New Smyrna Beach, Florida


      Traveling is meant to challenge your mind, your body and your soul.  However it is also a challenge to keep balanced while on the move. We travel in order to explore, to venture into all walks of life, to try new things, or to escape every day life. Unfortunately we can get stuck in the mud with over- indulgence, boredom, or unrest because we are out of our comfort zone on the road. Get the most out of your traveling by keeping balanced. Open your mind, challenge your body, and warm your soul.  And most of all, be joyful! The world is your oyster.


I have spent almost every summer here in New Smyrna Beach, Florida ever since I was a little girl. Making long road-trips from Virginia to visit my Grandparents, I would arrive full of excitement year after year. I’ve watched this small beach town grow into a sort of a worldwide transit for some of the most kind and creative people I have ever known.  After college I moved to the island to pursue music.  I have come to realize that some sort of magical combination of music, friends, family, ocean and a mysterious energy of the town finds me back here when I am least expecting it. When you think of Florida you might think of Orlando or Daytona Beach… but this gem of a town is only an hour from Orlando and 20 minutes from Daytona. However, you feel very far away from the mumble jumble of tourist traps. For a small island, where everything is a 10-minute or less drive or bike ride, there is an awful lot of things to do!  All of these suggestions for you to travel for your mind, body and soul in the hidden treasure of NEW SMYRNA BEACH are tried and true…directly from first hand experience…


Chuckeytas Café 

What? The quaint coffee shop of Flagler Avenue, and the only ‘barista’ on the island. Come grab an iced coffee made with real coffee ice cubes (don’t want that watered down coffee), or taste a hot soy chai latte made with black tea, cinnamon, and spices. They also have a ballin’ café con leche made with evaporated milk, raw cane sugar, and espresso. Grab a free newspaper and take a seat outside on the porch or in one of the eclectic rocking chairs, couches, or lounge seats around the café. Use up the FREE wi-fi!

When? Open everyday 6:30am-6pm

Where? 411 Flagler Avenue next door to Nichols surf shop

Cost? Starbucksish coffee prices, but you can get a hot coffee for $1.50 in a mug

Time? If you have your laptop you could spend all morning surfing the Internet and enjoying your white mocha latte. Or take just a few minutes to grab an espresso and be on your way.

Hip Tip:  You MUST grab one of the muffins baked fresh every morning. Made with fresh granola, chia seeds, bran mix, and fresh fruit or chocolates. My favorite is the peanut butter, chocolate, banana muffin.

More info:

Yoga Siddhi  


What? A top of the line yoga studio with Anusara teacher Lisa Wulf, registered nurse in progressive care, intensive care, and cardiology, and trained under John Friend an internationally known founder of Anusara yoga. She is an amazing teacher. They offer warm Hatha yoga, yoga for beginners, power yoga, aerial yoga, and more. Come take a class and walk away with a peaceful mind and gentle spirit.

When? Open everyday. Check the website for class schedules. Classes everyday at 9:30am and 6:15pm.

Where? 310 US1 (North Dixie Freeway) (right next to Steve’s furniture)

Cost?  $15 for a drop in

$29 unlimited for first time students

$35 for Stand up-Paddle Board rental and tour

Time? An hour to an hour and a half classes

Hip Tip: Take the Saturday morning class at 9:30 with Lisa and follow it up with a 45-minute Aerial yoga class that is hard to find. In the Aerial yoga you swing on kites, stretch, work, lift and laugh!

More info:

 Browse an Oldschool Thrift/Antique Store

What? As you will find out within your first slow moving traffic light, there are many old people in Florida. However, this also means that the thrift stores on the island are filled with vintage treasures that you could never find in a Buffalo Exchange. Doddle around a few stores in the area and pick out some fun nick-nacks that you will keep forever. The stores are well kept, extremely cheap and heartwarming if you take the time to look through the kaleidoscope of old coffeepots, records, jewelry, hats and much more that I’m sure I could never dream of.

When? Generally open around 9am-5pm. Most closed on Mondays and/or Sundays.

Where? New Smyrna Antique Mall at 419 Canal St.

Jeff’s Antiques at 616 N Dixie Fwy

Habitat for Humanity at 722 S Dixie Fwy

Thrifty Threads Consignment at 217 Canal St.

Cor Meth Boutique at 201 S Peninsula Ave

Lil’s Bargains at 713 Canal St.

Palms at 328 Canal St.

Cost? CHEAP AS HELL and PRICELESS at the same time.

Time? Take a Friday morning and browse a few shops.

