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2014-05-27 7:23 PM

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Subject: Visiting New York, staying outside the city?

The boys are taking a cross-country tour next month to visit colleges. They will drive with their mother across the south and up the east coast. Final stop will be a school on Long Island that one son has targeted. I will fly up to NYC to meet them. Plan is to spend a week doing the tourist thing in the Big apple, first time visit for all of us.

As much as we would love to stay in the middle of Manhattan, there are two problems. First, we will have the car, which I understand is a major liability in the city. Second, we would like to spend south (way south) of $300 per night for the hotel.

Since this is where his school is, one option we are looking at is staying on Long Island (as far out as Ronkonkoma) and taking LIRR into the city to visit. Is that feasible and advisable? Would it be better to stay cloaser in, say around Laguardia, where I'll be flying into? Any better alternatives? We are completely ignorant about the area and could use some guidance, but we need to start making arrangements soon as the plan is to leave in less than a month.



2014-05-27 7:33 PM
in reply to: the bear

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Subject: RE: Visiting New York, staying outside the city?

Originally posted by the bear

The boys are taking a cross-country tour next month to visit colleges. They will drive with their mother across the south and up the east coast. Final stop will be a school on Long Island that one son has targeted. I will fly up to NYC to meet them. Plan is to spend a week doing the tourist thing in the Big apple, first time visit for all of us.

As much as we would love to stay in the middle of Manhattan, there are two problems. First, we will have the car, which I understand is a major liability in the city. Second, we would like to spend south (way south) of $300 per night for the hotel.

Since this is where his school is, one option we are looking at is staying on Long Island (as far out as Ronkonkoma) and taking LIRR into the city to visit. Is that feasible and advisable? Would it be better to stay cloaser in, say around Laguardia, where I'll be flying into? Any better alternatives? We are completely ignorant about the area and could use some guidance, but we need to start making arrangements soon as the plan is to leave in less than a month.

 

When we made a (very short) trip to NYC on our way to Maine, we stayed in Jersey, at a hotel that was located very near a PATH (Port Authority, Trans-Hudson) train stop.   It was very easy to hop on the PATH train and get into the city, even for this small-town yokel. I don't remember how expensive the hotel was, but was likely ~$200 per night, including parking. 

I'm sure there are even cheaper ways of staying.   You've got the right idea to save money, though.  Look at the Mass-transit maps, find something out at one end of a line, and stay out there.

2014-05-27 8:19 PM
in reply to: moondawg14

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Subject: RE: Visiting New York, staying outside the city?
Hotel Pennsylvania. It's not terrible and about $206 a night if you time it right. Across the street from MSG
2014-05-28 6:45 AM
in reply to: the bear

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Subject: RE: Visiting New York, staying outside the city?

When we did a pre-Christmas vacation in NYC, we stayed  at a Residence Inn in Elizabeth, NJ.  Very cheap for the area, (we had a car too) and reasonable access to the Liberty Island Ferry and PATH.  A little more than an hour into Manhatten from what I recall, but even if you stayed in the city, how much time would you "save."  

2014-05-28 9:08 AM
in reply to: the bear

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Subject: RE: Visiting New York, staying outside the city?
I used to fly into Islip on Long Island and take the LIRR into the city -- you walk to the train, which takes you to Penn Station. This past year, we stayed one night in Newark as we were flying out of that airport the next day. There are so many trains that can put you into the middle of Manhattan that you don't have to stay in Midtown if you don't want to. Staying on Long Island or in New Jersey is always a nice, money-saving option.
2014-05-28 9:30 AM
in reply to: mr2tony

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Subject: RE: Visiting New York, staying outside the city?
Grew up in NYC and semi-regular visitor ever since..

