View Full Version : New York advise

11-10-2009, 12:50 PM
I have finally persuaded DH to take me to NY next june for our 25th wedding anniversary. The main question i want to ask anyone who's been what are the MUST do's and the i wouldn't bother doing. Also we want to stay in Times square area so has anyone got any hotel recommendations please

11-10-2009, 01:02 PM
Fantastic news! How long are you planning to stay? I think the answers to your question will depend on how long you will be there.

11-10-2009, 01:48 PM
We stayed at the Athena Manhatten Nr Madison square garden :)we did lots of shopping as well as Liberty island and the empire state building and the rockafeller centre tour

11-10-2009, 02:08 PM
Ok, I'll try and give a bit of advice.

We went for a week, for the first time in July and absolutely loved it! It was my compromise to DW so we could go on "my type of holiday" next year (aka WDW :) ).

Anyway, I'll start with must do's - well, a must buy. 'The New York Pass'. There are plenty of these types of passes about (City Pass etc) but this one seemed the best to us - was about 100 p/p for a weeks use getting you into all the major attractions - we had saved money after 2 days!! Have a look at the website and it'll tell you all the attractions you can use it on.

Also the open top bus tours are good - we got the 3 day "all loops" ticket which includes unlimited use on their uptown, downtown, Brooklyn and night tours. It's hop on and hop off too, so we kind of used it as transport getting down to the south end of Manhatten (Ground Zero/Statue of Liberty/Wall St/Brooklyn Bridge etc).

The museums are all good for a look around, particularly the Natural History Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art has a great roof terrace with views over Central Park.

Obviously the Empire State Building will be high on your list - if you do get a New York Pass go to the second floor rather than queuing outside with the masses as this pass kind of (skips you the wait) where you can also do the New York SKyride - a kind of helicopter simulator which is ok but nowhere near what it would have cost without the Pass. Queues are still big so go as early as possible anyway.

Top of The Rock - The observation deck on the top of the Rockerfellar Centre is brilliant. Much better than the Empire State Building's IMO - the main reason being you get a wonderful view of the Empire State Building from it!! There is hardly any queue and the plexiglass on the observation deck gives you great views compared to the ESB's railings! We went up about 20 mins before sunset and you get a great view of both the Empire State Building and Central Park 'changing colours'.

Statue of Liberty - ok, you cant go to NYC without seeing this and we went down to the dock and got our tickets (included in the New York Pass) then we were told that there would be a further minimum 2 hour queue from that point! And even then there were no tickets available to go into the 'crown' nor the 'base' of the statue so you would basically be going to the island and staring up at it! We cut our losses and decided against it for the following reason:

The Circle Line manhatten boat tour. Again included with the New York Pass (you're starting to get the picture now) you can choose one of the tours round Manhatten island - all of which loop around the Statue of Liberty giving you great photo ops!
One tip I would follow if I did it again, do the 2 hour 'half island tour' rather than the 3 hour 'full island tour' - once you get past the UN there is pretty much nothing to see until you get up towards Yankee Stadium (even that is just a fleeting view) so the last hour was pretty boring.

There's just so, so much more to do, we didnt manage everything in the week we were there. Some other highlights we did were Madame Taussauds (included in the New York Pass, of course) which we didnt think we'd enjoy but had great fun, walking the Brooklyn Bridge (well, we managed half of it as it was a brutally hot day) and so much more.

Oh yeah, shopping!! This was the most disappointing part for us. Yes there's Macy's and Bloomies and all the boutiques on 5th Ave etc, but it all seemed a little expensive to us. Kind of place where if you're used to paying 500 for a dress and you find it for 250 it's great, but we aren't that 'high end' and prefer the kind of things that you're maybe used to seeing for 100 and getting them for 50. DW and I both agreed that the shopping in Orlando was far better for us.
Oh don't forget to go to guest services at Macy's for your 10% discount card (and Bloomies too, if you have a New York Pass which gets you the same discount there - wow i should be on commission from them :lmao:!!).

Ok, hotels. Times Sq was not high on our list of places to be in all honesty when we were in NYC. Especially in summer - crowded, hot, stuffy and not much to catch our interest.
So we were very glad to get a hotel slightly 'away from the action'. We stayed in the New York Palace Hotel, and I can easily say it was incredible. We used Tripadvisor to check the highest rated hotels then crossed it off against our budget to try and get the highest rated hotel we could afford. The New York Palace was 3rd in the list of hotel in NYC and within our budget so we went for it. And wow it was a great choice. Luxury hotel within a little piece of a seemingly quiet haven from the New York madness, just across the street from St Patrick's cathedral with a wonderful little courtyard offering views of the cathedral as well as being a great place to unwind (with a ridiculously expensive drink!).
What kind of price are you looking at? The New York Palace was around 130 a night (as it was July therefore off season) and worth every single penny.

