My 18th Birthday Trip To New York

img_2705img_2709New York has to be one of the most amazing cities in the world, and being able to experience it, for the first time, to celebrate my 18th birthday, is something I will always remember. It’s way beyond anything you will have ever experienced before and anything that you thought it could possibly be. The only way I can truly describe it is that it’s so magical and honestly is the city that never ever sleeps. It’s constantly buzzing with people, shows, traffic and is the home of over 198 Starbucks. They’re literally everywhere you turn and are a true staple in every New Yorker’s day.

New York may only be 12 miles long, however it’s packed full of different streets and avenue’s; meaning there’s always something to see or do. One of the most iconic, but also the most busy and vibrant parts of the city, is Times Square. The place most well-known for towering skyline buildings and numerous digital advertising boards. It’s also home to a number of Broadway shows and if you’re looking to get a good bargain on a pair of tickets to see a show, then the large red step building, in the centre of Times Square, is a really great place to start. Personally, I found it a bit tacky and very focused on tourists, but it’s still a very iconic part of the big apple and somewhere that you definitely need to go and experience. We started our open top bus tour, from Times Square, and it really allowed you  be able to know more about the city, view it at a higher level and also learn more about each different part individually. So, I would really recommend doing that, as an essential part of the sightseeing section of your trip.

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Sightseeing was an essential part of our trip to New York and being able to see and experience everything that the city has to offer. The bus tour, which I mentioned previously, enabled us to go around the whole city, both Uptown and Downtown.

Downtown is the home to most of the iconic places, which New York is known for, and is the more financial and tourist side of the city. At the top of downtown is the likes of Times Square, Soho and home to the Empire State Building. We visited this separately and went up to the observation deck, to see the amazing views across New York. Not only is the art deco building so beautiful, but the chance to go up there really is once in a life time and the pictures you can take are unbelievable. Soho is the home to a beautiful variety of shops and the Kardashian sisters DASH clothing shop. Right at the bottom of downtown Manhattan is where Lady Liberty looks over the river and Brooklyn bridge, which we were able to get really close to on a Horn Blower boat trip that was included in our Big Bus Tour ticket. Again, being able to see her is quite a touching experience because she is such an iconic symbol for New York, as well as freedom and peace between the US and France.

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The top of the Rockafella centre was another one of the amazing observation decks that we visited in New York. The actual centre is a weird and wonderful combination of everything, from shops, to café’s, to restaurant’s and an observation deck, on one of their highest floors. We went on Saturday evening, just as the sun was setting, and it truly was one of the best experiences I had whilst I was there. You were able to see the whole of New York light up and it was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Each building has it’s own unique architecture and lights up in it’s own way. The dark blue and orange sunset also created the most gorgeous backdrop for the first photo’s of my holiday. This isn’t such a well known observation deck, however I would really recommend it, especially in the evening, when the sun’s setting.

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Of course there is also a wide variety of shops that run throughout New York, some that are available in the UK, such as Victoria Secret and Pandora, but also shops that are exclusive to the US, such as Bath and Body Works. If you like a good shop, especially a department store then you have to visit Macy’s. It’s 7/8 large floors full of clothing, accessories, makeup, home wear, and much more. So, make sure you bring plenty of dollars, as you will definitely need them. You can also get 10% off the price, or buy it without the added tax, if you take your passport to the information area. Bath and Body Works is also another really great shop to visit, if you love all this body and skincare. The products smell amazing and they come is so many gorgeous smelling scents. So, be warned as you may spend a lot of money and luggage allowance on their lovely body washes, soaps, candles and much more.

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Rachel x

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