New York

Arrival

We arrived at the JFK airport which is located in Queens about 45 minutes drive from Downtown Manhattan
We have stayed at the Hilton Midtown (6th Avenue ) which is my recommendation for an initial  Stay in New York because it is within walking Distance from Major Sights including Radio City,Rockefeller Center,Times Square.

North Manhattan

Our Day started visiting the biggest Transfer Hub of New York the Grand Central Station.There are several Trains departing from the Grand Central Station nationwide but also in neighboring destinations around New York.It is a favourite filming Location .Near the Station is the iconic Chrysler Building one of the most distinctive Skyscrapers in New York.Inside the Station you can find some bistros and cafes where you can enjoy a quick lunch or have an espresso.

After the Chrysler Building we headed further north to the National Opera .The Opera isn t as much impressive from outside as from Inside but it is worth visiting for the beautiful sculpture Park.Additionaly direct opposite the Opera is the Julliard school of Arts which is the Top of the Top for those who are interested in Performing Arts

From there we visited the Central Park .We entered from the West Entrance to get directly to the Lake with Swans and Ducks beginning from the site where John Lennon was killed.Central Park is huge and someone can spend several hours just enjoying the green Lung of the City and the landscaped area.It is a favorite spot for New Yorkers and Visitors alike all year long but especially the warmer Months of the Year.Here you can find one of the biggest Touristtraps.there are Tuk Tuk or Bicycle drivers who charge 5 dollars per Minute!!Simply avoid it.

Further North a very interesting Church is the St John the Divine Anglican Cathedral with a distinctive north european gothic character.Just around the corner I recommend the Strokos Deli serving from typical New Yorker pastrami to fresh salads with a latin carribean touch.It is very clean with reasonable prices and good quality which unfortunately is not granted for New York.Columbia University  is our next Stop.One of the most prestigious Universities in the United States.you can visit the Campus and a big part of the huge Complex.The Columbia University belongs to Harlem the formerly Infamous District which is the Home of Apollo Theatre where you can  enjoy World class Plays and nowadays is experiencing a Revamp .

Last but not least for the second Day in New York we planned to visit  the Met (Metropolitan Museum).It is one of the biggest Museums of the World hosting impeccable Collections of ancient Greek Roman and Egyptian artifacts till Paintings of Van Gogh Rembrandt and others.It is very well organized with audio guides in many languages providing detailed  usefull and  educational Imformationabout all the Sections.All the Sections were very impressive but in particular I found the Egyptian part because apart from being Huge you can find Mummies ,Sphinxes,Sarcophags,Statues even an original sized Temple!!

er of the Order of the Star of India, served as a member of the Imperial War Cabinet, represented India at the Imperial Conferences during the First World War and the British Empire at the Versailles Peace Conference. His contribution to the building activity in Junagarh involved separate halls for public and private audiences in the Ganga Mahal and a durbar hall for formal functions. He also built the Ganga Niwas Palace, which has towers at the entrance patio. This palace was designed by Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, the third of the new palaces built in Bikaner. He named the building Lalgarh Palace in honour of his father and moved his main residence there from Junagarh Fort in 1902. The hall where he held his Golden Jubilee (in 1938) as Bikaner’s ruler is now a museum.

The Royal Family still lives in a suite in Lalgarh Palace, which they have converted into a heritage hotel.

South Manhattan

From Midtown Manhattan going South to the recent Addition of New York s Public Art we visited the Vessel designed  from the star architect Thomas Heatherwick.  Santiago Calatrava Frank Ghery and Norman Foster are also involved to the Project  which is  is  part of the extensive Hudson Yards Development .The Vessel is a looming Sculpture of interconnected walkways.At the Hudson Yards you can find the Entrance of one the best Rooftop Observatories  (and one of the newest in New York) the Edge.

Heading further South there are the hip Neighborhoods of Western Village,Tribeca,Soho and Chelsea.They are known for being the filming Locations of the beloved TV series of Friends and Sex and the City.If you are a huge Fan of Friends like me in New York there is also the Friends Experience but in a different Location.Could someone beMoore Excited??The Café Central Park where the Friends Characters used to hangout does not exist but the Meeting Point of theGirls of Sex and the City ,the Magnolia Bakery ,it is there at the Western Villageand I must say is worth visiting for the atmosphere and the excellent Pastry.

