New York City is too big and exhausting to tackle during one trip, but that doesn’t mean you should shun the Big Apple completely. We suggest picking a cool neighborhood within the city and then keeping it local. An ideal girlfriends’ getaway in Manhattan? Choose Chelsea on the West Side … it’s always chic and in the center of so many attractions. We’ve put together the perfect itinerary for a quick getaway to this perfect New York City pocket.
48 Hours in Chelsea
11 a.m.: Take an early flight and then stash your bags with the hotel concierge. Where to stay? There are two hotels you should check out: the new INNSIDE New York NoMad (132 West 27th St., New York 10001), with a hipster, European vibe, or the slightly pricier The NoMad Hotel (1170 Broadway and 28th Street, New York, NY 10001), which is located a couple of blocks over in a renovated Beaux-Arts building with dark, moody interiors on a bustling street.
12 p.m.: Explore The High Line, 1.45 miles of linear park built on a historic freight rail line — often elevated above the streets. It gives visitors a chance to see a birds’ eye view of the streets below as well as the Hudson River and condo-living built all along this popular destination. You’ll encounter wildflowers and artists, sun-bathers and coffee kiosks, Instagram-worthy public art and, of course, plenty of good people-watching. Visit the website to find the best point of entry for your location.
3 p.m.: Peruse the various art galleries along Chelsea’s side streets.
5 p.m.: Stop for a drink at The Highline Hotel (180 10th Ave., New York, NY 10011). If weather permits, its al fresco bistro, Alta Linea, offers a garden-type setting just off The High Line in an Italian-inspired setting.
7 p.m.: Back at INNSIDE, grab dinner at the hotel restaurant, Impero Caffe (put together by celebrity chef Scott Conant), which boasts a setting with both privacy and a vantage point to watch everyone coming and going.
9 p.m.: Get some sleep!
9 a.m.: Head to 28th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues to explore the Chelsea flower district (best seen in the morning). You’ll marvel at blocks and blocks of flower and plant wholesalers. Sidewalks might be lined with 6-foot-tall potted trees on one side, peonies and tulips on the other. It’s definitely a sight to behold, and you’ll see designers and event planners feverishly grabbing hundreds of dollars worth of blooms. Look for Bean & Bean Coffee to grab a bagel and a cup of Joe.
10 a.m.: The stunning new Whitney Museum of Art, a modern building perched on the Hudson River, showcases American art in an easy-to-maneuver setting (i.e. not as overwhelming as the Metropolitan Museum of Art), and a two-hour stop will be enough to feel culturally satisfied. Don’t miss the ongoing exhibits featuring artist Stuart Davis and “Human Interests: Portraits from the Whitney Collection,” which includes portraits by well-known artists such as Andy Warhol along with emerging artists.
12 p.m.: Nearby Chelsea Market (75 Ninth Ave., New York, NY 10011) houses dozens of trendy restaurants and shops in a former biscuit factory. The Lobster Place has all sorts of seafood stations for lobster rolls, sushi or shrimp salads, but be warned that you’ll probably need to grab your meal and eat standing up because of its popularity. Don’t miss: Artists & Fleas, now with a permanent location at Chelsea Market just off The High Line. This large, warehouse-y destination hosts all sorts of pop-up vendors … artisans and clothing makers, all one-of-a-kind. It’s where you’ll find the best things to bring home.
4 p.m.: A quick walk-through at the Fashion Institute of Technology’s free museum (Seventh Avenue at 27th Street, New York, NY 10001-5992) is entertaining and feels non-touristy. Their show, “Uniformity,” gives a perspective of how uniforms — whether in the army, McDonald’s or on airplanes — has evolved in regard to fashion and sometimes, in fact, influenced the fashion world.
7 p.m.: Grab a slice of pizza at a neighborhood café, then hop in a cab to nearby Times Square for a Broadway play. Recommended: “Waitress,” the multi-Tony-nominated show about a small-town waitress with a love for baking and a complicated love life. The music is by Sara Bareilles, so there’s that. For a Plan B, ABC Kitchen inside the stylish ABC Carpet & Home (35 E. 18th St., New York, NY 10003) has an all-white décor as a soothing antidote to the bustling New York streets.
10 p.m.: Back the hotel to unwind and get some rest.
Morning: Head to the airport to catch your flight home, reflecting on a fantastic weekend filled with culture, cuisine and fantastic company.
Curious about more great destinations? Check out our travel section and start planning your next getaway!