In the city for a few hours or only one day? You’re not alone. Despite millions of tourists traveling to New York City for a weeklong trip each year, many people visit NYC and don’t require an overnight stay. I like to call them day-trippers. In fact, New York attracts daily visitors who trek to the city for an afternoon or perhaps one work day before they head back to Connecticut, Philadelphia, D.C., or Boston in the evening. Plus, some international travelers have long layovers, and who wants to spend eight hours in an airport? People come to NYC every day and look for places to kill time.
If you’re one of these day-trippers, you’ll need a spot to chill out between business meetings, or relax in the interim before you leave the city. I’ve come up with a list of convenient options where you can spend a few hours of free time when an overnight stay in a hotel isn’t on your radar.
David Rubinstein Atrium
This space in the Lincoln Center area of the Upper West offers free Wi-Fi, cafe tables for working or relaxing, and even a Wichcraft if your appetite calls. The atrium is a lovely space as well, and it’s convenient to the 1 subway line, so getting there is a breeze. Hours are 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. on weekends.
The New York Public Library
No one can deny the beauty of this stunning Beaux Arts building located alongside Bryant Park. The NYPL is a delightful place to return emails or relax for a few hours until your next appointment. NYC’s library is a quiet zone, though, so use it to escape the noisier places in midtown.
Madison Square Park
You can’t go to the Flatiron District and not visit this park. This outdoor gathering place for nearby office workers is located close to the N/R subway lines, as well as terrific shopping on Lower Fifth –– another awesome way to spend time (and money) –– and Eataly, a gigantic Italian food market with several restaurants on the premises. Even if you’re penniless and a meal at Eataly isn’t in your budget, Madison Square Park is in a beautiful location, and when the weather cooperates, a lovely spot to kill an hour or two. You can also grab a burger at Shake Shack, although be prepared to wait in line during lunch hours.
Way downtown near One World Trade, the atrium in this shopping mall is a sunny respite from the city, and an ideal place to chill out. You can browse the many designer boutiques, grab a delish meal in the food court, or just bask in the sun until your next appointment. It’s also steps from Battery Park and One World Trade.
All of the above are wonderful options for a short break, but if you need a space for a shower or nap, or place to prep for a client presentation, look no further than HotelsByDay. The easy-to-use app offers stays at three, four, and five-star hotels, some of which happen to be conveniently located in midtown.
Book a centrally located Manhattan hotel for a late morning, mid-day, or the afternoon. The Paul Hotel, Hotel Mela, Tryp Times Square, and 6 Columbus Circle are some of the choices in Manhattan. If you fly into JFK, LaGuardia, or Newark, you can stay at one of the nearby airport hotels if you have a long layover. Most hotels offer hours of 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and some offer stays as late as 5 p.m., giving you enough time to get some rest and board your next flight refreshed.
HotelsByDay is a no-brainer to use. Just download the free app on iTunes or Google Play. Select your hotel and pay for your stay on the app, but all transactions are charged by the hotel. Some hotels offer free cancellation up until 24 hours before your reservation, which is a bonus.
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