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sunshinegirl53 Apr 19th, 2009 09:22 AM

1st time visit in NYC in May
There will be 4 of us traveling to NYC over Memorial Weekend. We travel a lot but are totally overwhelmed trying to piece this trip together. If anyone can put this in some order for us to complete it would be most appreciated! Following is a list of things we have on our agenda...totally tourist! We arrive Fri am at 9 to LaGuardia and are staying at Affinia Dumont on Lexington and third.

Circle Tour
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
Top of the Rock
Empire STate Building
Central Park ? Boat and maybe bike
Brooklyn Bridge and pizza place near bridge ( walk back to Manhattan)
Ground Zero
5th ave shopping ( not much time needed for this)
Times Square at night with all the lights haha
EArly Show on Mon am before we go to airport?
or NBC tour
Madison SQuare GARden?
China town?
not interested in Museums etc this trip.
coney island and nathan's hot dog place ? if time

any restaurant ideas around these attractions would be helpful
Also wondering but hearing negatives about bus tours but wonder if it will give us a brief look at everything on first day? Thank you to anyone who can compile this into a good 4 day teen and three adults in 49-55 age range.

Anonymous Apr 19th, 2009 09:25 AM

Empire State Building will eat up a lot of time and there's no point in doing that AND Top of the Rock.

You don't have time to go to Coney Island.

Aduchamp1 Apr 19th, 2009 09:47 AM

I have never taken an MSG tour, nut otherwise the fun is in seeing a game.

Please look at other NY board postings. many questions have been discussed in detail.

sunshinegirl53 Apr 19th, 2009 09:49 AM

Any idea what to do on what day?

Aduchamp1 Apr 19th, 2009 10:05 AM

Eat in residential neighborhoods. Many NY'ers will take the opportunity to leave the city. Maybe a visitor can help but I am not sure what day to do something on a holiday weekend would matter.

sunshinegirl53 Apr 19th, 2009 10:20 AM

I guess what I am asking is in what order should we do these things and what ones will be convenient to do in one a 3-4 day itinerary...I have looked on the forums but have not seen these attractionsa ll included in a 4 day weekend. Thinking about locations and transportation etc to get in as much as possible with as little walking as possible.

Anonymous Apr 19th, 2009 10:28 AM

Do the Midtown things on Friday and Monday, and the downtown things on Saturday and Sunday.

ellenem Apr 19th, 2009 11:07 AM

I've grouped these by neighborhood, moving from south to north:
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (departs from downtown, Battery Park)
Ground Zero
Brooklyn Bridge and pizza place near bridge ( walk back to Manhattan)
China town?
Madison SQuare GARden? (This is an undistinguished-looking sports arena--what's your interestin visiting it?)
Empire STate Building (skip this--do Top of the Rock and you'll have a great view of the ESB)
5th ave shopping ( not much time needed for this)
Top of the Rock
NBC tour (Rockefeller Center)
Times Square at night with all the lights haha
Circle Tour (I assume you mean Circle Line Boat tour--departs from midtown on the west side--I don't recommend the full circle ride since many find the last hour boring)
Central Park ? Boat and maybe bike
EArly Show on Mon am before we go to airport?
not interested in Museums etc this trip. (too bad)
coney island and nathan's hot dog place ? if time (no time)

Did you create a tentative itinerary in choosing these sights? Anything like, "We thought we'd do the Statue of Liberty first thing Saturday morning" so we have someplace to start with advice.

sunshinegirl53 Apr 19th, 2009 11:37 AM

Good idea!
We get in on Fri am so thought we would go to the hotel and drop off stuff or check in.
Go on short Circle Line Boat tour ( or I read there is a speed boat one that sounded fun)
5th ave
Time Square
top of the Rock
NBC Tour

Sat go early to Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
Ground Zero
Brooklynn Bridge and Pizza

Sunday go to Central Park
China Town?
Museum if time...what would you recommend?

Monday the early show before Airport
We wouldl ike to do a show but cant spend the 120 plus per ticket but if there are cheaper ones that would be fun.....

chocobon Apr 19th, 2009 02:11 PM

You have a hearty list on your plate for a weekend! The Statue and Ellis Island will take nearly all day. There are ALWAYS lines at this time of year. The Empire State Building is worthwhile but also very long lines and it is relatively expensive. Times Square is very crowded with mostly tourists but at the TKTS booth you can buy tickets for a show for less than full-price. Again, long lines but it IS worth it if you want to see a Broadway play. Chinatown is fun; lots to gawk at and souvenir-type junk at good prices. You can go very early to any of the 3 major affiliates AM shows. People crowd together to attempt to peer into the window at the hosts. Just remember to leave yourselves plenty of time to get from Manhattan to the airport.