Hope this ramble was of some help. I realise I haven't even touched Broadway shows but we didn't do any so I'm sure someone will be of more help than me.

Have fun planning :)


11-10-2009, 02:21 PM
I don't think I can top Luke's what to see guide! I love 5th Avenue and South Street Seaport.

We have stayed in the Plaza Hotel by Central Park/FAO Schwartz in last trip, which is fabulous, but I think were I to go back Times Square is a better location.

As far as Times Square Hotels go, my favourite is the W, followed by the Millenium Broadway and the Marriott Marquis is pretty cool - we love the revolving restaurant at the top! :)

Have a wonderful trip!!

11-10-2009, 02:37 PM
We have stayed in the Plaza Hotel by Central Park/FAO Schwartz in last trip, which is fabulous,

Friends of our stayed in The Plaza, gorgeous hotel and they loved it. We popped in just to see the lobby but were disappointed that it wasn't anything like it looked in Home Alone 2 :happytv:

Forgot to mention taking a horse and carriage ride through Central Park would be a romantic thing to do


11-10-2009, 02:55 PM
I forgot about the new york pass, i still have the free guidebook somewhere, i would be happy to send it to you :)

11-10-2009, 03:52 PM
Wow thanks everyone especially Luke!! We are going for 5 nights. nat that would be great if you don't mind. I already have the good old Brit Guide to NY :thumbsup2

11-10-2009, 03:55 PM
Wow thanks everyone especially Luke!! We are going for 5 nights. nat that would be great if you don't mind. I already have the good old Brit Guide to NY :thumbsup2

no probs, pm me your address hun xxx

11-10-2009, 03:59 PM
I've also stayed in the Plaza (that Torsie liked) but unfortunately we didn't. I'm sorry to say other than the view of Central Park we hated the room, it was so small & dirty, we were really disappointed with it.

We much preferred the Renaissance hotel which is right on Times Square. It is literally one of the two buildings with the big billboards on that face each other in the centre, with roads running either side. http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/nycrt-renaissance-new-york-hotel-times-square/

11-10-2009, 04:06 PM
My fave hotel is the Marriott Marquis on Times Square - I love that it was in True Lies and it's very central. The staff will do anything for you and it has the best breakfasts... :thumbsup2

11-10-2009, 04:39 PM
I stayed in the doubletree times square it was a wonderful hotel with a great view you will have a great choice of hotel's in times square they have loads too choose from.

I too preferred the view from the top of the rock to the empire state building

also The Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum.... The Museum is centered on the aircraft carrier Intrepid (CVS-11)... I didn't do it yet as I only noticed it on my last trip but it looks good

11-10-2009, 07:35 PM
5 days is a nice length of time as you have enough time to do lots without going crazy!

Apart from the obvious - Statue of Liberty / Central Park etc, we love having drinks at the revolving restaurant in the Marriott Marquis - fabulous view, especially at night, taking time out pottering around the restaurants and boutique shops of SoHo and Greenwich, and the Top of the Rock is also a great tip. The Staten Island ferry is great for a free sail past the Statue of Liberty, but the paid for trip to Ellis Island is great too. Unless you really want to do it, I would say it's actually quite boring getting off at Liberty and would give this a miss if time is short.

Times Square is great, but crowded and hot in the summer! If you did consider staying a little away from the action, the Ritz Carlton in Battery Park is amazing, and you can get some good deals. You can get a view of Liberty from your room, the roof terrace bar is wonderful, but it takes no time to get central. There are lovely walks around the Winter Gardens and along the river to chill out when the city gets a bit much. This end of town is definitely my favourite.

Mike Jones
11-11-2009, 10:48 AM
Make sure you see inside Grand Central Station. Top of the Rock is better than the Empire State (*** you can see the ES from TotR! ;) )

Macys was a let down - cheap tat reminiscent of a 1970s UK department store IMO.

Central Park is wonderful - allow lots of time to wander here.

11-11-2009, 12:44 PM
Great tips, and great post from Luke. Me & DFi are also hoping for our first visit to NY in june :)

11-11-2009, 04:14 PM
Can you but the New York pass over here or do you have to wait until you get there?

11-11-2009, 04:45 PM
we were thinking of doing the same thing for our 25th next August! so i'll be bookmarking this thread!

11-12-2009, 12:43 PM
Can you but the New York pass over here or do you have to wait until you get there?

I bought it from Expedia (who i booked the whole thing from), you print a voucher and collect the pass from Planet Hollywood in Times Sq :)

We also got the shared shuttle bus transfer from expedia which was about 10 each from JFK to Manhatten, and was quick and easy :)


11-12-2009, 12:55 PM
Can you but the New York pass over here or do you have to wait until you get there?

We got ours from the website and they were posted to us :thumbsup2