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Topic: new york idiots guide

  1. #1

    Default new york idiots guide


    Looking to take myself, my daughter (who will be 21) and my other daughter 7 to New York, We would need to go via Glasgow/Edinburgh.

    Looking to go end of March.. what is the weather like?

    Want to do empire state building, zoo, central park, etc.

    anyone recommend where I should stay! Start..


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    You will get wide and varied opinions on location. In April we stayed in Brooklyn as the price was far less than Manhattan and the hotel was beside the R train in to the city in a little over 20 minutes. We bought a 7 day metro card for about $30 and got more than our moneys worth. Best Western Plus Prospect Park was the name of where we stayed.
    As for attractions there are many multi attraction passes. We bought the New York Pass but there is the New York City Pass, the Freedom Pass etc etc. So do your research and make sure you choose the best option for your trip. Some will include more attractions than you could actually do and be a waste of money. As a guide we did about 4 attractions per day on the NYC pass list for 4 days and only just broke even on the cost of paying seperately at each place. Always check that paying for individual attractions won't be cheaper/more expensive than buying a mulit day pass.
    End of March can be chilly but it could be clear and sunny at the same time.
    As for flights from Edinburgh AA, DL and UA all fly to JFK or Newark. Either airport has great links to Manhattan but Newark not so good if you decide to stay in east of the river in Brooklyn/Long Island City or Queens. Some of the routes are seasonal from Scotland so check all the airlines. I believe DL and UA are looking to extend flights from GLA to New York next year as well.
    Edit to add: I recommend NOT pre-booking or buying a dated ticket for Empire State Building. If the day you choose is cloudy then it can be a let down. When you are there if it is clear when you get up then hit ESB early and avoid the crowds and enjoy the clear blue skies.
    Last edited by dmrevis; 05-09-2016 at 03:33 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Orlando, FL
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    It's been years since I've been to NY, but we have quite a few members here who have been recently, so I'll just answer the question about weather. March in northern USA is still winter. It's the tail end of winter, so as dmrevis says, it can be cold, or it can be sunny. You can easily have snow in March, too. Highs are generally in the 50s F (10C), lows are in the mid 30s F (2C). Obviously, night and morning will be colder. I would plan for layers in March, but it's likely you'll need coats all day, with gloves or mittens for mornings and evenings (and probably daytime).

    Chances are you'll have mostly sunny, but still cold or at least chilly. Also plan for either snow or rain. It won't really start to warm up in New York until May at the earliest.

    Midlife: when the Universe grabs your shoulders and tells you Im not messing around, use the gifts you were given.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    0 Post(s)


    Hi there samhen1, and welcome to the Forums!

    NY in March could be quite a mixture, with the possibility for temperatures as low as freezing, or as high as 20C, with rain, sleet or sun! Ideally, you want to stay in the Manhattan area for most of the sights/attractions, and there are plenty of choices. I've stayed at the Washington Jefferson Hotel (small, but comfy and quite close without being right in the hubbub) and thought it was pretty good value, but there are several ATDers who have been more recently and might have better advice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    0 Post(s)


    You’ve just landed and you want to get in to Manhattan, well you have 2 choices. Firstly you can go outside and get a cab. The cab rank is very well run with an attendant there assisting to put you in a cab. It’s about an hours run to central Manhattan but the cost will set you back about $65 with fare, tolls and tip. I would recomend doing this on your first trip to New York as you get a great view of Manhatten as you come over the bridge. There is an alternative and a lot cheaper one at that which i use when i go, it’s called the Airtrain and connects to the subway. As you come through arrivals and out on to the concourse before you exit the airport you will see the signs for the airtrain. The cost of the Airtrain is $5 and you pay it as you exit the airtrain but you will need to pay an additional $2.50 for the cost of your subway journey so the whole fare, into Manhattan is $7.50.
    Depending where you are staying in Manhattan depends on which of the 2 airtrain stations you will use, you have the option of Jamaica or Howard Beach. Check the subway map and see which is the closest station to your hotel, then work back along the line to see the best airtrain station to use. When we use 51st street our best station is Jamaica. It is a simple system to use and very safe but of course you don’t get that amazing view as you come across the bridge but to save almost $60, i don’t mind missing it.

    The rule of thumb here is, the closer you stay to Times Square the more expensive it becomes. There is no shortage of hotels in New York so it all depends on what you want to pay and you could be paying up to $400 a night. Firstly i would say do your homework and pick the hotel you want to stay in, then search around for the best deal.
    We normally stay at The Hampton Inn on Times Square North which is 51st & 8th. It’s about 4 blocks north of Times sq so just a short walk but it’s right next door to the subway. It also has the added bonus of a free breakfast so we don’t have to go out searching for places to get breakfast of a morning. It’s not great, mainly bagels, toast, cereal etc in a small buffet part of the hotel. There are much better hotels for around the same price so just make sure on what you want before you book. That's right for us but probably not for everyone.

    The subway can be a little daunting but if you want to get around you will have to use it. It’s not like the London Underground, firstly it runs 24hours. The first big difference is you don’t just go down on it then decide which way you need to go. The Northbound or Uptown as they call it is totally separate from the Southbound or Downtown as they call it so if you go the wrong way you will have to exit the station, cross the road and go back in so make sure of the direction you wish to go. Secondly not all trains stop at every stop so again, plan your route. They don’t give out subway maps like on the London Underground so make sure you print one off from the internet before you go. Fares are simple, there is no peak and off peak, no zones, just a single flat fare of $2.50 to go from one end of the subway to the other or you can get a day pass or even a weekly. It was around $7 a day or $25 for a week when we last went. When you go through the gates you will need your ticket to go in but not to go out and if you buy a single ticket, you can throw it away once through the gates as you won’t need it again. You won’t find lots of staff to help you, in fact you will be lucky to find any staff to help but you will see plenty of metro police. The first year we went we used the subway fine with plenty of mistakes but by our second visit we had it well and truely sussed and it’s a pretty simple system once you get used to it.

