New York City

Right after our trip to Washington D.C. (which was amazing!) we took the train up to New York and spent nearly a week exploring the state from NYC to Buffalo. I’m excited to share a few great things we did with the kids, way too many photos, and my new favorite place in the entire world…

The lady in teal

The Hotel Elysee

First we stopped in the big city. The kids have never been there before and although we spend a lot of time in San Francisco – nothing quite compares to the overwhelming awesomeness of NYC. We stayed at The Hotel Elysee. It was the perfect location, an easy walk to both Times Square and Central Park – literally footsteps from the MoMA. My favorite thing about the hotel was the daily wine and cheese hour from 3-6pm.

From now on, when traveling with kids I am only staying at hotels that have a daily wine and cheese hour!

After playing tourists all day long it was the perfect stopping point for our family. We had a chance to wind wine down before dinner, and the kids got a needed snack to finish off the day.

I was surprised at how easy it was to travel through the city with kids. We used Uber instead of taking the subway most of the time – since we had to buy 4 subway tickets Uber was actually cheaper than the subway and waaaayyyy easier for traveling with kids. Click here for a $30 Uber credit on your first trip – that can basically take you across the city! Although we did take the subway a couple times for the experience, and once we happened to be on a car with acrobatic subway performers, which was the coolest things my kids have ever seen.

MoMA

One great stop we made was to see MoMA. I was nervous about bringing the kids into the museum, but thankfully they had an entire kids area with fun art projects and activities. Matt and I were able to trade off and each spend our own time enjoying the grown up art while the kids played happily downstairs.

The Mermaid Inn NYC

Lastly, the food! We ate the best food on this trip. Thanks to Joanna’s recommendation we headed to the East Village one day to eat at the Mermaid inn. The garden out back was adorable – we snacked on $1 Oysters, really great fish tacos and free pudding for dessert. The kids adored the fortune telling fish! Another night we ate at an amazing Italian restaurant Bread & Tulips, where they make their own pasta and served us bread that tasted like heaven.

B Bridge

sculpture play

New York from The East River Ferry

One afternoon we headed over to Brooklyn via walking over the bridge – the city definitely lived up to the hype of family friendly fun. The park under the bridge had a giant splash pad that we all got soaked in and huge sculptures by Jeppe Hein that the kids were encouraged to climb on (my kind of art!). Right off the bridge we ate at Juliana’s Pizza which was honestly the best pizza I have ever eaten (a week later we learned that even CNN agrees!). A ferry to Williamsburg (ferries are always a kid favorite vacation activity) finished off our time in the city.

Traveling via trains with kids is waaaay easier than airplanes!

After leaving NYC we took a train up into the Hudson Valley, where my brother lives in the adorable town, New Paltz. Trains quickly became my favorite way to travel throughout the East Coast. I loved that the kids could get up and walk to the snack car and the entire experience was much more relaxing than dealing with flights.

Mohonk Paradise

Flower droplets

Mohonk gate house

My brother and sister-in-law took us to explore Mohonk, an incredible 150 year old mountain resort just steps from their house. Coming from the overwhelming city it was like driving into paradise. We played for the weekend on the resort’s private beach, jumped from diving boards into lakes filled with fish, and explored their gardens that included a hidden tree house! It was like another world. I’m already planning our next trip back.

Lake diving

A secret garden treeehouse

Bright blooms

haybails

Running on the hay

On the way down the mountain we stopped to play on hay barrels and enjoyed a couple of the cute towns along the river. The entire trip was such an incredible experience for our family. We ended it with a fun family reunion in Buffalo before flying home. Now that our kids are at a great age to travel, I’ve already dreaming of all the other locations we want to explore around the country. Any recommendations for where we should go next!?! I’d love to hear.

Do you dream of having the freedom to travel? Or the money to do it? My entire vacation was paid for through the brand partnerships that I’ve built with my blog. You can do this too! I teach you how to take your first steps towards your dream vacation in this free ebook, Your First 1k Blogging. Get it here!

PS. Our last trip to NYC and 48 hours in Carmel if you happen to be on our coast.

(All photography from my personal iPhone).