This NYC day trip itinerary is perfect for shoppers as well as for grabbing pics of the city’s iconic landmarks.
If you’re planning a shopping day trip to New York City, you could go about it in one of two ways.
You could grab a map, choose one of the city’s popular shopping areas, and have a perfectly okay time hopping from store to store. Or, you could go to one of the few spots in the city where in one day you can see some of New York’s most iconic sights and get your shopping done.
One day isn’t a lot of time, so that may sound impossible. But there is a place where iconic New York attractions and some of the city’s most glamorous shopping are close enough together that you can see them all on a day trip to NYC!
Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and budget friendly brands like Abercrombie & Fitch, Mango, Lululemon, Uniqlo and H&M all call this place home. So does the Empire State Building and the Rockefeller Center.
And if you ever wanted to make like Audrey Hepburn in ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, this shopping district gives you the chance to literally have breakfast (or lunch) at Tiffany’s!
Just in case you haven’t already guessed, Fifth Avenue is the place we’re singing the praises of. Actually Upper Fifth Avenue. And we’ve written you the perfect itinerary for shopping the area!
Starting your New York City shopping day trip
Start your day at the Central Park end of Fifth Avenue (59th and 5th), because we did promise you would get to see some of NYC’s best sights!
If you didn’t want to spend all day shopping, join a walking tour in iconic Central Park to hear about the movies filmed here, see some of the wildlife and of course the plants. Plus you’ll get access to areas cyclists are not permitted.
Of course, it won’t be possible to explore all 800 acres of the park. But this is one of the most gorgeous parts of Central Park so grab your camera and snap a few selfies with the city’s skyscrapers in the background. Or at the famous Gapstow Bridge which you’ve seen in movies like Home Alone and The Devil Wears Prada.
Fifth Avenue Shopping!
Leave Central Park and make your first shopping stop steps away at the world’s only Apple Store open 24 hours a day (58th and 5th Ave), for your favorite Apple gadgets.
As you leave Apple, which is a whole block wide, get yourself mentally prepared and hold on to your wallet, since this part of Fifth Avenue mixes luxury stores with High Street brands. We’re taking you on a whirlwind of glitz and glamor for the next few hours. Even if just for the photos!
Stop at the well dressed Bergdorf Goodman, just a few steps from Apple, for everything fashion and luxury. Balenciaga, Chanel, and Gucci are just a few of the brands you can expect to find inside the eight floors of Bergdorf Goodman.
Right next to Bergdorf Goodman, you can get your fix of the high end leather goods offered by Louis Vuitton (57th and 5th Ave). But you may want to stop to take in the wonder that is the store’s glass exterior before going in!
Leave Bergdorf Goodman and Louis Vuitton and explore the area between 57th and 59th Street for more high end shopping. Chanel, Fendi, Dior, David Yurman, and Balenciaga are major shops to look out for here.
The Chanel store will be a particular delight if you love Chanel purses. But the shop also stocks Chanel makeup and the brand’s iconic earrings – if you happen to go on a day they aren’t sold out.
If you have a Lego shopping list, you could easily spend an hour in this mega store alone, on the corner of W 51st and 5th Ave.
Of course this street is a whole other spectacle at Christmas time when these amazing store windows are dressed to impress. Christmas in New York is a Bucket List trip.
Take your Bergdorf Goodman and Chanel bags and sashay your way to the famous St Regis Hotel to try one of New York City’s most celebrated brunches at the impressive Astor Court Restaurant (55th and 5th Ave).
Not in the mood for splurging? Walk a bit further to local favorite Piccola Cucina (60th and Park Ave) for what is seriously the best Italian food in the city, at good prices.
Or if you want to have “breakfast” at Tiffany’s, we’re thrilled that Audrey Hepburn fans can book a table in Tiffany’s new restaurant which is opening in 2023!
If you’re more of a brunch person, you’ll love this list of the best NYC brunch spots over on Blogger at Large.
