Whats there to see and do in New York City? Everything. New York is home to some of the biggest, the best,
the liveliest, the newest, the oldest, the tastiest, the matchless, the greatest and the
utmost. The coolest thing, though, is that New York City is a perfect vacation destination for adults,
kids, families, seniors, grandparents, honeymooners, groups and singles. Did we leave
Building Observatory -- A person once said, "You can live in New York all your life,
but until you see it from the top of the EmpireStateBuilding, you haven't seen the city." The 86th floor
Observatory is NYCs most famous attraction for both adults and kids. Its open
365 days a year, day and night, for a panoramic view that youll agree will be the high point (laugh
optional) of your vacation! GOOD TO KNOW: You
can get a FREE ADMISSION VOUCHER to the Empire State
Building Observatory if you purchase a complete New York City vacation
from a reputable tour company like New York City Vacation
Statue of Liberty
The most recognized symbol of freedom in the world, Lady Liberty stands proudly in New YorkHarbor. There are several ways to see the Statue
of Liberty up close:
Take the Statue of Liberty Ferry, operating on a
loop, stopping first at Liberty Island and then at Ellis Island before returning to
Battery Park, New York. Daily (except Christmas Day) approximately . GOOD TO KNOW: You can bypass the lengthy
ticket-purchase line by buying your ferry tickets ahead of time, either as part of a
vacation package or as part of a tour like those operated by Gray Line New York Sightseeing
Sail by Liberty Island on the Staten Island Ferry.
You cant get off at Liberty Island or Ellis Island, but you do get a great view of
the Statue of Liberty. Believe it or not, the Staten Island Ferry is free. No charge.
Complimentary. How do they do it? Volume.
Take one of several sightseeing cruises operated
by Circle Line. Not only will you see the Statue
of Liberty close enough for a great photograph, youll also get great views of the
Ellis Island -- The MainBuilding on Ellis Island is now a
museum dedicated to the history of immigration. Between 1892 and 1954, approximately 12
million steamship passengers who entered the United
States through the port of New York were legally and
medically inspected at Ellis Island. You can trace your familys roots at the AmericanFamilyImmigrationHistoryCenter, a family history research facility that contains
records of over 22 million immigrants. To get to Ellis Island, take the Statue of Liberty Ferry.
New York Citys entertainment center. At one time seedy and
home to porn movies and adult stores, its now the Big Apple tourist mecca. Its
lively and always crowded, just what New
York is all about!
Definitions: 1. A street traversing the island of Manhattan. 2. A section of midtown Manhattan. 3. The Great White Way 4. The pinnacle of live entertainment. 5. An
actors highest achievement. 6. Where the neon lights are bright. 7. Come on
along and listen to, the lullaby of Broadway. The hip hooray and ballyhoo, the lullaby of
Broadway. GOOD TO KNOW:
Many New York City hotels are within a 5 minute walk of Broadway, so youll
be right in the center of all the action! Its worth the extra dollars to stay in a
hotel near Broadway, since youll save money in the long run by avoiding taxis,
parking and tunnel or bridge tolls.
the worlds most famous park is the northern boundary of the area referred to
as Midtown Manhattan. That means its an easy stroll to the Park from almost every
midtown hotel. Central Park was created 150 years ago and the city
celebrated the anniversary with a light show,
exhibits, concerts and even an auction of designer park benches. Theres always
something going on in the Park. Check out the Central
Park Conservancy site for up-to-date information.
BrooklynBridge Believe it or not, it REALLY IS for sale.
Make us an offer. At the very least, go see it. One of the worlds truly outstanding
river spans, its not only an architectural wonder, but its construction had
long-lasting geo-political ramifications since the bridge helped unite Manhattan with
Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island to form Greater New York.
New York is universally
recognized as the top destination for live theater. Broadway theaters present musicals,
comedies, dramas and plays. Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway, as well, will delight you
with a vast array of choices. GOOD TO KNOW: There are always tickets
available for even Sold-Out shows. You just have to know where to find them.
Try New York City Vacation Packages. They often have
tickets to impossible shows like Disneys The Lion King, Wicked and Hairspray.
