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  • [Question] New York City Vacation Planning

    Ok, all you NYC experts, the adults in my family have decided to take on Manhattan next June and while the list is endless as to what we want to do, I do have some questions.

    Here is the deal:

    3-5 adults, no children.

    Here is what we want to see:

    (2 of us, including myself, have never been to NYC, so we are doing the touristy stuff too)

    1. Times Square
    2. Empire State Building
    3. Central Park
    4. Grand Central Station
    5. Statue of Liberty
    6. Rockefeller Center
    7. Chrysler Building
    8. Ellis Island
    10. Grant's Tomb
    11. New York Public Library
    12. World Trade Center Site
    13. American Museum of Natural History
    14. Metropolitan Museum of Art
    15. Brooklyn Bridge
    16. Little Italy/Chinatown
    17. The Disney Store (of course)
    18. Broadway Show (Not sure yet)

    Now the questions:

    1. Any hotel suggestions, between 100-300 a night, near Times Square OR on the Upper West Side of Central Park.
    2. Any attractions that I didn't consider that you would suggest?
    3. How many days do you think it would take to complete the list above?
    4. How much is the subway? Is there a day pass? Weekly pass? That will be the main form of our transportation.
    5. Dining suggestions? Does loving food make me a foodie? LOL I'd like hole in the wall suggestions and moderately priced suggestions for food. We aren't $100 a plate kind of people, at least, not on vacation.
    6. Are their any passes available that include multiple locations from my list above? You know those city passes kinda thing?

    That's it for now, thanks for your input.

  • #2
    Re: New York City Vacation Planning

    Summer, we went to New York in 2001 and had only a weekend. We saw a bunch of stuff by using the Gray Line tours (double decker red buses). We bought a 3 day pass and was able to get on and off at any stop. Plus we purchased our tickets for the Empire State Building from them ahead of time so when we made that stop we did not have to wait in line like a lot of people.

    Gray Line New York Sightseeing

    If you do not have your heart set on any particular Broadway show then I would recommend TCKTS (or something like that) Listed below is how it works.

    How to Get Cheap Tickets for Broadway Shows | eHow.com
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    • #3
      Re: New York City Vacation Planning

      Sweet, thanks Pratt! You're the best!

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      • #4
        Re: New York City Vacation Planning

        Make sure you know when you're coming!!!

        Madam Tussaud's might be another thing you would want to hit. I have never been to it, but something worth seeing from what I've heard.

        Also, the Central Park Zoo is small and inexpensive ( I think it's like $8), but it's just a wonderful thing to see in Central Park.

        Food suggestion is Junior's. A great place that is the perfect New York experience that NNL and I both love!

        Carmine's in another choice too!

        I don't use the subway if I can avoid it, so I can't help out much there, but I do know those tour buses hit a lot of the touristy places and could be a good option. They're EVERYWHERE!

        The World of Disney is supposedly closing its location on 5th Avenue soon. There is no official announcement of a replacement, but rumors are hinting something possibly closer to Times Square!

        TKTS is what NNL and I use for Tickets for Broadway shows. Just be flexible in what you want to see, as you can only purchase them the day of the show, and sometimes the shows you want to see either aren't on the list that day, or they sell out before you get up to the line. Lots of good shows coming up though, so lots of options!

        There is also a tourist information center in Times Square which has info on things. Might be worth looking at for info on packages and things like that. Can't find a link offhand, but I'm sure there's one somewhere. Here's a good site for info in the meantime.

        It's a Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah...Tip for Today!









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        • #5
          Re: New York City Vacation Planning

          ^You know I'll let you know.

          Thanks for the help, those tour buses sound better the more I research them.

          My BF says we have to eat at a place called Cat's Deli? Ever heard of it?
          Last edited by SummerInFL; 11-11-2008, 05:21 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: New York City Vacation Planning

            He probably means Katz's Deli.

            Don't miss the many great museums, too numerous to mention but certainly the Met, Natural History and Guggenheim would be on anyone's list.
            For food, you'd be better off hitting the other boroughs (Queens and Brooklyn) for cheaper and more authentic ethnic fair at a cheaper price than Manhattan. Don't miss the pizza and bagels, they're the best anywhere.

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            • #7
              Re: New York City Vacation Planning

              Katz deli is good but the sandwiches are huge.

              We visited this place right by Time Square thank to the Food Network and loved it

              Pommes Frites Inc./Menu

              Another food institution with very reasonable prices is Papaya King

              Papaya King Home Page

              I was all about the food when we were there, had to have a hot dog from a stand, NY cheesecake, Pastrami sandwich at Katz, White Castle (we don't have them here), you get the idea.
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              • #8
                Re: New York City Vacation Planning

                Welcome to the Big Apple! I was born in New York, and even tho my mother pulled us away-I go back frequently and, heck, she's from Brooklyn and has a heavy enough accent that I cannot, ever, no matter how hard I try, forget the place! Lemme see what I can do for you.