Heading Southeast to the tip of the Island of Manhattan we meet a new Landmark of New York The Oculus designed by Santiago Calatrava with the typical lines and Curves of the famous valencian Architect.The Oculus is a transit hub that is home to the World Trade Centre,the PATH Train Station and a Shopping Mall.At the Oculus you can find markets ,art exhibits to musical performances and  retail events

On foot you can visit the Ground Zero 09/11 National Memorial which was built in Remembrance of those Lost on 09/11 at the horrific terrorist Attack.Next to it there is the newly built Saint Nicolas greek orthodox Church because after the Twin Towers collapsed the previous Church was partially damaged.From there we visited the well known charging bull outside the Trading Market of Wall Street with its neoclassical Façade.After spending some time of quality..Windowshopping at the Fifth Avenue we had a dinner at Bills next to the Lego Store at the Fifth Avenue

Strolling around Times Square is always a pleasure,and so ended our Night

Brooklyn

We were lucky because during our Stay in New York we had excellent weather (mostly sunny ,no Rain and temperature from 0 to 10 grad Celsius). According to the Locals around Christmas and January Temperatures around -20 are totally normal snow as well.I will give you later useful info about when is the best Time of the Year to visit the Big Apple.Sooo we had a great Chance to experience New York from above.At the Time being we have a lot of Options. At my Opinion The Edge which is located next to the Vessel at Hudson Yards and is a new addition to the Top of the Rock located at the Rockefeller Centre and One Vanderbilt located next to the Grand Central Station.We visited the Top of the Rock which is a classic one and offers immersive Views towards South Manhattan and South Central Park to the North.There is also a very nice Café where you can enjoy your Coffee or have brunch.Tip !!book your Ticket in Advance at least one week.There are different time groups (Sunrise and Sunset are very popular and in some cases more expensive). Afterwards we had brunch near our Hotel in Midtown at the Carnegie Diner and Café at the Corner opposite the famous Carnegie Hall (Once again  I had Reuben Pastrami..What else??)

Heading North towards Central Park we visit the American  Museum of Natural History which is located in Theodore Roosevelt  Park on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.The museum compex comprises20 interconnected buildings  housing 45 permanent exhibition halls in addition to a planetarium and a Library.When we visited the Museum there were the Experience of the Invisible Worlds,the Space Show Worlds beyond Earth,the Giant Screen Film Blue Whales :Return of the Giants.Also the Insectarium was very Interesting.

Our program had Statue of Liberty , Brooklyn Bridge and Dumbo area in Brooklyn.We embarked on a cruiseship which passes through the Bridges of New York and encircles the Island of the Statue of Liberty making a brief Photo Stop.Passing by Ellis Island ,the Island which was the first thing Millions of Immigrants saw from the Promised Land… and  turning back you have an unmatched view of the Tip of the Peninsula of Lower Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn at your right Hand and New Jersey at your left Hand.

After arriving in Brooklyn we walked at this famous Bridge which opened in 1883 spanning the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn boroughs.From the Brooklyn Bridge in walking Distance is the DUMBO area of Brooklyn( acronym for  Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass).It is one of Brooklyn’s most visited Neighborhoods attracting Visitors with Cobblestone Streets ,dining opportunities Art galleries and dreamy Views across the River.

At Night we booked a Show at Broadway.When we entered the New Amsterdam Theatre we were already amazed by the Unique Architecture and the whole Atmosphere.We watched Alladin.It was without Exadurating magnificent.Absolutely Flawless.New York is famous for many Musicals like Chicago, Hairspray among others but unmissable is also The Rockettes in Radio City.

Miami

We took the Late Evening Flight from La Guardia Airport which is located in Queens about half an hour Distance from Downtown Manhattan to Miami with American Airlines .It is a 3 hour Flight to the Queen of the Carribean

The Sunshine State of Florida awaits with year round Sunshine ,tropical Feeling and Latin Rhythms.It is the unofficial Capital of Latin  America as well as the Carribean in Terms of Finance and Tourism. There are more than 250 banks from Countries from South America and the Carribean. The Influence of the latino Community is huge and someone could easily say that the predominant Language is Spanish and the Culture is clearly ..not american. Partially it  is because of the Cuban Immigrants who settled there after the Revolution in Cuba.The Relationships are better than ever but still there are Restrictions.

We stayed at Miami Beach which is  a Stretch of Land connected with Highways with Down town Miami.It is a Heaven for Sun seekers and Beach Lovers and party animals from all over the World.There is a row of Colossal Beach Hotels and a District with a distinctive Character mostly at South Beach and Ocean Drive. It is the Art Deco District. It contains 960 historic buildings with various pastel colors. Art Deco ,short for the French Arts Decoratifs (decorative arts) is a style of visual arts,architecture and product design that first appeared in Paris in 1910( just before WWI) and flourished in the U S and Europe during the 1920s to early 1930s.

