Whether strolling the newly opened Highline on the West Side or enjoying a drink near the Chelsea galleries, New York is an easy weekend visit with so many culturally significant things to do.

Where to stay
Ace Hotel
20 West 29th Street
212-679-2222
$209 - $559/night

Arty, stylish and Spartan all at the same time, the rooms at the Ace Hotel suggest the familiarity of home mixed with the mystique of the city’s cutting edge design culture. Waking up in one of their comfy plaid-sheeted beds will make you feel like a local.

 

Where to spend mornings:
Shopping in Alphabet City at Roni
119 St. Mark’s Place
roninyc.com

While everyone else is fighting the crowds at TopShop and H&M in SoHo, savvy shoppers head to Alphabet City — a calmer place to pick up some unique items that you know you won’t spot on your co-workers. Try Roni for shoes, bags and accessories.

 

Where to lunch:
Balthazar
80 Spring Street
balthazarny.com

The class of a relaxed, early 20th century French brasserie is recreated at Balthazar, a hotspot that boasts its own bakeshop and a fabulous raw bar. Tuck into a bowl (yes, bowl,) of its delicious coffee and basket of fresh-from-the-oven goodies.

 

Where I’d have dinner:
Café Cluny
284 W. 12th Street
cafecluny.com

This cozy little hideaway is spilling over with charm and tasteful, earnest cooking. Enjoy simple but delicious dishes like the pancetta wrapped pork tenderloin or the pan-roasted cod in an atmosphere of pristine pine woodwork and antique fixtures.

 

How to spend the night:
Fontana’s
105 Eldridge Street
fontanasnyc.com

Despite what many think, you don’t have to shell out the big bucks to see live music in the city. Free shows do exist and they aren’t packed wall-to-wall with hipster jerks wearing fedoras, like most of the shows you have to buy tickets for months in advance.