Hip Tip: If you are here on a Saturday or Sunday, head straight for a yard sale. You can find out in the “PennySaver” (the local paper) where they are. Drive down Saxon or North beach and look for signs on the corner. You will get awesome vintage figurines, clothes, movies, and more for insannnnely cheap!

More Info:

 Bob Ross’s Painting School


What? Ever seen Bob Ross, the man with the afro, painting on PBS, when you were a kid? Born in Daytona Beach, FL Ross joined the Air Force at 18, and after his term he vowed never to scream again. His paintings began to become famous world wide as he started his own television program “The Joy of Painting.” Bob loved New Smyrna Beach and opened a school right here in town. Come on in and improve your painting with Bob Ross certified instructors. He only built two schools in the world, one in New Smyrna and one in Nebraska!

When? Open Tuesday-Saturday from 10am to 5pm.

Where? 757 E. Third Ave

Cost? $45 for a half-day class, supplies included

$70 for a full-day class, supplies included

Hip Tip: If you’re not a painter, still visit the studio and appreciate a lifelong teacher of art to children. You can buy his books and painting products in the store as well.

More Info:

FOOD FOR THE MIND -So Napa Wine Bar and Restaurant


What? This refreshing restaurant takes you away from the endless fried clams and jumbo shrimp and brings you into a California inspired menu filled with delicious flatbreads, seafood, steak, salads and much more. Try the Knights Valley flatbread made with blue cheese, filet mignon, onions and mozzarella. Or enjoy the Sonoma Farms Chicken, grilled and topped with spinach, goat cheese, sundried tomatoes and the signature lemon butter sauce. Start out with the lobster bisque and a glass of one of the many California wines to choose from.Don’t forget to leave room for a tasty Pineapple Upside-down cake, served hot with a scoop of ice-cream.

When? Open everyday at 5pm until about 10pm or whenever people stop coming in.

Where? 3406 South Atlantic Ave (Across the street from Chases on the Beach)

Cost? Apps $9 Entrées $12- $23

Time? An hour and a halfish…

Hip Tip: Happy Hour every day until 6:30 which is half off house wines, well liquors, and domestic and imported beers. Go to the bar daily and get “Buck a burgers”, each slider is only $1! Or come in on a Wednesday and hit “Flip Night” flip a quarter to see if you get your for drink free! Ladies night every Thursday after 9pm everything is half off for the ladies! Including food!

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What? At a beautiful Cuban-Latino restaurant on Sunday afternoons, Gina Cuchetti, a female jazz singer, will melt your heart as you sip on the brunch’s $1 Mimosas and $3 Bloody Marys!  Listen to jazz trios, Cuban instrumentalists, and many more top notch artists as you try something off of the brunch menu which includes a Spanish Scramble with local organic eggs, chorizo, potatoes and spinach, with a spicy melon salad. Get on the sweet train with a Krispy Kreme and Bacon Bread Pudding made with poached local organic eggs, fried potatoes, and maple syrup!

When? 11am-2pm live music.

Where? 737 East 3rd Avenue (in the Publix shopping center)

Cost?  Very reasonable and totally worth it. About $10-14 for the brunch menu. Don’t forget to tip the musicians!

Time? Hang out for as long as you’d like. 

Hip Tip: Ask Gina to sing you an Adelle tune or one of her own and you will be in for a treat! Get the guava mimosa, a caraff is only $5! The tostones (fried plantains) with avocado salsa are also absolutely delicious.

More Info:


NSB Bridge Circuit

What? Walk, or jog the island’s bridge circuit, which includes the north and south causeways. The fourish-mile circuit takes you over the only hills Florida has to offer. You get a great view of the intercoastals, pelican island, and the treetops as you make your way over the bridges. The circuit has lots to see and you will feel very accomplished as you walk your last few steps back to where you began. Strap on your ipod and start or end your day with this journey to really get a taste of new Smyrna Beach through a local’s eyes and body.

When? In the early morning before it is too hot, or late at night when the bridge is lit up and the city lights reflect off of the water below.

Where? See map. Start at the south causeway, there is a parking lot right below the bridge on the corner of 44 and Peninsula. Park your car and begin the journey to the first bridge coming over the south causeway, take a right at the bottom of the bridge on Live Oak St. head straight until you reach Canal St, take a right at Canal St and one block down you will find the river. Take a left on Riverside Drive and a right at the small bridge on your right, which leads you to the North Causeway. Run over the smaller bridge until you reach Flagler Avenue. Take a right at Peninsula and you will find your self back at your car with your blood pumping and your adrenaline kicked up a notch.

