Interior image of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

If you’re anything like I am, you’ve been dreaming (and dreaming some more) about your next big adventure. We’ve all been cooped up for almost a year now, and we need to spread our wings! So when we’re given the all clear and we’re free to roam again, I can say with certainty, my first stop will be NYC.

Prior to the pandemic, I traveled regularly to New York for work and had so many amazing adventures along the way. I thought it would be fun to share some of those adventures with you…just in case you’re planning a trip to the Big Apple, too. 

Because of the multitude of things to do in the city, I thought I would break it down into bite size nuggets for you. The first installment of my NYC Series is Museum Hopping on a cold day in February. 

Morning

Most museums open at 10 am, so take the opportunity to indulge yourself before the museum hopping begins. Sleep in, have room service, enjoy the hotel. After all, you’re paying for it. 

One of my favorite hotels is The Warwick, an old world hotel with a beautiful lobby, lovely rooms, and a friendly staff. With its large bedrooms and reasonable rates, you get a lot of space for the money, and that is definitely not always the case for NYC hotels. 

The hotel is conveniently located on the corner of 6th Avenue and 54th street – literally steps away from MoMA, your first museum of the day. You can enjoy a leisurely morning, then pop across the street at 10:30am and enjoy a couple of hours wandering through the exhibits. 

MoMA is open daily, from 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Entry to the Museum is by advance timed tickets only, and capacity is limited. Tickets must be reserved online and will not be available at the Museum. You can buy your ticket here

You’ll enjoy works by Picasso, Matisse, Cezanne, Seurat, Gauguin and so many more.  Be sure to spend some time gazing at Van Gogh’s famous Starry Night. Walk through the gallery which displays Warhol’s pop art. And by all means, surround yourself with Monet’s WaterliliesAnd on your way out, spend a little time in the Sculpture Garden.

Catherine Hook Stylist looking at Waterlilies at MoMA
enjoying Waterlilies at MoMA
Catherine Hook looking at Waterlilies at MoMA in NYC
surrounded by Monet’s Waterlilies

Midday

Before your next stop on your museum hopping tour, warm up and reenergize yourself with a hearty bowl of French onion soup at La Bonne Soup. If soup is not your thing, I think you’ll be pleased with the many other choices available on the menu. A favorite dish of mine is the Omelette aux fine herbs. It’s delicious and gluten free, too! You may not know I’ve been a Celiac for over 15 years, and my posts will often include delicious gluten free options. If you’re interested, you can read more about my experience with Celiac Disease here.

Next stop – The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Most often referred to simply as The Guggenheim, the museum permanently houses a collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary Art, but the building itself is what I find most intriguing. 

The cylindrical building, wider at the top than at the bottom, was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in1945 and is considered to be one of his greatest masterpieces.  It was designed to house and display the collection of the Soloman R. Guggenheim Foundation. Sadly, neither Mr. Wright nor Mr. Guggenheim saw the museum to its completion. 

Take the elevator to the top and slowly spiral your way down to the ground floor enjoying all the works of the collection.

The museum is located in the Upper East Side, 5th Ave between 88th and 89th Streets. It’s not a difficult walk from the restaurant, but to save time, you might want to hop in a cab. The museum is open every day from 10am – 5:45pm, except Thursday, and price of admission for an adult is $25. All visitors must reserve timed tickets in advance.

Late afternoon

If time allows, and you still have the energy, pop over to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, just a few blocks south of the Guggenheim. It is located at 1000 Fifth Avenue. Admission is $25 for an adult. You’ll need to reserve a time, so plan ahead! You can click here to plan your visit.

Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed when you walk in. It’s late in the day, so plan to meander through the galleries on one floor only. For a little change of pace, maybe stay on the first floor and wander through galleries of Medieval Art, Egyptian Art and Greek and Roman Art. The Met is a museum that deserves to be visited time and time again so don’t try to cover it all at the end of the day.

Wind down by sipping a glass of Prosecco at the rooftop bar. Perhaps you’ll even catch an amazing sunset as you look across Central Park toward the Hudson River. If you’re there on a Thursday or Friday, you can stay until 7pm. 

Evening

Dinner is at Amaranth, a cozy, but busy bistro nestled between 5th and Madison at 62nd. (Closer to Madison.)  If you allow yourself enough time to walk to the restaurant, you can take a leisurely stroll from the museum down 5th Avenue along the east side of Central Park.

Amaranth is one of my favorite restaurants in the city. The food is delicious, and the atmosphere is warm and inviting. The place is usually bustling with the neighborhood locals and a few well-known people. If you’re a ‘star gazer’, keep your eyes peeled. You might just spot a celebrity in the crowd. 🤩

People dining on sidewalk under red awnings at Amaranth Restaurant in NYC
outdoor dining at Amaranth

Everything on the menu is delicious. You simply cannot go wrong. But if you are an eggplant lover, you must start with the Napolean of Eggplant. I order it every time I dine at Amaranth. It is just divine. It’s fairly large, so share it with a friend and enjoy.

It’s an easy walk home from the restaurant to The Warwick, so take your time strolling down 5th Avenue and make sure to linger by the beautiful windows at Bergdorf Goodman.

Once you’re back in your comfortable room at The Warwick, you should enjoy a good night’s rest after an educational and cultural day of museum hopping.

Thanks for reading. xo