Two summers ago my 14 year-old and I went to the CBGB's music festival in late June. I got a room at one of the Helmsley hotels on 42nd for about $135 a night on Priceline. The property was undergoing a small renovation in the lobby, IIRC, and they were pretty much giving rooms away. That deal is long, long gone I'm sure but there's always a deal to be found and I would counsel hitting up Hotwire/Priceline/etc. for a bit before punting and staying on LI or Jersey. The commute to the city is ok and doable but if there's anyway to actually stay in Manhattan, you'll have a more memorable vacation.

Quick check on Hotwire shows some listings for late June under $150nt.

Good luck - (definitely plan on the twilight Circle Line tour around the southern tip).


2014-05-28 9:43 AM
in reply to: the bear

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Subject: RE: Visiting New York, staying outside the city?

I suggest you consider putting the car in a secure long-term lot near LaGuardia and then staying in the city.  If you're going to spend a week there, commuting in and out of Manhattan everyday will get old real quick.

There are always deals to be had, even at some of the nicer hotels.  The last time we went up we booked through hotels.com and got a nice room at the Park Central Hotel on 7th, across the street from Carnegie Hall (and next door to the Carnegie Deli).   A block from Central Park South and walking distance to Times Square and the theater district.

Lots of stuff to see and do in the city.  We enjoyed the on/off double-decker tour buses which let you tailor your time to your own interests. 

If you're interested in taking in a show, you can pick up same-day tickets at the booths in Times Square.

Sounds like a great family trip.

Mark  

 

2014-05-28 8:04 PM
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Subject: RE: Visiting New York, staying outside the city?


Edited by braciole 2014-05-28 8:09 PM
2014-05-28 9:35 PM
in reply to: RedCorvette

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Subject: RE: Visiting New York, staying outside the city?
Echo the recommendation of using expedia or other online booking sites to find deals in the city. Leave the car at LaGuardia or Newark airport long term parking. Consider areas other than midtown for hotels ie Lower manhattan or Chelsea just as examples. You should be able to find something quite decent that fits your budget. Train transit from NJ is reliable and easy, but it's not cheap. I live 30 miles from NYC and the direct train is 55 minutes and $26 round trip per person.
2014-05-29 12:56 PM
in reply to: kcarroll

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Subject: RE: Visiting New York, staying outside the city?

I agree with the concept of parking the car for the week and staying in the city.  In addition to Priceline, etc, I'd recommend VRBO or AirBNB. There may be a problem with getting rooms big enough to accommodate more than 2 people in your price range.    Most hotels have two double beds in the room, so unless you're ok with that it's harder to find 2 queens and a bit more cost.  However, if you're not scared of staying anywhere/afraid of a bit more rundown options, the options open up.   I also try to stay within 2 blocks of a subway because walking around will be exhausting. 

Another nearby option with what I know to be a very easy bus ride is Secaucus NJ.  The Hilton Garden Inn Secaucus/Meadowlands parking lot is right by a bus stop for a NJ Transit bus that goes into the city a few times an hour. I did this several years ago with my husband and it was really easy.   You end up in a big/convenient bus terminal and the cost was minimal since it was just the city bus and not a commuter train, for instance.

Have fun!

 

2014-05-29 1:03 PM
in reply to: BikerGrrrl

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Subject: RE: Visiting New York, staying outside the city?

One other thing: Cost of commuter trains from a far place.  If you can figure this out, this shows the fare schedules by zone.  If you multiple 4 tickets/round trip by 5 days= a lot of money that could be spent on a city hotel.   Also, Manhattan is it's best at night when you can see the lights, so you'll want to stay out late at least once.  Factor that into traveling, too.

LIRR fares:

http://web.mta.info/lirr/about/TicketInfo/Fares03-13.htm#farechart



2014-05-29 2:29 PM
in reply to: the bear

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Subject: RE: Visiting New York, staying outside the city?
Sorry bear, I didn't see this until now.
You can drive into the city and park your car. It'll cost $50-$75 a day.
If you stay out on Long Island, you will die on the hour and half train ride to.. And hour and half back. That's if the LIRR is working at all !
You can stay in Westchester, and train in.
Finding quality spots in Queens or the Bronx will be tough - hot sheet alert !
You can stay in the city and as long as your car is parked, you should be ok. If you stay near the park, go for a run, it's an amazing loop.
2014-06-02 1:00 PM
in reply to: the bear

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Subject: RE: Visiting New York, staying outside the city?

x2 on parking at the airport and staying in town.  You'll spend soooo much time commuting and there is sooooo much to see in town you will not make the best use of your time.  Saving money is important but your first trip to NYC is not the time to do it.

