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I have been on a huge NYC kick lately....for about the last 6 months or so...I've started looking into going, maybe taking our tax refund next year and doing it. We've been in a vacation "rut" - I call it a rut, but I don't mean it in a bad way, it's just for the last 2-3 years, it's been all cruises and Disney World...which I obviously love or I wouldn't be doing it, but I would like to go somewhere just DH and I and I think NYC is perfect.
I know this board doesn't get much traffic anymore (so sad!) but if anyone has any NYC advice to offer, please let me know. (I'm taking about you, Erika! LOL and anyone else who has been.) What are your favorite places in the city? Hotels to stay at/areas to avoid? We would probably do something quick like 3 or 4 nights. What is a can't miss thing to do in a short trip? It seems like there are so many can't-miss things that I am getting overwhelmed when I start to look. I'd really love to do a broadway show, go to ground zero, jog in central park. Also, between April and October, what's your opinion of the best time to go? Probably avoid the heat of the summer, yes? Although I seriously doubt it would phase me, I am so used to the 115F heat index with 90% humidity of the gulf coast... But remember, I do NOT like the cold and if September/October would be too cold (cold = 60s or lower...yeah I know, roll your eyes at me!), then forget I even mentioned those months!
I just saw this... since yes, this board is dead
I'm busy this morning, going shopping soon- but something told me to stop here, lol!
I can give lots and lots of help!! And, NYC is a FAB trip idea for couples- so, so, sooooo fun and so much to do. It can most definitely be overwhelming, though, especially if you've never been.
I will come back to this thread in the afternoon when I can sit longer (or this evening, after kiddo is in bed) and give you some suggestions of what to do and when to go!!!
Erika & Christiaan (7.27.2004)
.. and our daughter, Alexis..
If you want to avoid 60's and that's too cold... you're going to want to skip out on April, May, September and October. The weather here in NY is very unpredictable, so it's very hard to say. But, all of the above months that I mentioned have a MUCH higher chance of having 60 degree weather, or even lower. This year we had a BIG snow storm in March. Fluke, yes... but that can happen. For me, May would be perfect. For YOU.. I'm going to go with the month of June or very early July. Right now we are end of July and 100 degrees, but we're in a rare heat wave. June will be nice I think. If you feel safer, do July.
That said, there are a TON of places in NYC with air.. walking in the midst of Manhattan you will come across 60,000 stores and restaurants- any of which you can stop in chill in if you get warm. Ice cream stands in Central Park, stands with water ALL over. And, sometimes even in the dead of summer when it's hot, you get a nice breeze because of the buildings all around you. (which makes it rough in the winter, but not bad in the summer).
Must do's... I've actually never been to a broadway show there, lol! I've always wanted to, but it's not DH's thing. I would SO do that if you wanna.
If the Empire State Building interests you, I would do that. I did it once, because it's one of those things that "once ya see, eh".. but nice to experience at least once. Lines are terrible, though. The wait time.
Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island is a fun thing to do.. again, another "once you did it, you don't usually wanna do it again" type of attraction. But, nice to do.
Ground zero is cool to visit, although I have not done so in YEARSSSSS so I dunno what it looks like now. Several years ago, there used to still be ribbons on fences and flowers all over for those that have died. It's meaningful to me, as I had family that worked there (they were not killed and/or injured) but like I said, I haven't been there in ages.
Times Square is always a must for me, and I never get bored of it.. even having been 30 times. Fun for pics, and SO many cool stores. Biggest Toys R Us you've ever seen (even has a ferris wheel in it, several stories- even fun to go in when you're with your spouse and no kid), M&M world, poptart store, restaurants galore (though sometimes higher priced here).
Central Park is a MUST!!! You will NOT be alone jogging There are even lots of parts in the park with special lanes for bikes and joggers/runners. It's also fun to just people watch.. in the park, or ANYWHERE!!!
Do not be afraid of horror stories and misconceptions
As always, and anywhere, use caution when you're outside in the dark.. but I think that goes for anywhere. There are muggers and crimes everywhere. THAT said, NYC is actually a VERY safe city and there are always people around. I have went into Central Park at midnight in the dark and felt 100% safe. I have been ALL over NYC on foot and have NEVER felt unsafe. You will have homeless, you will have lots of people walking down the street talking to themselves, and you will find it very very fast paced... but very safe.
I like to wander down 5th ave and window shop.. because Lord knows, I couldn't afford to walk in the doors. But, it's always fun to look at stuff.. and people watch there! I like to stroll near the apartments along Central Park and watch the millionaires and mommys with 34,000 dollar strollers walk out hand in hand with their kids.. and proceed to their cars with drivers. I find amusement in small things.
The Brooklyn Bridge is fun to cross
There's a Chinatown that's interesting.
You can also wander to Long Island via subway or another means, and visit! Nice over there.. Coney Island.
There are a MILLION double decker busses that do tours, if that interests you. There are also walking tours. AND, tons of food tours (i.e. there's one that takes you to a big handful of the best pizza places in Manhattan on foot).
Hotel wise- I've stayed at 1. Because we're only a few hours away, we usually do day trips. Last year we stayed overnight.. and after extensive research, and recommendations... we stayed here:
I recommend that hotel with EVERY part of me!!!!!
