My New York City Bucket List

By WanderlustStuff Founder Leesa Beeson

I've spent countless days in NYC - both on layovers with my job as a Flight Attendant and on many leisure trips. It's my favorite city in North America. I love the energy in New York City, you can actually feel it vibrating THROUGH you when you are there! Museums, shops, restaurants, Broadway - I can never get enough of everything the city has to offer. It's truly (as Alicia Keys sings): a "concrete jungle where dreams are made of"! 

In the hundreds of different days I have spent in the Big Apple - I'm passing on what I think is a solid bucket list for any trip to New York. Of course there's no way these could all be done in a single trip... BUT!  If you have never been, this list might be a great place to start. Hit me up if you ever have questions about places to eat, shop or stay - I have lots of recommendations. The photos were all taken by me. Enjoy! 

Must sees:  

  • Central Park - any season, its a must see. Hundreds of artists and musicians line the walkways, horse-drawn carriages take you past sights like the Boathouse restaurant or Tavern on the Green (PS eat at both if you get a chance - amazing!) Check out Strawberry Fields with dedication to John Lennon - its a moving sight, a sight of hope actually! 
  • Times Square - I mean, how can you not! 
  • Visit 9/11 Memorial and One Observatory (here is the view from the top!) 
  • Shop on 5th Avenue with a stop at the LOVE monument!
  • Catch a Broadway Show (I'm a broadway FANATIC, have been since I was 12 and saw Cats). I collect Broadway Music posters, some even signed by cast and crew! I've seen over 30 broadway shows to date. (Here with my 2 sisters and niece catching Mamma Mia right before it closed on Broadway for good!) 


  • Do the top of the Empire State Building or Rockefeller Center


  • Grand Central Terminal- must do! 
  • Museum of Modern Art - we sell their product if you didn't know that!
  • Walk the High Line - must do!  
  • Tour Radio City Music Hall - do the backstage pass and meet the rockettes. The day I did this show I watched an Americas Got Talent Rehearsal and learned about a wonderful music ensemble called Sons of Serendip. Their version of Duran Duran's "Ordinary World" that day was so beautiful and moving and now I am a huge fan. Check them out here:
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s - must do! 
  • Watch Shakespeare in Bryant Park
  •  Walk Greenwich Village and Soho for shopping
  • Visit the famous New York Public Library
  • Stay in an authentic Brownstone on Lexington Avenue with this as your patio view. True blue New York!
  • Sing BAD karaoke at Tonics Bar in Times Square and promptly leave

  • And of course, if you go over the Holiday season, go to the Rockefeller Christmas Tree! 
A few others I have done and recommend:
  • Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and explore Brooklyn - so worth it - true NYC! 
  • Catch a rehearsal of the Tonight Show- Jimmy Fallon - better than being in the audience for the actual show! 
  • Wall Street - feel the vibe! 
  • Statue of Liberty
  • Visit Governors Island
  • Watch a game at Yankee Stadium
  • Ride the State Island Ferry
  • Chelsea Food Market 
  • Get into a Speakeasy like "Please Don't Tell" 
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art

I hope these help in your NYC trip planning! I have lots of recommendations for hotels, restaurants and bars so please reach out.