Beside Ocean Drive which is the place to be in Miami beach the main hubs are Lincoln road and Hispaniola way for limitless shopping bars and restaurants dotted allover the place

The best way to explore Miami and do the most of it is  with Miami Tours and their Hop on hop off buses.I recommend to purchase  the combo package which includes the hop on hop off bus,the boat tour from bayside and the visit of the Everglades National Park.you get a discount if you book those three activities together. Another Plus is that you can have those activities one after another with no loss of time.

The first part of the Bus Tour includes a stop at the Wynwood Neighborhood who witnessed a revival after many artists settled there.The area started to thrive after the opening of many art galleries cafes and restaurants.The walls of Wynwood served as a Canvas for street artists who unfolded their Creativity

The second stop was Little Havana.Latin feeling is in the air everywhere in Miami but especially in this Neighborhood which is the main Hub of the cuban Culture in Miami.Salsa Rhythms ,Mojitos,cuban cuisine give the area a distinctive character.You can even find original cuban cigars.

After visiting Little Havana we get a Tour of Downtown Miami. The Skyscraper area is also  the Financial District of the whole Region.More than 250 bank Institutions are based there. The Bayside area is the coastal part of Downtown Miami.It is a lively Place with Restaurants Clubs and Cafes.From Bayside start many Cruises .From the Water we have the best views of the Islets that surround Miami and towards the Skyline of Downtown Miami.After the refreshing Boat Tour we headed to a uinque Place,a Unique Ecosystem the Everglades National Park.We had an adventurous Ride above the swamps searching for Crocodiles and Indeed we saw two of them!!At the shore there was an Exhibition of Crocodiles snakes and other animals of the Region. That was a full day! So what s better now than a chilling Mojito at a Salsa Club in South Beach?

After staying for three Nights in Miami we took the Bus and went to Orlando. There are several Companies operating this Route.The Trip lasts about 5 hours.

Orlando

So we arrived at Orlando the last part of our Americas Trip.Orlando is a city like no other.There is a Feeling as the recreation Parks wer e made first and then they builded homes to stay.There is a vast area packed with all the possible Parks fron the super famous to lesser known.and if you want to go from A to B you have to cross a labyrinth of interconnecting Highways.The major attractions are The Disney Park which includes The Animal Kingdom Theme Park ,Disney s Hollywood Studios,the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT Centre and other aqua and food parks (Blizzard beach ,Typhoon Lagoon,Disney Springs and Disney Promenade  and by the way is 10 times bigger than the one in Paris/There are also the Universal Studios and Seaworld.

To get a glimpse of Orlando you have to stay minimum for three days. You can easily spend a whole week or more without visiting all the attractions.

There are some tips which I think can be useful.

For the Walt Disney Studios absolutely unmissable are the Magic Kingdom (which is similar to the one in Paris) the EPCOT Center and Walt Disney Hollywood Studios.Disney s Animal  is good but equal as the other ones.

General Rules

If you have to choose between Disney and Universal  the first Choice is Disney

Universal Studios  have more roller coasters and are suitable for pre teens and teens

If you have toddlers and younger children Disney in general is more suitable for you

In some Parks you get at your first Entrance some speed line cards.Save them for the bigger attractions.In some cases they sell such cards.Buy them!Especially if you don t have many days.This will save you from frustration because standing in the line for hours after a while will not be easy to handle.

When you enter the Parks there are some apps you can download .There you can find maps for Orientation and very importand to calculate how much is the waiting line for the attractions.You can book also for restaurants

Also very importand!reserve in Advance when possible!

There are tickets available which combine different  parks per Day.At my opinion One Park at one Day.You need  a loot of time just to go from one park to the other.So concentrate at one park and make the most of it and the next day proceed to the next one

In Walt Disney Hollywood Studios the biggest attractions are the Twilight zone tower of Terror ,Indiana Jones,Star wars Galaxys Edge,Beauty and the Beast,Frozen

In Epcot Centre Ratatouille,Frozen,Luminous a Fireworks Show,Nemo

Whenever you visit the Parks there will be huge lines.You can t avoid it.What you should definitely avoid  is visiting the parks during National Holidays if possible and instead of booking at weekends during the week is also a good idea.

Also Florida is a  tropical paradise and there is a pleasant Temperature around 20 degrees even at the heart of Winter.But tropical climate comes with Humidity which in some cases can be very disturbing and exhausting for some People.so I am not sure how easy would be to wander around all day long  and standing at lines for hours during the hot humid months of Summer

In our case we visited Orlando for three and a half days we visited the first day Epcot centre

The second day Hollywood Studios and the third day Universal Studios

Last but not least a Visit  in Cape Canaveral at the NASA Centre  is absolutely Must for Children and Grownups alike