2014-06-02 1:25 PM
in reply to: Birkierunner

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Subject: RE: Visiting New York, staying outside the city?

Originally posted by Birkierunner

x2 on parking at the airport and staying in town.  You'll spend soooo much time commuting and there is sooooo much to see in town you will not make the best use of your time.  Saving money is important but your first trip to NYC is not the time to do it.

Agreeing with this idea. AND with the AirBnB suggestion. I used it for my Richmond trip last weekend and it was fantastic. I imagine many New Yorkers enjoy renting out spare space for cash

 

2014-06-07 5:56 AM
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Subject: RE: Visiting New York, staying outside the city?

Update on our decision.

 

We took the advice here to heart and ended up in a chain hotel near MSG.

BikerGrrrl: we did factor in the train cost. A 7-day pass on LIRR is <$80.

 pitt83- we looked at Hotel Pennsylvania but ultimately picked one nearby with more of the amenities required by teenage boys (free wifi and hot breakfast) for like $20 more per night. 

The hotel we chose offers parking nearby for $40/night, slightly more than the $35/night at LaGuardia, and we don't have to take the buses into Midtown. Anybody see any problems driving in from the airport? It will be a Saturday night and Billy Joel is playing at MSG that night...

Overall the cost including parking is $600 more (for five nights) than staying in Bayside and taking the train in. Ouch, but you only live once,

Now looking for suggestions on things to do and places to eat (casual). Already have tickets to a Yankees game, Any sources for cheap Broadway tickets? Boys want to see Book of Mormon but that would be $1000 via StubHub, We will check out RedCorvette's Times Square suggestion for same-day tickets.

Thanks for the advice so far, Appreciate any other tips and suggestions you can give a first-time visitor.

2014-06-07 8:44 PM
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Subject: RE: Visiting New York, staying outside the city?

Mark's advice on the B-Way tix is spot on. So is a double decker ride. The Financial District is an interesting walking area including the Bowery, as is Midtown. Radio City used to do a tour of the studios(not sure if it is still available), if you're into that sort of thing. Any thoughts on the 9/11 Memorial?  We moved away from NY a few years prior to 9/11 and I think it is one of the things I'd want to visit. And you've got the ever popular Statue of Liberty and/or the top of the Empire State building. Central Park is nice as well. Since you are staying near MSG, you are within walking distance of a lot of good neighborhoods to visit, Little Italy, China Town, Tribeca, and Grand Central Station is another thing to see. If you are a food lover, Chelsea Market might be fun.  In so far as food goes, we always try to eat like a local. So while Katz's deli might be popular, there are a ton of good deli's for sandwiches and such. Talk to the bus drivers, cabbies, hotel employees, etc to see where they would go. The few things I would hunt down are a good bagel and a good NY Pizza. Unfortunately, it's been a while since I've been back to NYC, but I'll hit up my niece and BIL up there and see what they suggest.

ETA John's of Bleeker St. for pizza.  http://www.voiceplaces.com/new-york/john-s-of-bleecker-street-2496840-l

 



Edited by cdban66 2014-06-07 9:04 PM


2014-06-07 9:21 PM
in reply to: the bear

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Subject: RE: Visiting New York, staying outside the city?

McFuzz probably has a better memory for that trip than I do.  I know we bought our BWay tickets at a kiosk type of thing that morning.  The 9/11 memorial would be a must do for me.  We spent a LOT of time at Ellis Island and I'm the one that didn't want to leave (I was originally the one the thought she would be bored there).

