3-Day Weekend: The Best Wellness And Fitness Spots In NYC

Here's how to visit Manhattan like a wellness-obsessed local.

Image via iStock

New York City isn’t typically considered to be a particularly healthy city for tourists to visit – most people look west to LA for that. However, in the two years I’ve spent calling NYC home, I’ve learned that Manhattan’s actually a hotspot for positive mind and body experiences. It’s why NYC is actually a perfect three-day stop for the wellness-minded, and a place to try out buzzy new fitness trends and healthy restaurants, while also exploring the city by foot.
Read on for a 72-hour itinerary of the best things to do in NYC over a long weekend (you won’t find any Empire State Building tours here)!

Day One: The High Line and Chelsea

Take the subway to 14th Street and walk west towards 10th avenue to start close to the beginning of the High Line. The 1.45-mile-long New York City linear park is build along an old railroad line and offers incredible views of Manhattan and the Hudson River – particularly if you go around sunset – plus Insta-worthy art murals, and cute vendors selling coffee and snacks. It starts on Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District and runs all the way up to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues.
Before you begin, take the time to stop into Chelsea Market for a bite to eat. It’s home to one of the most incredible, premium indoor food halls of the world, and has over 35 vendors offering everything from soup to nuts, wine, coffee, cheese, and cheesecake! This space attracts more than six million people each year, so prepare for it to be busy, particularly if you visit on the weekend.
In the evening, head to East Village and grab a healthy dinner at Souen. The organic, macribiotic restuarant has an incredible menu, but the macro plate and the ramen dishes are unmissable.

Day Two: Cycling in Central Park

Take a train up to Columbus Circle and then walk to the Whole Foods just next to the station. Here, you can grab a healthy and affordable picnic lunch from the food bar to eat in the park!
Next, walk along the street to hire a City Bike for $12 straight from the bike stand, and enjoy a long, leisurely ride around the park. This is beautiful most times of the year, but Fall is particularly stunning with all of the changing leaves. Just be mindful of pedestrians – they’re everywhere!

smoothies new york
Image via @talinegabriel

At night, take a train down to West 4th Street and refocus your mind with a meditation class at MNDFL studio on East 8th Street. Be sure to book in advance, as the evening sessions can fill up quickly. Then, refuel after your long walk with dinner at Greenwich Village healthy hotspot, By Chloe. Located on MacDougal Street and Bleecker Street, it’s just a short walk from the meditation class, and offers an affordable, delicious vegan menu that the neighborhood’s college students (it’s right next to NYU) and other locals flip for. Order the guac burger and sweet potato fries, and thank us later!

The perfect end to a perfect day✌🏼️🚲 #centralpark #nature #fall #travel #centralparknyc #newyork #nyc #newyorkcity #bikenyc #bikelife
A photo posted by Central Park Sightseeing (@centralparksightseeing) on Sep 20, 2016 at 2:07pm PDT

Day Three: Shopping in Soho

Begin your morning by torching some calories at the supermodel-approved fitness studio, ModelFit on Bowery. Again, you’ll need to reserve a spot in advance to secure a place in their popular morning classes. Afterwards you can shower and change in the beautiful light-filled studio, and head off to breakfast.
Try Butcher’s Daughter, which is just down the road at 19 Kenmare Street, for a healthy breakfast – the coconut yogurt bowl is an easy favorite. Or, you can venture a little bit further for fresh Australian cafe, Coco & Cru, where the green bowl is the best way to begin your day.
Then, spend the rest of the day on foot in Soho, exploring both the boutique shops and huge stores on Broadway (there’s Zara, H&M, Topshop, and more all right near each other). Keep your credit card at the ready!
For a cheap and casual dinner (by now you’re probably too exhausted for much else), make your way to Hu Kitchen on Fifth Avenue and 14th Street. The uber-healthy cafeteria-style destination is entirely gluten-free, and both diary/grain-free unless noted. You’ll find smoothies, organic soups, vegan iterations on lasagna, roasted veggies, and more healthy dinner options on the menu.

🌿🍴 (📷:@put_a_fork_in_it)

A photo posted by The Butcher’s Daughter (@thebutchersdaughter_official) on Sep 18, 2016 at 11:24am PDT

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