Welcome to my first City Walk blog! My favorite way to get around in New York City is by taking long walks, so I’ve decided to share some of my routes/urban trails in blog form since some of my followers requested it.
City Walks can be great for tourists looking to experience NYC from a more residential perspective or for city dwellers trying to gain a new appreciation of their area while exercising more. Try this one or other upcoming ones the next time you’re in the city and share you experiences with me in the comments! Just be sure to wear comfy shoes and stay hydrated.
Alright, now onto this lovely and very doable walk from Grand Central, through Central Park, and to the West Side.
A bit of context: I’ve been living with my parents in Westchester sporadically since the spring so this walk naturally starts at Grand Central.
The best part about being a Westchester resident at the moment is getting to visit the city and actually enjoying it. I’m finding I prefer it in small bursts. It’s more exciting that way.
I took in a lovely dose of NYC last afternoon and evening with a classic city walk I used to do when I was first commuting to midtown after college. I had made plans for dinner at Parm with one of my best friends, so I decided to leisurely stroll from Grand Central to meet her at the West Side location.
The 2:45 express train from Croton-Harmon was crowded and a little late (as expected on the weekends) but I was able to find a seat at least. I spent the ride journaling about my lunar eclipse meditation and listening to my self-love playlist on Spotify.
Billy Joel mentions the Hudson River line on the Metro-North in “New York State of Mind,” and for good reason. There’s nothing like watching the sun glitter on the Hudson from your train seat. It’s by-far the prettiest ride the Metro-North offers.
I arrived around 3:40. Grand Central was packed with the usual Saturday crowd so I bolted out of there and onto 42nd street, which was crowded as well. I don’t mind it now as much as I did when I was working on Fifth Avenue and 42nd.
I turned onto Fifth and relished in the small whiffs of air conditioning that escaped luxury stores as their doors opened and closed. I took a minute to appreciate St. Patrick’s Cathedral and crossed the street to avoid encountering that tower.
I made it to the South-East corner of Central Park around 4:15 and walked up through Central Park Zoo, past the Balto statue, and to the mall. Tourists and locals filled most benches, and plenty of artists and sellers were set up to accommodate them. I far prefer dealing with the crowds in Central Park than in Times Square, so I often go through the park whenever I can.
The heat was starting to get to me as I strolled down the mall towards Bethesda Terrace, so I treated myself to a frozen lemonade and sat on a wooden bench at Wagner Cove while I cooled off. I love finding those magical little spots in the park where you can escape the madness of the city.
I walked down Cherry Hill and had a beautiful view of the Lake and Bow Bridge. Plenty of people were in rented row boats and it was the perfect afternoon for that. I’ve never rowed in Central Park before, but I would love to try it one day.
Around 5:00, I began to make my way towards the West Side, specifically to 71st Street. Strawberry Fields was full of musicians jamming away, and tourists hid from the sun under the green leaves. The flower arrangement on the Imagine mosaic was particularly gorgeous with deep shades of pinks and yellows. I took a moment to appreciate it and then walked over to Central Park West.
My friend then sent me a text and let me know she would be a few minutes late. I decided to stroll around 71st instead of staying longer at the park.
The brownstones on that side of the city are gorgeous, so I slowly walked by them and checked each one out. I love how different the rooftops and stone work can be. If I ever live in that part of Manhattan, I’d be so content to live in a pretty brownstone.
I made it to Columbus Avenue and happily stumbled upon an adorable jewelry store called Outlette across the street from the restaurant we were meeting at. The shopkeeper was so lovely and I quickly fell in love with several of their pieces.
My birthday is around the corner, so I excitedly splurged on two pairs of earrings for myself: some heart ones (the actual heart organ, specifically) and sterling silver stars meant to climb up the ears.
They’re both so unique and cute. I love statement pieces that are a bit funky, and both pairs are definitely whimsical in their own ways. I wore the star ones all evening and was happy to experience no itching or sensitivity.
That’s my favorite part of Manhattan: there are tiny little spots that are full of surprises, and it’s just a matter of finding them. I’ll have to stop at Outlette again soon, whether it be to spoil myself or pick up gifts for friends. Definitely check it out if you’re in the area or visit their online store.
It was truly awesome to get those coveted steps in while enjoying the afternoon sunshine and sites around me. I forgot how hard it is to walk around in Westchester County, so it’s good to take advantage of this perk of city when I can.
In total, I walked about two miles from Grand Central to Parm on 71st and Columbus. Without the various stops I made, this walk would probably take around 40-45 minutes depending on how busy the city was.
Did you enjoy this City Walk? Share your thoughts in the comments and stay tuned for more exciting City Walk blogs in the coming months!