Your Ultimate Guide to NYC in the Fall

Places to eat, things to do, and everything in between.


Happy Fall, Upper East Siders. Well, happy 60º weather and a slight breeze to all the Charleston readers. If you’re heading to the autumn oasis of New York City this year, here is your tell-all guide to a perfect fall weekend in the city. These activities can be applied to any season, but are especially magical as the leaves turn orange and the weather becomes what dreams are made of. I will also be sharing my top places to visit if you’re a diehard Taylor Swift or Gossip Girl fan (or both.) Let’s begin!

Go to afternoon tea.

To preface, afternoon tea is a tradition that has sadly fallen out of common practice. If you are a tea drinker or just love the idea of an afternoon filled with mini sandwiches, scones, and a never-ending assortment of desserts, afternoon tea is the right choice for you. My favorite place to indulge is Alice’s Tea Cup. This restaurant’s interior is completely Alice in Wonderland inspired, which is why I have a personal bias towards it. Aside from the magical atmosphere complete with a room dedicated to the Queen of Hearts, the food (and tea) is unreal. They have various options for a traditional afternoon tea experience and their tea list has over 100 to choose from. Even if you are not as big of an Alice fan as I am, the restaurant is so adorable and a very enjoyable place to dine for the afternoon. 10/10. 

Grab a Lavender hot chocolate. 

When taking a stroll through the many unique neighborhoods of the city, a drink of choice is necessary. The drink I discovered on my latest trip was the glorious lavender hot chocolate. While this sounded a bit far fetched, I am glad I purchased this item. The lavender was not overbearing and it was a delicious drink, perfect for the chillier weather. I purchased this drink at Maman, a super cute and airy coffee shop. Although not an especially important factor, the drink came in the cutest cup I’ve ever seen, adorned with a light blue floral pattern. A must try if you’re over near the High Line / West Village area and I hope to see more lavender hot chocolate right here in Charleston. 

Visit The Met.

New York City is acclaimed for its multitudes of museums, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art takes the cake. Whether you’ve heard about this museum, also referred to as The Met, from Gossip Girl as Blair Waldorf’s favorite lunch spot, or because of its extravagant exhibits, it is a must-visit. Currently, some of the museum’s featured exhibits include a collection about Tudor England and the Renaissance, African sculptures, and an exhibit featuring South Carolinian art. It is certainly a half-day to all-day activity, and you can spend hours getting lost inside the museum. It almost feels like another world. There are many food vendors outside of The Met to live out your Constance-Billard school dreams. Tickets cost $30 and their gift shop is perfect for anyone who loves art. It is a must do, located on Fifth Avenue next to Central Park. 

Walk the High Line.

The High Line is a man-made upper-level public park that gives you a new view of Manhattan. Located near the West Village, the High Line is a perfect afternoon activity. It is 1.4 miles long and allows you to take in all of the new and upcoming modern architecture that is taking NYC by storm. The High Line is also adorned with lots of greenery and flowers. Nearby, is the new man-made “island park” that essentially floats over the water. Senior Sadie Bowlin claims Little Island is her most anticipated place to visit on her next trip. The High Line is a beautiful and peaceful place to walk, attracting many visitors a year. Also at the end of the High Line, is a large, immersive window overlooking a Manhattan street, with the skyline to match. It’s defintely one of the top free activities in the city.

Take a Stroll Through the West Village.

The West Village is perfect for fall due to its abundance of Halloween and general decorations adorning each apartment’s walkway. The West Village is a smaller neighborhood in Greenwich Village. I especially like this area because of its architecture, full of brownstones and tree-lined small streets. It also includes a variety of small restaurants with lots of outdoor seating, perfect for the fall weather. It also includes a multitude of bookstores, and is on the way to the High Line. If you are a fan of Friends, the famous apartment is also located here. The quaintness of this neighborhood makes for the perfect afternoon stroll.


See a Broadway show.

A traditional New York activity consists of a Broadway show. Senior Alan Zhang claims that Hamilton is by far his favorite show to see. My personal favorite show is Wicked, which I recently saw at the Gershwin Theater. The production and songs were very enjoyable and it is an entertaining experience overall. The aspect of live theater has very intriguing attributes through their next-level set design, costume design, and sound mixing. Wicked has been a show I have wanted to see for a while and it went over and beyond my expectations. Ticket prices for Broadway shows range from about $90-$300. Broadway is a must-do experience and makes for an iconic evening in the city. Other current Broadway shows include Beetlejuice, The Lion King, Funny Girl, and Moulin Rouge! The Musical. Most Broadway theaters are located around Times Square, which is another super fun option for the high-speed city experience.


Have a Picnic in Central Park.

Central Park is one of New York City’s best places to visit. It remains calm, even though there is always something happening. There are a variety of available activities in the 840-acre space including rowing boats, feeding ducks, and exploring the different archways and open lawns. A particular activity that Central Park does best is having a picnic. You can easily execute a picnic by going to a local deli or grocery store to get different types of foods, and a souvenir blanket would be a perfect substitution for a traditional picnic blanket. The fall foliage in Central Park from October – November is absolutely beautiful and it is a picturesque place to spend some time all year round.


Food in NYC:

New York City is undeniably known for its food. One dining experience in particular that is good for fall weather is dining on macaroons on the outside patio of Laduree, located in Soho. The restaurant consists of two different themed rooms, consisting of lace, pink and white fabrics, and velvet chairs. The patio of the restaurant is filled with fairy lights, an outdoor bar, and teal chairs, resembling a French garden. At the front of the restaurant, macaroons are sold. Flavors such as Cotton Candy, Marie Antoinette (tea flavored), and Orange Blossom sit in the display case. In the restaurant, breakfast options include french toasts and yogurt parfaits, and a dreamy rose latte.

If you love the color pink, you will love Pietro Nolita, located near Soho. A quaint restaurant with an entirely pink interior, Pietro Nolita is a pop of color in a super cute area. The food is delicious and the heart-shaped Butternut Squash ravioli is definitely a must-try. If you find yourself in Soho, you must visit this all-pink seating, decor, and dishes heaven.

Magnolia Bakery has a few locations throughout the city, but my favorite and most nostalgic place to visit this renowned bakery is in Grand Central Station. The cupcakes are adorned with a perfect buttercream and are absolutely delicious. The atmosphere of Grand Central adds to the lavish experience, and Magnolia Bakery’s food never falls short. 10/10, always.

A final mention that makes for the perfect fall weekend, or any weekend, is a traditional NYC bagel. A shop off of Park Ave, called Grabstein’s Bagels, hosts yummy bagels with multiple types of unique cream cheeses. They also sell a lox bagel, adorned with smoked salmon, lettuce, and tomato. They also sell varieties of coffees and rainbow cookies. One morning activity that can be accompanied by these delicious bagels, is visiting the Central Park Reservoir.

For Gossip Girl Fans…

A list of sights to see for Gossip Girl fans includes:

-The Bethesda Fountain in Central Park: where Chuck and Blair get married.

-The Hotel Empire: Chuck’s hotel in the show.

-Brooklyn: where Dan and Jenny live.

-The steps of the Met: where the Constance-Billard girls ate lunch.

-Grand Central Station: the opening scene for Gossip Girl.


For Taylor Swift Fans…

A list for fans of Taylor:

-The High Line: mentioned in “Cardigan.”

-The West Village: mentioned in False God” and “Welcome to New York.”

-Cornelia Street: where Taylor Swift rented a house; inspiration for the Lover album.