So this is an awesome tip courtesy of my mom. It's also the last of the tips for the week. Super easy but I don't know why I had never thought of it before. Just get a map of the place you're going and mark all the places you want to check out.
As you can see this is the Manhattan bus map. We put all the places from a travel book we bought (and Aveda because I needed some shampoo) so that we could see where they were in relation to each other. This map also has the Subway stops just in case. But I like to take the bus while we're in the city so that I can check out all the cool architecture from the windows. I'm also a spatial person and I get super turned around using the Subway. I'd much rather walk than go underground.
I used this trick on our more recent trip to NYC and noted all the shops I wanted to check out in the Garment District. I just printed out a map image from the Google maps search I did of the most central location and made sure it had all the other streets on it. When the day was over, I just recycled the paper.
This little tip also worked exceptionally well when we spent a day in Old San Juan in Puerto Rico. There is a lot going on in that small area but with the toddler in tow, we couldn't check out everything so I mapped it all out beforehand so we could make more informed decisions once there. For that day trip, I just used a trolley map that I found online. I actually think this is a brilliant idea and now you can see where I got my smarts from.