 

 

2014-06-09 10:16 AM
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Subject: RE: Visiting New York, staying outside the city?

Originally posted by the bear

Update on our decision.

 

We took the advice here to heart and ended up in a chain hotel near MSG.

BikerGrrrl: we did factor in the train cost. A 7-day pass on LIRR is <$80.

 pitt83- we looked at Hotel Pennsylvania but ultimately picked one nearby with more of the amenities required by teenage boys (free wifi and hot breakfast) for like $20 more per night. 

The hotel we chose offers parking nearby for $40/night, slightly more than the $35/night at LaGuardia, and we don't have to take the buses into Midtown. Anybody see any problems driving in from the airport? It will be a Saturday night and Billy Joel is playing at MSG that night...

Overall the cost including parking is $600 more (for five nights) than staying in Bayside and taking the train in. Ouch, but you only live once,

Now looking for suggestions on things to do and places to eat (casual). Already have tickets to a Yankees game, Any sources for cheap Broadway tickets? Boys want to see Book of Mormon but that would be $1000 via StubHub, We will check out RedCorvette's Times Square suggestion for same-day tickets.

Thanks for the advice so far, Appreciate any other tips and suggestions you can give a first-time visitor.

No one drives to concerts so you shouldn't have any more trouble driving in Manhattan than usual (which is to say, have fun....).  There is a good tour of the UN if that interests you.  Since you're a big music buff you could head down to Washington Square Park and see where Dylan got his start, walk around the Village a bit and then walk over the the Highline Park.  Its an elevated railroad line they turned into a park & the north end will bring you right back to your hotel.  I've heard good thing about the Tenement Museum on the lower east side but haven't been there myself.  If you have time for a little pre-game, stop in at Stan's by the Stadium for a beer beforehand. 



Edited by drewb8 2014-06-09 10:17 AM
2014-06-09 9:37 PM
in reply to: drewb8

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Subject: RE: Visiting New York, staying outside the city?
Originally posted by drewb8

Originally posted by the bear

Update on our decision.

 

We took the advice here to heart and ended up in a chain hotel near MSG.

BikerGrrrl: we did factor in the train cost. A 7-day pass on LIRR is <$80.

 pitt83- we looked at Hotel Pennsylvania but ultimately picked one nearby with more of the amenities required by teenage boys (free wifi and hot breakfast) for like $20 more per night. 

The hotel we chose offers parking nearby for $40/night, slightly more than the $35/night at LaGuardia, and we don't have to take the buses into Midtown. Anybody see any problems driving in from the airport? It will be a Saturday night and Billy Joel is playing at MSG that night...

Overall the cost including parking is $600 more (for five nights) than staying in Bayside and taking the train in. Ouch, but you only live once,

Now looking for suggestions on things to do and places to eat (casual). Already have tickets to a Yankees game, Any sources for cheap Broadway tickets? Boys want to see Book of Mormon but that would be $1000 via StubHub, We will check out RedCorvette's Times Square suggestion for same-day tickets.

Thanks for the advice so far, Appreciate any other tips and suggestions you can give a first-time visitor.

No one drives to concerts so you shouldn't have any more trouble driving in Manhattan than usual (which is to say, have fun....).  There is a good tour of the UN if that interests you.  Since you're a big music buff you could head down to Washington Square Park and see where Dylan got his start, walk around the Village a bit and then walk over the the Highline Park.  Its an elevated railroad line they turned into a park & the north end will bring you right back to your hotel.  I've heard good thing about the Tenement Museum on the lower east side but haven't been there myself.  If you have time for a little pre-game, stop in at Stan's by the Stadium for a beer beforehand. 




Tkts and groupon are good sources for cheap broadway tickets. The high lines pretty cool. I went to the Tenement museum last month with my sons school. It was interesting, but it's not a must-see IMO. If you're on the lower east side, skip the museum and go have a pastrami on rye at Katz' Deli.
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