tourists in our hometown: #LTnyc, the redux (+ a @HotelTonight giveaway!)



Ok, travelers: a question. You have one week in your home city to forget you live there. You don’t have to go to work, you don’t have to run any errands, and you definitely don’t have to do laundry. You can run and jump and play and treat your home turf like the playground that it is.

So, tell us: what’s the #1 thing you would celebrate about your hometown?? What’s your top local tip that you wish you yourself could do with reckless abandon, but always miss out on because, well, you’re a local?

 For instance, until a few years ago, neither of us had walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. We took cabs past it plenty, drove over it a few times, but the whole “walk across and eat a slice of Brooklyn’s finest” (pizza, not policemen) thing? That took us a few years. And now that we’ve done it, when travelers are coming and say they want something “quintessential New York,” that’s where we tell them to head — because it’s tried and true and better than the Empire State Building. We assume, we haven’t done that yet, either.

This time, however, a bridge stroll in March probs isn’t gonna happen. Instead, we’re focusing on something that we really have never properly explored in NYC:

The Hotel Scene.

On our upcoming #LTnyc adventure, we already have a few amazing places lined up. However, we have one night left in our itinerary, and as you may recall from the romantic’s recent Roman dalliance, HotelTonight is our new best friend. They’re perfect for our love of spontaneity, so we’re teaming up to fill one night in the city that never sleeps with a place to, well, sleep. (And also order room service because let’s be honest, that is our jam.)

So, where are we currently checking out for checking in?

6 Columbus
6 Columbus Circle

Reason we love // A stone’s throw away from Central Park, Lincoln Center, and Columbus circle. Done and done. Plus, this:

6 columbus

Jade Hotel Greenwich Village
52 W. 13th St

Reason we love // You could plop any hotel in the Village and we’d be prone to think it’s good enough for us, but you can’t beat the absolute beauty of this boutique hotel and its distinct Greenwich Village vibe.

the jade hotel

The Bryant Park Hotel
40 W. 40th St

Reason we love // Two words: Cellar Bar.

bryant park hotel

Ace Hotel New York
20 W. 29th St
Reason we love // A hip hotel with a downtown feel that still boasts the convenience of a midtown location. Yes, please.

the ace

60 Lower East Side
190 Allen Street

Reason we love // Like 6 Columbus above, this was formerly a Thompson property. Though we’ve only been here for the event space, we’re curious to see what, if anything, has changed now that everything’s been rebranded to Sixty Hotels.

Screen shot 2014-02-22 at 2.19.48 PM

While all of the above are the current apples of our eye, one of the beauties of HotelTonight is that their portfolio is always changing, so there’s a very real possibility that something better will come along. And if and when it does, we’ll be ready.

We want you to be ready, too! In celebration of our own impending adventure, we’re offering you the chance to win a $200 credit toward any HotelTonight property in the world!! 

All you need to do is comment on this post and tell us, travelers:

If you were going to treat your own city as a staycation destination, what would you do? What’s your local secret? 

(We won’t tell if you’d rather use your HotelTonight winnings in a far off place. With over 17 countries and 250 cities to choose from, we wouldn’t blame you.)

We’ll be choosing one winner at random on March 1st, so leave your comments below! And, in the meantime, download the app and plug in the promo code LAZY25 for a little $25 treat to get you started.

Now, scroll down & leave a comment with your local tip so we can file them all away for future escapades!



  1. Robert
    February 23, 2014 / 06:04

    I would head down to the Baltimore Harbor for a day at the National Aquarium, and spend the night at one of the downtown boutique hotels.

  2. February 23, 2014 / 17:27

    Since my “home” changes on a weekly basis, I’ll give you my LA tip. Pick a ‘hood and pretend the rest of the city doesn’t exist. There are plenty of fun neighborhoods and you won’t turn into a homicidal maniac from the traffic.
    Kate recently posted..Why I Prefer 2 1/2 Star Hotels to 5 Star HotelsMy Profile

  3. February 23, 2014 / 20:02

    Philadelphia has so many wonderful things to do/see -hard to give one tip- when I stay in the city, I love walking to Reading Terminal for a breakfast of blueberry pancakes at the Amish Dutch Eating Place followed by local Hope’s cookies and/or Asher’s chocolates from PA General Store or the sour cherry sea salted chocolate chip cookie from Metropolitan Bakery. With my snack for later, I walk to The Barnes Collection, an amazing art collection. Tria Wine Bar for drinks before dinner at Parc. What a great day – food, art and exploring the city
    Suzanne recently posted..Visit Table Mountain, Cape Town for incredible views and sunsetMy Profile

  4. Zack
    February 23, 2014 / 23:37

    Pittsburgh – Eat at Fat Heads, then go to a Steelers or Pens game.

