Being a former New Yorker, any chance to take a long weekend in New York City is always a treat. There’s something completely different about experiencing NYC as a tourist than living there as a resident. For one, the city is your oyster.

Long Weekend in New York City: View from 30 Rock

But even a long weekend in NYC is a startlingly short amount of time to cram all of my favorite activities into.

Though I sure as heck try on every visit. Here’s how you can emulate my many trips to New York City as a tourist.

Where to stay on a long weekend in NYC
Staying at a rental in Midtown or in an iconic hotel like the Plaza alongside Central Park means you’ll be a stone’s throw from some of New York City’s best attractions. And while this itinerary doesn’t necessarily encompass every tourist stop in town, it’s a good primer for a first timer in NYC, especially if you’re not really sure how to focus your time.

Three Perfect Days in New York City: Rockefeller Plaza

If you’re more into big hotels, there are plenty of those to go around, too. And if you’d rather get more of a local’s feel while still being central and accessible to the subway, I’d recommend staying in Downtown NYC, at a vacation rental in SoHo, the East Village or the West Village.

Day 1 in New York City
We arrived early morning via Amtrak from Boston, hopped a yellow cab from Penn Station, then dropped our luggage off in Midtown at the Plaza Hotel. While we waited, we wandered through the subterranean Plaza Food Hall and snacked on treats from its many vendors, then took a stroll through Central Park.