Day Seven: Relax (mostly in Manhattan)

Alyson Penn

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Morning
You made it! While there's much more you could see and do, you've accomplished enough that back home you'd probably be considered a seasoned New Yorker. So it's time to reward yourself—as if having discovered so many of the City's essential attractions isn't sufficient reward itself.

The key to beginning a day of self-pampering is with a long, drawn-out brunch full of eggs, baked goodies and mimosas. Hit a quintessential NYC spot like Sarabeth's in Tribeca (there are around a half dozen other locations in Manhattan), Peacock Alley at the Waldorf Astoria or the Plaza's Palm Court in Midtown. Keep the indulgence theme going with a facial, massage or other treatment ministered within the luxurious surroundings of one of the City's many spas. Try the Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Red Door Spa at The Chatwal or the Ritz-Carlton Spa.

Afternoon
Continue the laid-back pace by heading to one of the City's sprawling green spaces, to lounge or stroll. In warmer months you can paddle boats in Central Park or Prospect Park in Brooklyn, while Bryant Park in Midtown and Madison Square Park in the Flatiron District provide shady spots for reading and people watching. The latter is well situated for a picnic: either juicy hamburgers and salty fries from Shake Shack or panini, salumi or roasted meats from across the street at Eataly.

Afterward, climb the stairs of the High Line to wander along the elevated railroad track turned park, which boasts art installations, lush plantings and views of City skyscrapers and the Hudson River.

Evening
You've probably rested up enough during the day to enjoy some kind of blowout at night. If so, spend your last evening in town rubbing elbows with the crowd in the Meatpacking District, a former industrial zone now known for its upscale dining and thumping nightlife. STK Downtown serves up classic steak-house favorites to nightclubbers crowd, while Macelleria also does top-quality aged meat along with a range of handmade pasta dishes. Can't make up your mind? Head to Chelsea Market and take your pick from stalls and restaurants serving fresh seafood, Thai, farm-raised meats, fresh-squeezed juices, tacos and raw vegan fare.

For the ultimate Meatpacking experience—dancing, expensive drinks and eye candy—head to the Gansevoort Hotel or Le Bain at the Standard, a rooftop venue featuring well-known DJs and a hot tub adjacent to the dance floor. 

Looking to end your night on a more casual note? Ditch the stilettos for high-spirited fun at the bi-level alehouse Brass Monkey or rock 'n' roll dive bar Hogs & Heifers, where you're welcome to dance on the bar in celebration of a week well spent.


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