New York City Travel Guide

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{Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Well Well Well, a new site bringing wellness and travel together fueled by EVEN® Hotels. All opinions are my own.}

I love to travel. I love exploring new cities and familiar cities, discovering new food and cozy restaurants and getting outside of my normal routine. But one of the biggest challenges I face is staying active and healthy on the road. Whether I’m traveling for work or for pleasure, my days are typically packed from morning until night. Finding healthy food and a place to workout can be hit or miss.

Previously, I’ve shared some no-equipment workouts I do when I travel as well as tips to staying active on the road. But honestly? The best tip that I have is to get recommendations for places to eat, workout, relax and splurge from a friend who lives in the city that you are visiting.

NYC wellness travel guide

With New York City, there is so much – almost too much to choose from. I’m often asked for my recommendations. I’ve put together a little NYC City Guide which highlights some health and wellness-minded travel suggestions. This is by no means comprehensive and is just the tip of all the amazing things that I love in New York City.

Taste
One of the things that I love about New York City is the thriving local and regional food scene. I know, it sounds a little crazy to think of local food and farms and New York City at the same time but there is a growing food production sector here and a growing regional food shed. Some of my favorite restaurants are those that place an emphasis on local food producers.

Healthy eating new york city

  • Green Table emphasizes organic ingredients, local family farms and sustainable food and offers a delicious seasonal menu. It’s also located in Chelsea Market (another fav!) which is worth a visit in and of itself. Chelsea Market is the old Nabisco factory (the Oreo was born there!) and is a haven for foodies.
  • ABC Kitchen is chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s celebration of the slow food movement. It offers a seasonal menu that free of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics, is GMO-free and sources from regional farmers and fair trade cooperatives.
  • Union Square Farmers Market was started in 1976 and is the premier farmers market in New York City. Yes, the market sells fresh fruits and vegetables but also heritage meats, artisan breads, farmstead cheeses, wine, jams, pickles – so much. It’s a feast for the eyes and definitely worth wandering around. It’s open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8am to 6pm.

Keep Fit
Keeping in fit in New York City sometimes feels like a challenge because there are so many choices between the beautiful parks and the growing number of specialized and innovative workout studios.

central park

Central Park

  • Central Park: I fell in love with running in New York City and in Central Park. There are so many routes you can take and piece together through the park to create whatever distance you’re looking to run. At any time of the day or night, there are people out running, biking, inline skating, and walking.
  • Hudson River Park is a gorgeous route to run or bike. You can run the length of the west side of Manhattan from Battery Park all the way up to 181st Street by the George Washington Bridge and the Little Red Lighthouse. It’s pretty flat, has amenities such as water fountains and bathrooms and offers incredible views of the Hudson River.
  • Brick NYC is a relatively new entrant to the NYC fitness scene. Originally from Los Angeles, Brick uses CrossFit methodology in its training programs (traditional CrossFit classes, Olympic lifting, bootcamp, etc.). Their coaches are great – super knowledgeable and energetic.
  • Physique 57 offers a barre-based workout that incorporates cardio, strength training and stretching into a single workout designed to lengthen your muscles while improving flexibility and endurance. I’ve taken a few classes at Physique 57 (one time with an Olympian!) and it seriously has kicked my butt.

Breathe
When visiting a city like New York, you’re often running around and bombarded with lots of lights and sounds and people. But the city does offer lots of opportunities to relax, unwind and breathe.

Kula Yoga

  • Kula Yoga Project is my yoga home in the city. If you are looking for a creative, sweaty vinyasa yoga class with a focus on alignment and kick-ass adjustments, Kula is your place.
  • Silk Day Spa is an old favorite. There are a million spas in the city but I keep coming back to Silk for really solid and relaxing massages. It’s a little zen oasis near Union Square.
  • The Cloisters is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that focuses on Medieval art. Located in Fort Tryon Park in Northern Manhattan, the art, buildings and grounds are beautiful and offer a breathtaking escape from the city.

Splurge
While eating healthy, keeping fit and breathing are all important to a healthy lifestyle, so is splurging once in a while. It’s all about balance, right? When I want to splurge, I typically veer towards cookies or wine…or both!

momofuku milk bar

Momofuku Milk Bar

  • Momofuku milk bar is just yum and a lot of creative experimentation with desserts. It is a little bit of sugar excess (OK, a lot of sugar excess) but that’s why it’s a splurge! My favorite is the compost cookie.
  • Levain Bakery is known for its legendary chocolate chip cookie. It’s huge and round and delicious. It’s a neighborhood institution on the Upper West Side
  • Eataly is a gorgeous food temple dedicated to all things Italian located in the Flatiron district. There are restaurants, a cafe, gelato bar, cheese and meat, vegetables, Italian groceries, etc. It’s also a fun place to grab a glass of wine or enjoy a beer on the rooftop restaurant and brewery.