Cost? FREE

Time? Depends on how fast you run, walk or bike four miles.

Hip Tip: After you are finished, drive to Heath’s Health Food Store right down A1A on your left 30seconds away from where you parked. Grab a freshly squeezed juice or all natural Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie. 

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Bike to the Inlet

What? Rent bikes at Nichol’s surf shop on Flagler and ride down the ramp straight on to the beach. Enjoy the view of the ocean, the sand beneath you, and the salty mist that exfoliates your skin and invites the sun to fill you with those D vitamins. The ride to the inlet is about 2 ½ miles from Flagler Ave. Bring your sunglasses and enjoy the rush of the wind and some amazing views of surfers and kite-surfers at the rocky inlet.

When? Make sure you ride at low-tide so you have more beach to bike.

Where? Flagler Avenue to the Inlet (you will know you’ve reached it when you dead end at the jetties).

Cost? Bike Rentals….

Time? About 30 minutes

Hip Tip: Make sure you start against the wind so the way back is easier. If you have to change your route and go south first, that is a way better option! (Go south to 27th Avenue then turn around). If the wind is with you to the inlet it will be much harder on the way back! Much harder! Take your pick.

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Surf National Geographic’s fav town

What?  “What do you get when you combine 13 miles of beach, 300 surfable days a year, warm water, and great fishing? The laid-back center of high-performance surfing known as New Smyrna Beach.”- National Geographic

Voted one of the world’s top 20 surf towns by National Geographic, New Smyrna Beach is the place to hit the waves. If you’re a beginner surfer take a private or a group lesson from Surfin’ NSB, where Lindsey Baldwin, pro-surfer, and owner has a staff of instructors with at least 15 years of surfing experience. If you are a veteran surfer, rent a board from Nichol’s Surf Shop and hop into the waves right off of Beachway Avenue. This beach ramp is farther north and more secluded than Flagler Avenue. Put in your boards and paddle out to sea, enjoying the local’s sport of choice.

When? Summer or winter, (in winter bring a wetsuit) Smyrna has the most rival waves a year on the whole East Coast statistically so you will be sure to catch a few whenever you come.

Where? Various spots along NSB. Instructors will drive to you. Check out Sapphire Avenue, 27th Avenue, Flalger Avenue, or Beachway Avenue.

Cost? $50 for 1 hour lesson including surf board and travel

Groups $50 per person for 1 hour-1 ½ hours including surf boards and travel

Groups of 6 or more get 2 hours with no extra charge

Time? Go for at least an hour and see how you feel.

Hip Tip: Stay away from surfing at the very end of the inlet unless you are an advanced surfer or the locals will eat you alive out there! Any age any level can try surfing though, be unafraid!

More Info: or National Geographic Article:

Get a Cranial Sacral Massage at the Spa at Riverview

What? Pamper yourself at one of the most eloquent spas I’ve ever been too. With Swedish massages, facials, microdermabrasion, reflexology, hot stone massages, a coconut and pineapple hair and scalp treatment, or a sea and salt glow, you can take your pick cater to yourself. Walking in, the service staff kindly assists you with anything you need, leading you into a comfortable women’s locker room with soft robes and slippers to change into. Sip on cucumber water or lemon tea as you wait for your therapist. After your treatment you are able to change into your suit to enjoy the hot springs or cold pool out back. There you will find a waterfall, room to layout, sliced cucumbers and cold towels for your face, and waiters to help you if you would like to order food or a beverage.  Treat your body good and relieve some stress which is a factor in 75% of all diseases statistically.

When? Schedule an appointment at a time convenient to you but call a WEEK ahead of time if you can, they book up!

Where?  103 Flagler Ave (Next to the Riverview Hotel)

Cost? Prices vary a lot for different treatments, check out the link below J

Time? Take about two hours for your treatment and time at the pool.

Hip Tip: You can use the mineral pool and all other amenities with any treatment. If you need to save a bit more money, enjoy a citrus manicure or seasonal pedicure and enjoy yourself out back in the tropical waterfall-whirlpool.

More Info:

Paddleboard with Stand Up New Smyrna

What? Ever stood up on a surfboard-ish thing and paddled through the waves? Well stand up! Get out into the water with an up and coming sport that is both great for the river and the ocean. Take a paddle river-eco tour, lesson, or rent boards and go out on your own to glide across the water, working your legs and core to balance and your arms to paddle.   Stand Up New Smyrna is one of the first company’s for Stand Up paddleboards, with owners who have been paddling and fishing the rivers local rivers for the past 15 years.

