Embarking on a mother-daughter weekend getaway to New York City is like diving headfirst into a glittering treasure chest of experiences—only to find that the real gem is the bond you’re polishing along the way. From the dizzying heights of the Empire State Building to the cozy corners of a West Village cafe, the city becomes not just a backdrop but a catalyst for laughter, stories, and perhaps the occasional eye-roll. It’s a chance to trade the familiar hum of daily routines for the electric buzz of Broadway, bagels, and unexpected adventures with your favorite person. So, pack your most comfortable shoes (and your patience) because this journey through the Big Apple is about to add some unforgettable layers to the mother-daughter saga.

Day 1: Reflections, Laughs, and Sky-High Views

The first day will depend on what time you’ve arrived. The earlier the better so you can max out your day.

Late Brunch at Delmonico’sDelmonico's for brunch

A late brunch at Delmonico’s is a delightful affair. The place exudes old-world charm, and their Eggs Benedict could probably win awards. It’s the kind of meal that makes you forget you’re on a tight sightseeing schedule. Get dressed up and splurge on a memorable meal. Located at 56 Beaver St.

After breakfast, head over to the nearby 9/11 area. It’s an easy walk, you will not need to catch a cab.

9/11 Memorial Museum and Pools9/11 Memorial and Museum

Vsit to the 9/11 Memorial Museum and Pools. This place isn’t just a tribute to the past; it’s a lesson in resilience. We were reminded of the strength and unity that emerged from one of America’s darkest hours. It’s a moving experience that leaves you with a lot to ponder. I recommend purchasing a NYC CityPass which gets you in here and to four other attractions.

Early Dinner: Old Tbilisi Garden Old Tbilisi Garden

For dinner, we ventured into the culinary wonders of Old Tbilisi Garden. A perk of being in NYC is how many different types of food are available. So each time we are in the city we try something new. This time it was Georgian cuisine. One of Eden’s friends had recently been to NYC and highly recommended eating here. I cannot remember the names of everything we got but that cheese thing pictured here was outstanding. It was so heavy and filling we could have split just that!

Evening: Radio City Music Hall & Top of the RockViews from the Top of the Rock

We amped-up the energy with a comedy show at Radio City Music Hall. There’s nothing like laughter to balance a day of deep reflection. The comedians were so relatable. Granted we got lucky because it was the opening night of Ronny Chieng’s new tour and John Oliver opened for him. If you are not into the comedy show idea then catch a Broadway show.

Post-comedy, we strolled across the street to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck. The nighttime view of NYC from here is nothing short of magical. The city lights stretched out like a glittering carpet, making for some spectacular photo ops and reminding me that, yes, I should have brought a better camera. (Top of the Rock is included in a CityPass.)

After the show treat: Hot Chocolate at Juniors Indulging in what might be the city’s richest hot chocolate. It’s the kind of drink that requires a spoon and possibly a nap afterward.

Day 2: Culture, Cuisine, and Cool Skates

Breakfast at Citizens Of ChelseaCitizens Of Chelsea

Morning: Chelsea & The Highline

Have breakfast in Chelsea at Citizen Chelsea. Afterwards. head just one street over and walk the Highline. This elevated park is an urban oasis, offering unique views of the city and a peaceful respite from the bustling streets below.

NYC Highline

Our plan was to take the Highline over to a newer attraction, Edge, to see the incredible views but it was so cloudy we wouldn’t have seen anything. If it’s a nice day this is the perfect stop. Purchase Edge tickets here. We did at least get to see the newer expansion of the Highline which was quite nice. 

Lunch: Pizza at BarDoughPizza at BarDough

There’s great pizza everywhere and it’s affordable. We ended up popping into a place called BarDough in Hell’s Kitchen and couldn’t believe how good it was. Located at 350 West 46th Street.

Don’t over eat during lunch because you need to save plenty of room for the food tour later.

After Lunch: Central Park or Bryant 

Our afternoon was a mix of nature and ice. A stroll through Central Park in the crisp air was refreshing, while ice skating at Bryant Park was a hilarious test of our balance and grace – or lack thereof. If you are here in the summer you can go roller skating at Rockefeller Center instead if you like.

Late Afternoon: Hell’s Kitchen Dessert Tour & DinnerHell's Kitchen Food Tour

The Hell’s Kitchen Dessert Tour was a sweet lover’s paradise, guiding us through some of the neighborhood’s best confectioneries. You can take some of it to-go so you don’t eat so much during the tour.

Dinner: MAMA MIA 44swMAMA MIA 44sw

If you are not too stuffed from the dessert tour and still have room for a real dinner head to Mama Mia 44sw for an incredible Italian meal at a family-owned restaurant that started way back in 1971.