For the afternoon you’ll continue your New York City shopping trip at Armani and Dolce and Gabbana before seeing another icon and giving your wallet a break at more budget friendly shops.
Dolce and Gabbana (55th and 5th Ave) is perfect if you love to make a splash when you enter a room! And their interior is just as wild as their clothing.
Just steps away, Armani is more subdued, but if you are in the market for a well tailored suit for yourself or a male, this is the best place for that on Fifth Avenue.
Next you’ll be heading to Coach (54th and 5th Ave) for some of the brand’s instantly recognizable purses. Coach remains a favorite with both locals and visitors because of their obsession with customer service and their fun displays. An added bonus is the repair section where you can get your Coach bags fixed.
Right next to Coach is a Stuart Weitzman if you want nice stilettos to go with your new Coach purse!
On your way to the more budget friendly shops, stop at your second NYC icon, St Thomas Church (53rd and 5th Ave). This gothic style cathedral is just as stunning as St. Patrick’s but less crowded most days so if you desire you can slip in and easily admire the stained glass windows inside.
Leave the church and head to the ever chic H&M (48th and 5th Ave) for affordable basics like tanks, jeans and shorts. Business blouses, skirts and suits are also on offer nice and cheaply.
Across from H&M, Lululemon, the Canadian budget brand that has become a leading name in workout wear and yoga pants, has a store if you’re a fan of their clothing.
This part of Fifth Avenue also has Sunglass Hut and Sephora where you can get lost in a fog of makeup and affordable perfumes. Also look out for the area’s mid-range shoes stores Puma, Aldo, and Adidas, and to round off the shopping experience, Ann Taylor is filled with girly blouses and cute skirts, close by.
For Dinner in NYC
For dinner, you’ll be close to Rockefeller Center so take advantage of any of the famous restaurants inside. Whatever you do, Bar 54 is highly recommended for a drink before or after dinner. The views from the rooftop bar may literally take your breath away if you visit when the city’s lights start twinkling.
Or these amazing rooftop restaurants in NYC will have something to wow you.
After dinner (or if you managed to blitz the previous suggestions), walk through the expertly curated floors at Saks Fifth Avenue. Be sure to stop at the floor dedicated to shoes. It’s so extensive, it had to be given its own zip code!
When you’ve had your fill of shopping at Saks, as promised, you’ll be ending your day at another of New York’s iconic sights. Walk a few minutes to the Top of the Rock Observatory and end your day gazing at panoramic views of the city’s famous buildings (book skip-the-line tickets here). This is the best view you’ll get of the Empire State Building.
Best tours in NYC in one day!
If you’d rather explore than shop, we’ve selected some great tours and attractions you might want to get skip the line tickets for and make the absolute most of your day in NYC.
» If you’d the inside track on where to shop in New York, take a private shopping tour.
» If you’d rather go sight-seeing than shop all day (or maybe your other half would!) take a one day NYC guided sight-seeing tour in a luxury coach including 911 Memorial admission ticket.
» Take a NYC by Night bus tour to explore this amazing city under lights.
» Get out on the water on this Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tour.
» Head into the sky on this incredible helicopter tour over the Statue of Liberty and all the city icons. Make sure your phone is charged for this one!
» An NYC must-do is tour the 911 Memorial Museum with a timed entry ticket.
» Buy a ticket to the top of SUMMIT ONE Vanderbilt for sweeping 360˚ views from three levels of mind-bending multi-sensory immersive experiences on the tallest skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan.
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Other great day trips nearby
If you’ve been to New York and seen all the sights, how about visiting Brooklyn for the day? This post covers a one day itinerary in Brooklyn including best spots for photos, where to shop, eat and some fun tours to take.
How about Washington, DC in a day? The capital city could keep a visitor busy for a month and you’d still not run out of things to do, but I’ve selected my top 3 things to do on a day trip to Washington, DC.