The Ultimate Solo Travel Woman Experience in NYC
I was fortunate enough to live in NYC from 2008 – 2021. I was in my 20’s and living in the most exciting, accessible, and cultural cities in the world. When I moved there, I was alone. I was a solo female in New York. Of course that meant I learned a thing or two about how one can have The Ultimate Solo Travel Woman Experience in NYC.
If it is your first time in New York City, it can feel very overwhelming. There is so much to see and do, and you are probably wondering “where do I start?” or “how can I do it all in my short stay?”. I lived there for over a decade and I can honestly say, I still never saw it all. From the landmarks to hidden gems, there is just far too much. But, do not worry – I have curated a list of amazing sites and experiences to give you the ultimate solo travel woman experience in NYC.
The Rock vs. Empire State
I will always choose Top of the Rock over Empire State. Why? Because the Empire State is one of those picture perfect landmarks in NYC and from the Top of the Rock you can see it. Get your tickets in advance here and if around Christmas time, come early. The most Instagram worth tree – Rockefeller Tree – is right outside.
Walk Through Grand Central
Possibly one of my favorite landmarks in NYC is Grand Central Station. From the Architecture to the delicious Oyster Bar, you could get lost in Grand Central for hours. Don’t forget to take in a view of the Celestial ceiling which funny enough is backwards, west is east and east is west. Vanderbilt claims that the mural was meant to show what it would like from heaven vs. earth. Also, head way down to the lower concourse and find yourself under 4 archways known as the “Whispering Arch”. This hidden gem is where if you stand at an opposite end of the underpass as someone else and one of you speaks towards the wall at a normal volume, the other person can hear you perfectly even though you are a good 10 meters away.
Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge
New York City is more than just Manhattan so, don’t forget to spend some time in it’s beautiful borough of Brooklyn. One of my favorite ways to get there is by taking a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge. The bridge is just over 1 mile long and well, sunset is by far the best time to trek across. It can get a bit chilly since you are over the water and don’t forget to grab some carved mango from one of the few vendors located on the bridge.
Live the High Life on the High Line
One of NYC’s coolest parks is the High Line. Built on an old, elevated rail line the park is home to art exhibits, performances, delicious food vendors and more. Typically open from 7am – 10pm, you can leisurely stroll through or take a guided tour that includes a tour of Hudson Yards. Once of my favorite things is to visit the many free photo galleries in Chelsea near the Highline!
Skip the Statue Of Liberty Boat and Take the Staten Island Ferry
What is FREE and has the best views of the Statue of Liberty? The Staten Island Ferry! Unless you’re looking to visit Ellis Island and explore that area, getting the best photos of Lady Liberty herself can be taken from the Staten Island Ferry.
Visit Stonewall Inn
For my LGBTQ+ loves and allies, a visit to the historic Stonewall Inn is a must. Not only did I get the honor of singing on the stage there but, it is also the site of the world famous Stonewall Riots in 1969. The riots are considered the event that transformed the gay liberation movement and the 20th century fight for LGBT rights in the US.
People Watch in Central Park
I absolutely LOVE people watching. Seeing how locals go about their day, how people interact with one another, etc. Grab a blanket, a delicious Bodega sandwich and make your way over the Great Lawn, located mid-park from 79th – 85th streets. But, get there early. In the warmer months it gets packed.
Visit One Of The Many Independent Book Stores
The Drama Book Shop on W 39th just so happens to be my favorite! The perfect place to grab a book before heading to the park for some people watching.
Take a Manhattan Brunch Cruise
Treat yourself to Brunch in style during a leisurely cruise around Manhattan with an included 4-coure meal! On the cruise you will see Ellis Island, The Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and much more. Just cause you are solo, doesn’t mean you can’t dine in style. Book here.
Visit Coney Island
Another hot spot on the list is making the trip out to Coney Island. The beach and amusement park may not be open year round but, if you are visiting in summer – this is a must do. Coney Island is known for it’s eclectic boardwalk, amusement park, freak shows and of course Nathan’s Hotdogs. Visiting around the 4th of July, take in the famous hot dog eating competition.
Baseball, Football & Basketball – Oh My!
If you are a sports fan, there is something for you no matter the time of year you visit! We have 2 MLB teams – The NY Yankees and NY Mets, 2 Basketball teams – NY Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, 2 Football teams – NY Giants and NY Jets (although they are in NJ) and the NY Rangers hockey team.
Museums On-top of Museums
NYC is also known for its many world famous museums from the Guggenheim to the National History Museum, from Art and Fashion to History there is something for everyone. Which will you get lost in?
Walk through the historic streets of Little Italy. Where old world vibes still live on today. Try a cannoli at Ferrara Bakery, pizza at Lombardi’s and dance in the streets during the Feast of San Gennaro. Check out some of Little Italy’s secrets.
Have a Drink at One of NYCs Many Speakeasys
The Prohibition was no match for NYC and we know this from all the amazing speakeasys we have throughout the city. From the famous Crif Dogs to Bo Peep – every corner has a hidden gem of a bar. Not interested in scoping them out? Go on one of NYCs Speakeasy Tours.
Now this list barely scratches the surface of the amazing things New York City has to offer but, it will give you one of the best vacations ever!!!
WHAT TO PACK
NYC has all 4 seasons – from bitter cold winters to balmy, humid summers. If you plan on visiting here are some must haves no matter the season.
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Weather appropriate/layered attire – I opt for a more black/gray/white palate so I can mix and match
- Camera with extra batteries
- Refillable water bottle
- Weather appropriate jacket – even in the summer bring a light jacket/cardigan for chilly nights
- Copy of your passport/ID + a safety stash of cash
- Citymapper – to help navigate the subway system or HopStop for real time subway schedules
- Tourlina – to meet up with other female travelers in the city – use code SARA50 for 50% off a 1-year subscription
- Sit or Squat – to find public restrooms
- Open Table – to make dinner reservations
- Today Tix – for the best prices on theater tickets
- Soothe– massage on demand after a long day of site-seeing