When? Sunset tours at 6:30pm, Group River Paddles at 9am and 12:30pm, Sunset Picnic Paddles at 6:30pm or get a private lesson or rent boards anytime between.

Where? Can paddle off at many different drop-in points on the island so it just depends. Give them a call and meet up with teachers or to rent a board.

Cost? River/Sunset/Eco-tour Paddles are $45pp, includes: board, life vest, paddle, orientation, 80 minute paddle, refreshments, photos of your tour

Paddle Board Rentals- $45pp for 3 hours or $55pp for whole day

Private Lessons- $60pp including board and paddle

Time? Take your board out for a lesson, a day, or a weekend.

Hip Tip: Take a SUP Yoga class! Get a clear mind when you combine nature, movement, stretching, and good people. Try this new fusion and do yourself a favor, taught by local Shushanna a precision alignment certified yoga teacher.

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NSB FOOD FOR THE BODY- Flagler Avenue Seafood Market


What?  A hidden treasure of a shop filled with fresh locally-caught seafood, now with a delicious lunch menu. The icon off the menu is the tuna poke bowl which is soy-chili marinated raw ahi tuna over jasmine rice and topped with avocado for $9.95. I am never disappointed with anything off of their menu. Start with a fresh salad with cucumber-wasabi dressing. You can buy the freshest snapper, scallops, flounder, cobia, oysters and more to take home and cook for yourself.  Sit outside in the breeze and sip on a Pellegrino before you head back to the beach feeling energized and not too full!

When? Open everyday 10am to 6pm.

Where? 360 Flagler Avenue, in the shopping plaza.

Cost? $8-12 for most lunch options (Poki bowls are $10)

Time? Fast and easy

Hip Tip: TUNA POKE BOWL, sear the tuna if you are not a fan of raw fish (that’s what I do) or the SCB Burrito with a Spanish salsa they give you to top it with.  You can buy the salsa delicacy to take home as well. (We did!)

More Info: (386) 402-7880



What? Heading out on the town? Check out the nightly live music at the Beachside Tavern. A great venue that has housed national touring acts such as Zach Deputy, Afroman, Damien Marley, G-Love, and many more. Fridays and Saturdays you will most likely find a band heating up the dance floor and Mon-Thursday check out local artists from reggae, to rock, to country, to folk, tearing it up on guitar and singing their hearts out. Jam out to some of your favorite tunes here and a little later get out on the dance floor and sweat it up!

When? Music nightly.  MOST SHOWS 9pm-1:30am

Where? 690 E 3rd Ave (towards 44, across from the CVS)

Cost? As much as you want to spend on beer and the jukebox machine.

Time? Hang out.

Hip Tip: On Tuesdays you will find singer-songwriter Jeff White (solo acoustic reggae-soul) and on Thursdays check out my favorite musician, Davy Hakojarvi (vocal/guitar on classic tunes from the Allman brothers and John Prine all the way up to Marvin Gaye and Al Green.) A few bands to be on the lookout for: The Burnin’ Smyrnans, Cornfed, After Indiana, The FAM Band, The Afterwhile, and Ben Prestage. If any of those names appear on the billboard out front YOU MUST GO!!

More Info:


 Watch the Sunrise

What? Wherever you are from you will probably rarely have seen such a beautiful sunrise as the one that rises over the ocean here in New Smyrna. Take one morning to wake up early and drive or walk to the ocean nearest you. Lay down a blanket, bring a cup of coffee and surrender to the gorgeous pale colors of the sun over the Atlantic.

When? Check online the night before for the sunrise time.

Where? The beach!

Cost? FREE

Hip Tip: Get a great breakfast of chocolate chip pancakes and sausage at the local breakfast spot on Flagler, The Beacon after your sunrise spectacular.

More Info:

Canaveral National Seashore


What? Collect a variety of colored seashells at the national seashore of NSB. The dunes are quaint and refreshing after the more crowded popular beaches.  Park in one of the lots near the beach entrances and bring a cooler, beach towel, sunscreen, and your suit! Grab something to carry your shells in and wander for miles finding seashells for your own collection. Find peace climbing the sandy dunes, watching out for wildlife and trekking the beaches. Take a swim in the ocean and refresh yourself with a salt-water scrub and a bit of sun. The romance of the seashore will take you far away from any of your problems.

When? Winter hours: Nov-March 6am-6pm

Summer hours: April- October 6am- 8pm

Where?  Drive south to the end of A1A and you will dead end into the park!