Whats the difference between Broadway, Off-Broadway and
Off-Off Broadway theaters? Believe it or not, it has NOTHING to do with whether the
theater is located on Broadway. In fact, there are only 4 theaters (Palace, Broadway,
Marquis and Winter Garden) that are actually on Broadway. The rest of the so-called
Broadway Theaters are on side streets. The designation is simply based on the
size of the theater:
Theaters with 700 or more seats are called
Theaters with 100-699 are designated as
Theaters with under 100 seats are known as Off-Off
Harlem Spirituals Harlem Gospel Tour is one of our personal
favorites. Operating on Wednesdays and Sundays, it not only includes a tour through the
neighborhoods of Harlem, it also includes a Sunday gospel worship service (gospel choir on
Both Gray Line and New York Visions operate night
tours as well, featuring breathtaking skyline scenery.
HOP-ON HOP-OFF SIGHTSEEING TOURS
These tours offer you more flexibility to visit neighborhoods,
attractions and sites in the City.
Lines hop-on hop-off tours use new London-style double decker buses, narrated by
professional tour guides. Because you can get on or off at over 40 stops in Manhattan you can visit
the Empire State Building Observatory, Macys, Statue of Liberty, Greenwich Village, SoHo, Chinatown, museums, Harlem, Central Park, RockefellerCenter then
get back on the bus and continue your tour! You can use the tour for two consecutive days
(and theyll even include a Night Tour).
SIGHTSEEING FROM THE HARBOR
Cruises around ManhattanIsland offer a great way for you to see the City from a different
perspective. Circle Line
has a full menu of 1-hour, 2-hour and 3-hour
cruises. Youll see the Statue of Liberty up close, and youll see different
views of the Big Apples magnificent skyline, so take your camera and plenty of film!
Throughout the Spring and Summer,
Circle Line has evening party
and music cruises, too.
Although its not usually thought of as a sightseeing
cruise, World Yacht Dinner Cruises do provide
some fantastic views of the Lower Manhattan skyline, as well as a gourmet dinner, dancing
and full bar service. Zagat Restaurant Survey says, "This romantic dinner cruise
affords the best views of New York at night... it's a spectacular way to see New York or celebrate an
SIGHTSEEING FROM THE AIR
If you think the view of New York City from
the top of the EmpireStateBuilding is awesome, then just wait until you see how the Big Apple
looks from the window of a FlightSeeing helicopter!
has tours that last 5-7, 10-12 and 15-17 minutes and includes views of New YorkHarbor, Statue of
Liberty, the Financial District, EmpireStateBuilding and even Yankee Stadium.
DOWN TO EARTH SIGHTSEEING
New York City is a
collection of neighborhoods, each of which is worth exploring. The best way to really get
to know an area of the City is to take one of several excellent walking tours.
Ground Zero/ Lower Manhattan Walking Tourgives you an in-depth look at
one of New Yorks most historic areas. The tour departs every Saturday and
Sunday from midtown Manhattan. The tour guide accompanies you by subway; for many, its
their first experience with New York mass transportation so having an escort along makes traveling
underground very easy (Subway 101). The walking tour itself visits some of the oldest and
some of the most memorable sites in New York City including Wall Street, Battery Park and the former site of the WorldTradeCenterTwinTowers, now known as
Perhaps youve already seen it, done it, bought the
t-shirt. Visited the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty, shopped at Macys,
walked through Times Square, Central Park and Rockefeller Center and now
youre looking for a unique New York experience. Here are some of our favorite
Guided Tour 45-minute to 1-hour tour includes information on the functions and
activities of the UN and an explanation of the various exhibits, architecture and décor
of the building.
EXCURSIONS OUTSIDE OF NEW
If you have the time you might consider visiting Niagara Falls, West Point, Hyde Park or WashingtonDC.Both Gray Line New York/Coach USA
and Hudson River Day Line run tours that
generally depart in the morning and return in the evening.
New York City has a
virtual plethora (we dont know what that word means, but we like how it sounds) of
hotels and motels in every price range. The adage and caveat that You get what you
pay for must be observed, though.
