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48 Hours in NYC: Food, Museums and More

By September 18, 2018February 3rd, 20192 Comments

Having only 48 hours in NYC can be a tease. With so much fun, food and culture at your fingertips, how can you choose what to do with so little time? I spent a recent weekend in New York with my boyfriend and friends; making the most of our quick weekend reunion in the city. I stayed in his Brooklyn apartment in Cobble Hill, and Manhattan was easily accessible by the F and G subway line. Our friends stayed in the Upper West Side, and we met up with them to hang out and explore Manhattan. Here’s a guide to making the most of your time in the city that never sleeps–warning, it involves little sleep!

Have the little ones in tow? Here’s a kid-friendly guide to NYC to check out too!

Smorgasburg food festival

A matcha drink stand at Smorgasburg, Williamsburg in NYC, was one of the spots we tried during our 48 hours in NYC>

Spend your 48 hours in NYC at Smorgasburg, the outdoor food festival in Williamsburg. Choose from plenty of food and drink options, like matcha lattes.


An absolute must for a summer weekend in the city, spend your 48 hours in NYC at Williamsburg’s outdoor food festival, offering endless food and drink options. We tried a matcha drink, lemonade, and even a mac and cheese donut. Although we didn’t have full meals, you could definitely find any kind of food or beverage that you have your sights set on. Almost as unique as the food, the festival offers unbeatable views of the water and is in a bustling and hip area of Brooklyn that you’ll want to explore after. Not going to be in Williamsburg? Smorgasburg is also held in Prospect Park in Brooklyn on Sundays in the summer.

Hang out in DUMBO

After spending a day in Williamsburg, take a ferry on over to DUMBO, or Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. There, you can go for a walk in Brooklyn Bridge Park, look out at the water, and relax. Or, go for a bike ride on the Greenway, with designated biking lanes and beautiful views. After burning off some energy, grab a delicious lunch or brunch outside at Sugarcane and take in the view. Try the “fat boy” hash with eggs, bacon, jam and hash browns.

Walk the Brooklyn Bridge and the High Line

My friend and I pose for a photo on The High Line in NYC, a touristy destination yet must see as part of your 48 hours in NYC.

There are plenty of places to stop along The High Line for a photo-op.


Once you’re all relaxed and are ready for some exercise, it’s time to walk! From DUMBO, you’re able to walk on the Brooklyn Bridge over to Manhattan–about a 30-minute walk, depending on how busy it is. On a weekend, it will definitely be busy, with both bikers and walkers struggling to stay in their lanes. Then, when you feel like another scenic and popular walk, stroll along the High Line. Once a railroad track, it is now an elevated path overlooking the city with plants, seating areas, and even food and drink vendors.

Have a museum day

Unfortunately, the weather might not be the best during your 48 hours in NYC. On a rainy afternoon we experienced, we decided to head to a museum. The Museum of Natural History allows pay-what-you-wish admission when you get your ticket at the counter. General admission, also the suggested amount, is $23 for adults and $18 for students. There are various exhibitions that delve into human origins, earth and space, and more. You can certainly spend a while in there, but there are also a number of other excellent museums to see as well. While money was too tight, we also considered going to the Museum of Sex, the Museum of Modern Art, or the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Get some good eats

A New York weekend is not complete without some good dessert, so find time during your 48 hours in NYC to head to Milk Bar with friends!

Enjoying our cereal milk ice cream from Milk Bar on the Upper West Side! While we knew we only had 48 hours in NYC, this spot was high on our list of priorities.


Good food was definitely high on our list of priorities when visiting NYC. Whether it was a quick bite from Zabar’s or indulging in cereal milk ice cream at the popular dessert spot Milk Bar, the NYC food scene certainly did not disappoint. One of my favorite restaurants was 61 Local in Brooklyn, serving brunch and lunch by day and transforming into a trendy neighborhood bar at night. They also host events like comedy shows and poetry readings. We went for brunch, and I had an excellent mushroom quiche with an iced latte.

Of course, there are always going to be things to do in New York that you just won’t have time for, especially when you only get to spend 48 hours in NYC. Whether it’s exploring Central Park and shopping or doing the famous tourist attractions like the Statue of Liberty, there will never be a shortage of places to see in New York.


Are you a city person? Do you prefer Brooklyn or Manhattan? What’s your favorite New York museum? If you want to round-out your NYC trip, have a look at this great East Coast road trip itinerary!

Sara Frazier

Author Sara Frazier

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