                When it comes to food, I prefer to go with local recommendations upon arrival. I also have a penchant of eating specific things that just s-p-e-l-l New York. Black and white cookies, for me, this many miles from the city scream The City. Hot dogs, pizza and Chinese food in Chinatown are all part of the mix and let me know I'm home.

                Also, I'm giving quick snippets here, in no way tackling the greatness of this metropolis. Secondly, they are opinion laden-from my experiences. Everyone is open to differ; and frankly, go with your gut no matter what anyone says. Only you know what you'll like.

                I am a fan of the subway. But know it is dirty, stinky and very urban. To me, however, there is no way else to see the city, if that makes sense.

                *) Try a boat tour. I did it once and really enjoyed it.

                *) I LOVE to run down to the Village and grab either coffee or lunch and look in the used bookstores and pretend I'm a college kid who hates everything. Being gay helps--this is where gay rights started and there is a memorial.

                1. Times Square Okay, think of a decent mall with the unique stuff. I love going for a visit and hitting one of the few Hershey Stores in US. There is/was an MTV store the last time I was there. This is the heart of the B'way district. DO NOT EAT AT OLIVE GARDEN of FRIDAY'S. You'll be over charged and you are in NYC! Live a little!
                2. Empire State Building Make sure you watch King Kong before you go, that makes this part of the trip a bit more fun. I liked it the three times I've been there. it's been VERY crowded to empty. However, I like it very late--to see the City's lights come to life.
                3. Central Park--It is, well, a park. There are sites throughout, so if you decide to go visit--plan on what you wish to see. The Dakota and the Lennon stuff draws me. The zoo is cheap, and recommended by Yoyo. I, frankly, have never been, instead heading up to the Bronx zoo. Shakespeare in the Park might be going on at the same time, but I will warn you, these are BIG NAMES and the place gets really crowded, but you could use it for your 'B'Way part. I'm not sure if that's still going on, come to think of it.
                4. Grand Central Station--Not much to see, just ginormous in size. Some decent restaurants are also plugged in the corners. I usually see it on my way to something else.
                5. Statue of Liberty--Surprisingly boring. You can't go in the Statue any more, but you have to strip down to the bare essentials, just like an airport, to get to it. I found the museum interesting enough, but I found Ellis Island more interesting. The photo ops are breathtaking on the boat on the way out.
                6. Rockefeller Center--Only been here in the winter to see the Christmas lights. I'll let someone else do the chatting.
                7. Chrysler Building--Is there anything inside? I can't remember, which says something.
                8. Ellis Island--Excellent, I thought. But I'm a teacher and my family is chock-full of immigrants.
                10. Grant's Tomb--Haven't been.
                11. New York Public Library--went here as a kid and remember there were several displays and all of us tykes bounding on the lions. I'd check the website to see if there's anything happening inside before treking to this wonderful place.
                12. World Trade Center Site--solemn and difficult to visit, emotionally, for myself. What is interesting is the strange silence there, even though there's a ton going on. Look at the crowds and people watch here, there is an amazing mix of people trying to understand what happened.
                13. American Museum of Natural History--Like WDW, this place is huge. Watch "Night at the Museum" first, to get a feel for what you'd like to see and plan.
                14. Metropolitan Museum of Art--HUGE as well. But so worth it if you are into artworks. it's one of those places where you suddenly realize that all the paintings you've seen in textbooks are real...and kept here.
                15. Brooklyn Bridge--It's a bridge. You can walk across it. Not worth the effort for me. You can see it on a Circle Line Boat tour, which I also recommend.
                16. Little Italy/Chinatown-my stepfather's family owned a Jewish tailor in Chinatown and it's weird to go back there with him. I usually spend a half day in each, but this is because I love cuisine. However--Chinatown in San Francisco is slightly better, cleaner and friendly then New York's. If I have my druthers, I'd go to Little Italy for a smidge, maybe get some coffee on the way to the Intrepid Museum. There's also a Little Odessa nearby, but I've not followed up on that.
                17. The Disney Store (of course)--HA!
                18. Broadway Show (Not sure yet)--Keep an open mind. We try to do two--the big popular ones (but they can be expensive) but I do my research and sometimes can find sweet little shows off the mark. Still, this is LIVE theatre and, really, how can you not go when you are in the City That Never Sleeps? Treat yourself!

