Rockefeller Center. Photo: Lucia Vazquez
Taking an entire day to explore Fifth Avenue, one of NYC’s most famous streets, is easy—and there’s way more to it than window displays. The strip between Rockefeller Center and Central Park has some of the City’s most iconic sights, world-class shopping, fine dining and everything in between.
To get you planning, here’s our itinerary for a day on Fifth Avenue, from morning to evening.
Known for its celebrity clientele, opulent architecture and starring roles in films like Eloise at the Plaza and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, the Plaza Hotel is a Fifth Avenue landmark. Start your day with breakfast at the Palm Court, the Plaza’s extravagant dining room, which has a spectacular stained-glass dome, marble interiors, lush greenery and palm trees that reach for the ceiling. The breakfast menu features a continental spread of pastries and breads, lighter options like muesli and acai bowls, and heartier fare such as eggs Benedict and buttermilk pancakes. Late risers can set the tone for the rest of your day by indulging in their afternoon tea service, which starts at 10:30am.
After breakfast, cross the street to Central Park, where there’s much to see and do, especially if you have kids in tow. During your walk, watch for attractions like the Balto statue or canoers on the Pond, at the southernmost end of the park. Plan a detour to the Central Park Zoo and spot red pandas, penguins and other animals in the 7-acre sanctuary. Simply want to soak in the ambience of the park? Take a seat on one of the benches—people-watching is time well-spent before you enjoy the rest of your Fifth Avenue experience.
MoMA. Photo: G Powell
Located on West 53rd Street, the Museum of Modern Art (or MoMA, as its commonly known) is home to an impressive collection. It houses pieces such as Salvador Dalí’s Persistence of Memory, Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup Cans and Vincent Van Gogh’s famous Starry Night, and it offers a rotating collection of exhibits. Make sure you stop by the MoMA Design store for one-of-a-kind souvenirs.
Courtesy, Tiffany & Co.
Yes, breakfast—or any meal—at Tiffany’s is indeed a thing ever since chef Daniel Boulud, whose renowned spot Daniel has two Michelin stars, opened the Blue Box Café. Located inside Tiffany and Co.’s flagship store, the restaurant is adorned with Tiffany’s signature blue—including a chandelier made up of their boxes—and features breakfast, a seasonally inspired all-day menu and afternoon tea. After lunch, browse the store’s classic jewelry, watches and homeware.
St. Patrick's Cathedral. Photo: Christopher Postlewaite
St. Patrick’s Cathedral is one of the most stunning churches in New York City, thanks to its neo-Gothic architecture and stained-glass windows. While the church is open from 7am to 8:30pm, the best time for a tour (self guided; the guided tour is on offer once a day in late morning) is in the afternoon, when the cathedral’s stained glass is illuminated by direct sunlight.
Courtesy, Saks Fifth Avenue
There’s more to Saks Fifth Avenue than the eight floors of clothes, shoes and accessories. Saks also has a Face Gym location, where you can get a massage designed to help stimulate blood circulation, improve collagen production and boost your skin’s look and feel. Once you’re finished with your “workout,” spend some time shopping: perhaps stop by the gigantic shoe floor or the 35,000-square-foot handbag emporium, or marvel at the window displays.
Courtesy, American Girl
Rockefeller Center isn’t short on things to do, but the three toy stores in the area will get kids (and kids at heart) most excited. First is the beloved American Girl Place, where kids and their dolls can get their hair done at the salon then dine at the café. There’s also the Lego Store, which features a fun play area that encourages guests to build their own creations. Finally, stop by FAO Schwarz, where kids can customize Barbie dolls, create a puppet at the Elmo Monster factory and even build their own race car for a personalized souvenir.
Top of the Rock. Photo: Matthew Papa
The Top of the Rock is Rockefeller Center’s observation deck, which spans three levels and gives a 360-degree view of New York City. Reserve in advance to ensure your spot for a spectacular sunset view 70 floors above Manhattan. As you turn around, you’ll see everything the City has to offer, including Yankee Stadium, the Brooklyn Bridge and even Staten Island. Gazing out at New York’s most recognizable towers—the Empire State Building and One World Trade to the south—along with the entire length of Central Park to the north, makes for a memorable experience.
Finish your day with dinner at one of the trendiest restaurants in NYC. Pebble Bar is housed in a three-floor townhouse that boasts some impressive history. Once a pub called Hurley’s that was frequented by David Letterman and the SNL cast, the townhouse reopened as Pebble Bar in early 2022, featuring signature cocktails and elevated bar snacks. Go with a group and splurge on The Rock, an exquisite seafood platter that includes an entire lobster, oysters and scallops.