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I haven't been everywhere yet,

but it's on my list!

  • Writer's pictureDeborah Latham

A Solo Adventure: Making the Most of One Day in New York City

I went on a solo adventure to Egypt before Thanksgiving. I know, I know...I'm really late blogging my trips! Life is busy, what can I say? My plane left from JFK at noon on a Wednesday.  Because it takes two flights to get from Tennessee to JFK, I decided when planning this trip that I should fly into New York City a day early in case of any unforeseen delays or flight cancellations. Better to be safe than sorry!



I arrived in New York City at 9:10 am, a full 20 minutes before scheduled.  Getting an Uber to my hotel was easy but not cheap! I am an Uber driver in Knoxville, Tennessee, and I could not believe how expensive it was in NYC! An hour and a half (just 20 miles) later, I arrived at the Kimpton Thea Hotel in the Theatre District. I was just a short walk to Times Square and to my scheduled Broadway show that evening. Of course, when I arrived at the hotel at 11am, my room was not ready yet. But, they assured me my bags would be safely locked in a room with multiple cameras, and I was good to go explore the city.



Being a woman traveling alone, I was a little apprehensive about being in a huge city on foot not really knowing where I wanted to go. Besides that, 47 degrees outside is cold for a Tennessee girl headed to a warm climate! I did NOT have the proper attire for a cold day in The Big Apple! I was wishing I had one of those heater jackets I've seen on Amazon. The concierge at the hotel recommended a hop on hop off tour bus to see as much of the city as possible in the short amount of time I had.  Thankfully, the tour buses were just a short block from the hotel. I started with the uptown tour. Sitting on top of a bus in the open air was challenging with the cold wind, but I wanted to see everything clearly so decided to brave it, and was glad I did! Central Park looked beautiful, and I wished I had more time to really explore it. The headsets provided me with information on the different neighborhoods and buildings we passed. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the city this way as there is no way I could've walked that much of the city by myself in the cold!



After the uptown tour, I checked into my hotel before braving the cold again to do the downtown tour! The Kimpton Hotel Theo was a lovely boutique hotel just 4 blocks from Times Square and the Theatre and 3 blocks from Rockefeller Center. My room was very comfortable and well equipped, and had a decent view of the towering buildings around me.



I grabbed a cup of coffee at the corner store and walked to Times Square to brave the bus again! It seemed that the day just got colder and colder. I made it almost to the end of the tour before having to move onto the lower deck of the bus inside the warmth. The city was overwhelmingly busy, but so beautiful. Times Square gave me sensory overload. Such a vibrant part of the city. As we drove along the streets, I fell in love with the old architecture mixed with the new. I believe the Woolworth building was my favorite. We got a beautiful view of the Brooklyn Bridge and Empire State Building, and passed by Ground Zero on this side of the city. It was close to dark when I finished the tour. I was shivering so badly my teeth were chattering. I ducked into a little Irish pub for a hot tea and French onion soup before going back the hotel to get ready for my evening at the theatre.



I enjoyed a scalding hot shower to warm up before I set off again to see a Broadway play. I had chosen Moulin Rouge in the Al Hirschfeld Theatre and bought tickets a few months before the trip. It was only a few blocks from the hotel, but it was dark, and I am a little directionally challenged, so I opted to take an Uber to the theatre. I absolutely love old theaters and the magical feeling you get when you walk in the doors and see the lavish decor. I easily found my seat, and settled in to enjoy the show. I was not disappointed! I loved every minute of it! After the show was over, I realized getting an Uber back to the hotel was going to be very expensive and take forever so opted to keep my head down and make my way back to the hotel on foot as quickly as possible. Did I mention, I am a small town girl? I know New York is full of amazing night life and great restaurants, but I was alone and needed to get some rest anyway, so I decided not to venture out at night alone! I had to be at the airport by 8 a.m. the following day, and I knew it was at least an hour or more to the airport from the hotel. I could have chosen a hotel closer to the airport, however, I wanted to experience as much of Manhattan as I could in the short amount of time I had.



Overall, I had a wonderful time on my one day in New York City! I never thought solo travel would be for me, but I don't mind it occasionally! I want to go back to New York City for a few days and truly experience all it has to offer.

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