WATCH: Welcome to New York City, home of the Yankees. You’ve got 5 hours and $100 to spend before game time, but this is the largest city in the country and you’ve got a lot to see. Time to hit the streets.
It’s going to be a busy day, so start by fueling up in Little Italy.
This neighborhood is the beating heart of Italian culture in New York, with dozens of great restaurants. Come here for pasta, cannoli and, most importantly, pizza.
You probably know New Yorkers are very serious about New York–style pizza (or as it’s more commonly known, pizza). But did you know that this is also the site of the country’s first pizzeria?
Lombardi’s has been serving pizza since 1905; you can get a taste of this history today. Try the roasted peppers and mushrooms pie, and be prepared for a wait—this place is always busy.
After lunch, it’s time to head uptown. For routes that are too far to walk, there are two main ways to travel in New York: the subway, or if you like to ride in style, a taxi. Next stop is the Empire State Building, at 34th Street and 5th Avenue. Your MapQuest app will lead you here—but you’re not stopping at the bottom.
Hop in an elevator and head up to the building’s observation deck. Up here you’re more than 1,000 feet above the ground, and on a clear day you can see five states. The Empire State Building is huge, so let’s put it in perspective: 10 million bricks were used to build it and the building hosts 4 million visitors a year. That’s not including angry demented giant apes.
Here’s a fun fact: did you know, if you drop a penny from the top of the Empire State Building you go to prison and you never find out what happened to the penny?
After taking in the views from above, head back down to street level and walk a few blocks over to Times Square, one of the busiest intersections in the city. Broadway meets 42nd Street here, bringing together the city’s great theaters, MTV and TV programs like “Good Morning America,” a range of shops and a colorful cast of street performers. This is where a million people gather to watch the ball drop every New Years Eve.
From Times Square it’s just a quick walk to Rockefeller Center. Say hi to Radio City and walk over to Rockefeller Plaza. Would you like to see the “Today Show,” or the “Tonight Show” or “Saturday Night Live”? They’re all filmed here, at 30 Rock. In winter, there’s a giant Christmas tree in the plaza, plus an ice-skating rink.
Continue uptown to Columbus Circle, at the southwest corner of beautiful Central Park. If you’re ever driving around New York State, New Jersey or southern New England, look for signs marking the distance to New York—they’re actually measuring the distance to the statue of Christopher Columbus in this circle. But for your purposes, the most important thing in Columbus Circle is the D train—the D train to Yankee Stadium!
Buy an MTA metro card and hop on the D train going uptown. On game day it’ll be crowded; you might have to smush. Get off at 161st Street-Yankee Stadium, but before you head into the ballpark, stop at Stan’s to pregame a little bit.
Just outside the old Yankee Stadium, and a block from the new one, Stan’s is the best place to grab a beer with fans before a game. (Look for the Boston Red Sox teddy bear hanging from a noose to prove you’re in true Yankee territory here.) Enjoy a drink, then cap off your New York day by cheering on the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.