Honeymoon travel guide to New York, New York

Oct 8, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. ET

In this series, Katie Goldstein from Travelingpanties and Smartypanties is breaking down the best honeymoon destinations, one at a time, to help you narrow down the dizzying array of options so you can choose the one that reflects your interests, budget and style. Up today? New York City.

Couple in NYC
Photo credit: Lauren Colchamiro for Flytographer


New York, New York

New York City is served by three airports: JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty. Visitors can take a yellow taxi (for a flat rate from JFK or for a metered fare from LaGuardia), car service, shuttle bus or public transit to get to Manhattan. Do not rent a car unless you plan to stay outside of the Metro area because street parking in Manhattan is virtually nonexistent and garages charge exorbitant prices.

Getting around Manhattan is easy, especially if you enjoy walking. One of the best ways to see the city is on foot. To get somewhere fast, the subway is an efficient mode of transport and a New York rite of passage. However, for those who aren't keen on venturing into the world of public transit, yellow taxis are easy to hail on the street.

About New York

New York, or the Big Apple, has something for just about everyone. Whether you're looking for cultural attractions, fine dining or even natural beauty, you will find an astonishing (and overwhelming) array of options! From Lady Liberty to the Empire State Building, there are enough landmarks to keep you busy forever. With a new restaurant opening every week, the challenge isn't finding a good option — it's narrowing down which one to choose. And the vibrant nightlife here has a scene for every crowd. New York City isn't called "the city that never sleeps" for nothing!

When to go

The most gorgeous time to experience New York is during the spring or fall. Temperatures are moderate and crowds are manageable.

You'll love it if

You enjoy the best museums, theaters and dining in the world!

Four Seasons New York
Photo credit: Four Seasons New York

Where to stay

Couples looking for a honeymoon-worthy hotel in New York will have no shortage of luxurious options, from romantic Old World hotels to trendy boutiques. Nearly every heavyweight in the luxury hotel industry has a property in New York. Since it's your honeymoon, we say go big or go home!

Perhaps the most iconic New York hotel is The Plaza, located on Fifth Avenue just below Central Park. This historic hotel is itself a New York icon. The rooms have been recently renovated and have been restored to their original grandeur, which is complemented by state-of-the-art technology. The hotel offers unparalleled service and sumptuous Beaux Arts decor. During your stay, you must experience the hotel's Champagne bar, tea time and gourmet Food Hall, as well as a cruise in the hotel's Rolls Royce Phantom (upon availability).

Another of our favorite spots is the Four Seasons New York, which is conveniently located in Midtown, in the heart of Manhattan's premier shopping district. The hotel's brilliant architecture was designed by I.M. Pei and it boasts incredible views of Central Park and the city's skyline. Guest rooms are spacious, feature modern amenities, fine hand-crafted furnishings and Florentine marble bathrooms, which have a deep-soaking tub that fills in 60 seconds flat! But perhaps its best offering of all is the Four Seasons' signature, award-winning service. Be sure to enjoy weekend "hangover" brunch in their acclaimed restaurant, The Garden, where they even have a fresh-pressed juice bar. At night (or in the afternoon — no judgment), stop into The Bar or Ty Lounge for an expertly mixed cocktail. Our favorite beverage is the specialty, the 100-Mile Cocktail, called the New York Gin Cream. Don't be surprised to find celebrities camped out at this hotel, enjoying a bit of reprieve from the city's hustle and bustle.

Other great hotel picks are Hôtel Plaza Athenee and the Mandarin Oriental.

Couple at Metropolitan Museum of Art
Photo credit: Lauren Colchamiro for Flytographer

What to do

For outdoorsy types

There is no better way to enjoy the great outdoors than with a stroll or bicycle ride through Central Park. Be sure to visit Sheep Meadow, the Conservatory Garden, The Reservoir and Strawberry Fields. For a romantic meal in the center of it all, pop into The Loeb Central Park Boathouse for a bite. If you're looking for something extremely romantic and over the top, treat yourselves to a horse-drawn carriage ride, complete with Champagne.

For culture seekers

No visit to New York is complete without taking in a Broadway musical. The hot tickets right now are Kinky Boots, Motown and Wicked. But these shows will cost ya! If you don't want to blow your entire budget, stop by TKTS for discounted tickets to many of the longer-running shows.

For foodies

Smorgasburg is a giant food market filled with tons of edible treats! It's a great way to sample several of New York's greatest delicacies in one place. It's even worth a trip to Brooklyn! If you don't feel like heading across the river, though, there is a small outpost in South Street Seaport, featuring a few good eats, too.

Union Square's world-famous Greenmarket is also a great stop if you're looking to tickle your taste buds.

History buffs

For those looking to visit some iconic NYC landmarks, the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock are all a good time. Check out CityPASS for a deal if you plan to go to all three!

A visit to Grand Central Station is also a must. While you're here, be sure to check out the famous celestial ceiling mural in the main concourse and then retire to either Campbell Apartment or the Oyster Bar for cocktails.

History lovers will also enjoy a visit to the American Museum of Natural History. Be sure to pop into the Planetarium for a Journey to the Stars (narrated by Whoopi Goldberg).

Note: Many museums are closed on Mondays, so plan accordingly.