Transportation
My two main modes of transportation in the city are the subway and my feet. And, over the past few years, New York City has increased and improved its streets to make them more bike friendly.

citibike

  • Public transportation is a great and convenient way to get around the city. While the subway may be intimidating at first, it’s a great and convenient way to get around the city.
  • Walking offers and opportunity to explore different neighborhoods and offers such a different perspective than if you were in a car or a bus. Plus, it’s a great way to sneak in a workout!
  • Citibike is New York City’s bike share program and offers New Yorkers and visitors another means of transportation in the city. There is a network of 100s of bike stations in the city where you can rent a bike. When you’re done with the bike, just return it to any bike station.

For more healthy travel and wellness tips, be sure to check out Well Well Well. It’s a great source for healthier, happier travel and for new ways to help wellness minded travelers keep active, rest easy, eat well and accomplish more while they travel.

Do you have any other recommendations for things to do in New York City? What’s your favorite place to taste, keep fit, breathe or splurge in your city?

 

{This post is sponsored by Well Well Well, a new site bringing wellness and travel together fueled by EVEN® Hotels. All opinions are my own.}

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Comments

  1. says

    Fun, fun! I miss NYC so much. Haven’t been since my grad school days in Boston when I’d take the bus over to the city to visit my bff. I definitely know where to come when I go back to visit- great recs and great idea for a website. I didn’t see Seattle listed (which is my closest big city) but I will have to check back!
    Melanie @ Nutritious Eats recently posted..Sizzlefish: Pan-Seared Haddock for One with Roasted VegetablesMy Profile

  2. says

    What an awesome travel guide, Christine! Thanks for sharing your fav spots with us. I love to run when I travel. I’ll get up early so I can get it in before the work day begins. Sometimes this is the only way I’ll get to see the place I’m visiting. It’s the perfect way to start the day & limit the damage from big biz dinners!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..Marathon Aftermath and RecoveryMy Profile

  3. says

    My trips to NYC are always so quick. I usually sneak in an o’dark-thirty run and last time I finally got to run in Central Park. That WellWellWell website looks great – I am always up for healthy ideas when I travel!
    Coco recently posted..Thanksgiving Menu IdeasMy Profile

  4. says

    I veer towards cookies too. Also last night my husband made the cornflake marshmallow chocolate chip cookies from Momofuku milk bar that I see up on the menu above.
    I don’t know NYC a lot and I do feel I’d need to work on the breathe aspect of it, if I ever spent a lot of time there. I usually feel anxious there and not breathing very well!
    I do wholeheartedly agree with many of your food/exercise options. I never feel I’m lacking in exercise and good food when I visit every year or so.
    Tamara recently posted..It’s Because You Care.My Profile

  5. says

    This post makes me wish I lived in a city! I really want to plan a trip there and hang out (and workout!) with all my bloggy friends which includes YOU. I love the concept of having all of this at your fingertips b/c truly, a friend recommendation is always best when visiting someplace new!
    The sugar splurges look amazing! Compost cookie? YES! And of course, it’s a dream of mine to someday run in Central Park. Maybe in 2014 it will come true!
    Allie recently posted..Thankful For What I’m NotMy Profile

  6. says

    What a fun post, Christine. I’ve never been to NYC, but I absolutely want to, and soon. As strange as it may seem, one of the things I most want to do is ride the subway. I always like to take public transportation in a new city. And for some reason, it’s always one thing I remember most. The El in Chicago, cable cars in San Francisco …

    How long did it take you to feel like NYC was home? I think it would be so overwhelming. At the same time, I’d LOVE to live there.
    Shana Norris recently posted..Making Room for GratitudeMy Profile

    • says

      I hope that you do get a chance to visit Shana. There is so much that the city has to offer and is such a fun place to visit. I do love the public transportation system – my kids love it too and are obsessed with the subway system. I’ve lived here for about 20 years (YIKES!) – I moved here for college. I’d say that a year out of college is when I felt like this was home – or at least I felt comfortable here and settled in. And then since having kids (about 7 years ago) is when I’ve really seen this as home.
      Christine Yu recently posted..New York City Travel GuideMy Profile

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