Generally speaking, hotels in the popular Theatre District are
somewhat more expensive than, say, a local Johns Notell Motel in another part of the
Consider however that a Sheraton, Marriott or Hilton in midtown Manhattan is going to be
within walking distance of the best live entertainment in the world (Broadway), the best
shopping avenue in the country (5th Avenue), the most famous park in the world
(Central Park), the most famous skyscraper in the world (Empire State Building), the
largest department store in the world (Macys) and the 24-hour neon glamour of Times
So can you get a cheap hotel room in New York? Sure. Just
beware. There are several factors that determine why a hotel room is cheap:
1.Location. If you want to be in the
middle of all that New York City has to offer, your cheap hotel room probably wont put you
there. Instead youll be spending money on taxis, parking and tunnel or bridge tolls.
Wouldnt you rather have a conveniently-located hotel so you can get an early start
or a late night and still have a place to relax in between?
2.Features and amenities. Dont
need your own private bathroom? Dont need a doorman or security guard to make sure
your temporary residence is off-limits to intruders? Dont need someone to ask
directions or get you a taxi? Dont need heat or air conditioning? Dont need a
wake up call? Dont need a quick cup of coffee or tea in the morning? Aha!
Cmon, live it up. Spring for the private bathroom. Feel safe and secure when you
finally turn in at night. Treat yourself to a good hotel. You deserve it.
3.Age and cleanliness. These two
factors dont necessarily go hand-in-hand, but theyre both important. When was
the hotel last remodeled? If it was during the administration of a US President not named
Bush or Clinton, beware. Shag carpeting is a giveaway.
But really, you might ask, how much time will
I spend in the room anyway? Well, we might answer, at least a
third of your vacation!
So how does the novice New York-bound traveler know where to
stay? Heres good advice:
GOOD TO KNOW: Check with a New York City expert like
New York City Vacation Packages. They not only can
make sure youre staying where you want to be, but their prices are very good too.
For a listing of Manhattan hotels, and some general information about each,
over 17,000 restaurants, New
York City can
be intimidating for a first-time visitor. Where do I go? Will it be good? Will it be
expensive? Will I be able to get a reservation? Will the waiter be nasty to me?
are some tips so you can enjoy your New
dining experience as much as youll enjoy the rest of the City:
If your normal routine is grab a cup of coffee and a Danish then youll
be right at home in New
Almost every block in midtown Manhattan has
a deli or food store with lots of Danish, croissants, bagels and muffins. Dont be
shy. Order what you want, toasted or untoasted, with or without butter or margarine,
to go or for here. Just understand that when you order a
regular coffee in New
comes with milk and sugar.
youre looking for a more substantial breakfast, try your hotel or the local delis
(the delis will be cheaper). We have our favorites. Among them is the Café Edison (aptly
renamed by theater patrons as the "Polish Tea Room") at the Hotel Edison on 47th
between Broadway and 8th
BRUNCH: There are several to choose from, including
Lunchtime is also a good time to
experience many popular restaurants that might otherwise be either too crowded or too
expensive for dinner. Best bet is to ask your hotel concierge for suggestions. Some of our
favorites for a full 3-course (appetizer, salad, dessert) lunch include
We also could suggest that you roam
the block of 46th
Street between 8th
and 9th Avenues, known as Restaurant Row. Many restaurants there have lunch
specials including some very tempting price fixe menus.
Other less-expensive alternatives
Lindys, with 3
locations in midtown. Home of world-famous New York cheesecake.
located in the heart of the Theater District perfect for pre-theatre lunch.
Crown Gourmet Deli, on the corner of Broadway and
DINNER: So many choices, so little time. Its said that a
New Yorker can eat in a different restaurant each meal for his/her entire life and never
go to the same place twice (although we dont know anyone who actually tried).
Well try to help you limit your choices and provide some
hints for you.
Pre-Theatre Dinners: If your plans include an evening show (most
start at )
then you should plan on eating at Theatre District restaurants understand that patrons have show
tickets, but the restaurants do get crowded between and . Many restaurants, particularly those on Restaurant Row (46th
between 8th & 9th Avenues) have price fixe dinners. Another
Theatre District favorite of ours is Langans Restaurant & Bar on 47th
just east of Broadway.
Special Cuisines: From Afghan to Vietnamese, and everything in between,
choices are endless. Some popular choices:
nothing like Little Italy, as long
as you have the time to travel by taxi from midtown (20 minutes, about $10-$12 each way).
