Travel

NYC Trip - Midtown or Soho

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 21st, 2017 9:34 pm
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Feb 9, 2012
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Jumping in here for help please. Thinking of going to NYC (first time ever) with 2 kids aged 10 an 12 and my spouse. We have done road trips to Miami, Key West, Orlando, Quebec City, Montreal, etc.

Never been to NYC.

Where should we stay?
Thinking we could stay a little away (Secaucus, Jersey, Hoboken), and take the train in. We are all avid walkers and fit, so walking for hours a day is not an issue.
Is 4-5 nights enough?
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Jan 27, 2006
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cessnabmw wrote:
Jul 16th, 2017 12:11 pm
Jumping in here for help please. Thinking of going to NYC (first time ever) with 2 kids aged 10 an 12 and my spouse. We have done road trips to Miami, Key West, Orlando, Quebec City, Montreal, etc.

Never been to NYC.

Where should we stay?
Thinking we could stay a little away (Secaucus, Jersey, Hoboken), and take the train in. We are all avid walkers and fit, so walking for hours a day is not an issue.
Is 4-5 nights enough?
I'm with you in staying in Jersey but this thread seems to be pretty hostile with the idea of staying anywhere BUT Manhattan.

Since you have kids, I would recommend Residence Inn East Rutherford/ Meadowlands in Secaucus as they are set up like a suite rather than a normal hotel room and you should be able to get two room suites with a kitchen so that you can stay together as a family. Just take the bus directly to the Port Authority Bus Terminal (about a 15 minute ride) and you'll be a few blocks away from Times Sq.
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craftsman wrote:
Jul 16th, 2017 2:57 pm
I'm with you in staying in Jersey but this thread seems to be pretty hostile with the idea of staying anywhere BUT Manhattan.

Since you have kids, I would recommend Residence Inn East Rutherford/ Meadowlands in Secaucus as they are set up like a suite rather than a normal hotel room and you should be able to get two room suites with a kitchen so that you can stay together as a family. Just take the bus directly to the Port Authority Bus Terminal (about a 15 minute ride) and you'll be a few blocks away from Times Sq.
Thanks. Will check out that hotel.

Question on the subway. Once we are in the Times square area and all... Do we need the subway or is the whole city walkable?
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craftsman wrote:
Jul 16th, 2017 2:57 pm
I'm with you in staying in Jersey but this thread seems to be pretty hostile with the idea of staying anywhere BUT Manhattan.
"Hostile"? That's a little over the top. :eek:

This is a discussion thread started by someone looking for advice and several people who have participated have recommended staying on the island of Manhattan versus New Jersey or Brooklyn. Your advice is different but that doesn't make it any more "hostile" than the contrary view.
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cessnabmw wrote:
Jul 16th, 2017 5:51 pm
Thanks. Will check out that hotel.

Question on the subway. Once we are in the Times square area and all... Do we need the subway or is the whole city walkable?
I've walked a good deal of NYC and it really depends on what in the city you really want to hit. I'm assuming that since you are travelling with the kids, you probably want to hit some of the museums like the Met, American Museum of Natural History, MOMA, and the Guggenheim which are all walkable from the PABT (Port Authority Bus Terminal). But without the subway, you will need extra time to get to each spot - luckily, they are all relatively close to each other and I would advise that you leave a lot of time for places like the Met because it's HUGE! Now if you want to get down to Battery Park and Wall Street as well as take the Staten Island Ferry (look for the ferry with the outside observation area), then to save time, I would get on the Subway which is a NYC experience onto itself!

What sites do you want to hit when you are in the city? I'm assuming the basics like Times Sq, view the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, the 9/11 memorial, walk down 5th ave, SOHO and the Village as well as some of the countless world class museums. If that's the list (and a few more places), utilize the subway and plan to spend a few more days than you had planned.
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Conquistador wrote:
Jul 16th, 2017 6:57 pm
"Hostile"? That's a little over the top. :eek:

This is a discussion thread started by someone looking for advice and several people who have participated have recommended staying on the island of Manhattan versus New Jersey or Brooklyn. Your advice is different but that doesn't make it any more "hostile" than the contrary view.
Hostile may not have been a good word for it. How about a somewhat condescending tone to the ideal of staying outside of Manhattan to save a few bucks so that it could be spent on other areas of the NYC experience which may be important to the traveler?
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Jul 20, 2012
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Toronto
cessnabmw wrote:
Jul 16th, 2017 12:11 pm
Jumping in here for help please. Thinking of going to NYC (first time ever) with 2 kids aged 10 an 12 and my spouse. We have done road trips to Miami, Key West, Orlando, Quebec City, Montreal, etc.

Never been to NYC.

Where should we stay?
Thinking we could stay a little away (Secaucus, Jersey, Hoboken), and take the train in. We are all avid walkers and fit, so walking for hours a day is not an issue.
Is 4-5 nights enough?
If you want to save some money stay in Jersey. The hotel rooms may be larger. Every time we've gone we stay in Manhattan. The hotel we like is pretty small. You can take the subway everywhere. Don't even think of driving in Manhattan. If you're heading down this summer take the kids to Coney Island. It's on the ocean and one subway train ride from Manhattan.
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Brian71 wrote:
Jul 16th, 2017 8:31 pm
If you want to save some money stay in Jersey. The hotel rooms may be larger. Every time we've gone we stay in Manhattan. The hotel we like is pretty small. You can take the subway everywhere. Don't even think of driving in Manhattan. If you're heading down this summer take the kids to Coney Island. It's on the ocean and one subway train ride from Manhattan.
Which hotel do you stay at? Rates? Can I park there for free or is it paid parking?
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While i've stayed at the Plaza (Fairmont) and Park Hyatt in midtown, Renainssance, W, and DoubleTree in Times Square, I prefer the laid-back atmosphere in Hoboken.