For art connoisseurs

Art enthusiasts will revel in the vast collection of significant art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Lovers of modern art can't miss a trip to The Museum of Modern Art in midtown.

If you still can't get enough art, be sure to check out The Guggenheim, The Frick Museum and The Whitney Museum of Art.

For shoppers

If you're looking for trendy shops, be sure to take in a stroll around the West Village and SoHo. Take a walk down Broadway to Bloomingdale's, J.Crew, Forever 21 and Topshop. Then follow Christopher Street toward the West Village. Here you'll find fancy boutiques like Marc Jacobs, Olive and Bette and Intermix. When you're done here, head uptown and make your way over to Fifth Avenue to visit iconic department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and Henri Bendel.

For hopeless romantics

Enjoy a photo shoot with Flytographer. Tired of relying on selfies and strangers' photography skills to build your honeymoon album? Snag a local, professional photographer to capture all of your romantic moments in any area of the city you want. You'll walk away with professional shots and feeling like you and your husband are as adorable as ever!

For R&R

Indulge and unwind with your sweetie at Red Door Spa. Find renewal and unsurpassed service and sophistication at this state-of-the-art spa. Their facials are extraordinary. Extend your luxurious spa experience with their new Red Door Spa Professional products. Now you can take your new, glowing skin home with you!

Lucky in love

Treat yourself to Vegas-style gaming, dining and entertainment just outside of the city at Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut. Mohegan Sun offers a AAA Four-Diamond luxury hotel with plenty of class and elegance. The attractions and activities here are seemingly endless. If you're looking for big-name entertainment, you'll find everyone here from Beyoncé to Selena Gomez. You can also (of course) gamble in the casino, spend your winnings at the fabulous on-site shopping, (think, Dylan's Candy Bar, Sephora, Brookstone), lounge in its classy nightclub (VISTA lounge features the world's largest indoor planetarium), relax at its Elemis Spa, and eat your heart out at its many gourmet dining options like Bobby Flay's Bar Americain, Michael Jordan's Steakhouse or Todd English's Tuscany.

The MGM Grand at Foxwoods also features incredible dining options like Craftsteak, created by celebrity chef, Tom Colicchio, Alta Strada, created by award-winning chef, Michael Schlow and David Burke Prime by famed chef, David Burke. Foxwoods features incredible entertainment, hosting the best and brightest in music and comedy at the MGM Grand Theater. The nightlife is always bustling in the casino as well as its nightclubs like Shrine. During the summertime you can even party during the day with famous DJs and celebrity hosts at Liquid Sundays held at the hotel's 5,000 square-foot outdoor pool. When you're ready to relax, visit the hotel's incredibly luxurious, G Spa.

Night owls

We recommend a night out on the Lower East Side if you're looking to have a good time. Check out the Experimental Cocktail Club, which is both trendy and classy. If you're looking to go clubbing though, head to the Meatpacking District and take your pick.

If you're looking for something unique and a little spooky, take in a late-night show of Sleep No More.

Couple eating in NYC
Photo credit: Lauren Colchamiro for Flytographer

Where to eat

Hopeless romantics looking to experience one of the fanciest meals in the city must visit Per Se or Daniel.

For couples looking to experience New York's famous pizza, the options are overwhelming. Rubirosa offers both traditional and creative thin-crust pizzas, like the vodka pie featuring boozy tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. John's of Bleecker Street is a no-frills classic. Lucali also serves up fabulous pies if you don't mind trekking to Brooklyn.

New York is also home to many iconic steakhouses. To experience a slice of New York's history and visit the first restaurant in the country, we recommend a visit to Delmonico's steakhouse (the original location). Our other top picks for steak go to Sparks (traditionalist), BLT Prime (trendy) or Quality Meats (modern).

Brunch is an institution in New York. For locals, the perfect Sunday consists of an enormous meal, a couple mimosas and a walk through Central Park. Norma's at Le Parker Meridien is a bit pricey, but the portions are so huge you won't need another meal for the rest of the day. Runners up (also not far from Central Park) include Popover Café, ABV, Café Lalo and Barney Greengrass.

For a classic yet ever-popular Italian joint, be sure to reserve a table at Locanda Verde. Babbo and Il Buco Alimentari e Vineria are also standouts. However, if you're looking for the ultimate Italian dining experience, Del Posto is sure to blow you away.

For trendy Chinese dishes like Kung Pao pastrami, you can't go wrong at Mission Chinese Food.

For reliable seafood that won't disappoint, check out Catch (also home to one of the city's coolest nightclubs).

For classic, outstanding pub fare (and plenty of celebrities always stopping by) check out The Spotted Pig. Prepare to brave a long wait, though!

If you're looking for a bustling French bistro, head to either Benoit or Balthazar.

For the best sushi in the city, visit Sasabune, Sushi of Gari's Upper East Side location, Morimoto or Nobu, which is still going strong.

For the hottest ticket in Harlem, Red Rooster is cooking up some spectacular soul food. It's definitely worth the trip uptown.

To see and be seen, the socialites are often out at ABC Cocina and Carbone.

What to watch out for

Don't take the subway late at night. Only take yellow taxis.

More honeymoon advice

Honeymoon Guide to Miami, Florida
Honeymoon Guide to Buenos Aires
Honeymoon Guide to Paris