TRIP COACH

New York City

A secret dream getaway that's all about her--the husband is even happy to tag along while his wife goes shopping

The McCarthys host an annual martini party they jokingly call the Partini. "I'm a big fan of traditional martinis," says Sean. "Katie likes anything in a martini glass." There's a boom in Manhattan of classic cocktail lounges. At the Pegu Club, one of the newer entries, drinks are about $12 each, but the experience isn't one they'll find anywhere else. Each cocktail comes with a quartet of droppers, which allow patrons to perfectly calibrate their drink to taste. Katie might opt for the Pegu Club Cocktail: orange Curacao, bitters, London dry gin, and lime juice, served in a martini glass.

As far as nightlife, Sean and Katie--who watch Saturday Night Live and Comedy Central regularly--will find some of the city's best comedy and wacky theater at the Upright Citizens Brigade. SNL cast-member Amy Poehler is a founder and a regular at the club, located in Chelsea.

Laughs are great, but romance is what the McCarthys' getaway is about. Even jaded New Yorkers find walking across the Brooklyn Bridge magical. If the weather cooperates (a bit iffy in November), the couple will begin the dramatic 40-minute stroll at City Hall. The view of the Manhattan skyline is its own reward, but there are other reasons to make the trek. Many people say the city's best pizza is in Brooklyn, under the bridge's shadow at classic coal-oven joint Grimaldi's, and for dessert, Jacques Torres Chocolate is unforgettable. (Sean and Katie can take the A or C train back to Manhattan if they've had it with walking.)

Finally, Landmarc, a rustic American restaurant in Tribeca, is the perfect spot to celebrate Katie's birthday. It's understated but special, and the wine list has an unusually low markup: While the standard at city restaurants is 300 percent, Landmarc charges the retail price for many bottles. A grill in the back of the dining room sears five cuts of steaks, which come with five options for sauces. Landmarc doesn't take reservations for parties under six, but Katie and Sean can give the host their cell phone number and head a few blocks north to the Brandy Library, which, on top of its 300 brandies and 240 single malts, has a long list of cocktails. The Perfect Manhattan comes--naturally--in a martini glass.

Double surprise!

The nice folks at the Broadway comedy hit The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee are giving Katie and Sean free seats to a performance. Also, thanks to Comedy Central, the couple will skip the lines with VIP tickets for a live taping of The Daily Show. Now all Sean has to worry about is his wife's crush on host Jon Stewart. "I think she finds him easy on the eyes," he says.

Lodging

  • Abingdon Guest House 13 Eighth Ave., 212/243-5384, abingdonguesthouse.com, from $149
  • Gershwin Hotel 7 E. 27th St., 212/545-8000, gershwinhotel.com, from $109
  • Park South Hotel 122 E. 28th St., 212/448-0888, parksouthhotel.com, from $199
  • Food

  • Otto 1 Fifth Ave., 212/995-9559
  • 'Ino 21 Bedford St., 212/989-5769, panini $9
  • Freemans Freeman Alley, 212/420-0012
  • Landmarc 179 W. Broadway, 212/343-3883, skirt steak $20
  • Grimaldi's 19 Old Fulton St., Brooklyn, 718/858-4300, pizza $14
  • Jacques Torres Chocolate 66 Water St., Brooklyn 718/875-9772
  • Brandy Library 25 N. Moore St., 212/226-5545
  • Pegu Club 77 W. Houston St., 2nd Fl., 212/473-7348
  • Activities

  • Putnam County Spelling Bee 1633 Broadway, 212/239-6200, telecharge.com
  • Empire State Building 350 Fifth Ave., 212/736-3100, esbnyc.com
  • The Daily Show 733 11th Ave., 212/586-2477, comedycentral.com, free
  • Upright Citizens Brigade 307 W. 26th St., 212/366-9176, ucbtheatre.com, free-$10
  • Shopping

  • INA 21 Prince St., 212/334-9048
  • Hollywould 198 Elizabeth St., 212/343-8344
  • IS 91 Crosby St., 212/334-4447
  • Kate's Paperie 561 Broadway, 212/941-9816
  • Paper Presentation 23 W. 18th St., 212/463-7035
  • Marc Jacobs 403--405 Bleecker St., 212/924-0026
  • How was your trip?

    "In a word, Ireland was fantastic," says Kurtis Frank, shown here with his wife, Heather, at the Cliffs of Moher. The couple, who we coached in May, made a lot of readers jealous by scoring tickets to see U2 in Dublin. "The show was amazing from start to finish. Thanks so much."

    Get Inspired with more from BudgetTravel.com


    Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
     

    Budget Travel Real Deals


    • From $1,399
    • From $2,727

    See more deals »

    Video


    Our newsletter delivers vacation inspiration straight to your inbox.

    Check Prices