Cost? $5.00 a day per car

Time? An hour? All day? All night?!

Hip Tip: Reserve a CAMP spot and stay for the night if it is the right season (11/01 -4/30) The sunrise over Buffoon is absolutely breathtaking. You can start a fire in the designated camping spots, and the ocean will rock you to sleep. Do it! Must reserve a spot in advance!

 More info: 386-428-3384 or

Stroll the NSB Farmer’s Market


What? There are two farmer’s markets held every Saturday morning in NSB. Wake up and wander through the many local farmers, artists, growers, fisherman, chefs, etc as they display fresh organic products. Honey straight from the hives, handmade wooden cutting boards, hand-sewn moccasins and young coconuts to drink from are all things you might find here. Grab a freshly baked pistachio muffin and a fresh-squeezed orange juice for breakfast and support the grassroots movement.

When? Every Saturday from 8am-2pm. (Get there earlier for the good stuff!)

Where? The Original Market- at Old Fort Park and City Hall on Sams Avenue

2nd Farmer’s Market- at Norwood’s on 400 E 2nd Ave

Cost? All goods way cheaper than any grocery store and WAY BETTER!

Hip Tip: Enjoy fresh spring rolls served with Peanut Sauce from Songrkran’s booth. Or go to the marina sauce man at the Norwood’s market! Oh…and buy one!

More Info: 

Kayak from JB’s Fish Camp

What? Head south down A1A and arrive at JB’s Fish Camp on your right. This restaurant, bar is located right on the river and boats take dock to grab a bite or beer all day long. Walk into the trailer right out front of the restaurant and you will be able to rent Kayaks. The water around JB’s is a paradise for kayakers. Lookout for manatees, dolphins, and exotic shorebirds among these protected bays. Head out on the water and calm your spirit amid the peaceful waters filled with wildlife.

When? They rent kayaks everyday from 7am to 5pm.

Where? 859 Pompano Avenue (Head on A1A South and it will be on your right)

Cost? 1 hr: Single $15, double $20

4 hrs: single $50, double $55

24 hour: single $100, double $150

Weekly: single $150, double $150

Time? One hour is plenty enough unless you want to kayak to one of the islands and enjoy lunch. The weekly rates are great if you want to have a kayak in NSB for the whole week!

Hip Tip: Kayak to Manatee cove right around the corner. They live in the cove and you can even pet them! If you pour fresh water onto the surface of the water they will come up and drink it. I like getting a double because it is harder than it looks and you can take turns resting.

More Info:


What? A fabulous Italian restaurant, the best in New Smyrna Beach in my opinion.  With a unique atmosphere of dimmed lighting, indoor and outdoor seating, live music, and garlics hanging by the thousands throughout the restaurant, you will enjoy your stay from start to finish. Read the delicious specials off of a crisp lasagna noodle, and be sure to try one of the pasta specialties such as pasta puttanesca with hearty meatballs. Or go for a fresh seafood stew (cioppino) of shrimp, scallops, lobster, clams, mussles, calamari, and fish in a marinara sauce with fresh herbs and seasonings.

When? Open everyday from 4-11pm.

Where? 556 E. Third Avenue, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169

Cost? It is a bit pricier than other restaurants in town but go for your one fine dining experience. You won’t be disappointed and you will remember it forever!

Hip Tip: Tuesday night is ladies night at the bar! That means everything is half off including food and drinks for ladies sitting at the bar. Sip on their perfectly sweet espresso martini, or enjoy a glass of their strong white sangria (made with vodka) along with some of the best calamari in town! Early bird specials from 4pm-5:30 daily too!

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NSB LIVE MUSIC for the SOUL- Maloney’s

What? Spend an evening at Malony’s Oyster Pub on Canal St. and enjoy live Irish music or local musicians and bands from all across Florida.  This pub is the friendliest and most delicious place to be. The owner Jim has great taste in music and food alike. Try a homemade oyster stew and or shrimp pan roast, made to order in an individual old school steamer made right in front of you. Order a guiness and a delicious pub sandwich. Maybe the salmon and avacado on homemade pumpernickel bread? Smoked Kingfish with crackers? Spinich Salad with egg, red pepper, cucumber, tomato, and basalmic vinagrette? Take your pick!  The servers are awesome, the music is intimate and not overbearing and the food is light and tasty!

When? 6-9pm Live music every Tuesday (Irish Music) and Friday (various artists). Closed on Sundays.

Where? 147 Canal St. (Over the first bridge, take a right on live oak, left on canal)

Cost? Great, under $10 for an entrée!