    Like any big city there is a massive array of various places to eat that cater for just about every taste going so i’m not going to bother too much listing all the places to but one place you really should try is Rays Pizza. There really isn’t anything like real New York pizza like Rays does it. Another favourite of ours is Bubba Gumps but only because that is a favourite of ours from Orlando.

    Simply loads to do and my tip here is to get some of your tickets before you go. Unless you’ve been before you’ll want to go to the Statue of Liberty and you can get tickets on the day for that. However, if you want to go inside (and there are 2 options) you will need to get your tickets in advance and you can do that by going on their website. The two options are to go to the first level at the base of her feet or if you’re feeling energetic you can go up as far as the crown, these tickets sell out weeks in advance so you will need to go those well in advance. If you go on the website you can print off the tickets at home so they are all booked.
    Another ticketed thing to do is the Empire State building and i would recommend getting the tickets on the day for that as if you book in advance like we did for the Top of the Rock you could end up with a wet miserable day where you can’t see a thing. As well as the Empire state building you could do the Top of the Rock instead, The Rockefeller Centre as the views are just as good but less crowded than the Empire State building.
    Don’t miss Trump tower, Maseys, Tiffanys, or if you fancy a shopping mall try the Queens centre.

    If you fancy shopping a little further out then i can recommend Woodbury Common. It’s about and hour outside New York, really easy to get to and prices are about 30-40% lower there than in New York. It’s an outlet Mall selling all the latest fashions by all the top designers. To get there is easy, just go to Port Authority bus terminus shop on 44th Street and they will sell you the tickets and you just need to go the New York port authority bus station a few blocks away and buses run every hour to Woodbury Common, they drop you right outside and pick up going back at the same place. It is part of the Premium Outlest chain that i'm sure you are familiar with from Orlando

    Another recommendation is Central Park of a Sunday when you may just catch a softball game or get to watch the Central Park roller skaters who are pretty amazing.
    Coney Island is worth a visit and is strange to see a vast Sunday beach close to New York. They filmed the cult film The Warriors down there but it looks vastly different to what it did in the film. The fun fair is still there but it is lovely walking along the boardwalk towards Brighton Beach.
    Take in a Broadway show (book tickets in advance), stand in the middle of Times Sq in the evening and watch the world go by, Walk down 5th Avenue or you do do what we did. There is a webcam right outside TGI Fridays on 42st street. Give the web address to a friend before hand then ring them when you are by the webcam and wave to them from New York (the cam is about 30 seconds behind real time). Take in a Baseball, American Football or Basketball game depending on the time of year your there.

    You could take a trip up to Yankee stadium and do a tour if you fancy it and up that end you can hop on the cable car across the river which is fun

    If you've ever watched "Cake Boss" it's fairly easy to get to the shop in Hoboken but expect a long queue.

    There is no end of things to see and do in New York.

    Attraction Tickets Direct sell loads of different tickets for various things and if you want to go to the top of the statue then you'll need to book beforehand and you can do that from
    Last edited by Superspur; 05-09-2016 at 04:15 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Hi lots of good advice already but just to add our views as others have said plenty of options of where to stay and it is largely dependent on your budget but yes the closer you get to Times Square the more you pay and the higher up you are and the better the view the more the price can go up. We have only visited in May and October so the weather was pretty good . If you can pre book any major attraction or get a skip the line pass to avoid waiting for ages especially if its going to be cold most of the big attractions you can book a time slot which can help planning your trip.We found the Subway pretty easy to use once you get used to the uptown/downtown setup and felt pretty safe on them.Eating out again you will find plenty of choice for all budgets look at trying traditional diners they give good value and might not look much from the outside but we have always found the food good quality you generally find them off the main streets. Central Park is a great place to wander round weather permitting and its free
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Northern England
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    It is many years since we went to NYC and when we did our son was using a wheelchair, so a visit to the Statue of Liberty was a non-starter. So what we did was got the Staten Island Ferry (there and back) which gives great views of the SoL and on the return super views of the East River and Hudson River as well as great views up Manhattan. When we did the 'trip' it was 50c each, but I think it is now free.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Hi and welcome.

    You've had some great advice already. We have visited twice in March, the first time we had snow and it was colder than when we visited in December. Last year it was sunny, but the wind could go straight through you, so be prepared for all types of weather.

    The subway is cheap, clean, efficient and easy to use; as you would in London, avoid rush hour.

    I would second not pre purchasing tickets for Empire State Building or Top of the Rock as visibility could be poor on your chosen day. The hop on/off buses are a good way to see the city if you want to get your bearings, or don't feel confident enough to visit a neighbourhood on your own.

    One place to visit that hasn't yet been mentioned is the Highline. This is the old elevated rail track that has been turned into a public park which runs from 14th Street to W34th. It does get busy, so try and do this early in the day. If you get peckish or want a rest, stop off at Chelsea Market for a chance to try local and worldwide cuisine.

    New York is such a diverse city, whatever you decide to do, you'll have a blast.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Manchester England
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    Night time boat ride to see that classic water front all lit up would be top of my list.

  10. #10


    wow, thanks.

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