It is CHEAP for NYC (cheap being $174 ISH without tax- that is CHEAP, trust me).. and it was maybe 3-4 blocks from Central Park. It is "off to the side" a bit down a street, with residential homes.. so pretty quiet. But, walking just 5 minutes and you're in the "midst" on the action. So, it was nice at night.. but still had the "fun" with a short walk. Because of that, it was cheaper. And, the room was FULL size. (if you know NYC, you would know that most rooms are $200+ and they are sorta... MINI rooms, even in the chain hotels.. because of the lack of space in Manhattan, everything is a bit smooshed and mini! And you actually have to be careful if you're in a chain hotel... a LOT of the cheaper rooms- meaning $150 and below.. have shared bathrooms). Our room was nice in this one, PLENTY big and PERFECT location. And, the staff was wonderful. I will stay there next time, in a heartbeat.
You can do a LOT in 3-4 days in NYC. Besides the broadway show.. and Statue of Liberty, I have done most of that above in 1 day. Busy day, but 1 day. Central Park, Times Square and Empire State Building I have all done in 1 day before. (and shopping and eating in between).
Subway system is GREAT and GREAT for getting anywhere you need to be..
People are VERY helpful. If you EVER get lost or need help, jot into one of the 60,000 stores on every block and someone will help.
Now, you MUST go
You would have an INCREDIBLE time! It's my favorite city in the world <3 and one I NEVER get bored in, or sick of. I think you'd have a blast!
If you have more questions, or anything specific.. I can probably help more!
Erika & Christiaan (7.27.2004)
.. and our daughter, Alexis..
Thanks soooo much Erika! I knew would be able to help! Of course, anyone else please chime in if you have any info! We may do July since we'll probably be able to handle the heat just fine and that way we can fly back to Atlanta and go with my in-laws on the annual beach trip at the same time.
I like the suggestions Midge gave. I grew up about 25 minutes away from NYC nearby in New Jersey.
I would suggest, instead of visiting the Empire State Building - go to Rockefeller Center instead ... (where they have the all famous ice skating rink and scene from Home Alone) -- when you are there you can go to the Top of the Rock -- you go up the rockefeller center and on the roof you can overlook all of NYC and then-some. The benefit to going up to the top of here instead of the Empire State Building, is that you can see the Empire State Building from up there and that is a nice site :-) Plus, it is significantly cheaper and less crowded than the Empire State Building (b/c all tourists go there) -- Go at night when everything is lit up -- you will not regret it :-)
Also -- I went to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island a few times when I was younger. I remember it being an all day thing and wasn't all that impressed -- unless you actually have relatives that came on boat to Ellis Island back-in-the-day and want to see their names in the books that are there. I remember being bored everytime we went as a kid. And now you can't even go to the top of the Statue of Liberty b/c of security. You can only go up to the top of the base. Instead I would recommend taking a water taxi type tour that brings you out on the water and you go under some famous bridges and pass by the Statue of Liberty -- great for photo ops. :-)
I've never stayed in a hotel in NY since I lived so close by, but I do agree, that anything around $175/night is very reasonable.
If you go to Central Park - make sure you stop by the zoo that they have there!! It's not GINORMOUS by any means, so you can be in and out in only a few hours or maybe even 1 hour or less :-)
Broadways shows are always a nice 'filler' -- you can make a nice day out of it and get it done cheap if you know the tricks. If you have time to 'waste' you can stand online at one of the ticket places on the street. They sell tickets for shows happening that day for 1/2 price. Or you can book ahead of time and also get a dinner/show type of thing ... some restaurants do a before show seating and an after show seating. There are soooo many shows to go see with family of all ages. I have yet to see anything I didn't like on Broadway and personally, I'm no a huge fan of theater.
If you like to eat family style type of meals - try out Carmine's it's near broadway (i think??). Everybody raves about it. I have nothing bad to say about it, but I can't rave either. It's good, not bad.
Chinatown is a quick thing you can do as well as Little Italy -- you can try their cuisines ... and buy little knickknacks for cheap. You'll have a hard time finding any good 'knock-off' purses these days... Chinatown used to be good for that. (I know, I'm bad)
I haven't been to Ground Zero in a year, and I'm sure it's changed since I last went... that is something even as a local, I'd like to see now.
Oh. Madame Tussauds is a pretty fun thing to do. ONLY if you remember to bring your camera with you - it makes for many awesome photo ops with many famous people *ahem* I mean, many famous people in wax.
If 115F index doesn't phase you - then the summer months should be a breeze... Although, with the type of warm winter we've been having, I can only imagine how hot it's going to be this summer. I find myself often going during the summer. It's hot, but I'm usually in and out of buildings.
Ooooh, also, you can hit up the big Century21 store for some nice shopping - a few years ago they changed the tax law in NYC, now there is no tax on clothing in NYC so get your fill.
Places like Houlihans and other chains, you'll notice, are super expensive in the city. (Hamburgers = $13+ without sides and a drink) lol...
I'm rambling, there is sooooo much to say about NYC -- I wish I could help you on where to stay. I'd say, to get the real feel of it, stay somewhere near times square. Taxi, taxi everywhere, if you can -- don't drive -- parking is EXPENSIVE!!! and as you can imagine, you'll need to be confident/aggressive driver to make your way around the city. The subway system is a great way to travel too, but it does get AWFULLY hot in those tunnels in the Summer -- if you go then, make sure it's OFF peak travel -- so you don't collide with the rush hour and all that body heat. UGH...
If you are looking for good reviews on where to stay and dining etc ... check out tripadvisor. I am always on that site whenever I travel looking for places to stay and try out. They haven't let me down yet, and then make sure you put your reviews on that site too!!
Let us know what you decide to do!! -- One thing is for sure though -- you'll never be bored in NYC.
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Last edited by The Wife; March 15th, 2012 at 10:48 PM.