Travelling from Toronto to New York City for a Mini Break – What You Need to See and Do in NYC

Most people look forward to vacation time each and every year, but being able to escape for a full week or more at one time just isn’t always possible. In fact, many are lucky if they can squeeze it in even once a year. Whether it is a budgeting issue, or simply the fact that they can’t get away from work for that length of time, sometimes a shorter holiday is the only option.

Short holidays, or mini breaks, give you a chance to get away for a few days, take in some different scenery and sights, unwind, and really make the most of your time. Typically, a mini break destination is either a short drive or flight away so that you aren’t wasting all of your holiday time in transit. For those who live in the bustling city of Toronto, there are a number of fabulous destinations within reach, but one of the most popular for a short getaway has to be New York City.

Here we’ll take a look at what you need to see and do in NYC, along with a few travel tips to ensure your mini break is all you hoped it would be.

Find Flights to New York City

You can find flights to New York City that depart from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport aboard Porter Airlines that are just one hour and 30 minutes in length. What this means is that you’ll get the most amount of time possible in NYC.

Travelling aboard Porter through the Billy Bishop Airport means you can avoid the sheer chaos that is often the case at Pearson International Airport. It is a more relaxing experience, Porter treats its passengers like VIP members, and the check-in process will move along faster thanks to the shorter lines. Porter is also known for its exceptional in-flight services using real glassware for drinks, and offering free snacks, wine, and beer.

Basically, everything you know and think about the typical air travel experience you can throw out the window and start from scratch, as this is an entirely different experience.

Catch a Broadway Show

If you’re the type that loves the theatre, then Broadway will likely have your heart. With so many incredible shows to choose from, catching at least one is recommended. In the Times Square area, there are 41 large theatres, each with their own show, which means you’ve got plenty of options to choose from. It’s probably wise to do your research in advance to see which shows appeal to you, and get your tickets.

Don’t Miss the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Perhaps you are an art lover, and if that’s the case then the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a must-see. It is home to some of the most important pieces of art in the entire world, with many calling it the New York version of France’s Louvre. The museum is known for its ever-changing special exhibits and collections that come and go, which means each time you visit it will be a different experience. There are more than 5,000 years’ worth of art and artefacts to explore here, so expect to spend a fair amount of time walking around.

Take a Stroll through the Meatpacking District

Another must-see is one of the hottest districts in the city, and that’s the Meatpacking District. What was once an area you’d avoid and was completely rundown is now bustling with activity, museums, markets, family-friendly activities, restaurants, and stunning views of the Hudson and the gardens lining it. This area is ideal for a sunny day where you want to spend the majority of your time outdoors.

A Break from City-Life in Central Park

Now, if the busy city life starts to get to you, and you just need a little time to decompress and unwind, Central Park is the perfect escape. This massive park located smack dab in the middle of the city will have you feeling as though you’ve entered into a whole new world.

You’ll be surrounded by green space, and can explore such hidden gems as the Bow Bridge, Strawberry Fields, the Bethesda Fountain, the Alice in Wonderland statue, the Loeb Boathouse, the Belvedere Castle which is the park’s official weather station, row around the lake or take a gondola ride, enjoy the carousel that is a century old, and much more.

There is so much to explore in the park that you could literally spend hours, if not days taking it all in.

The Sights and Sounds of Times Square are a Must

Sure, coming from Toronto you are probably well aware that Dundas Square is meant to be a mini Times Square, but why not experience the real thing first-hand? Times Square is most definitely known as a tourist attraction, but with that said, it deserves to be seen.

No matter what time of day or night you visit, there is always activity, with tons of flashing lights and billboards. It is packed full of people heading in every direction, street performers, massive televisions that are broadcasting, and so much more. It is often described as a sensory overload, but it’s one of those things you need to see in person to truly appreciate.

Take a Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge

Another New York City, and frankly world-landmark is the Brooklyn Bridge. If you happen to be visiting during nice weather, then it’s a great experience to walk across the bridge. Not only is the bridge a true historic landmark, it is also absolutely beautiful looking. You’ll have a fabulous view of Lower Manhattan as you stroll across, and you’ll be using the walk/bike path along with all the other city-dwellers.

The bridge typically takes about 40 minutes to walk, so it’s a great activity that doesn’t eat up your whole day.

How About a Trip to the Amusement Park?

And hey, while you’re in New York City, why not take a trip to the amusement park? Coney Island isn’t your typical amusement park area; instead, this one is known for offering the strange and weird. It has that stereotypical “carny” vibe about it, as you’ll discover strolling along the boardwalk. Check out Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, the circus, the New York Aquarium, and Luna Park among other attractions. The area also features all kinds of places to grab a bite to eat.

While the boardwalk is the big draw, let’s not forget there is also the beach where you can catch some rays and enjoy the water.

Keep in mind that Coney Island is a seasonal attraction, in that the rides and attractions are open from Easter to Halloween. It’s a good idea to check the hours of operation before you visit. As for getting to Coney Island, it can be reached by the subway system from all kinds of areas.

Stay as Busy as You Like on Your Mini Break

So, if it’s a mini break you are planning from your home city of Toronto, then New York City can easily provide you with everything you’re after. From exploring nature in the most well-known park in the world, to taking in the many incredible museums and galleries, to catching a show on Broadway, the city has everything you could possibly want.