  5. February 24, 2014 / 02:30

    It’s definitely not an obvious choice, but the Gallery of Costume in my adopted hometown of Manchester gets my vote. It’s fashion through history and the best thing is that they have temporary changing exhibitions. There are photos of vintage Dior dresses to swoon over on my blog- though it’s Ossie Clark they’re featuring now. Oh and it’s all housed in a building straight out of a Jane Austen novel! Must go back!
    Clare recently posted..A Weekend Spent Smiling in AmsterdamMy Profile

  6. February 24, 2014 / 02:36

    I’m new in this city so there’s probably a lot I haven’t done.
    In one day, I’d spend about two hours at Berkenhof’s Tropical Zoo, then maybe one hour at the Schoolmuseum Schooltijd (It’s supposedly a museum that shows the objects used by school children in the 1800s). Lunch at Croissanterie Pays de Mer, then afterwards, “Op pad met de Vliegende Hollander”. Apparently the city I live in is the home of Willem Van der Decken, captain of the legendary ghost ship ‘The Flying Dutchman’, so buying tickets for “Op pad met de Vliegende Hollander” allows you to take a stroll along the port of Terneuzen, with (a replica of) ‘The Flying Dutchman’ in view.
    I’d want to go skiing at the Ski Dome too, but I might be too tired at this point so I’d probably head back to my hotel and spend some ‘quality’ time at the hotel bar 😀
    Oh and, dinner would have to be cakes from the bakery down the road.

  7. Britany
    February 24, 2014 / 09:06

    A staycation for me in NYC would probably involve planting myself in the Lower East Side — one of the neighborhoods I definitely haven’t seen enough of. I’d catch a concert and have drinks at a speakeasy afterwards. (I’ve never been to one of those and keep meaning to!)

    Also, I’ve yet to rent a Citibike and I think that would be a great way to explore the LES.
    Britany recently posted..Shameless Plug Time: Travel Longer Magazine is #1 on iTunes’ What’s Hot List!My Profile

  8. February 24, 2014 / 14:24

    I’m in Richmond, VA and would spend my staycation eating way too much good food (we’ve got GREAT restaurants), drinking classy cocktails at the Jefferson hotel, and whitewater rafting. Yes – you can go rafting right in downtown.
    Becky recently posted..Floating through Somoto CanyonMy Profile

  9. February 24, 2014 / 14:25

    Living in Ottawa, our nation’s capital, there’s not much I can’t say I’ve done. I’ve toured Parliament, have a membership at our National Gallery, I attend the theatre at our National Arts Centre, and have taken visitors through most of the other touristy spots. The city has so much to offer for a town that is labelled as “boring”. What would I do with 2 days and 1 night in the city if I was playing tourist?

    I’d likely start by coming into the city from the south end and stopping off at Smokie Ridge Vineyard for a good bottle or two of wine to enjoy at the hotel later that night. After touring Parliament, and taking an Ottawa River dinner cruise, I would check in to the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, and enjoy a glass of glass of that wine as I took in the great views. The next morning I would drive a bit north, across the river into Quebec and do some snowshoeing through Gatineau Park. Having such a beautiful park literally next door is an opportunity not to be missed. Afterwards, I’d head to Le Nordique, for a winter outdoor spa experience that will leave me extremely relaxed and care free. Heading “home” after that would be a short drive, but a sad one, after a touristy weekend that couldn’t be beat.

  10. Denise L
    February 24, 2014 / 15:54

    Staycation in Michigan – a Red WIngs game and then hit some bars and restaurants in downtown Detroit while trying to stay warm!

