New York City 48 Hours: Your Ultimate Downtown Weekend
It may be the city that never sleeps, but you couldn’t do NYC in a weekend even if you went at it 50 hours straight. But pick a few adjoining neighborhoods to walk each day (yes, we walk here), and you’ll find the essence of New York will make itself known — in the right places.
Join us on a jaunt downtown and over the water, discover serious java, take up the legitimate sport of New York brunching, and score some enviable souvenirs. When the sun goes down, snag reservations at our favorite restaurants, and raise a craft cocktail glass.
With any luck, you may even catch a wink of sleep, should you choose.
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Friday: West Side
2PM: Matthew Marks Gallery
You’ve landed at your hotel. You want to get into it. Start all the way west, in Chelsea. Matthew Marks Gallery is a pioneer of the neighborhood’s famed arts scene.
After a quick dose of culture, you’re well placed to hit the High Line. Enter the elevated public park built on a historic rail line, at 26th Street and 10th Avenue.
3PM: Chelsea Market
Walk down the High Line to 14th Street, hopping off to check out Chelsea Market. If you have room, grab a nibble at one of the snack stalls — newbie Dizengoff hummus is a star standout. Pop into Artists & Fleas to browse local artist, vintage and designer wares.
You can take a stroll around the vibrant Meatpacking before hopping back on the High Line and heading south.
4PM: The Elk
The southern end of the High Line drops you by The Elk, putting you in the perfect spot to re-caffeinate, before exploring the West Village.
4:30PM: The New York Earth Room
For a quirky moment, head south from the West Village toward Soho, to a loft housing 280,000lbs of dark, rich actual soil — an installation paying homage to Soho’s historical, er, roots.
5PM: Pegu Club
A cocktail is in order after all that walking. Go next door from the Earth Room to Pegu Club, a plush lounge serving good drinks in the heart of Soho.
7PM: Charlie Bird
End the day with dinner at Charlie Bird. Reserve a table, or sit at the bar to savor well-picked wines coupled with good Italian American fare and the sound of old-school hip-hop.
Saturday: Shop the Squares
11AM: Gallow Green
Brunch is a big game in New York. Take it to the next level at this rooftop garden oasis, serving up a fixed price, weekend-only buffet, which includes limitless a.m. cocktails.
12:30PM: Doughnut Plant
Walk east on 23rd Street to Flatiron. On the way, check out Doughnut Plant, even if only to catch a glimpse of the oversized, sugar-filled concoctions.
1PM: Dover Street Market New York
Shopping is on the agenda today. Head north from Flatiron to Dover Street Market, a seven story concept store where fashion, art, and architecture collide.
2PM: ABC Carpet & Home
The next shopping stop is a 10 minute walk south, crossing Madison Square Park. Whether you’re in the market for housewares, unique jewelry, or internationally-inspired decor, ABC Carpet & Home is a treasure trove of quirky goods.
2:30PM: Breads Bakery
Just two blocks down on Union Square is the weekend farmer’s market. Of course, no stop to the square is complete without a taste of Breads’ beloved babka or chocolate rugelach. As their name implies, the loaves are all also lovely.
3PM: Stumptown Coffee Roasters
If caffeine is now a must, so is Stumptown, where fair trade, meticulously roasted beans arrive by way of Portland. Go sip your drink and people watch in Washington Square Park.
3:30PM: Opening Ceremony New York
Cruise Soho to your final shopping stop, Opening Ceremony, one of New York’s coolest boutiques, home to an ever-changing roster of designers adored by stylists.
After well-deserved rest, venture on to Noho. Narcissa serves California-inspired cuisine in a swanky setting. Old meets new around here: it’s worth a gander.
The East Village — where dive bars, dumpling counters and gastropubs coexist — makes the most sense at night. Close out the night at Berlin, a cool club-bar with live music, stiff drinks and downtown denizens.
Sunday: Deep Downtown
10AM: Russ & Daugthers
10:30AM: Black Seed Bagels
If lines at R&D are long, and benches outside scarce, take your order to go and pair it with hand-rolled, boiled bagels from nearby cult favorite, Black Seed.
11:30PM: Spoonbill & Sugartown Booksellers
After brunch, take the L across the East River to Williamsburg. You can pore over the books piled up at this indie literary darling on the main drag.
12PM: Sweet Chick
Stroll the ‘burg, this hipster haven of coffee shops and second hand stores. When you get hungry, try Sweet Chick’s indoor garden party. The signature fried chicken and waffles are a sweetly savory delight. Nurse your subsequent food coma at nearby McCarren Park to further those languid Sunday vibes.
5:30PM: Mission Chinese Food
Time to head back over the river to Chinatown to peruse fluorescent lit markets before an early supper. Chinese food is a Sunday staple; only this time, ditch takeout in favor of Mission’s inventive spin on fusion cuisine.
7PM: The Bennett
Before Sunday draws to a close, raise a glass to a weekend well spent (and traversed) at The Bennett in Tribeca. The area’s cobblestone streets, historic landmarks, and classic New York imagery serve as a fitting backdrop to the night, as they did in Scorcese’s film After Hours.
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Follow our travels and keep us in your pocket on your next adventure by downloading the Porter & Sail app. This is how we travel now. Download the app today!