Pack, See, Do | An Afternoon on Fifth Avenue
Fifth Avenue, New York City: one of the most iconic and elegant thoroughfares in the world. When staying as a guest at The Plaza, New York’s legendary hotel, this bustling avenue is right at your doorstep. Whether you’re visiting in spring, summer, winter or fall, there are always exciting adventures awaiting on the streets of Fifth Avenue.
When planning your trip to New York, you’re bound to have a rotating list of must-see exhibits, parks and landmarks as well as new cafes and restaurants to try. To make your planning easier, add a self-guided walking tour of Fifth Avenue to your itinerary. Home to some of the city’s best stops for shopping and dining, all you need to enjoy this famously fashionable district is an adventurous spirit – and a good pair of walking shoes.
What to Bring: The Essentials
Packing for a trip to New York depends largely on the season of your visit. With sparkling snowfall in winter and sizzling temperatures in summer, make sure to check the dates of your trip and pack accordingly. However, there are a few essentials that you’ll want to bring along for your walking tour of Fifth Avenue, regardless of when you plan to visit.
- Comfortable shoes (waterproof boots are a good choice for winter and fall, while stylish sneakers are a great pick for spring and summer)
- An over-the-shoulder bag or purse
- A camera or camera-equipped phone
Stepping out onto Fifth Avenue lands you right in the epicenter of New York’s most fashionable shopping district. With The Plaza as your homebase, it’s impossible not to pass by some of the city’s most beloved stores.
For luxury staples, first make a stop at Bergdorf Goodman, just a block from the hotel. Founded at the turn of the 20th century, Bergdorf’s was one of the first luxury department stores for chic New Yorkers. Next, head south for one block to stop by the iconic Tiffany & Co. storefront on the corner of 57th street. Continue your journey south to stop by another department store favorite, Saks Fifth Avenue. And if you’re looking for great menswear, pop by Massimo Dutti between 54th and 55th street.
What to See: The Sights & Museums
When you need a break from your shopping spree, duck into one of the marvelous museums or landmarks close to the avenue. To start, the MoMA is just a few blocks from The Plaza and the city’s go-to destination for contemporary and modern art. Be sure to check the list of special exhibitions beforehand to see if there are any events for which you need to pre-purchase tickets. A few blocks further south is the majestic St. Patrick’s Cathedral, an important city landmark that’s known for its breathtaking architecture and unparalleled history. The New York Public Library’s main branch on Fifth Avenue and 42nd street is a stunning landmark building with outstanding research collections and beautiful interiors that will make you want to curl up with a good read. Continue walking southwards on Fifth Avenue until you hit the iconic Empire State Building on 34th street. Marvel at its architecture from below or go inside and purchase tickets to the observatory to get a bird’s eye view of the city.
What to Try: The Food
Exploring the city can work up an appetite, but the good news is that a great meal is never far out of reach, especially close to Fifth Avenue. For a breakfast to remember, head to The Lobster Club just a few blocks east of Fifth Avenue on E 53rd street. Try their brasserie style caviar toast for a decadent start to your day or their open-faced bagel and lox for a traditional New York breakfast using the fan-favorite Sadelle’s bagels. At lunchtime, indulge in an Italian feast at the Armani Ristorante, inside the Armani store at E 56th street. Favorite dishes include their grilled octopus, Dungeness crab cavatelli pasta and red wine braised veal cheek. At the end of your day, take a trip to The Grill on E 52nd street for a visually resplendent dinner. With its recently and magnificently finished redesign, this stunning dining room is one of the few landmarked interiors in the city. And while chef Mario Carbone’s food is both classic and innovative, you may have a hard time taking your eyes off of the decor. Finish off the night with a celebratory glass of champagne at The Plaza’s illustrious Champagne Bar, which was recently renovated in 2014 and boasts unparalleled views of Fifth Avenue and The Pulitzer Fountain.
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