                Now the questions:

                1. Any hotel suggestions, between 100-300 a night, near Times Square OR on the Upper West Side of Central Park. Got family there, so I don't stay in the City very often. We're out on the Island.
                2. Any attractions that I didn't consider that you would suggest? See above...I'll ask hubbster and see if he adds anything.
                3. How many days do you think it would take to complete the list above? Gack! You have a lot on your plate. If you want to see everything and enjoy it--a week! Drawback? It can be swelting in the summer. Keep that in mind.
                4. How much is the subway? Is there a day pass? Weekly pass? That will be the main form of our transportation. There are various pass options-we usually do the math by planning prior. To every attraction we figure we go there and back...calculate the round trip....multiply by the amount to attractions and see how much that would cost. Then go and figure, would just buying a week be cheaper? Just remember--these are the subways and not clean like Boston, LA or SF.
                5. Dining suggestions? Does loving food make me a foodie? LOL I'd like hole in the wall suggestions and moderately priced suggestions for food. We aren't $100 a plate kind of people, at least, not on vacation. Again, I'm more then willing to grab a hot dog at the corner vendor and keep moving to the next site. If I plan ahead, I love the Grey Dog coffeehouse in Greenwich Village. And Carnegie Deli (think When Harry Met Sally) has great food--pastrami. But there are so many places to eat, that you can find a place within moment that the mood strikes. I let my family members pick the places.
                6. Are their any passes available that include multiple locations from my list above? You know those city passes kinda thing? Can't help you here. Again, I've got family there and never researched.

                Alright, I've wasted enough of your time. What more do you need to know? Chances are really good I'll end up in Florida some day soon and be seeing you much, Summer, so have to make sure you have a good time!

                Peace?
                Roo
                husband, petowner, wordsmith, imagineer, martialist, playwright, traveller, ardent, wit, critic, barista, Taoist, superhero, fortuneteller, reader, fidget, teacher, dreamer, author, blogger, ghosthunter, voter, patient, bear, gourmand, Floridian, friend

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                • #9
                  Re: New York City Vacation Planning

                  Summer, PM DOOM BGI. He knows NYC fairly well and though he has expensive tastes, he'll probably have good suggestions but might not see this post

                  I can get you the names of the hotels I pass on my way to work. they're about 10 blocks from Times Square (closer to the Empire State Building) but easy to walk to or cab to.Also look at reviews of places near Times Square. I think there's a Doubletree that I've heard good things about.

                  If you're looking ofr quixk eats, I reccomend Silos and Cafe Metro.They have a bunch of locations and serve everything... sandwhiches, salads, pizza, etc!

                  Also,you can sgn up at playbill.com for the palybill club to get discounted Broadway tickets.

                  How exciting!!!
                  Good morning, son
                  In twenty years from now
                  Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
                  And I can tell you 'bout today
                  And how I picked you up and everything changed
                  It was pain
                  Sunny days and rain
                  I knew you'd feel the same things...


                  sigpic

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                  • #10
                    Re: New York City Vacation Planning

                    OH my gosh! I knew MCers were the ones to ask. Roo, sweetie, thanks so much for putting in so much effort! LB, you too hun!

                    It's nice to see people talk about NYC with the same passion as they do about Disney.

                    I'm SO looking forward to this trip. LOL

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                    • #11
                      Re: New York City Vacation Planning

                      I freegin love the City, so it's no problem whatsoever! Like I said, I gotta make sure you have a good time. I can even recommend books and websites, if need be. I'm married to a farm boy (YES!), but I am, and forever will be--a city mouse.

                      Thank goodness for the suburbs--but I can tell you whatever you need to know. But there is a price:

                      TRIP REPORT!

                      Peace?
                      Roo
                      husband, petowner, wordsmith, imagineer, martialist, playwright, traveller, ardent, wit, critic, barista, Taoist, superhero, fortuneteller, reader, fidget, teacher, dreamer, author, blogger, ghosthunter, voter, patient, bear, gourmand, Floridian, friend

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                      • #12
                        Re: New York City Vacation Planning

                        ^LOL It wouldn't be me if I didn't make one.

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                        • #13
                          Re: New York City Vacation Planning

                          I'd skip Grant's Tomb. If I remember correctly, it's up in Riverside Park far away from most of the usual tourist attractions, and it's just a big concrete slab.

                          The subway is the best way to get around Manhattan or even Brooklyn and Queens. It's cheap, faster than taxis/cars, and surprisingly (to tourists) very safe.

                          A falafel sandwich at Mamoun's in the Village near NYU Washington Square is a must, and will only set you back about $3.

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                          • #14
                            Re: New York City Vacation Planning

                            Summer I can't wait to read your Trip report on NYC...... I have always wanted to go there, I dont know when I will be going but I am always gathering information on it myself. I am very excited for you!

                            Snacks
                            Yes, it is fast....

                            No, you can't drive IT.

                            Drive it like it's stolen.













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                            • #15
                              Re: New York City Vacation Planning

                              Originally posted by vfire View Post
                              I'd skip Grant's Tomb. If I remember correctly, it's up in Riverside Park far away from most of the usual tourist attractions, and it's just a big concrete slab.

                              The subway is the best way to get around Manhattan or even Brooklyn and Queens. It's cheap, faster than taxis/cars, and surprisingly (to tourists) very safe.

                              A falafel sandwich at Mamoun's in the Village near NYU Washington Square is a must, and will only set you back about $3.
                              I might have to agree on Grant's Tomb, the more research I did doesn't make it that appealing. LOL

                              I'm curious though, why do you say that about tourists on the subway?
                              I'm not disillusioned that I think NYC is some big, scary place but wouldn't tourists be a good target for pick pockets and such?

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