This post is sponsored by NewYork.com.
Planning a visit to the Big Apple? You’ve picked the perfect time to visit. After a long winter, things are kicking back into high gear all over the city. And for those who are looking for a single, easy way to organize the trip, NewYork.com is a one-stop shop where travelers can book a number of tours, shows, hotels, cruises, and more. If you're already in the city or in the know? Score high on NewYork.com's series of four New York IQ quizzes, running now through April 3, and be entered to win up to $2,000 worth of gift certificates good for any tickets and services on their site.
From the hottest restaurants to the best in Broadway, here are 10 great reasons for you to book a ticket to NYC right now.
2. Revisit the Cooper Hewitt. After a three-year renovation, this Smithsonian museum is (finally!) open in the beautifully restored and renovated Carnegie Mansion on the Upper East Side. It’s worth the wait, as there’s now 60 percent more exhibit space devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design.
3. Get your beauty fix at Birchbox. You’re probably aware of the wildly popular, monthly mail-order product sampling service. But the first-ever brick and mortar store is now open in the SoHo shopping district. Here, you can spritz, dab, and spray yourself into beauty bliss.
4. See Alan Cumming in Cabaret. Tony Award-winner Cumming is reason enough to see this sultry musical that closes on March 29 -- but you’ll also have a chance to get a peep at Sienna Miller, who stars as crooner Sally Bowels. (Bonus: If you think you're the ultimate Broadway fan, NewYork.com’s 2nd Annual Ultimate Broadway Fan Contest could get you a trip to NYC just in time for the Tony Awards.)
5. Sip a well-crafted cocktail. New York City loves their cocktail bars, and the one by Danny Meyer -- of Shake Shack and Gramercy Tavern fame -- has delved into the world of spirits with Porchlight. At this charming Southern-style drinking establishment with New York spirit, sip Sazeracs and New York Sours to the tune of $14.
6. Dine with a designer. Ralph Lauren has opened his first-ever restaurant in New York City, and it’s the swankiest seat in town. The Polo Bar is situated near the flagship store on Fifth Avenue, where shoppers can tuck into oysters, crab cakes, and beef from Lauren’s Colorado ranch. Naturally, the décor is full-on prep, clad in plaid and equestrian art.
7. Smell the flowers at the New York Botanical Garden. The annual Orchid Show -- boasting thousands of incredible flowers -- is happening right now at the New York Botanical Gardens. Couples especially love Orchid Evenings, where they can sip cocktails while viewing the stunning blooms after dark.
8. Slurp ramen (or eat ice cream) at Gotham West Market. This foodie hotspot in Hell’s Kitchen occupies a block of 11th Avenue and boasts Tokyo’s hippest (and most delicious) ramen joint, Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop. There’s also El Colmado, The Cannibal, Blue Bottle Coffee, and Ample Hills Creamery.
9. Get cultured at Lincoln Center. The Paul Taylor Dance Company will bring its electric modern dance to the famed Lincoln Center March 10-28.
10. Shop ‘till you drop at COS. This Swedish brand is a cult favorite among the fashion elite. A higher-end sister brand to H&M -- shopping at COS in SoHo is a bit more refined and calming -- like the clothing line itself.