6 Tips For a Girls Getaway in New York City

I must admit, I’m a little partial to a girls getaway in New York City. It truly has something for everyone – but I think it’s the most fun to explore NYC with a group of girlfriends!

The bars, the restaurants, the shopping, the shows: it’s all world-class in New York.

I’ve lived in NYC for the past three years and I’ve hosted plenty of out-of-towners and had “days of adventure” with my local friends.

Here are a few of my tried-and-true favorites for a girls getaway in New York City, whether you’re here for a day, a weekend or more.

1. Things to see in NYC on a girl’s getaway

Take a Circle Line cruise. This is my favorite way to introduce yourself to the city.

You sail right by the Statue of Liberty and get to see the skyline from the water, and they drop plenty of funny and interesting tidbits about the city.

Views from the Circle Line Cruise, New York City
Circle Line Cruise

And if you’re looking for the same gorgeous New York City views but absolutely none of the price, hop on the Staten Island Ferry.

It’s free, but you have to make sure to get right off and hop on the ferry coming back to Manhattan, or else you’ll be stranded at the not-very-fun-at-all Staten Island Ferry Terminal for longer than you’d like.

Staten Island Ferry, New York City
Staten Island Ferry views

Some of the world’s best museums are located in Manhattan, and although I do love a classy museum date with a girlfriend, you can spice it up with a hilarious Museum Hack tour – like the Badass Bitches Tour of the Met.

Museum Hack Tour, New York City
Tour guide on my Museum Hack Tour

The café on the terrace at MoMA is also a fantastic place for brunch (and Bloody Mary’s), and the Met roof garden café and martini bar is a beautiful place to have a summer cocktail after you’ve gotten your fill of art.

Roof Garden Café and Martini Bar - New York City
Roof Garden Café and Martini Bar

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and walk down the High Line. Both are free, iconic and have beautiful views.

What’s not to love about this NYC view?

Brooklyn Bridge, New York City

Head up to Top of the Rock for the most incredible view of the city, I prefer it to the Empire State Building and One World Observatory because a) you can see just how huge and beautiful Central Park is and b) it’s outside, so you don’t have to jostle to see outside of fingerprint-smudged windows.

Bonus: this is the best place for a group photo with the entire island of Manhattan for a backdrop!

Top of the Rock, New York City
Top of the Rock,

If you’re a fan of Sex and the City or Friends (or any of the other million movies set in NYC),  On Location tours are actually really fun and not too corny.

Check out the New York City Highline in this video

2. Where to Shop in New York on a girl’s getaway

When I need something – almost anything – I head to SoHo. There are all of the standard wonderful chain stores: JCrew, Madewell, Anthropologie, Club Monaco.

There’s also a huge Topshop and Bloomingdale’s, and a smattering of smaller boutiques and pop-up shops. And if you need a snack, pop into classy grocery store Dean & Deluca or grab a hot chocolate and baked good at the little Balthazar to-go store.

Bonus: SoHo is a great place to celebrity spot.

For the grand iconic shopping experience, stroll down Fifth Avenue. This is especially true during the Christmas season, but the windows at Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Lord & Taylor are always gorgeous.

The stores themselves are grand and expensive – and can be a little hoity-toity but still so glam to waltz through. And of course, you can’t miss Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany on Fifth Avenue, New York City

If you want to find something a little more original, head to Bedford Avenue (and surrounds) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Catbird and Mociun are funky, locally-owned jewelry shops, and A&G Merch has excellent home goods. Awoke and 10 Ft Single are great vintage options in the area.

Nearby, Artists & Fleas is an indoor market full of (you guessed it) artisan and vintage goods (there’s also a location in Chelsea Markets if you don’t make it to Brooklyn).

On Saturdays, Smorgasburg, a collection of the best food trucks in the city, sets up on the waterfront; on Sundays, the Brooklyn Flea features furniture, vintage clothing, collectibles, and antiques.

If you feel overwhelmed with organizing your NYC shopping tour on your own, why not jump on an organized shopping tour of New York City with your girlfriends.

3. Primp yourself on your girl’s getaway in New York City

One of the greatest things about New York City – there is a nail salon on every block.