chocobon Apr 19th, 2009 02:24 PM

I just read your reply which indicates your proposed itin for Friday. Good luck getting ALL of that done on Fri. It is WAY too much. I don't think you realize how big Manhattan is and you add on some post "with as little walking as possible". If you don't walk extensively and briskly, how do you propose to get to ALL of these sights? Will you hire a driver? If you plan on cabs be prepared to spend a substantial amt. for fare. If you plan on subway and bus remember they are not so easy to navigate. Once you get off public transportation, be prepared to know exactly where you are and where you need to get to. It is not easy for the first-time visitor therefore, it takes time. Just a word of precaution, don't try and cram your visit with far too many must-see sights. You'll end up being disappointed and frustrated. It is the GREATEST city on the earth and with that being said, it is not simple!!

ellenem Apr 19th, 2009 03:32 PM

Actually I think Frdiay sounds fine. They arrive at LGA at 9AM so they should be checked into the hotel and ready to go by noon. Does the high-speed boat leave from the midtown piers or downtown? That's the only question I see for Friday. Times Square can wait until the evening for the best lighting effects.

Check for discounts for Broadway tickets at

nytraveler Apr 19th, 2009 04:47 PM

For Statue of LIberty you need to buy timed ferry tickets in advance as well as advance tickets to get inside the Statue. Otherwise the line to get on the ferry can be hours and you can be shut out of seeing the Statue. to do both the Statue and Ellis Island - including ferries to and fro you need to allow at least 6 hours - more if it's very busy.

Agree to bag the Empire State building (huge lines again) and get advance tied tickets for Top of the rock. Best to get tickets timed near sunset so you can see the city both in the daylight and lit up at night.

Austin Apr 19th, 2009 04:56 PM

I would skip the Statue of Liberty. Just stay on the boat and see it, but go to Ellis Island instead. you cannot go all the way up and the security line is at least an hour in itself. You can get a great view and a sense of it all from the ferry. However, my guess that Memorial Day weekend the security will be extra tight AND lines very long. If you must do this, go very early in the AM.

Also agree to skip ESB if you are going to Top of the Rock.

I think you need to make time to just walk around and get a sense of the neighborhoods. Perhaps you can do that if you are walking back from the BB.

Times Square should be saved for the evening so you can see the lights. Do you have anything else planned for TS? Play?

sunshinegirl53 Apr 20th, 2009 03:34 AM

Thank you to everyone who is replying! I think we will skip the ESB and go to Top of the Rock at Sunset one night. I don't care so much for the lines either! We would go to SOL on Sat am on the first boat and get reserved tickets.
I guess it is hard to know how big Manhattan is and how long it takes to get from one place to the other. Is Central Park worth doing? Is it safe?
Not sure what is in TS but thougth we had to see IT...I would like to do a play so will work on getting some advice on that..thought Wicked might be a good one to see.Maybe skip the NBC tour and just try and go to the plaza when it is taped?
We were thinking of using the public transportation and will plan ahead where and what to take once we know itinerary.
Has anyone had a positive experience using a tour bus? My thought on this was it would take us to many places to "see" and then we can go back and explore the ones such as sol and totr and central park, 5th ave and times square.

sunshinegirl53 Apr 20th, 2009 08:45 AM

Has anyone done the Ducktours?

tchoiniere Apr 20th, 2009 10:37 AM

Central Park is definitely worth the walk if it is a nice day. During the day, it is safe. There is a thread from the past month if you search that recommends the walking route.

Go to Times Square at night. It won't take much time as it is just an area of stores / restaurants, but great for people watching. It is over-priced though and too busy.

Tour buses are ok, but subject to traffic etc so you may not see everything and may be overcrowded. Feeling around here is to skip them. They do a good overview

tchoiniere Apr 20th, 2009 10:45 AM

Somehow posted before finishing my sentence.

They provide a good overview but the drawbacks outweigh the positives.

I have gone on a few duck tours and enjoyed them. They can be tacky but fun. Not sure where they go in NYC though. If you are doing the Circle Line boat tour / SOL trip, you probably don't need the duck tour.

Austin Apr 20th, 2009 10:58 AM

Your "reserved tickets" for the SOL aren't really reserving you a place in line. I had the reserved tix for 1:15 one day, and we waited around. We then got to the line a little early and I asked the woman if we can get in line earlier - she said that the time really didn't matter and that we can get in line as soon as we arrived. We were in line before 1:00 and got into the Statue about 2:00. You WILL endure long waits to get on the boat (and back) and your WILL have at least an hour long wait in the security line before you can walk up about 4 flights of stairs. Really, if you need to remove something from your trip, this would be it.

TS is all about the people and the lights. IT's amazing, and you could be done with it in 5 minutes or in 50 minutes. It's always crowded - last time I was there on a weekday in early March it was super crowded - so expect even bigger crowds on that weekend.

Central park is great. You could actually combine that with your Fifth Ave shopping trip. It's right there 5th Ave.

azzure Apr 20th, 2009 11:14 AM

Lexington and Third? These avenues are parallel...but do take a look at a map of Manhattan; the streets are (mostly) a numbered grid, which makes it very easy to navigate and plan your journeys.

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