Hip Tip: Get the carrot cake for dessert! The cake and cream cheese frosting are completely homemade and there is plenty enough to share.

More Info:

Random Helpful Hints:

Bring a Volleyball or soccer ball to the beach and MAKE FRIENDS! So many locals here have kayaks, surfboards, and paddleboards, and are looking for people to enjoy the sports with!

Take a fishing charter in the redfish capitol of the world, mosquito lagoon!

Always wear sunscreen! Winter or Summer…the Florida sun is hot!

Go to The Hub on Canal St. or the Atlantic Center of the Arts!

 Check out, to save hotel

 money…lots of local New Smyrnans are online!

Rent a Bike for the week! You can get everywhere!

Do a Wine Walk, every third Saturday of the Month, starting at OM Bar!


Heavenly Smoothie- Lobster Bisque

Tayton O’ Brians- French Dip  

Clancy’s Cantina- The Golden Margarita

Mon Delice- The Napolean or a Turkey Sub

Atlantis Bistro- Fresh salmon wrapped in a croissant and baked

International Deli and Gourmet Foods- couscous or Split Pea Soup

Bagel World- The Sailor

Treats on the Beach- Cake Batter Icecream

-Live like a local…

Have fun,


New York City New York City New York


      Traveling is meant to challenge your mind, your body and your soul. When traveling for a vacation, work, a honeymoon, or whatever your reason, it is hard to keep balanced while on the move. We travel in order to explore, to venture into all walks of life, to try new things, or to escape every day life. Unfortunately we can get stuck in the mud with over- indulgence, boredom, or unrest because we are out of our comfort zone on the road. Get the most out of your traveling by keeping balanced. Open your mind, challenge your body, and warm your soul.  And most of all, be joyful! The world is your oyster.

Being a musical theater major, I have spent a lot of time in NYC over the years. After my trip last week hanging out with a best friend and just trying to have fun, I finally feel fit to give advice for travelers wanting to do the same. All of these suggestions for you to travel for your mind, body and soul in the good old NEW YORK CITY are tried and true… directly from first hand experience…


The Bodies Exhibit


What? An inspiring exhibit featuring real human bodies. You get a chance to see our species from the inside with a display of preserved human bodies. You can see healthy lungs compared to a smokers lungs, fetuses, muscles, hearts, nerves, everything! It’s truly amazing how much we all look like chicken meat. You won’t regret it.

When? Open everyday 10am to 7pm

Where? 11 Fulton Street, NY, NY 10038 (at the South Street Seaport, Pier 17)

Cost? Students w/ ID $23.50

Adults $26.50

Time? Spend about 1.5-2 hours looking around.

Hip Tip: Play the relax competition with a friend there! You each put on head gear and face one another on opposite ends of a table. The more relaxed you are the farther the metallic ball in the center will move into your partner’s side. When the ball crosses the line over your partner’s side you win. See who can chill out better!

More Info:

Tenement Museum



What? An awesome museum in the lower east side where you can see how immigrants lived as tenants throughout different time periods. You see the struggles they faced as lower class immigrants in Manhattan by touring their actual apartments. In 1935 the city boarded up this apartment complex for reconstruction that never happened. Fifty years later when they took off the shutters, the entire building was found preserved! This building housed 7000 working class immigrants from 1863-1935. You can walk through the restored homes of the Irish, Greek, German, Jewish and many more immigrants, each with a unique story that will warm your heart.

When? Open everyday 10am- 6pm (tours start every 15-30 min)

Where? 103 Orchard St. NY, NY 10002

Cost? Students w/ ID $17

Adults $22

*This price includes ONE tour aka ONE floor of the apartments. You can choose a TOUR (touring the building without a costume interpreter), a WALK (walking with a guide through the surrounding neighborhood of the immigrants) or a MEET (touring the building with a costume interpreter). We did the MEET and it was really fun, the actor was badass.

Time? About a two hour event

Hip Tip: Take the MEET tour and bring plenty of tough questions to put the character interpreter to some real improv work! If you’re are going to have an actor as a tour guide, it might as well be in NYC!

More info: telephone-


What? Go spend a few hours walking among one of the greatest art museums in the country.  Explore exhibits of modern art including sculptures, photography, paintings, drawings, films, and much more. Spend a few hours taking in the beauty and creativity of artists from all over the world.

When? Open Everyday 10:30am-5:30pm

Where? 11 West 53rd St. NY, NY 10019

Cost? Students w/ ID $14

Adults $25

* EVERY Friday from 4pm-8pm they hold Target Free Fridays. It is FREE! You can only get tickets when you go, none in advance.