Day 3: Eclectic Eats and Final Fancies

Morning to Afternoon: Eclectic Eateries and Spa Time

We spent our last day grazing through various eclectic eateries of NYC, sampling everything from street food to upscale cuisine. We also squeezed in some last-minute souvenir shopping, because nothing says “I’ve been to New York” like a bag full of kitschy memorabilia.

Breakfast: Mom’s Kitchen and Bar

Mom's Kitchen and Bar in NYC

Mom’s Kitchen and Bar has a small but interesting menu. They offer brunch all day, so if you stayed out too late the night before don’t despair, you can still get breakfast no matter what day of the week it is! We opted for the chicken and waffles, the pancake burrito made with scrambled eggs, sausage, cheddar, bacon, pancake wrap, and maple syrup, and the avocado toast so we could feel like we made a healthy choice. Mom’s Kitchen and Bar is located in Hell’s Kitchen at located at 701 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019.

Mid-Morning: GuggenheimGuggenheim Museum

The Guggenheim Museum was next, where the building is as much a work of art as the collections it houses. We spiraled our way through modern masterpieces, occasionally tilting our heads, trying to look like we understood the abstract art. Guggenheim is included in the CityPass. 

Lunch: Tacos at Rosies

Taco board at Rosie's NYCRosie’s

If you love tacos you will love Rosie’s. It’s the perfect stop as you head to the lower part of the city to eventually catch the ferry. Located at 29 E 2nd St.

Afternoon: Jacuzzi Time at QC NY Spa

QC NY Spa

Just a short ferry ride away to Governors Island you will get to indulge in a spa paradise! QC has a bunch of hot tubs including ones that overlook the city! If their admission is a bit to steep or you just don’t want to leave the city check out these alternatives: 6 Best Spas in NYC.

If hitting a spa isn’t your thing you could pop over to Brooklyn. The Williamsburg area is fab! 

Dinner: CarlottoClassic Italian at Carlotto in NYC

Italian at Carlotto because you must have Italian food while in the city. It’s a fairly small spot so be sure to make a reservation in advance. They have Happy Hour Tuesday through Saturday from 5 pm – 6 pm so try to get there in time to be seated at 5:30 if you are on a budget. Located in Union Square at 100 E 19th St, New York, NY 10003.

Tips for Travelers:

  1. Footwear: Comfort over style. Your feet will thank you after miles of urban exploration.
  2. Stay Flexible: NYC is full of surprises. Be open to spontaneous detours.
  3. MetroCard: Your key to the city. Much cheaper than cabs and often faster.
  4. Stay Hydrated: With all the walking and excitement, don’t forget to drink water!

Conclusion

From the reflective pools of the 9/11 Memorial to the dizzying heights of Top of the Rock, and from the hearty laughs at Radio City to the whimsical twirls on the ice, this trip was a whirlwind of emotions and experiences. NYC, you’re a city of contrasts, and you’ve stolen a piece of our hearts (and possibly our soles, considering how much we walked). Can’t wait to come back, but maybe after a week-long foot massage session.

mother-daughter-new-york-Weekend-itinerary

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Get Travel Insurance

Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can go wrong on any trip. Be prepared for the worst with travel insurance. We use Travelex or Safety Wing (often cheaper).

Book Flights

I use Skyscanner to find flights. I use it so much, I wrote an entire guide to finding cheap flights with Skyscanner!

Book a Place to Stay

I recommend using Expedia.com or Hotels.com for most hotel bookings. I prefer to book directly with Marriott when I stay there because of their excellent military discount.

If you prefer staying in a vacation rental instead, I recommend VRBO. If you are looking for a hostel, I use HostelWorld.

Rent Clothes

Rent clothes for your trip with Travel Style Expert for only $50 a month! The first 30 days are free!

Choose Activities and Tours

To find great activities in any area I use Viator. If we are visiting a city with lots of popular attractions I always check CityPass and GoCard to see if they have discount cards available. Groupon also tends to have a lot of local travel deals.

When I want to book a full-on multi-day tour I use TourRadar. They’ve got fantastic weekly deals. If I am going somewhere in Mexico or the Caribbean I use Apple Vacations.

Rent a Car or Take a Lyft

More often than not Lyft is cheaper than Uber. Use my Lyft link for an $18 credit! For a car rental in any country, I recommend Hertz or Discover Cars.

Save Money on Gas

Upside a free app gets you cash back on gas! Use promo code RV2Q2 to get an extra 15¢/gal bonus on your first purchase.

Get a Visa

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