Authentic family-owned restaurants line Mulberry Street. You can eat inside
or outside.In midtown, there are Italian
restaurants galore including Trattoria del Arte on 7th Ave across from Carnegie
Hall; Alfredo of Rome, 49th &
on Restaurant Row; and Patsys Italian Restaurant on 56th St.
Asian New Yorks Chinatown (taxi from
midtown 20 minutes, about $10 each way) is the largest Chinatown in the United States -
and the site of the largest concentration of Chinese in the western hemisphere. Its
hard to find any better Asian food (Cantonese, Szechuan,
Vietnamese and Malaysian) anywhere in the US than in Chinatown. Check out Chinatown Online for restaurant
listings. In midtown, try Ruby Foos at Times Square for their Chinese, Japanese and
sushi choices. Our favorite for Thai food is Pongsri on 48th Street.
Try Shallots New York for Glatt
kosher fine dining, Il Patrizio on East 63rd for kosher Italian and Le Marais for kosher French.
American Casual We rarely spend a weekend in the City without visiting Brooklyn Diner on W. 57th
St. or their new location in Times Square. Excellent
food, fair prices (for midtown), fast service. White tablecloths and a wine list
not your typical diner! We also suggest Ellens Stardust Diner on
Broadway, a true retro 50s diner with a singing waitstaff. You might also try Charley Os
in Shubert Alley.
– In the Theatre District, its hard to beat the
view at The View high atop the Marriott Marquis, or the
in the New York Renaissance Hotel. Our favorite, though, is the World Yacht Dinner Cruise, sailing nightly.
Its world-class cuisine and world-class scenery.
sat in New York's Nederlander Theatre waiting for the musical Rent to begin, I knew my
16-year old daughter Marley was extremely excited about seeing *N Sync's Joey Fatone live
on stage. Just a year earlier, she and I had camped out overnight at RockefellerPlaza so
she could see her favorite group perform for The Today Show.
Fatone has matured from boy-band to movies to the
Broadway stage. So has my daughter. It wasn't the presence of her pop idol that was
captured in her mind. It was the storyline and the music of Rent, a long-running show with
undercurrents of homosexuality, Aids and other subjects Dads don't always like to talk
about with their 16-year old daughters.
This day and this musical were special to me, more
so than the conventional Cats or Grease or Blue Man Group, which we'd also seen. This day
marked the transformation from childhood to adulthood. Not for Joey Fatone. Nor for
Marley. For me.
Theatre has a way of doing that. So does travel. You
take your child to a show, a concert, an historic site. Then have lunch or dinner and a
stroll or a drive back to your hotel, all the while talking about what you've just
experienced. Each event gives parents a unique opportunity to discuss some of life's
broader issues -- issues you don't have time to focus on when everyone is rushing to
school, to soccer practice, to the office. These travel moments, which challenge your
emotions and change your life in some small way, can happen in New
York, Chicago, LA...or
in your own hometown. You simply need to be aware of the wonderful possibilities they
Rent was no doubt a memorable time for my daughter. For me, an epiphany. I'm not the
father of a kid anymore.
York City can
be a rewarding experience, not only for parents but for children as well. Sure, there are
playgrounds, parks and zoos. There are also interactive museums, the bright lights of
Times Square, a real aircraft carrier, famous sports venues, subway and taxi thrill rides,parades, street fairs, tunnels and bridges and
statues and skyscrapers and boat rides and toy stores and shows oh my!
hotels welcome families. Understand, though, that standard hotel rooms in New
typically only accommodate a maximum of 4 people in a room, so larger families must either
opt for a suite or two rooms. Theres never a guarantee that the two rooms will be
adjoining or connecting, so we prefer a suite at the
the Embassy Suites
New York in Lower
These suites will accommodate up to six people and have mini-kitchenettes in each unit so
you can stock the small refrigerator with milk, soda, etc.
its important to note that most hotel rooms in New
rather small. Real estate prices being what they are in midtown Manhattan,
every square inch of space is dear and rooms are constructed accordingly. Therefore hotels
will usually only put one rollaway bed in a room.
recommended hotels include the
Manhattan and the
Plaza Manhattan. Both are in the Times
area and both have indoor pools. The
Marriott Marquis is also
another good choice, as much for its glass elevators and spectacular atrium lobby as for
its central Times
location. Another favorite of ours is the
Novotel New York Hotel,
located just steps from Broadway and near Times
Its a less-expensive alternative to other midtown hotels and its 7th
floor lobby restaurant has incredible views of the Times
glitter. All of these hotels accommodate 4 people in a room.
