For many families, summer means travel. The kiddos are out of school and it is a time to take a breather and get away. This summer we decided to stay local and play tourist in our own city. Since we live right outside one of the greatest cities in the world, touring our own hometown of New York City was an easy choice. There are so many advantages to staying local and being a tourist in your own city. I think it gives you an appreciation for where you live, shows you the diversity that sits in your own backyard and can be a feast of culture for all of your senses.
Being a tourist in your own city starts with choosing a centrally located place to stay. We wanted to our hotel to be near all the action but not necessarily in the chaos. With three kiddos, we wanted to be close to all major modes of transportation and be able to walk to most of the attractions we planned on visiting.
The Lexington Hotel (part of the Autograph Collection) is located in the heart of New York City, at 48th and Lexington Ave. Its east side of Midtown Manhattan location is just the tip of the iceberg for what makes this hotel the perfect choice for us. Not only is it near Grand Central Station, the Chrysler Building, the UN, and Rockefeller Center, there's plenty of shopping, restaurants, attractions within easy walking distance.
Everything about The Lexington Hotel is grand without all of the pretense. From the Hollywood Glam decor, to the live music to the immaculate space, the Lexington Hotel was accommodating, luxurious and a perfect place to call home for a few days.
The Lexington Hotel (Autograph Collection) is an architectural beauty on both the inside and out. The design of the interior of the hotel is welcoming, spacious without feeling cavernous. The glam decor featuring Hollywood icons like Marilyn Monroe, Ella Fitzgerald and Joe DiMaggio steeps you in the history of the Jazz Era in Manhattan.
We stayed in the Ella Fitzgerald suite which features a rotating collection of fine art and artifacts paying tribute to the Queen of Jazz. The suite features a marble entryway, spacious living area, galley kitchenette, a master bedroom with an ensuite (with soaking tub and multi-jet spray shower) as well as a second bedroom with an ensuite.
The decor was inviting, bright and comfortable. The suite easily sleeps six and is perfect for an impromptu gathering or as a hub for a multi-family reunion. We enjoyed the special features like the iHome docking station, free wifi, in room Laptop safe, soaking tub, large flatscreen TVs equipped with Netflix and Hulu as well as the large closets (perfect for holding our shopping finds!)
We enjoyed the buffet breakfast and cannot say enough about the accommodating, friendly and competent staff members. As soon as you arrive at The Lexington Hotel, you are treated like a valued guest. The staff extends themselves to you at every turn and we enjoyed the complimentary wine tasting, coffee bar and refreshing water stations provided by the hotel within the lobby.
We reluctantly left our beautiful accommodations and embarked on a two day tour of NYC via TOPVIEW sightseeing tours. We wanted to get the most out of touring the city without feeling pressed for time or like we would miss out on anything.
By choosing the All City 2 Day Pass, we were able to enjoy a hop off/on tour of both uptown and downtown Manhattan, a nighttime tour of the gorgeous lights of the Big Apple, as well as a bike rental and Liberty Cruise. We loved learning about the history of NYC, seeing the architecture from the special vantage point atop the TOPVIEW double decker bus and having the freedom to get off and on the tour throughout the day.
Renting bikes and riding in Central Park was a big highlight for our family and allowed us to see the spacious and exciting space in a new light.
A big treat was the night tour included in our TOPVIEW All City 2 Day Pass. Our tour guide was full of knowledge and gave us many opportunities to enjoy and photograph the bright city lights and famous skyline.
The second day of our tour offered us a different point of view of the city as we viewed New York Harbor from the water.
We took a Liberty Cruise (included in the TOPVIEW All City Pass too!) and saw the west side of lower Manhattan, parts of downtown Brooklyn and circled Lady Liberty herself. Once again our guide had a wealth of knowledge to share as well as many interesting tid bits. It was an experience the whole family enjoyed.
Take advantage of your city. We reconnected, learned a lot about NYC and bonded during our lovely staycation. We loved being tourists in our own home city. While in NYC, check out these great places to eat with your kids!
This is not a sponsored post. We were given accommodations and hosted by The Lexington Hotel, (Autograph Collection). We were also hosted by TOPVIEW sightseeing tours. All opinions expressed are our own.