Dream destinations: the Virgin team's favourite NYC hotspots

New York
by Limara Salt
24 February 2023

Whether you call it the Big Apple, The City, or NYC, New York, New York remains one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations. Made up of five boroughs with endless things to do, the melting pot of food, culture, music, and fashion is just a Virgin Atlantic flight away.

But what to do when you get there? Virgin team members shared their favourite spots to hit when in town, so if you’re after some hidden gems to discover in NYC, read on. 

Go East  

“If you’re looking for a quintessential NYC experience, Mona’s is a cosy unassuming bar with amazing live music located in the East Village.  

“There’s never an entrance fee, drinks are really cheap, and it stays open until the early hours. The bar has themed nights (Tuesday is jazz night) and the bar is full of regulars. The line-ups are usually New York bands, but solo musicians and locals have been known to also join in and start jamming together.  

“Last time I was there, a guy walked in with a violin case and asked me, “They’re playing bluegrass all night?”, I nodded, and he went up and started ripping his violin with the band and then after a few songs he just left. It’s what I imagine the East Village felt like in its heyday a few decades ago.” 

Angie, Communications and Events Officer 

A view to a thrill 

“If you’ve never visited New York City you’ll want to spend a good amount of time on observation decks. 

“While Rockefeller’s Top of the Rock and the Empire State Building are classics, you should check out the new kid on the block – the appropriately-name Edge NYC. Jutting out of the sleek 30 Hudson Yards building it’s the tallest observation deck in the Western Hemisphere and boasts a glass floor as well as outward-angled glass panels, allowing you to lean over the edge. The great thing about this side view is that you can capture all of Midtown’s iconic buildings in one photo. And don't forget to make a reservation at Peak NYC, the bar/restaurant above Edge, for a delicious meal in the sky.

"Better yet, Virgin Red US members can book their ticket using Virgin Points via Virgin Experience Gifts."

Rob, Content Marketing Executive 

Hi hi birdie  

“The birding tour in Central Park is a wonderful way to see the greatest park in the world while opening your eyes to the magical nature all around (check out whatisnyc’s hilarious animal posts for more on that).  

“There are quite a few tours now – Birding Bob – is the most famous, and they’re always led by lovely, knowledgeable folk who attract friendly people along the way. From the Hot Duck to Barry the Barred Owl, Central Park has had lots of beloved birds in the past few years, and there remains several resident owls, not to mention the wonderful wood ducks. I won’t say you’d be quackers to miss it, but guarantee you’ll have a hoot.” 

Greg, Content and Communications Director 

A slice of Italy 

“Altro Paradiso is a slice of Italy in the heart of SoHo with a delicate menu matched with high ceilings, bistro curtains, vast windows, and a curved wooden bar. 

“It’s a modern take on a classic trattoria, with pared back dishes to match. The cacio e pepe made with fresh candele was great, but then again so was everything. The wine list is several pages long so anyone who knows their vino will find something to savour with their meal.  

“If visiting during the warmer months try to nab a table outside and watch the city go by as you eat.” 

Kami, Senior Content Producer 

Vie for some vintage  

“New York City is packed with so many amazing vintage shops that whenever I visit I dedicate a day to hunting for hidden treasures in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighbourhood. 

“Awoke Vintage (16 Bedford Ave) always has incredible shirts and a huge denim collection, and since its location is right next to McCarren Park, you can find an idyllic spot to take a break and drink a latte from a local café. But when I really want to test the strength of my suitcase I head to Beacon’s Closet (74 Guernsey St).  

“An NYC institution with four locations scattered across Brooklyn and Manhattan, there’s no limit to what you can find there. It’s heaving with fur coats, silk dresses, ‘80s denim and classic knits, and if you’re lucky you could stumble upon one of their flash sales. Happy hunting!” 

Limara, Content Manager 

Whatever you do in New York, remember to do it with Virgin Red to earn points on your adventure.  

Terms and conditions 

  • The prize promotion runs from 09:00 GMT on 1 February 2023 to 23:59 GMT on 28 February 2023 and is open to 18+ UK resident Virgin Red members only. Maximum one entry per member. The trip must be taken by 31 December 2023 – blackout dates apply. See Virgin Red for full promotional terms and conditions. Promoter: Virgin Red Limited, London W2 6ET. 

  • To earn Virgin Points on bookings, you must be a member of The Know and reserve your stay directly or through your travel advisor. Bookings with online travel aggregators or other third parties are not eligible to earn Virgin Points. No Virgin Points will be rewarded for no-shows or cancelled bookings.