’ll always opt for city lights over starry nights. I’d much rather be pounding pavement, coffee sipping and people watching in a busy loud city than roughing it with wolves howling outside my tent.
Living just outside of DC makes it a quick trip to get away to my favorite city on the East Coast, New York City. Whether I travel by bus or train, in four (ish) short hours, I know the skyline of my favorite city will be just outside my window.
But if you’re a first time visitor to NYC, the city can be overwhelming. If you've planned a short trip, there's no time to waste! Make the most of your time; it's way more fun not getting lost.
Using public transportation is second nature to me because I take a bus and a train to work every day, but if the sight of all subway lines in NYC makes your eyes cross, the City Mapper app will save your life.
If you've ever gotten off at the wrong subway station or exited in the wrong direction and think you’ll never find your way to your destination, open up the City Mapper app and choose to walk to your destination.
Walking isn't always the fastest way to your destination, but the City Mapper app makes me giggle when it shows me that my walk will burn off .38 of a cupcake or .11 of a ramen burger. As if I needed more incentive to eat more cupcakes, or ice cream, or pizza in NYC?
It really is hard for me to pick my favorite thing about NYC, but the theatre is right near the top. I LOVE seeing shows and when I moved to the DC area, I can’t even put into words how excited I was that visiting the Kennedy Center was so easy.
The first time I visited NYC, I was told to spend time in line at TKTS in Times Square to buy theatre tickets at a good price. Ummm, no. That line was so long... spending any of my limited time in NYC line felt like I was wasting time. I had seen an ad for TodayTix on the subway so I downloaded the app and found a show at a time and price that worked for me. And picking up tickets is as easy as finding the person outside the theatre in a TodayTix top and signing for your tickets.
While visiting NYC, the best way to taste and experience all of the amazing food is to go out and find it. But sometimes the weather unexpectedly changes or you get a wicked cold and don’t feel like socializing.
During one of my visits, the weather turned frigid and began to rain, but I really really wanted meatballs from the Meatball Shop. I Googled the Meatball Shop and realized there wasn’t a location close to my hotel and quite frankly I just didn't want to be outdoors, but I had my mind made up – those meatballs had to be mine.
The Meatball Shop offered several delivery options and I chose the Caviar app. I chose Caviar because I noticed they also operated in DC which meant I could use the app when I returned home. And boy those spicy pork balls were so worth it! Don't let crappy weather or sickness prevent you from enjoying all of the delicious food that NYC offers. With no heavy coat or umbrella and quite frankly I just didn't want to be outdoors.
Additional Helpful Apps for A Trip to NYC:
Cups - the key to finding and supporting your city's best independent cafes. Save money & drink great local coffee with just your phone, no wallet needed. Also works in New York, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, and the state of Connecticut.
SitOrSquat - I spend a lot of time walking around NYC and having to stay hydrated means that sometimes I need to go to the bathroom. And running back to my hotel is generally not an option. This Charmin backed app helps you find clean public bathrooms near your location.
Do you have a favorite app you use in NYC? Tell us about it in the comments below.