08:00 – A taste of classic New York
Woken up bleary eyed? The charm and chatter of Lexington Candy Shop, the oldest family-run luncheonette in New York, will lift your spirits after a long flight. Located in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, this nostalgic eatery offers a glimpse into the city’s soda-fountain-filled past (you can even order an egg cream) and serves breakfast all day. Stacks of pancakes stuffed with the likes of blueberries and pecans tend to steal the show, while the Walnut Cinnamon Raisin French Toast is a favourite of the owners.
10:30 – Get arty
The Whitney Museum of American Art sits in trendy Renzo Piano-designed digs just round the corner. The expansive galleries display more than 3,000 painters, sculptors, architects, film makers and performance artists from the 20th and 21st centuries. You'll discover some new artists to love, but the galleries also house their fair share of Mark Rothkos and Georgia O'Keeffes. Look out for Calder’s Circus: a delicate sculpture that includes a pom-pom lion. The Whitney's major exhibitions are always popular, so remember to reserve tickets in advance.
13:00 - Live the high life
Gansevoort Peninsula, home to the first public beach in Manhattan, is just across the street from the Whitney. Sink into one of the sky-blue deckchairs and dig your feet into powdery sand. Gaze at the vast Hudson River fringed by skyscrapers. Then take to the High Line - an urban park that stretches along an old, elevated railway track from the Meatpacking District up 22 blocks to Midtown. Stop at an ice cream stand along the way – you’re on holiday, after all.
17:00 - Foodie quest to Queens
The High Line descends to street level at 34th Street - and you can walk from here to Hudson Yards to catch the 7 train. Ride it all the way to Hunters Point Avenue in Queens and you'll be in the heart of New York's hipster district: Long Island City. You’ll need to make a reservation beforehand at Casa Enrique, but it’s worth it. It serves Michelin-starred Mexican food, from enchiladas to mole that's so bold that it, to quote the guide itself, 'thrills palates' and 'tempts wanton thoughts': get booking.
20:00 – Shakespeare in the city
After you’ve had your fill, make your way back to Manhattan for an only-in-New-York experience: Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More, an immersive adaptation of Macbeth, is a theatre event held at The McKittrick Hotel. You’ll be given a mask and be allowed to wander through 100 rooms, coming upon intricate scenes and interacting with the mysterious cast. Not for the faint-hearted.