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The Perfect Morning In Manhattan (Fits Any New York City Itinerary)

When you only have time to take a small bite out of the Big Apple, we recommend spending the perfect morning In Manhattan! This is your ideal itinerary when you’re only spending one day in New York City, or taking a couple of hours for pleasure during your New York business trip.

Central Park – Rated One of The Best Things To Do In New York City

Our latest trip to New York City was to play and photograph a concert for Steven Adler of Guns N’ Roses. We only had a few hours before soundcheck, so we grabbed an early morning Uber ride to Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

The first stop of the morning was to get coffee. Although we would have loved to visit a local coffee shop like Abraco, or Black Fox Coffee co., grabbing a quick latte at one of the stands on Fifth Avenue was the best time-saver. With a coffee in hand it was finally time to explore Central Park.


Things to Know Before You Go

  • Wear Comfortable Shoes – If you plan on walking or biking in Central Park, packing comfortable shoes will ensure that you will be able to see all of the landmarks in the park and the rest of New York City.
  • Arrive Early – If you’re like us and want to make sure that you can take photos without a huge crowd in the background, get to Central Park early in the morning. Not only will the crowds consist of mostly locals on their morning walks, but the temperature will stay cool enough to explore for hours.
  • Plan Your Stops Ahead of Time– Because we only had a short amount of time to spend in Central Park, we did our research before arriving so that we could properly plan our route around the park. We recommend checking out the Central Park Conservancy for a full list of things to do.

Our Favorite Stops In Central Park

With over 840 acres to explore, Central Park is home to multiple iconic and instagrammable spots to stop and see on your morning stroll. Our favorite stops along the park trail are the Turtle Pond, Belvedere Castle, and the Greywacke Arch.

The Turtle Pond

South of the Great Lawn, Turtle Pond is a great place to stop and admire the city views in a designated quiet zone of Central Park. This two-acre body of water was created during the restoration of the Great Lawn in the 1990s. It features a natural shoreline and a wooden platform for viewing the prominent wildlife in the area. What did we see the most? We will let you guess that one!

Belvedere Castle

Just beyond the shores of Turtle Pond you can take a short walk up Vista Rock to one of the most iconic features in Central Park, Belvedere Castle. Located on the second highest natural point in the park, the views of The Great Lawn, The Ramble, and the New York Cityscape are breathtaking. It’s easy to see why the castle was named ”The Belvedere”, which means “beautiful view” in Italian.

Belvedere Castle was designed by Central Park co-designer Calvert Vaux and architect Jacob Wrey Mould and completed in 1872. Over the years, the functionality of the castle changed from an open-air lookout tower, to a weather station, and now a visiting center. Upon your visit you can enjoy the multiple terraces, a gift shop, and a fantastic place for a photo opportunity or two.

The Greywacke Arch

On your walk towards The Greywacke arch, you will see the Obelisk (Cleopatra’s Needle) towering close by on the Greywacke Knoll. This single 220-ton stone is carved out of granite from the quarries of Aswan in Egypt. Believe it or not, it was one of two obelisks commissioned by Pharaoh Thutmose III for the Temple of the Sun in Heliopolis. This museum piece is an excellent starting point for the rest of our plans on the perfect morning in Manhattan.

The Greywacke Arch towers over the pedestrian path connecting the Great Lawn with the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Can you guess where we are stopping next?) The distinctive pointed archway and ornate cast-iron railing is an excellent place to stop and grab a photo.

ProTip: Be patient and you will capture the perfect shot. You can also set up your phone and record a video instead. That way you have additional content and the chance to take screenshots of your favorite moments.

The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

After beating the early morning museum crowd by venturing nearby through Central Park, it was finally time to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met is often considered the best museum in New York City and it completely satisfied our creative hearts on our perfect morning in Manhattan.

With such an expansive collection of art from all over the world and ranging over 5,000 years, it’s hardly possible to see everything on your very first visit. So, there is no need to stress about trying to see it all. In fact, we recommend picking one or two of the Collection Areas and planning to solely visit those wings. That way you are able to see the most important pieces and the rest is a bonus!

Egypt in New York City

Our highlight from visiting The Metropolitan Museum of Art was visiting the Egyptian Art Collection. Out biggest bucket list trip is visiting egypt, so the 26,000 objects of artistic, historical, and cultural importance in this wing gave us a little taste of what Egypt will be like one day!

If you’re planning on taking the Egyptian route, the Temple of Dendur and The Sphinx of Hatshepsut are two pieces you do not want to miss. (And they are great photo opportunities)

Met’s Musical Instruments Gallery

Given our musical backgrounds and careerism the Museum’s collection of musical instruments really made our hearts sing! There are over five thousand examples of instruments dating from 300 B.C. to the present. Each instrument is chosen both as an art object, as well as the way it documents the history of music and performance. It’s easy to say we left the museum inspired to pick up our instruments of choice for our show later than evening.

The Perfect Morning In Manhattan

We hope you fall in love with Manhattan the way that we did. Let us know if you have any questions about our travels, music, or art. And if you’re looking for tips to travel better together with your parter, check out our full guide to Confident Couple Travel. 


Emma Jaye & Michael Thomas