We were really looking forward to spending a day in New York City as tourists. Even though we travel full time, we both have full-time jobs that require us to be present during specific hours of the day and thus, we are often limited in what we can do when we only have a week in one location. Luckily, we had a full day on the weekend where we got to explore the city as much as our feet could take. Hayden has previously lived in NYC, so there were some specific things she had never gotten to do as a resident, but we were able to accomplish as tourists!
Ellis Island / Statue of Liberty
We were staying at Liberty Harbor RV Park in Jersey City, which was walking distance from where we could board the ferry to take us to both Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Ellis Island has a gorgeous building that is absolutely packed with history and knowledge. We could have easily spent an entire day there going through all of the exhibits and researching potential family members who may have come through there. Because we had so much planned, we just did the history of America and spent a little bit of time on the computers with the passenger search.
After our time at Ellis Island, we hopped back on the ferry and took it over to the Statue of Liberty. We did a quick walk around the base of the statue, but didn’t actually go up to the pedestal and didn’t want to wait for the only time you could go up to the top so we took our photos, hopped back on the ferry, and headed into the city.
Hayden was wanting to check out Wall Street to see if the “Fearless Girl” statue was still in front of the “Charging Bull” and sure enough, she is. One thing is for sure, that area around the two statues is absolutely crawling with tourists trying to squeeze in and get a photo with either of the statues so we grabbed a couple of quick photos and got out of there as fast as we could. Plus, there was some skateboarding race happening right there, so it was a complete zoo. We also checked out the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall buildings as well. We came across the Trump tower and made sure we showed it exactly how we feel about our Cheeto ‘President’. After all of the walking around we had done, we started to get hungry and searched out a quick grab and go restaurant to grab some food at Terri.
Trinity Church / Hamilton’s Grave
Since we had just seen Hamilton (which was fabulous!) earlier in the week, we wanted to head over to Trinity Church and see where he was buried. The church is absolutely gorgeous and stands out next to all the modern buildings. We walked around, checking out all of the gravestones and of course, saw Alexander’s burial site with his wife.
World Trade Center Memorial
Anyone who is old enough to remember 9/11 can inevitably tell you exactly what they were doing when they heard the news that the World Trade Center towers were coming down. It was such a defining moment for America and for our generation, that we wanted to pay our respects at the World Trade Center Memorial. The memorial itself is beautiful, consisting of all of the names of those lost during the tragedy surrounding two waterfall pools for the two towers. It’s definitely a beautiful memorial honoring all of the people lost during that horrific tragedy.
One of the things Hayden has always wanted to do is to walk along the Brooklyn Bridge. We didn’t want to go all the way across as we knew we were going to have to walk all the way back, so we elected to go to the halfway point. Like most things in New York, there were legions of people who also wanted to walk across the bridge on such a gorgeous day, so it felt a little bit like we were being herded across. The best part of the walk was when we got back to where we started and found a group of awesome ladies who call themselves the Raging Grannies who were singing songs about things like energy efficiency. Definitely one of the highlights of our day!
Grand Central Station
From the Brooklyn Bridge, we hopped on the subway and headed up to Grand Central Station. Aaron was really looking forward to it, as he had seen it several times in movies. It really is as incredible in person as it looks in the movies! There is a massive sea of people crisscrossing from all of the different terminals as they make their way to their next destination. We even watched a newlywed couple in their wedding attire taking photos on the iconic staircases.
We had actually already gone to Times Square the night we saw Hamilton on Broadway, but we wanted to come back and see what it was like during the day. Both settings offer a somewhat different and unique experience. If you’re there during the day, the billboards aren’t quite as impressive, but there are quite a few street performers hustling for your entertainment. Obviously, if you’re there at night, the displays are incredible and vibrant.
By the end of the day, we only ended up hitting about half of what we had set out to see, including the High Line, the MET, Central Park, etc, but our feet were killing us and we were worn out so we decided to grab some dinner and headed back to our RV. We’ll be coming back through New York City in the future and can’t wait to check out more of the city! Leave us a comment below to tell us some of your favorite NYC spots.