It’s quick and convenient, pop in for a $8 manicure or a $20 pedicure and add on a $10 10-minute massage.

There are also a ton of Chinatown massage parlors that are perfect to pop into with a friend for a cheap (but oh so good) foot massage after a long day of walking.

For something a little more memorable, check out Beauty Bar: for $10 (and until 11pm), you can get a manicure AND a martini at this East Village hotspot.

If you want to splash out on a spa day, try Tribeca Beauty Spa. It’s not cheap, but it’s home of the best facial in New York City and there’s a fancy sauna in the basement where you can relax before and after treatments.

4. Where to Eat & Drink on your girl’s getaway in NYC

Chelsea Market is your go-to spot to find something for everyone and it’s all really, really delicious.

The Tippler is a great little bar tucked away beneath the market that’s the perfect place to rest and recharge after walking the High Line.

230 Fifth is a rooftop bar in the shadow of the Empire State Building – it’s best on long summer evenings, but it’s also mostly enclosed and heated on winter nights. 

230Fifth views New York City
views from 230 Fifth

The home of “I’ll have what she’s having,” Katz’s is definitely a touristy spot but for good reason. The pastrami sandwich is as good as it gets.

Katz's Delicatessen, New York City
Katz’s Deli

You’re in the Big Apple, you have to eat a bagel! Pop by Black Seed Bagels for some creative hand-rolled, wood-fired options.

Black Seed Bagels, New York City
Black Seed Bagels

Shake Shack is expanding like crazy and for good reason: those crinkle cut fries! Those frozen custards! It’s enough to make a California girl turn her back on In & Out, and that’s really saying something.

The original location in Madison Square Park is still my favorite, but the burgers are just as good at the locations popping up in Brooklyn, the Upper West Side, and beyond.

Shake Shack, New York City
Shake Shack

Buvette is a gem in the West Village that is just as good for breakfast (the granola with fresh berries!) as it is for cocktails as it is for dinner. Extra Virgin and Jack’s Wife Freda are other favorites among my friends for brunch and/or dinner.

Buvette, New York City
Buvette

The mezze feast for brunch at Glasserie is as delicious as it is trendy: it’s perfect to share with a group of girlfriends as you soak up all that hipster ambiance.

Glasserie Brunch, New York City
Glasserie Brunch

And if you want to spoil a sweet tooth, try the ice cream at Morgenstern’s.

Morgenstern’s, New York City
Morgenstern’s

5. Splurge in New York City with your girlfriends

Located on the seventh floor with sweeping views of Central Park, high tea at Bergdorf Goodman is as much about the ambiance as the food itself. It’s so fancy, but such a fun thing to do for a girls getaway in New York City.

Sleep No More is an interactive play that’s truly an immersive experience. Don’t miss having a drink at Gallow on the Green beforehand, especially when the weather is good.

And, of course, this is the home of Broadway and Lincoln Center: you can’t go wrong with a show or a night at the ballet. Use TodayTix to get the best last-minute deals!

A night at the ballet in New York City
a night at the ballet

6. Where to stay in New York City on a girl’s getaway

If you have a group rent an AirBnb as hotel prices in Manhattan are insane and the rooms are TINY.

It’s also a great opportunity to explore a local neighborhood. Ask your host for recommendations on their favorite nearby bagel shop, dive bar, nail salon.

Staying in an area like West Village will be ritzy but also convenient for your girls getaway in New York City – think Carrie Bradshaw brownstones, and all of the best restaurants on your block.

But you can also head uptown to the Upper West Side or into Brooklyn for a more laid-back vibe that also might be more affordable.

And if you do decide to stay in a hotel, don’t stay in Midtown, no matter how convenient it seems! Although it’s where many of the typical touristy spots are located – Empire State Building, Times Square, Grand Central Station, – it’s mostly skyscrapers and office buildings.

Instead, opt for a neighborhood like the Lower East Side or SoHo – there will be heaps more nightlife, restaurants, and shopping options.


Plan Your Trip to NYC

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Have you had a girls getaway in New York City? Or are you currently planning a trip to NYC? Share any tips or questions in the comments below!