New York bursts with life in spring – whether you want to see ballet or blossom.
The New York City Ballet repertory season opens on Tuesday at the Lincoln Center. Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s blooms are in full floral flow at this time of year. It offers guided walking tours.
And that’s just for starters.
Blooming: The Eldorado towers overlook Central Park’s fabulous spring show
Out and about
The High Line – a park built on an elevated stretch of disused railway – is finished, and it’s well worth walking the entire way.
Start at the West 34th Street end and reward yourself with drinks at The Standard. The lofty bar offers old-fashioned glamour and exhilarating views.
Heading to Central Park? Now is the time to seek out the Lilac Walk – resplendent with 20 varieties – and Japanese cherry blossoms.
Art on tap
The Whitney Museum of American Art has settled in to its new home in the meatpacking district.
The building and its setting is thrilling – take the outdoor stairs rather than the lifts to enjoy vistas of the city – but the art won’t be for everyone.
Their 2017 Biennial of contemporary American Art has just opened (until June 11, whitney.org).
If you missed Georgia O’Keeffe at Tate Modern, then head to the newly opened retrospective Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern at Brooklyn Museum (until July 23, brooklynmuseum.org).
Finding its feet: The Whitney Museum of American Art, which boasts a wealth of of striking painting and sculpture, has settled in to its new home in the Meatpacking District
From June 12, MOMA will mark the 150th anniversary of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s birth with an overview of his work.
Hey, big spenders
Treat yourself to The Lowell hotel on 28 East 63rd Street. It’s between Park and Madison Avenues and minutes from Central Park.
Discretion is the hotel’s watchword. Both Katie Holmes and Ted Danson pop in while I’m there. The staff are charming. At breakfast, our waiter presents his homemade jam (made from raspberries grown by the Amish) to enjoy with our toast.
No wonder some of the guests have been staying for three years – and on a day rate. The rooms come with fireplaces, rare in Manhattan. Rooms from $830 (£662) per night, lowellhotel.com.
They have just opened the Majorelle restaurant, inspired by the gardens in Marrakesh. Get a table in a pretty slice of courtyard garden.
Roar of the crowd: You can see a New York Knicks basketball game at Madison Square Garden
A very big phoenix: The One World Trade Center has risen from the ashes of 9/11
If you’re travelling in a pack, try the Q&A Hotel, a great base from which to explore Wall Street, One World Observatory, Ellis Island, the Statue of Liberty and Governors Island – which re-opens in May with a new zip-lining experience.
The apartments in the 66-storey 1932 art deco building are spacious and come with kitchens.
From $239 (£191) a night, qandahotel.com.
Where to brunch
Russ & Daughters is a popular choice. At its Orchard Street outpost, you can’t book for brunch and have to queue.
Leave space for the challah bread pudding.
Patience: Russ & Daughters is a great choice for brunch, but you can’t book and have to queue
Elegance: The New York City Ballet repertory season opens on Tuesday at the Lincoln Center
Where to dine
Danny Meyer’s first NYC restaurant, much loved Union Square Cafe, has reopened in a new spot, at 101 East 19th Street.
And Ortzi, by chef Jose Garces, serves Basque-inspired food and cocktails in new hotel Luma on Times Square.
Want to dine like the President? Book a table at 21 Club. Trump is a fan of the 21 burger (£29) [$36] and he likes it well done.
Grubstreet has an exhaustive list of places to dine, see grubstreet.com for more information.
Up, up and away
One World Observatory at One World Trade Centre, next to the 9/11 Memorial, is a wonder.
Especially if you catch a clear day when you can see four states from the top and enjoy 360-degree views over Manhattan. Early slots are less crowded.
Sunset dinners in One Dine are popular for proposals.
For early birds, the Empire State Building offers a sunrise experience for $100 a head, (esbnyc.com).
Dawn chorus: For early birds, the Empire State Building offers a sunrise experience for $100
Wandering in Harlem provides a different perspective on Manhattan.
Take the 90-minute walk in the new Dorling Kindersley guide to the city.
Hush Hip Hop (hushtours.com) tours also come recommended.
The neighbourhood is north of Central Park, but feels a world away from the Upper East Side.
See where Billie Holiday lived and where she, Ella Fitzgerald and James Brown performed at the Apollo Theatre.
Eat shrimp and grits in Red Rooster at 125th & Lenox Avenue.
Virgin Atlantic flies to New York from about £450 return, virginatlantic.com. For information and New York City passes go to nycgo.com.