However, that because I've been to Nyc numerous of time. Every time I took someone new to nyc, they all seemed to appreciate times square the most. For most first-timer tourists, I recommend them to be in the heart of the action. Just like staying on the Strip in Vegas.
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Jul 20, 2012
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Toronto
cessnabmw wrote:
Jul 16th, 2017 10:16 pm
Which hotel do you stay at? Rates? Can I park there for free or is it paid parking?
We stayed in Chelsea at a Holiday Inn. It's on West 26th btwn. 6th and 7th. The rate varies but on average the cost was around $200 USD per night. The rooms are small. It's a 10 minute walk to Times Square. They have no parking. There are parking lots close to the hotel and they have weekly rates. It isn't cheap. In my case if I drove I was looking at $75 USD per day. That includes a premium for a large suv.
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Last summer, we stayed at Crowne Plaza Times Square, they gave us free resort fee. Great location although super busy. Subways close by. Even Sbarro's! Highly recommend!

This summer we are staying at Courtyard MidTown East. (Large room for the four of us - two beds and pull out sofa).

Will be eating happy hour oysters at Grand Central Station.
My food blog - Reggie The Food Critic.
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Jun 7, 2009
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It's funny seeing the hostile Manhattan or else replies on this thread.

As (presumably) the only actual New Yorker in this thread, the city is so much more than Manhattan. The public transit system serves 3.5 out of the 5 boroughs well, so there's a lot to see outside of the traditional NY experience of Manhattan Island.

And please don't ruin the NY pizza experience with Sbarro unless you're literally starving and there's nothing else to eat. There are so many better local options than NY chain pizza.
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Jun 7, 2009
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Toronto
cessnabmw wrote:
Jul 16th, 2017 10:16 pm
Which hotel do you stay at? Rates? Can I park there for free or is it paid parking?
The Rockaways are another option for beaches accessible by Subway, but Coney Island is probably closer to Manhattan. If you're looking for an outdoors experience, you can take one of the ferries to Governors Island for a picnic in the summer.

Parking is usually paid on top of the hotel fee in the city. Alternate options include parking at a private parking lot nearby. Not cheap, but most likely cheaper than your hotel lot.

Or you can just not drive.
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souledge wrote:
Jul 21st, 2017 2:25 pm
It's funny seeing the hostile Manhattan or else replies on this thread.

As (presumably) the only actual New Yorker in this thread, the city is so much more than Manhattan. The public transit system serves 3.5 out of the 5 boroughs well, so there's a lot to see outside of the traditional NY experience of Manhattan Island.

And please don't ruin the NY pizza experience with Sbarro unless you're literally starving and there's nothing else to eat. There are so many better local options than NY chain pizza.
That's so funny you commented on my Sbarro reference. I actually am not a fan of Sbarro's, but it was across the street and I thought it looked quite nostalgic. I actually didn't eat pizza there so I can't tell you what the pizza tasted like. (I guess it's not better there in Toronto either).

I had a slice of pizza in Times Square somewhere tho (can't remember the name of the place), and it wasn't good.
My food blog - Reggie The Food Critic.
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Jun 7, 2009
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Toronto
cessnabmw wrote:
Jul 16th, 2017 12:11 pm
Jumping in here for help please. Thinking of going to NYC (first time ever) with 2 kids aged 10 an 12 and my spouse. We have done road trips to Miami, Key West, Orlando, Quebec City, Montreal, etc.

Never been to NYC.

Where should we stay?
Thinking we could stay a little away (Secaucus, Jersey, Hoboken), and take the train in. We are all avid walkers and fit, so walking for hours a day is not an issue.
Is 4-5 nights enough?
If you are driving in and are budget conscious, Jersey is a good option if you're only interested in seeing Manhattan for multiple reasons:
1. PATH is the same price as a NYC Subway fare, and it drops you off either at 33rd st and 6th Ave, or the WTC. You can walk from there since you guys are avid walkers.
2. The car doesn't need to pay the PANYNJ Hudson River crossings tolls since it stays on the Jersey side.
3. Don't have to deal with NYC traffic. For the uninitiated, it can be intimidating.
4. Harrison, Journal Square, Hoboken, Jersey City, Newport are all within 20 minutes of the NYC terminals. If you stay in Newport, in the mornings, you can walk along the river on the Jersey side to appreciate how NYC looks from afar, before taking the PATH (or ferry!) in.
5. Secaucus / Newark is a bit further and your only option to get in is the NJ Transit trains into Penn Station. Penn, these days is a shitshow, (Imagine Union closing 90% of its tracks during rush hour. Yeah, exactly.) If you're going to stay there, plan around going into the city before / after rush hour. With Newark, you also have the option of taking PATH, and I would recommend that vs. taking NJT into Penn during rush hour. With Secaucus, you can take NJT bus into Port Authority Bus Terminal, but I'm not keen on using buses to cross the Hudson River.

Honestly, parts of Jersey take far less time to get into Manhattan than other parts of NYC.

Now, if you are driving and want to see the outer boroughs in addition to Manhattan, then staying in one of the 5 boroughs might be a better option, even if it'll cost a bit more.

Of course, the ultimate is staying in Manhattan and blowing tons of money relative to the other two options. As I have no idea what your budget is, I just want to make you aware that blowing money is another option.
Last edited by souledge on Jul 21st, 2017 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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