  11. February 24, 2014 / 22:10

    A Canadian friend is coming to visit me in DC soon and she’s never been here before so I’ll get to play tourist too. Besides the gorgeous monuments, I’m taking her on a tour of the Capitol Building and inside the Library of Congress, which is way more interesting than it sounds. If money were no object, we’d stay the night at the Willard Hotel, a historic property near the White House. But we’ll just have to make do with afternoon tea in the lobby.
    Heather recently posted..36 Hours in TokyoMy Profile

  12. February 25, 2014 / 17:31

    New York, and when I say NY, I mean Manhattan… but if I had a staycation in my city, I might make a point to appreciate one of the other boroughs … Perhaps a visit to the Botanical Gardens in the Bronx or if it was Cherry Blossom time, I’d definitely head to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, it is the second largest Cherry Blossom bloom in the United States and it is magnificent. (April is peak).

    I guess I am wanting to be spring.
    Stay New York, Craig
    craig zabransky (@StayAdventurous) recently posted..Sunset Sunday-Barquisimeto, VenezuelaMy Profile

  13. Samantha @Travel_LUST
    February 26, 2014 / 15:36

    I live on Long Island, New York. My staycation would definitely involve wine tasting on Long Island’s Northfork! There are so many local wineries that I have yet to try.

  14. February 26, 2014 / 17:38

    I’d stay in a hotel in downtown Memphis where much of the action is. I’d get a cab to Wiseacre Brewery and pregame for a couple of hours there, then maybe walk to one of the hipster spots in the Broad Avenue Arts District, or get a cab to the nearby restaurant and bar scene in Cooper-Young. The next day I’d have brunch at one of the several awesome spots along the Main Street trolley line. And of course it would be on a patio because a great patio scene is what Memphis does. After a visit to the Rock n Soul Museum, Sun Studio and the South Main Arts District I’d nap in my awesome hotel before heading out for dinner at South of Beale and a Grizzlies game at FedExForum with all the other cool kids.
    Lance | Trips By Lance recently posted..Five Ways to Experience London With ChildrenMy Profile

  15. February 26, 2014 / 18:53

    You totally stole my “walk across the Brooklyn Bridge” and Craig called out the Botanical Gardens…so I guess my next best tips would be have an overpriced cocktail or two at Campbell Apartment, try trapeze school by the Hudson River Park and find the hidden apres ski fondue room at Cafe Select. Maybe not in that order.
    3onthego recently posted..The Hunt: Digging for White Gold in IstriaMy Profile

  16. Nicole
    February 27, 2014 / 03:27

    I love this contest! Let’s see, if I had to choose a staycation in Madrid, I think I would choose to wake up very early and bike around the empty streets of the city. I love to explore Madrid early in the morning when the streets and sidewalks are empty. I would, of course, at some point, stop for a cafe con leche and churros. Next, I would make it back to the hotel for a mid-morning nap, followed by a massage and maybe a dip in the pool. Then, I would have a late lunch of iberian ham and rioja, maybe some huevos rotos. Then, of course, another nap followed by a late night walk and maybe a flamenco show and a few cocktails.

    The next day, I might go to the Thyssen museum followed by a bike ride in Retiro park and a cold beer or two on a terrace some place out in the sun. Later in the day, maybe go watch the sunset at the Templo de Debod with a nice picnic.

    I know it all sounds so stereotypical Spanish, but sometimes that part of the fun, right?
    Nicole recently posted..Five Glorious Sites in KyotoMy Profile

  17. Jeffrey
    March 1, 2014 / 06:25

    A NYC staycation should obviously start with a stop at Ess-A-Bagel… A nice healthy breakfast. The next stop is Chelsea Piers to whack some golf balls while taking in the view of beautiful New Jersey. Head over to the East Village and pick up a lobster roll at Luke’s Lobster and then beers at McSorleys or Crocodile Lounge. I’d stick with seafood for dinner and pick Flex Mussels, or go old school and get steaks at Strip House. Not sure where I would stay… Maybe the Thompson Sixty LES solely for its proximity to Katz’s Deli.

  18. MarcoM
    March 1, 2014 / 10:36

    Nice post and a really good idea. I’m born and raised in Zurich, Switzerland. What you should do as a tourist is to not stay at your hotel, go to grab a sandwich and a coffee, walk down the main street around the opera house and then sit on a bench watching the boats floating around in the lake. I’d guess that it would be a problem for the tourists that Zurich is not cheap, maybe even expensive, which was somehow a bonus for me, because I spent 6 months in New York City and the prices seemed pretty normal for me.

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