Experiencing New York in a New Way

by Analise Flatt on February 15, 2023 in Travels,

There is so much to do in “The Big Apple”, which can feel overwhelming, especially if you are traveling with a bigger group. There’s also a difference between just “doing” and truly experiencing. Here is your guide to experiential group travel in New York City. 


Take a Bite Out of the Big Apple 

Get the real tattoo experience without the life long commitment. Photo Courtesy Alli Olmeado.

Ephemeral is the company that pioneered the made-to-fade tattoo. Their tattoos are developed by chemical engineers, 100% vegan, and only last 9-15 months. An Ephemeral tattoo is perfect for you if you want to get a tattoo but are having a hard time committing. This is a fun thing to do on vacation, especially a girls trip! 

If you aren’t wanting to get ink on your trip, there are other locations throughout the U.S., including Houston. 

Brittney Johnson and Lindsay Pearce starring in Wicked. Photo Courtesy Joan Marcus.

Broadway will always be a NYC staple. It can get complicated getting tickets for a lot of people, and that’s where The Broadway Collection comes in. A simple resource to obtain all of your tickets, the latest Broadway info, and anything else you may need. 

With so many Broadway shows to choose from, it can be tricky choosing a show that everyone in a group will enjoy, but a show that is a crowd favorite and never disappoints is Wicked

New York City is known for having many sightseeing must-dos such as The Empire State Building, Top of the Rock Observatory, and The 9/11 Museum and Memorial. The coordination and ticket purchasing for a group could get hectic, but Go City’s Explorer and All-Inclusive Passes are the perfect solution. There are multiple options for different types of travelers; The Explorer Pass (starts at $74 Adult, $59 ages 3-12) is great if you have just a few places that you want to cross off the bucket list, while the All-Inclusive (starts at $142 Adult, $109 ages 3-12) is for the person who wants to see and experience as much of New York as possible. Each pass accesses the same attractions, the only difference is the number of experiences and time you have to enjoy.

Experiential Dining 

The elegance that exudes from The Palm Court is the perfect setting for an Afternoon Tea. Photo Courtesy The Plaza.

If you are looking for a little pizazz to really elevate your trip, tea at The Plaza Hotel is the answer. Afternoon Tea is served in The Palm Court from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tea is an experience, and The Plaza does a great job of making it so. From the champagne to the top tier desserts and the vast assortment of tea options, the whole event is executed very beautifully. If you are a hotel guest you can make a reservation, and if not you can do a walk-in. 

Something The Plaza does really well is attention to detail. One of their managers, Walid Gazal, set up an Eloise-themed brunch for a little girl that was about to arrive with her family. Walid found out that the girl’s father was sick, and he went out of his way to do what he could to make the tea a great experience for her. He grabbed some items that they had used for New Year’s and made their table extra special, and added an Eloise doll for the cherry on top. This is the essence of hospitality, going above and beyond for the guest in front of you. 

Enter through the Atrium to celebrate whiskey – past and present. Photo Courtesy Great Jones Distillery.

Next stop is Great Jones Distilling Co., a distillery dripping with history, as it is Manhattan’s first whiskey distillery after Prohibition.  Drink, dine, and experience is what you are promised when you walk through their revolving doors. Enjoy craft cocktails to whiskey tastings, dine and relish in their world-class cuisine, and experience tours and cocktail classes. 

The Grid is the in-house restaurant at the distillery, and dining here is like entering into the Prohibition-era of New York. On Saturdays and Sundays, they serve bunch from 11:30-3:30, which is an experience within itself. Their thoughtfully curated creative and flavorful dishes leave you conflicted on what to order. The crowd favorites were the boozy hot chocolate, The Croque Madame, and the House-made Monkey Bread; the perfect combination of savory and sweet. 

Enjoy the perfect meal; a shake, burger, and truffle fries. Photo Courtesy Alli Olmeado.

Now we are going to the NYC 80s at Harlem Shake. Located in two different areas of the city, Harlem and Brooklyn, they are “shaking it up in Harlem” with their retro-style vibe and comfort food. Their burgers, shakes and truffle fries are truly something to savor. After a long day of exploring the city, this is the perfect stop to hang out and enjoy a classic meal. 

This experiential itinerary will have you leaving NYC with much more than pictures on your camera roll, but memories that are lasting. 

TLM contributing writer Analise Flatt with her NYC tour group. Photo courtesy Analise Flatt.


Cover photo Andreas Kruck on Unsplash

A lover of all things travel, pretty running trails and good coffee, Analise Flatt is a Senior at Stephen F. Austin State University studying Mass Communications with a minor in Travel and Tourism. Check out her Instagram to stay updated on her latest travel adventures.