Travel Thursday – New York City

I’m excited to share my first United States destination in my Travel Thursday blog series… ‘The Big Apple’ aka New York City! This is one of those cities that many people love or hate. But it is one of those places that is a must visit at least once in your lifetime. The architecture, Central Park, museums, Broadway shows, and so much more make it a cultural mecca.

For my fellow Winston-Salem natives, implant residents, or visitors, the R.J. Reynolds Building in downtown Winston was the design inspiration for the Empire State Building in NYC. Can you see the resemblance in the photos below? You can even stay in the lower levels of the Reynolds Building at the Kimpton Cardinal Hotel.

Reynolds Building Photos Above Courtesy Visit Winston-Salem

Things to Do in NYC

There is so much to do and see in New York City. Don’t let the skyscrapers overwhelm you! Here are some of my favorites.

Here are two stops I haven’t been to but are on my list!

Four NYC Tips from an Experienced Travel Agent at Astonishing Travel

I’m excited to continue including tips for the wonderful and experienced travel agent, Heidi Bocianowski, of Astonishing Travel, in this week’s Travel Thursday blog. She shares some great suggestions on how to save money on a New York City vacation!

1. Get Broadway tickets at half price. Yes, that’s right! The day of the show there is a booth right in Time Square that will sell tickets at half price. I’ve seen at least a dozen shows at half price by taking advantage of this. You have to be a little flexible with what you see. But we’ve seen top shows this way.

2. Get the NYC pass if you plan to visit many locations to save on entrance fees to some of the most popular things to see in NYC.

3. Ride the Staten Island Ferry. This is one of the best deals in NYC as it is FREE! No, there won’t be commentary telling you about what you’re seeing. But what you’re seeing is the Statue of Liberty up close and a fabulous view of the skyline. Enjoy this amazing boat trip and stay on and take it right back.

4. Take advantage of all the free things to see and do. There are always free concerts going on. Most lobbies will have magazines with the current week’s schedule of events. Some fun areas to walk around include South Street Seaport, Hudson Yards, Times Square, and Fifth Avenue. There are also free walking tours where the guides are working for tips that you can join. If you go during the Christmas season you can enjoy all the Christmas lights and decorations and watch the skaters at Rockefeller Plaza. However, I’d recommend visiting between Christmas and New Years unless you really want to experience what a crowded city is like!

Now that you’ve saved a little money you can splurge at lunch at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. This is such a fun experience with servers who will sing and dance for you. They are in New York hoping to get their break on Broadway and working at the restaurant until they do. On several trips there, we’ve heard them make an announcement about how it is this server’s last week and ask everyone to wish him or her well as they got a part in a show.

Learn more about Heidi and Astonishing Travel by visiting her website, Facebook page, or Instagram profile.

Ready to book a trip with her? Email her at or call her at 845-724-3824.

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