Hotspots in New York City, NY

American Museum of Natural History

Dinosaurs still roam the earth, at least in one of the largest scientific institutions in the country. Spend your day with a T-Rex, one of the most prominent displays at Manhattan’s American Museum of Natural History, the place to see hundreds of dinosaur fossils and learn all about them. Witness a gigantic blue whale hanging from the ceiling as you visit the majestic Ocean Life or get an up-close look at ancient civilizations from Africa and Asia. You can also enter a tropical forest filled with over 100 live butterflies at The Butterfly Conservatory. No matter what it is you’re seeking at the American Museum of Natural History, you’ll never get bored or tired from learning something new.

The Chocolate Room

There’s no better place to indulge in steaming liquid hot chocolate like the appropriately named Chocolate Room in Brooklyn’s Park Slope. Every season, especially winter, New York City’s chocoholics make a pilgrimage to The Chocolate Room where they wind down over the classic, yummy beverage with large, fluffy marshmallows. This brownie brown café also features luscious chocolate layer cake, snow mint floats with fresh whipped cream, and Rosenblum Late Harvest Zinfandel, a Californian red white with mouthwatering notes of ripe black raspberries and dark cherries. Gulp down some chocolate stout guilt-free from the comfort of this winter sanctuary.

Distrikt Hotel

While there are plenty of hotel options to choose from in Manhattan alone, it can be difficult to find one place that’s located at the center of all the city’s hot spots. Luckily, we found it. Distrikt Hotel in midtown is a 32-story sleek skyscraper that’s just steps away from Times Square, Bryant Park, Broadway, the Theater District, and Madison Square Garden. Named after the Manhattan’s “distrikts” (the Dutch term for districts), this hotel also pays a loving homage to New York City with enchanting neighborhood-themed floors and colorful collages. There’s even a 14-foot “living wall” that honors Central Park in the lobby. When you’re not sleeping on silver-lined plush beds, chances are you’ll be admiring Distrikt’s fantastic views of Manhattan shining in full glory at night.

Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar

When a French bar in Manhattan dedicates an entire menu to chocolate, you know the ladies will be present. Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar is an irresistible treat for chocolaholics, but there’s more to this place than 20-layer crepes cake brulee, New York style cheesecake, and silky mousse. The cozy, European establishment is ideal for a last-minute get togethers, especially when you have a hearty appetite. Sure their dinner menu is petite, but it isn’t short on providing several options to quiet down your rumbling tummy. Some of Ayza’s highlights include BBQ pulled pork Panini, medallions of filet mignon, roasted wild sea bass, and even chicken lollipops with crispy rice noodles. Of course, if you just order Belgian chocolate covered strawberries, we wouldn’t blame you.

Lashtique

We have yet to find a fashionista who doesn’t love showing off gorgeous, doll eyes. Ria Hountas is the mastermind behind Lashtique, an eyelash extensions studio in New York City where you can walk out with fun and flirty lashes to complement any new outfit. Hountas, a registered nurse, specializes in creating thick, synthetic lash extensions that look and feel like the real thing. According to Hountas, her clients leave her office with eyes that look bright and rejuvenated without a facial. If you’re seeking a safe pick-me-up that will show off your beauty without going under the knife, then make an appointment with Hountas pronto for eyes that would make Bette Davis jealous.

The Good Fork

This cozy and unique spot serves a menu of unique American food with cultural influences from around the world. It's a small neighborhood restaurant, and all the food comes from the community farm, Added Value, in Red Hook. Try the steak and eggs "Korean Style."

 

88 Palace Restaurant

Anyone can tell you that there are as many Chinese restaurants in Chinatown as NYU dorms in the Village. However, there’s one amazing place to wine and dine, except you’ll need to find it first. To visit 88 Palace, which is located under the Manhattan bridge, one has to enter through street level glass doors into the mini-Chinese Mall and find the escalator to the second floor for the tiny gold and red crystal chandeliered restaurant. The kicker? The 88 Palace Restaurant has no signage. This group-friendly eatery can seat up to a few hundred people and it’s one of the largest halls of authentic Cantonese Dim Sum in Chinatown. Look for irresistible bites, such as shrimp with bacon rolls, steamed dumpling filled with thin slices of pork, luscious coconut milk custard, and stuffed eggplant accompanying freshly made wonton soup.

Sam Brocato Salon

There are plenty of salons to choose from in SoHo, but how many of them offer personalized hair treatments from scratch? The crimson-hued Sam Brocato Salon is led by a team of hair professionals that can transform your drab locks into shiny tresses that are irresistible to the touch. If you dread humidity or rain to ruin your look, consider Sam Brocato’s “Curlinterrupted Smoothing System” to combat anything Mother Nature may throw your way. We’re hearing that just in time for spring, Sam Brocato Salon has created a “Cloud 9 Shampoo Bar,” where patrons can receive shampoo “cocktails.” Make sure you take advantage of the “Made Fresh Daily Bar” where the stylist himself creates seasonal treatments using fresh ingredients daily. Think creamy avocado, ripe pumpkin, and even fragrant eucalyptus to achieve runway ready hair!

The Bluebell Café

Ever dream of enjoying comfort food while overlooking the French countryside? Sure you can head to the airport this very second for a last-minute getaway, but you can also get the next best thing without leaving the city. The Bluebell Café, located at picturesque Gramercy Park, takes you away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. Here, one can relax and simply savor mouthwatering homemade cuisine. The Bluebell Café is homey and cozy with exposed brick walls, wooden round tables, and delicate crystal chandeliers lighting up the entire eatery. Signature dishes include roasted salmon bathed in lentils and bacon, apple-brined pork chops, mussels swimming in a pool of white wine and herbs, as well as brioche French toast with zesty lemon curd. Make sure you stay a while longer just for a bottle of imported French wine!

Joanna Vargas Skin Care

There’s a reason why many socialites flock to esthetician Joanna Vargas and the answer is three words: Triple Crown Facial. With a diamond-tipped wand, Vargas uses a medley of natural products to infuse tired skin with minerals, all while draining puffiness and enhancing firmness to your face. The result? Clear, baby soft skin. The treatment may cost a whopping $325, but we have yet to hear anyone complain. In addition, the Fifth Avenue studio also offers LED Light Therapy to reverse the signs of aging, as well as the “Organic Sunless Tan,” a healthier way to achieve that highly sought after golden glow.