 Time? As long or as little as you want, you could spend days in there!

Hip Tip: You and a friend name the pieces of art before you read the titles. Guess if the artist is male or female. Decide who is closer to the title of the work of art. 

More Info:



What? Ever had milk-pearl tea? Or bubble tea? Or Boba? If not, it is a must have! This is a Taiwanese coffee and tea café with plenty of Boba. Boba is a tea drink with small tapioca pearls that are perfectly chewy and sweet! Tapioca pearls are made from sweet potato, cassava root, and brown sugar and are chewy like gummy bears. Try a Strawberry green tea with tapioca, a Lychee black tea, or a Jasmine Milk tea with boba. Most tea options are fruity or milky and all very tasty. It is great for energy on the go, with a little texture for your teeth!

When? Open everyday 11am-1am

Where? 26 Saint Marks Place (East Village)

New York, New York 10003

Cost?  Small $3.15 Large $3.75

Time?  5 minutes

Hip Tip: Cash only! Get the honeydew milk tea with pearls!

More Info:

                                            NYC FOR YOUR BODY

Walk the Brooklyn Bridge

What? Walk a mile distance over the Brooklyn Bridge, let the rush of cars wash over you, feel the breeze from the coast, get some fresh air and work those legs all while viewing the beautiful NYC skyline.

When? Go at night! Enjoy the skyline all lit up!

Where? The pedestrian walkway starts across from the city hall in Lower Manhattan.

Cost? FREE

Time? Allow about 30 minutes to walk across the bridge.

Hip Tip: Bring a camera with you to take beautiful skyline photos!

More Info:

Walk through Central Park


What? You need to see this park at some point on your trip!  After a few days in the concrete jungle an hour stroll in the park will refresh your lungs and mind. Grab a cup of coffee and watch the local New Yawkers start their day with a jog or bike ride. Lay out on a blanket at sunset , or join in the yoga in the park held every morning. This will revamp you after crowded metros, trust me!

When? Anytime.

Where? The park is in the middle of Manhattan. There are MANY entrances, begin near you.

Cost? FREE

Time? Take a long stroll.

Hip Tip: Challenge you and a friend to walk in complete silence for 30 minutes and see how different you can feel.

More Info:

*There are many free events held in the park such as yoga, ‘Broadway in the Park’, etc. Check the website for the calendar of events.

Yoga to the people

What? A donation-based studio for all types of yogis. Beginners and advanced yogis all welcome! This class is a one hour vinyasa flow with movement, breath, and stretching. Take the metro to the studio, climb up to the second floor, bring or rent a mat, and huddle in to an old vintage dance studio for an hour of free yoga with a packed class full of NYC locals. Yoga means union. Find yourself.

When? Open everyday. Check the web for class times for the two studios. M-F 7am, 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4:30pm, 6pm, 7:30pm, 9pm

Where? On the East side: 12 Saint Marks Place – 2R New York, NY 10003  AND

In Brooklyn 211 N. 11th Street, 2nd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Cost? Donate what you can in the cash box as you leave class.

Mat rentals: $2

Time? One-hour class. Arrive 15 minutes early.

Fun Tip: Get a wheatgrass shot from one of the fresh squeezed juice stands on your way to class!

 More Info:

* Do NOT go for the hot yoga flow, make sure it is the power vinyasa flow. The hot one is Bikram yoga which people either love or hate, I no recomendy.

        FOOD FOR THE BODY- Whole Foods


What? Just go! If you have never been to whole foods you are in for a surprise. If you have been many times before you are STILL in for a surprise. This Whole Foods of NYC contains a sushi bar, a kitchen for cooking classes, a restaurant, a clothing shop, wine shop, and much more! Just go and explore the miles and miles of health foods and products. You will feel healthier from just walking around the store! Go upstairs to the beauty section and try the free samples of organic skin creams, lotions, and sprays. Get a fresh squeezed orange, carrot, beet juice from the bar and wander around with the dancers, gym -bos, meatheads, vegans, and all sorts of other health nerds of NYC.

When? Everyday 8am to 11pm

Where? 95 East Houston St.

New York, NY 10002

Cost? FREE, $6 for a fresh juice, $9 for a fresh wrap or sandwich

Time? 30-45 minutes.

Hip Tip: Bring your laptop, grab an organic coffee, and chill out in the comfy leather chairs upstairs.

