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Empire State of Mind

Manhattan-Midtown East

This guide is a full day centered around Midtown exploring some of the biggest landmarks and several great spots to grab a bite and put your feet up. Brunch at a casual comfort food spot, the Empire State Building, New York Public Library, Bryant Park, afternoon snack at an Australian inspired cafe, a trip to MOMA, St. Patricks, and Radio City. Lastly enjoy dinner at an amazing Middle Eastern restaurant, Ilili.

Perry S.Perry S.

Perry  is a husband and Dad with a love for planning beautiful outings for family and  friends from New York to Nafplion. He loves shooting photos of the streets of the city and thinks Battery Park City remains one of the most underrated corners of Manhattan.

PenelopeRestaurants & Cafes
Comfort Food | Country-chic setting
(212) 481-3800website
159 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10016

Penelope's on Lexington is the perfect low key spot to enjoy a delicious casual brunch before a little sightseeing or shopping. With brunch dishes like Nutella French Toast and Biscuits and Gravy it's not a surprise this intimate neighborhood hot spot is always bustling

Empire State BuildingMuseums
Landmark | Iconic, art deco office tower from 1931 with exhibits & observatories on the 86th & 102nd floors
(212) 736-3100website
20 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001

After a nice brunch you will be just a 10 minute walk from the Empire State Building. It’s amazing building to see and the view from the observation decks are even more incredible. Soak up the history of the structure and the beautify of the city that can only be experienced from such heights.

The New York Public LibraryMuseums
Free Main branch of New York Public Library system
(917) 275-6975website
476 5th Ave, New York, NY 10018

The New York Public Library is a landmark in Midtown. There are always a number of interesting exhibits and events and the building itself is something to see. If you have the kids with you, be sure to stop at the Children’s Center. There are tons or programs and events for kids of all ages.

Bryant ParkParks
Public Park
Located between 5th and 6th Avenue and 41st and 42nd street

Although it’s not massive, Bryant Park is certainly a Midtown gem. It’s located directly next to the public library and is literally packed with activities and events. In addition to a number of full time restaurants and stands such Bryant Park Grill, Bryant Park Café, Wafels & Dinges, and Breads Bakery there are also a number of seasonal shops and vendors such as the Holiday shops that are open in the park from October - January, the ice skating rink in the winter, outdoor movies in the summer, and tons of classes and activities throughout the year. Check out their full event calendar here.

Bluestone Lane - Bryant ParkRestaurants & Cafes
Coffee Shop Relaxed cafe with outdoor seating
(718) 374-6858website
1114 6th Ave, New York, NY 10036

If you are looking for a little snack or pick-me-up around this time, checkout Bluestone Lane. It’s a chain of Australian inspired cafe’s that have popped up on the East Coast over the last few years. They have a delicious Avocado Toast and their Aussie Iced Latte (two shots of espresso poured over milk and a scoop of vanilla ice cream) is the perfect summer treat. It’s not a sit-down spot but there is seating in the plaza surrounding this location.

If you are looking for a sit down eatery checkout Maison Kayser on 40th street. It’s is a chain of french cafes and a great spot if you are looking for a mix of something tasty to eat, great coffee and maybe something sweet to top it off. Also on 40th street and noteworthy is the Lady M Cake Boutique for the sweet tooth in your life and Blue Bottle Coffee just a little further down the block toward 6th avenue for coffee snobs.

The Museum of Modern Art MOMAMuseums
Works from van Gogh to Warhol & beyond plus a sculpture garden, 2 cafes & The Modern restaurant.
(212) 708-9400website
11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019

MOMA is one of the most well known and rightfully so one of the most visited museums in New York City. In addition to the most famous pieces such as Van Gogh's The Starry Night, they always have terrific works on exhibit.

The Value of Good Design is on exhibit through June 2019 and New Order: Art and Technology in the Twenty-First Century is a gallery session through May 2019. You can see a full list of upcoming exhibits here.

Friday’s are a good / bad day to visit depending on how you weigh crowds vs. free stuff. The museum has free Friday nights but the lines form early and wrap around the block. Be warned.

St. Patrick's CathedralMuseums
Towering Neo-Gothic church from 1879 with twin spires & storied history opposite Rockefeller Center.
(212) 753-2261website
5th Ave, New York, NY 10022 (btwn 50th and 51st street)

St. Patricks Cathedral is directly across the street from Rockefeller Center and perfectly located on the walk back toward Radio City Music Hall from MOMA. Regardless of whether you are religious it is a sight to see and the closest thing New York has to classic European gothic style cathedrals. Worth visiting for sure.

Radio City Music HallTheatre
Circa-1932 art deco theater hosting the Christmas Spectacular with the Rockettes, concerts & more.
(212) 465-6741website
1260 6th Ave, New York, NY 10020

Radio City Music Hall is a landmark and an iconic entertainment venue on 6th Avenue. It's nicknamed the Showplace of the Nation and in addition to being the headquarters for the Rockettes, the precision dance company that hosts a popular holiday show it's an active venue with a wide variety of performances throughout the year.

ILILIRestaurants & Cafes
Creative Lebanese sharing plates, entrees & cocktails served up in a trendy, modern space.
(212) 683-2929website
236 5th Ave, New York, NY 10001

Ilili is in New York’s Flatiron District. The restaurant blends modern and traditional Lebanese cuisine. Executive Chef and Owner Philippe Massoud excellently crafts a melting pot of Lebanese, Levantine, Mediterranean inspired cuisine mixed with New York attitude. Flavorful herbs and spices combine textures to appease broad-based palates.

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