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New York City is the kind of destination everyone knows about. Bright lights, busy streets, diverse culture, and vibrant spaces make NYC a city you can visit for the first time every time. I spent three days exploring the city with NYCTourism on their Black Experience, and my itinerary highlights below will show you why you should do the same.


Check-in for your stay at the Romer Hells Kitchen Hotel. Hells Kitchen, on the west side of the city, is a testament to the vibrance of the black community in NYC. A short walk to Times Square and Central Park, Romer Hells Kitchen is a retreat from the busiest spaces but close to all the action. Beautifully put together rooms and the incredible staff makes this a hotel that feels luxe and charming, and the abundance of vibrant and colorful artwork throughout this boutique hotel sets the scene for the world just outside its doors. 

One of your first stops once you leave the hotel must be the Rockefeller Center’s observation deck. With 360 degree views across three levels, Top of the Rock NYC is the world’s best viewpoint according to the reviews on TripAdvisor, and it isn’t hard to see why. 

Once you’re done taking in the scenery, head on down to the Tipsy Baker for happy hour. Bakery by day, bar by night, the signature bread here is so good, and the bakery is renowned for supplying michelin-starred restaurants around the city. Top off your evening with a Broadway show. MJ the Musical was the perfect show to match our black experience theme, and the familiar songs had us grooving in our seats the whole night. 


A visit to New York isn’t complete without taking in some of the best museums in the world. Perhaps one of the most famous cultural spaces in the city, The Met offers an insight into the history of NYC and her people, and the current exhibition on the Harlem Renaissance is a perfect example of this. Grab a bite of comfort food at Melba’s before taking in a little shopping in the neighborhood. Harlem One Stop is a great resource to help you find what you are looking for! 

When you’re done taking in the wares of the talented artisans and creatives of the Harlem district, the National Jazz Museum is the ideal place to slow your pace and soak in more of the rich cultural history NYC has to offer. Harlem played a key role in the evolution of the American Jazz scene, and this museum showcases the best of the Black jazz talent from the local area and beyond. 

For another dose of comfort food, American style, Red Rooster Harlem celebrates the roots of American cuisine and the diversity of flavors and influences with a menu that makes it hard to choose! The vibe of this place takes its lead from the restaurant's namesake, the famous speakeasy, and it would be easy to spend the whole evening here, but not far away is the Apollo Theater, where amateur night has seen the likes of the Jackson Five take the stage in the past. Amateur night isn’t the only drawcard on the famed stage, though. From comedy to music, dance to spoken word, there is something for everyone at the Apollo, including Grammy-nominated artists and professional learning workshops. 


If the views from the Rockefeller observation deck weren’t enough for you, the newest landmark on the NYC map is Summit One Vanderbilt. Take in the panoramic views atop Manhattan’s highest skyscraper to start your day, catch a ride on the world’s largest external glass-bottomed elevator to get your adrenaline pumping, or try one of the other SummitOV immersive art experiences - the sky is literally the limit.

Across the city, Brooklyn Museum is currently playing host to the Giants exhibition, showcasing art from the dean collection of Swizz Beats and Alicia Keys. This exhibit is a perfect example of how the museums of NYC celebrate the people who call the city home, paying homage to the past and imagining a diverse and connected future. 

Stroll on through the culture district of Brooklyn and make your way to Djondjon, a Haiti-owned and operated restaurant that promises you the best dinner party you will ever have, for a delicious lunch. While you’re in Brooklyn, be sure to check out CaribBeing, a cultural masterpiece that celebrates the culture, community, and commerce of the Caribbean-American people who call NYC home. Once you’re in the Little Caribbean precinct, be sure to visit Labay Market and VeggiesNJB for a taste of the tropics - you will not be disappointed you stopped by! 

No visit to New York City is truly complete without paying a visit to one of the many arenas the city plays host to. While you’re in Brooklyn, head along to the Barclays Center to catch a Brooklyn Nets game, music events like the VMA’s, or one of the regular Tuesday trivia nights. A truly phenomenal stadium and a buzzing hub for community connection, the Barclays Center is a great place to spend your evening in NYC!

The best thing about visiting New York City is that it is truly a city for everyone. The diverse mix of culture, cuisine, and captivating experiences sets NYC apart, with the city celebrating the melting pot of its people at every opportunity. There is so much to see and do while in NYC that it would be easy to miss some of the more unique experiences, so be sure to check out my itinerary or one of the guides available at NYC Tourism to make the most of your visit!

1 Comment

Great read! I’ll check these places out! You’re so helpful as usual

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