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Accommodation around but not necessarily in New York


Feb 28th, 2013, 12:32 AM
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Accommodation around but not necessarily in New York

Hi everyone, I just joined this forum and have high hopes
My husband and I are Australian retirees - young at heart - and are planning a trip to the east coast of USA in July/August for about 8 weeks.
We are planning to fly to New York but would like to stay not necessarily in the city but in some nice cosy, non-touristy accommodation. Someone mentioned to us that there are lovely litttle places in New Jersey just across from and with good transportation to New York. Unfortunately they did not remember any names.
We'll possibly spend up to a week in the New York area.
When we travel we don't often do the "touristy" things but like to find our own way and do our own thing. Use public transport, get "lost", meet and interact with locals.
I'm really hoping to receive advice, suggestions and tips. And not just about accommodation. Thanks.
montaya is offline  
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Feb 28th, 2013, 04:48 AM
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Many people who are visiting NYC stay in New Jersey of Long Island City instead of Manhattan, but I don't think any of those hotels would be considered "non-touristy"...I actually don't understand what you mean by that.

Here is a website that gives a pretty good rundown of New Jersey accomodations:

SusieQQ is online now  
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Feb 28th, 2013, 04:50 AM
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That's "or" Long Island City, not "of".
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Feb 28th, 2013, 05:06 AM
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Right. Aren't hotels for tourists? Do you mean a non-touristy part of town?
suewoo is offline  
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Feb 28th, 2013, 05:12 AM
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If you are going to sightsee in NYC, stay IN NYC. It will be expensive and time consuming going back and forth from Jersey or anywhere else. As for "non-tourist"--you really are a tourist, and will be glad to be recognized as one when you need directions!!
Honest, getting on a commuter train or bus every day to come to the city will not be pleasant--wake up, go to the local diner, and get on with a great day of sightseeing.
Gretchen is online now  
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Feb 28th, 2013, 05:21 AM
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Long Island City IS in NYC; it's a section of Queens that's a short subway ride from Manhattan. The Country Inn and Suites (a chain we like, although we haven't stayed at this one) is often recommended.

We've also had good results using Priceline to get reasonable hotel rates in NYC. Read betterbidding and biddingfortravel if you haven't used Priceline before.
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Feb 28th, 2013, 06:12 AM
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I agree with Gretchen, if you want to see NYC then stay in NYC. Look for a hotel away from the madness of Times Square and I think you would be much happier than spending time and money traveling back and forth.
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Feb 28th, 2013, 06:13 AM
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I'm guessing that montaya is looking for an apartment rental. These are illegal in NYC but not in NJ, so I'd suggest you look there, or at a hotel like the Beacon on the Upper West Side or Radio City Apartments in Midtown that has apartment-like units with kitchens. Needless to say, you're going to pay more to stay in Manhattan, but the proximity is worth it in my opinion.

One place that might interest you is a new hotel in the Brox called the Andrew Freeman. It's brand new and might be up your alley. But realize there are few restaurants, stores, or anything else for that matter in the immediate vicinity.

And if you search for a place in NJ, be on the lookout for scams (Craigslist is notorious for these) or apartments that are in particularly inconvenient locations. Transit from NJ isn't as cheap as a lot of people think. It can cost as much as $10 per person to come over to Manhattan via ferry or a combination of bus and train. And Hoboken, as close as it is to Manhattan, still has areas that aren't close to public transit. Further, the transit system in NJ is geared more to commuters than leisure travelers, so you may experience much less frequent service on weekends.

That's true in NYC as well, by the way, which is why most of us who live here recommend that tourists stay in Manhattan. At least in Manhattan you have access to more choices like city buses and an occasional taxi. But even where I live on the Upper East Side, we have no service at my stop on weekends until sometime next month. As in a lot of cities, weekend service disruptions are common.
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Feb 28th, 2013, 06:14 AM
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Sorry ... I mistyped. The Andrew Freeman is in the BRONX, not the "Brox". It's right on the Grand Concourse and is very affordable and in a historic building.
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Feb 28th, 2013, 06:25 AM
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It is possible the OP is thinking of the hotels in Jersey City? There are several very close to a PATH (the "subway train" that goes to/from NYC from NJ), including a Marriott which is right above the Newport station, and the Hyatt, which is right above the Exchange Place station. There's also a Doubletree Suites hotel across the street from the Marriott. There's several others within that immediate vicinity but they slip my mind at the moment.

The trip from the Marriott/Newport PATH station to midtown/Penn Station PATH station is less than 20 minutes. On the weekends when the train stops in Hoboken it's a few minutes more. I've seen many many tourists on the PATH going to/from NYC in the 4 years we've lived there.

I might add, one nice thing about visiting/staying in Jersey City is that you can make a photo of the NYC skyline; especially at sunset, all lit up across the river, it's like something out of a fairytale.
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Feb 28th, 2013, 08:33 AM
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Yes- but hotels in Jersey are not any more "cozy" than in Manhattan and still a PIA to gt to.

NYC does not specialize in "cozy" - we are big and bustling. And getting to and fro the city (unless you are immediately on a subway or path line) can take a long time (more than an hour) and a lot of money - better spent on a hotel in Manhattan.

