NYC Half Day Itinerary for Manhattan: Sightseeing -The Plaza

Half to Full Day Activities


Breakfast at The Plaza

9 AM - 10 AM: Begin your NYC half-day itinerary at the legendary Palm Court with exquisite breakfast plates and signature dishes. Relax, recharge and get ready to explore New York in the timeless and refined environment of New York City’s most beloved restaurant.

Cultural Immersion at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)/The Whitney

10:45 AM – Noon: New York City is one of the world’s cultural centers and is home to many acclaimed museums. One of these institutions is The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) located in Midtown Manhattan on 53rd Street, between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Founded in 1929, the MoMA is renowned for playing a major role in developing and collecting modernist art, and is often identified as the most influential museum of modern art in the world. The museum's collection offers amazing insight into modern and contemporary art, including works of architecture and design, drawings, painting, sculpture, photography, prints, illustrated books, film, and electronic media. The MoMA's library collection and archives contain over 300,000 books, periodicals, and artist books, as well as individual files on more than 70,000 artists. Visitors can also enjoy snacks and beverages at the Museum’s café or head over to MoMA’s Bar Room and The Modern for lunch. The Modern offers spectacular views of the MoMA’s Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. The Plaza’s concierge team can arrange private guided tours with advance notice.

The Whitney Museum of American Art is home to some of the most important collections of 20th century American art. The permanent collection contains more than 12,000 works of art from many renowned artists such as Alexander Calder, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Knox Martin, Keith Haring, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Edward Hopper. Private guided tours of The Whitney can be arranged by The Plaza’s concierge team with advance notice required.

Appreciation of Art, Architecture & Cuisine

Noon – 1 PM: Just steps away from the MoMA, is the landmarkLever House building, a structure designed in the form of the International Style modern architecture movement. The first glass-enclosed office tower on Park Avenue, The Lever House caused a stir in New York architecture circles. The building features a courtyard sculpture garden with works by the prominent Japanese-American artist and landscape architect, Isamu Noguchi and a renovated lobby/public space which is used as a rotating gallery to showcase exhibitions from modern and contemporary artists such as Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and Keith Haring. The Lever House Restaurant is designed by award-winning Australian designer Marc Newson, and features the talents of Chef Dan Silverman who has served stints at Bouley and Le Bernardin.

If you are looking for a “greener” view, why not pay a visit to The New York Botanical Garden? The Botanical Garden is one of the most prestigious in the United States and covers a massive 250 acres of Bronx Park. Home to some of the world's leading plant laboratories, The Botanical Garden was founded in 1891 and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1967. The Botanical Garden contains over 40 different gardens and plant collections including wetlands and acres of untouched oak trees, American beeches, cherry, birch and white ash trees, some more than 200 years old. The Garden is also home to a beautiful 1890s vintage, wrought-iron framed greenhouse and a Japanese rock garden.

The Plaza can also arrange guided tours for Rockefeller Center, home to NBC studios and one of the world’s largest auction houses, Christie’s. Built by the Rockefeller family, the building was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987. This massive complex is seen as an international symbol of modernist architectural style and contains many intriguing Art-Deco style architectural and artistic designs.

SoHo Chic & Chill

2 PM – 3:30 PM: Enjoy a leisurely stroll through SoHo while perusing the myriad of high-end boutiques and stores housed by cutting-edge designers. Celebrity sightings in SoHo are not uncommon so keep your eyes peeled or pop into celebrity haunts like Mercer Kitchen. Also, make sure you check out the Rem Koolhaas designed Prada flagship store; while stores like Jonathan Adler offer hip house wares and home décor. Many of the buildings in the area exhibit elegant cast-iron facades and are definitely worth a photo or two as keepsakes.

Amazing art galleries featuring established and up-and-coming artists can also be found in SoHo, such as the hip Deitch Projects Gallery and The Martin Lawrence Gallery which showcases fine art and works. A guide or private shopper can be arranged via The Plaza Concierge team if you are interested in making an art purchase or two.

Take a break during your SoHo jaunt and enjoy a fresh, delicious brew in one of SoHo’s many cute coffee shops and cafes. One such establishment, The Cupping Room Café offers a delightful retreat from the hustle and bustle of New York City’s streets where you can sit at a full coffee bar or in an intimate dining room with exposed brick walls and high ceilings. Located in the center of SoHo, The Cupping Room which opened in 1977, offers one of the most authentic and classic restaurant settings in New York.

If you’re craving sweet treats, try the Jacques Torres Chocolate Haven, a spacious “chocolate factory” opened by the renowned pastry chef and chocolate aficionado. You can even watch chocolate being made from cocoa beans!

Hit the Books at The New York Public Library

4:00 PM: If you have some time to spare, it is definitely worth it to stop by The New York Public Library even if you’re not a bookworm! The New York Public Library plays a significant role on a number of points: it is one of the world’s leading public libraries and is one of North America's most significant research libraries. The Library’s flagship building is also a National Historic Landmark and is located on Fifth Avenue running from 40th to 42nd Street in Manhattan. Private tours of 10 or more persons can be arranged with a month’s advance notice.

Close by is Grand Central Terminal, the historic train station which is the largest in the world by number of platforms. Beautiful architectural and historic finds abound in The Grand Central Terminal including the elaborately decorated astronomical ceiling in the Main Concourse. Grand Central is also home to fine dining restaurants like The Oyster Bar & Restaurant and Cipriani Dolci. The elegant bar and cocktail lounge The Campbell Apartment is also located in Grand Central. The Campbell Apartment was the former private office and salon of 1920s tycoon John W. Campbell. The Campbell Apartment is frequently cited as one of the “best bars in America.” Guided tours of Grand Central can be arranged by The Plaza’s Concierge team with advanced notice required.

Dine with the “in-crowd” at The Plaza Food Hall by Todd English

7:00 PM: The Plaza is home to an elegant European-inspired specialty Food Hall offering the finest fresh, prepared and gourmet foods. The project is the creation of chef and restaurateur Todd English, with design by renowned architect Jeffrey Beers, and is the first of its kind to open in a New York City hotel.  The Plaza Food Hall features eight distinct stations: The Ocean Grill & Oyster Bar, The Bakery, The Cheese & Charcuterie Counter, Tapas (The Wine Bar), The Grill, Pizza, The Dumpling Bar, and The Sushi Bar.

Coveted Seating & a Sip of the Bubbly at The Champagne Bar

9:00 PM: There are a few reasons why New York is called the “city that never sleeps” and The Champagne Bar is one of them! Connoisseurs will enjoy the wide selection of champagne at The Plaza’s elegant Champagne Bar.

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