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Taking a bite out of the Big Apple – New York, New York!

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I’ve had family in New York for many years, but this is the first time I’ve actually spent a weekend in the city. All I can say is “Wow” – what an exciting, walk-able, delicious international metropolis! Where to begin?

Omni Berkshire Place - the perfect location

They say location is everything, and I discovered the Omni Berkshire Place has it all. Located on the Upper East Side in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, the Omni is steps away from Fifth Avenue, Rockefeller Center, Broadway Theatre and Times Square. Combing the latest technology with contemporary décor, this luxury hotel is like an oasis in the city. Staying at the Omni made our getaway convenient, relaxing and so much richer as we could walk everywhere and didn’t miss a thing.

Catering to families, the Omni has recently introduced a unique program for teens, with their interests at heart. “Teen Connect” is directed by Larissa Horn, who recommends activities they’ll love. “Whether it’s burgers at Shake Shack, Mom and Daughter Makeover at Bloomingdale’s or skateboarding through Central Park, I give them an insider’s look at activities, restaurants and attractions specifically for them,” says Horn. “They can text me, email, or chat via Twitter/Facebook. We’ve got great holiday shopping programs coming up.”
Teen Connect is also available at other Omni destinations. If you’ve got a teen in tow, this program will ensure everyone has a great time. For reservations, call 1-800-TheOmni or visit omnihotels.com.

Save with a City Pass from NYCGo!

Before you head out to see the sights, stop at the official NYC Information Center to buy your New York City Pass, which will save you money on popular attractions. There are four different passes for a variety of experiences. We opted for the New York CityPass, with entry to the Empire State Observatory, Top of the Rock, Guggenheim Museum and more. 820 Seventh Ave., nycgo.com.

Circling the Hudson River

As part of our New York CityPass, we took a glorious 90-minute boat ride along the Hudson with Circle Line Cruises. We sailed past the Statue of Liberty, the rising Freedom Tower, Wall Street and more. It’s a wonderful way to take in all of the city’s famous sights and see where you want to explore next.

Tastes of a Foodie Town

New York City is a gastronomic delight with every cuisine imaginable. Here are a few ideas. Ellen’s Stardust Diner features yummy diner food and a singing waitstaff in the heart of Times Square. We loved watching the soon-to-be-stars as well as authentic 1950s TV. We just had to return to Carnegie Deli with matzo balls the size of cantaloupes and corned beef sandwiches as tall as Freedom Tower. There was more than enough to tote back for a midnight snack. Tommy Bahama is a newbie to the Manhattan dining scene, offering a dazzling menu of fresh seafood and exotic drinks. Hunker down and eat, drink, shop!

Ground Zero – A Somber Reminder

No trip to NYC is complete without seeing the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. My daughter has been there three times, and says it’s always different as they continue building. While the outdoor monuments are complete, they’re still working on the adjacent museum. To me, the thundering waterfalls represent the towers falling and millions of tears shed. A free time reservation is recommended to get through the line faster. 911memorial.org.

More than a Weekend’s Worth of Fun

For theatre discounts, go to TKTS for same-day tickets to Broadway/Off Broadway shows. SideTour offers unique experiences like Unearthed Ghost Stories and Hidden Secrets of Central Park. Sidetour.com/nyc.
Want to see a free taping of popular TV shows? Request tickets in advance, but some shows offer standby tickets.
Loaded down with goodies from street vendors and stylish new duds, I got a taste of the Big Apple in just a New York minute!

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