important as WHAT TO SEE is HOW TO SEE IT. Although Manhattan is
a rather small and walkable island, spending your time trying to figure out how to get
from Point A to Point B (or worse yet, getting caught in traffic) can spoil an otherwise
following a strenuous adventure with a relaxing interlude will pay dividends. Here are some daily itinerary ideas:
Morning visit to Madame
Tussauds Wax Museum on 42nd Street. Spend 2 hours or so
walking through the hands-on and up-close exhibits, most of which will be familiar to kids
age 8 and up. Afterwards, walk about two blocks to the huge Toys R Us (44th
& Broadway), then have lunch at the nearby Planet Hollywood (45th &
Broadway). For a relaxing afternoon, take a Circle Line 3-hour sightseeing cruise around
(go by taxi to their 42nd St. &
12th Ave pier). An evening
Broadway show like Disneys The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, or Blue Man Group (off-Broadway) will end an unforgettable day for Dad, Mom and the
One: See all the major sights of the City by boarding the Downtown Gray Line
New York double-decker hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus at 8th Ave
between 47th & 48th Streets. Your narrator/tour guide will
describe the sights of Times Square and the Garment District before you get off the bus at
the EmpireStateBuilding. Take the elevator to the Observatory to get an amazing view of
Re-board the next bus and continue through the Lower Manhattan neighborhoods
of Greenwich Village, Soho and Chinatown until you get to Battery Park. Get off the bus
and walk towards the water to get a great view of the Statue of Liberty. When you get back
on the bus youll find your next stop is South Street Seaport, a great place to have
lunch and do a bit of shopping.
The tour will continue through the historic Lower East Side and EastVillage, past the
United Nations (where you can get off and take the brief 1-hour tour for an additional
cost) to RockefellerCenter, Central Park and on to the Hudson River pier.
Two: Kids and parents should enjoy todays Uptown hop-on hop-off tour as it
heads past LincolnCenter and Central Park. Youll see stately apartment buildings
occupied by New Yorks Rich and Famous, including The Dakota, where John Lennon lived
and Yoko Ono still does. You might get off the bus here to walk a short distance into Central
Park to Strawberry Fields, Yokos memorial to John.
The next stop is a must-see the American Museum of Natural History, with its
Hall of Ocean Life featuring a 94-foot blue whale, the RoseCenter for Earth and Space
offering the popular Space Show and Hayden Planetarium, and the famous dinosaur halls. By
the way, your kids might be interested in looking at the Museums
web site for kids.
The tour continues past other sites in uptown Manhattan including the
Cathedral of St. John the Divine, RiversideChurch and Grants Tomb (guess whos
buried there) until reaching Harlem. Its worth getting off the bus
to walk around this area rich in the history of American music, dance and literature.
Dont miss the Apollo Theatre, which has showcased talent
for almost 70 years, or the Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market, full of
traditional African crafts.
As the tour returns to midtown you will pass the famous Museum Mile, home to
some of the Citys top museums and galleries. If you still have time and energy you
can disembark at 65th Street and
5th Avenue for a stroll into Central Park
and its Zoo.
It can be a nightmare to plan a vacation to New York City. There are
so many hotel choices and sightseeing options; Broadway shows are sometimes sold out
months in advance; dining reservations can be a chore. The easiest and most stress-free
way is to find a travel agent or tour company that specialized in the Big Apple.
New York City
Vacation Packages is unique because they are the largest independent tour company
specializing in New York City. You can book your vacation directly with them (http://www.nyctrip.com/ or 877
692-8747) or with your travel agent
(who receives a commission from them so theres no difference in price). They offer
hotel accommodations throughout Manhattan, and represent virtually every Broadway show
(and they have tickets to otherwise sold-out shows like The Lion King,
Wicked, Jersey Boys and
Hairspray) and sightseeing organization in New York City. They also have specially-priced
dining arrangements with many popular Big Apple restaurants and will make advance dining
reservations for you. They can even book a discounted flight for you on US Airways,
AirTran Airways or
JetBlue Airways. Their packages include some free features, like free admission to the
Empire State Building Observatory and the Museum of