If hotel budgets are a real issue LIC is nearby - but it is the antithesis of cozy - i's mixed use (motels stuck between auto body shops) and there are limited local resources.

There are some neighborhoods in Jersey that are pleasant - but while a 45 minute commute may be OK for a local on a budget I can;t reco it for a tourist. And those commuter services are on commuter time - not great in the evening after a show or dinner in the city. And you need to find a place only a couple of blocks from the ferry ($20 per day per person)- or whatever - or commutes could be really onerous - involving cabs, etc.
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Feb 28th, 2013, 09:23 AM
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Wish the OP would come back and give us some more info...at this point some of us think she meant hotels and Doug thinks apartments....so, OP please come back! We need clarification.
SusieQQ is online now  
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Feb 28th, 2013, 09:30 AM
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Montaya, our family went to New York last summer and I think it would be far more stressful to commute into the city each day than to find a hotel in Manhattan but away from Times Square as mentioned above. Ours was an Affinia Hotel on 34th, a busy street but not crowded with tourists as the Times Square area.

There are other areas even quieter. There is another poster you may want to look up, Maitaitom, whose New York trip report talks about the Chelsea Pines Hotel.
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Feb 28th, 2013, 10:54 AM
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I used to live in one of those "nearby New jersey" places that montana seems to crave and STRONGLY recommend that if she and her husband want to visit NYC city they SHOULD NOT stay in New Jersey or out on Long island - no matter where they stay in the suburbs commuting back and forth into the city gets old very quickly. It's a pain if they travel in rush hour which they will most likely be doing if they want to get in a decent day of sightseeing, wastes a lot of time "waiting for transportation" if the travel outside of rush hour and no one, repeat, no one in their right mind would want to use public transportation to make the commute late in the evening.

I never can understand why any tourist would subject themselves to the "headaches of commuting to/from the suburbs and NYC just to save a few dollars in room costs. Once you add in the costs to commute and take in to account the time wasted going back and forth staying in the city makes a lot more sense.

Montaya will have a much more enjoyable and stress free time staying in the city.be much better
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Feb 28th, 2013, 11:13 AM
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I totally agree with Roams Around. Those hotels are in a no man's land in the Meadowlands, Secaucus and then you have to commute which is never pleasant plus train tickets are expensive not reasonablly priced like the subways in the city.
To find cosy charm, you will have to commute to and from NY's nicer suburbs which have more expensive lodgings,, an hour to an hour and a half not uncommon on the pricey commuter train.Cosy does not apply. If you want less touristed areas of NYC, look at neighborhoods, Chelsea, E. and W. Village, Upper West Side.
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Feb 28th, 2013, 01:06 PM
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Thank you everyone. I will look at accommodation in Manhattan (not Times Square though).

My next search will be where to go and what public transportation is best along the east coast. We have looked at both motorhome and car hire but think our preference would be public transport (we will be travelling light).
More good suggestions and tips are welcome.
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Feb 28th, 2013, 01:15 PM
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There isn't much public transporation from city to city and up and down the coast if you mean transportation provided by a municipality (like a public school or library). There is Amtrak and private bus lines (Greyhound, Megabus, Bolt Bus). Some cities such as Baltimore and DC have public transportation between them because of so many commuters but it is Monday - Friday.
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Feb 28th, 2013, 01:41 PM
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Amtrak has good service - trains every 30 mnutes or so for most of the day - between Boston and DC (including major cities in between - about 9 stops). There are also buses on the same route - but they are more subject to delays due to accidents, traffic and bad weather. Really no other intercity public transit.

Other than that there is public transit within each city. And commuter rail/buses from the suburbs into each city. But in the US intercity travel is based on car or plane. And naturally the former is usually much cheaper.

In Manhattan, have a look at hotels on the upper west side, which is primarily residential - Beacon is excellent, Newton a good budget choice. Broadway up there isn't cozy - but it's not frantic like Times Square.
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Feb 28th, 2013, 03:10 PM
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Yes,we have been looking at Amtrak. One possibility is to enjoy New York for a week, take the train from New York to New Orleans (stopping somehere nice/interesting along the way for a few nights) from New Orleans to Chicago (again stopping along the way for a few nights), stay another few nights in Chicago and back to New York.
Altogether our trip from Australia would take about 8 weeks.
Any suggestions ?

Oh, we prefer not the big/bigger hotels/chains which are rather impersonal and one alike the other but something like in Europe you have these smaller hotels/motels/B&Bs which are more laid-back and personal.

Travelling by car would be the best way to see the country, but hiring one for the period is much too expensive.
Does anyone know about tourists buying a car ?
montaya is offline  
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Feb 28th, 2013, 03:29 PM
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When you are done in New York, take the train to Washington DC. Spend at least a day in DC before you get on the Amtrak Crescent (#19) to Atlanta. Spend a day in and around Atlanta before taking the next Crescent to New Orleans.
The trip from Washington to Atlanta is overnight-about 14 hours.
From New Orleans travel on the City of New Orleans to Memphis and spend a day there before heading north to Chicago.
You can at least tolerate if not enjoy sleeping in coach on a long distance Amtrak train without spending a lot on a sleeper.
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