More Info:


Ground Zero


What? Go see the site of one of our generation’s great tragedies. Where the towers fell, there is a ton of construction to rebuild FOUR trade centers. Just observe the place where our twin towers fell on 9-11. Walk around the neighborhood and try to imagine what this part of town must have been like on that morning. Stop into the free memorial museum down the road where you can see the timeline of when the planes crashed into the world trade centers, photos of families, video footage of 9-11 and much more. It is a quick stop but it is worth it to be in the neighborhood where the streets and shops were once covered with dust from the burning buildings.

When? Open everyday 10am-6pm (go in the week)

Where? Present your pass at the 9/11 memorial entry at the northwest corner of Albany and Greenwich Streets in lower Manhattan.

Cost? FREE, BUT you must reserve your free pass through the website.

Time? From 20 minutes to an hour, as long as you need to remember.

Hip Tip: Watch Fahrenheit 9-11, United 93 or World Trade Center before you go.

More Info:

“Once” on Broadway


 What? An incredible Broadway show set in a pub in Ireland, based on the movie “Once” about two musicians meeting by chance and forming a relationship because of their passion for music.  Walk into the theater, and before the show even begins, the musician/actors are jamming some of Ireland’s greatest tunes onstage amongst themselves. The audience can join them on stage to buy a drink from the ‘pub’ or to dance to the live music! A 2012 Tony Award winner and my favorite Broadway show I have seen so far.  It is worth the money, no question.

When?  Sun 3PM, Mon dark, Tues 7pm, Wed 2pm and 7pm, Thurs 8pm,

Fri 8pm, Sat 2pm and 8pm

Where? Bernard B. Jacobs Theater Box Office, 242 West 45th Street (Between 8th and Broadway)

Cost? Mezzanine $60-$100, Orchestra $132- $157.00

*All Seats are great, it’s a smaller theater

Time? About 2 hours and 30min (including intermission)

Fun Tip: When the box office opens a limited number of seats will be sold for that day’s performance for a rush price of about $35.00. Box office opens at 10am except for noon on Sunday. Get there as early as possible and wait in line for the cheap tickets!!

More Info:

Karaoke Bar

What? If anyone in your party is willing to sing karaoke, head down and grab a drink in a karaoke bar even if you stay for only a song or two. It is worth it to watch the divas get up and sannngg their hearts out. Many talented singers flood the streets of New York and these starlets can’t keep themselves away from karaoke. Go see your own personal live American Idol in NY. Let go, have fun!

When? Late at night.

Where? Planet Rose at 219 Ave. A, North 14th St. Karaoke One 7 at 29 @. 17th St. North 6th Ave

OR any dive Karaoke Bar in Chelsea, NYC

Cost? FREE

Time? A few hours or a few songs

Fun Tip: Choose an upbeat song, not a ballad. Something everyone can sing too.  Sip on a jalapeño margarita before you get onstage.

More Info:



What? Cafeteria. An amazing restaurant filled with delicious modern food with a twist! Snack on Macaroni and Cheese with smoked gouda and bacon, Spicy Pork Meatball Sliders, a Crispy Calamari Salad with roasted peppers, toasted peanuts, and honey sesame vinaigrette, Fried Chicken N Waffles, Truffle Shrimp Risotto, Spinach Artichoke Ravioli… and many more dishes for the soul.

When? Late night, dinner

Where? 119 7th Ave NY, NY 10010 (Chelsea)

Cost? App $10 Salads $14 Entrees $22

Time? An hour (or more if you hit the full bar)

Fun Tip:  Be nice and hungry before you go, and get the Mac and Cheese with Buffalo chicken and blue cheese.

 More Info:


In the Summer Bring:

Comfortable Walking shoes- closed toed b/c of all the dirty water puddles

A light rain jacket

Clothes to keep COOL in, its hot as Hades

Sunscreen (UV rays go right through that smog)


In the Winter Bring:     

Clothes to keep WARM!

Durable boots


-Bring your Student ID if you have one!

-Pack light, the city is too crowded for extra stuff!

-Download the ‘Happy Hour’ app on your iphone to check out happy hours all around you at any time.

-Don’t have a car in NYC! Buy a metro ticket for the week, you will use it.

-Stay with friends if you can, or sublet an apartment! Many actors, dancers, etc leave for a week or more and still need to pay their rent so they will sublet their place out to you for about $300 for a week or $600 for two weeks. You will save money!

-Live like a local…

Have fun,


Music for the SOUL

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Annie Cardi

YA writer, redhead


Exploring the world on the human balance beam.