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Driving close to NYC and taking a train from there

Driving close to NYC and taking a train from there

Old May 7th, 2006, 11:01 AM
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Driving close to NYC and taking a train from there

We live in Ohio and are trying to get to NYC on a budget. At the moment, we are planning on driving to a city close to NYC, staying at a hotel, and taking an early train into town.

Has anyone done this? Any particular city to stay in?

We were looking at Mapquest and it looks like Newark, NJ is an option. However, I don't know how difficult it might be to drvie to the Amtrak station there.

Alternatively, we could instead take a bus into NYC. If we did this, what city would be convenient to catch a bus?

Thanks to all you veteran travelers!
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Old May 7th, 2006, 11:32 AM
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This topic gets discussed a LOT on this forum, and the advice is near unanimous. Stay in Manhattan, not outside the city.

The $ you save will be more than burned up on travel time, inconvience and overall hassle.

NYC is a big, busy place with different sights, sounds, smells and overall level of activity from dawn to mid-day to dusk and into the late night or even early morning. The ability to stop back to your in-town hotel mid day, rest up, freshen up for a night on the town (even if it's just dinner and a show) can be priceless.

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Old May 7th, 2006, 01:57 PM
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Well, actually all we are planning to do on this particular trip is to see a couple of Broadway shows. We are planning to go either on a Wednesday or a Saturday and catch a matinee and an evening performance, then leave the city. This is not our 1st trip and this is all we are planning for this time.

I did check the Amtrak times between NYC and Newark, and I'm not even sure our plan of hitting the city for just the day will pan out. It looks like the latest train out of NYC leaves at 11:05, and I'm not positive we could make it to the station in time for that departure.

But... if we tried another city it might work? I am just trying to check some options and get some prices. It is certainly MUCH cheaper to stay in Newark than downtown NYC.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 02:36 PM
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I stayed in Jersey City once and took the PATH train into Manhattan. True, it does take awhile but if you want to save money and only plan on spending the day in NYC, it could work for you. The PATH train is a commuter train that you can take into Manhattan including the WTC station although you can't take it to the WTC station on weekends currently. I stayed at the Candlewood Suites and it was nice, roomy and very convenient to two different stations for the PATH train. Another plus is the view you have of the Statue of Liberty as you drive by. It is awesome! Here's the link for the train map.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 05:54 PM
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Parts of Newark are distinctly not the most pleasant and there are other options than train - or bus (which can be stuck in the tunnel).

Depending on when you are coming you might want to take the New York Waterways ferries back and forth - they run later than 11pm I believe. And there are a couple of hotels within walking distance there that might be more pleasant.
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Old May 7th, 2006, 07:12 PM
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Agree with nytraveler

See the New York Waterways website and find a hotel within walking distance of one of the docks - if you must stay outside Manhattan. Commuting back and forth every day is hardly "convenient" and consumes a lot of precious time.

In the alternative, try the Travel Inn for your dates (free parking, good reviews, nicely enough located), have a look at Affinia Hotels, and if there are just two of you, considering learning to use Priceline and Icon parking.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 03:25 AM
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You do NOT have to take Amtrak trains to go into Manhattan from Newark or any train station in NJ, you can take any New Jersey Transit train as well. These run more frequently and until later than Amtrak (i.e. there is an 11:56 pm train). For schedules for New Jersey Transit, go to njtransit.com. You want the Northeast Corridor line. You can also get bus schedules on this website, however buses tend to run less frequently, esp on weekends and after rush hours.

What hotels are you getting rates from in Newark? Many hotels which list "Newark" as their address are actually out on the highway by the airport, so you will have literally nothing to do there. The advantages may be that they may have a shuttle to the Newark train station (called Penn Station, not to be confused with Penn Station in Manhattan) and that a taxi to Newark Penn Station would be fast and cheap, less than $15, probably less than $10. You can drive into Newark and park underneath or next door to the train station as well.

The only hotel you might want to stay at IN Newark is the Hilton which has a connecting walking to the train station. Newark is not a safe city in many parts, and the area around the train station is just OK, there is not a lot to see or do and no restaurants of real note. The performing arts centre is close by.

I would agree that staying at one of the hotels on the waterfront may be easier.

There is a Sheraton all-suite hotel in Weehawken. The hotel is located in front of the New York Waterway ferry pier, you could take the ferry over each day; plus you would get the great Manhattan views. You could take the ferry either to mid-town or to the World Trade Center area, which would give you some sightseeing flexibility. Take a look at starwood.com

Sheraton Suites Hotel on the Hudson
500 Harbor Boulevard
Weehawken, New Jersey 07086
Phone (201) 617-5600
Fax (201) 617-5627

The Hyatt is in Jersey City, and you can get to NYC by PATH (station is basically right at the hotel door) or the ferry. It gets good reccos on this site. Take a look at hyatt.com

Hyatt Regency Jersey City
2 Exchange Place
Jersey City, New Jersey
07302 USA
Tel: 201 469 1234
Fax: 201 432 4991

Ferry website is www.nywaterway.com

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Old May 8th, 2006, 04:54 AM
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Hotels in the Exchange Place in Jersey City would be much more convenient and accessible to Manhattan than any in Newark due to the distance alone.

A 15-minute Path train from Jersey City can take you downtown and up to 33rd Street/Penn Station area - a good 15 minute walk to Times Square theater district.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 05:24 AM
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What's your hotel budget?
What dates are you coming?
How many in your party?

Give us the above backgroud info and I'll bet the NYC experts here can make your NYC the best it can possibly be. They (we) may even find you a suitable place in the city.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 05:25 AM
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...and I'll bet the NYC experts here can make your NYC trip the...
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Old May 8th, 2006, 05:47 AM
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I don't know what highway you are taking from Ohio but maybe you should consider leaving your car in a train station in Albany, NY. Then take a train from there to NYC and stay in one of the less expensive hotels in Manhattan.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 06:58 AM
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Albany is several hours north of NYC. The Amtrak train from Rensselaer takes 2.5 hours to get to Penn Station and isn't cheap. I know because I live outside of Albany and take the train to NYC alot. This is not a good option. IF you are interested in staying outside of NYC in NY instead of NJ, the Poughkeepsie station has a new parking facility and you can take either Amtak into Penn Station or Metro North (commuter rail) into Grand Central which is alot cheaper. I have taken Metro North and Amtrak many times and the train ride is very nice as it goes along the Hudson River.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 07:31 AM
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There is no reason to stay in Newark. Besides the Ironbound section, it has few redeeming qualities.

The Jersey City option, as mentioned, is far better - if you can't find something in NYC just as economical.

If you consider other options and still find Newark the best, at least look at the Hampton Inn. It's relatively new and has an indoor pool. Haven't stayed there but see it everyday from my train window.

It's a few block walk to the Newark Broad Street station, which has trains into both NY Penn Station and Hoboken. Even if you stay near Newark Penn Station, Amtraks is worst option. Take the PATH to Journal Square and switch to the 33rd street train. The cost difference is at least $1 to $2 per trip/

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Old May 8th, 2006, 07:39 AM
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I suggested Albany not as a place to stay and commute and to NYC. It is an option to leave your car in Rensselaer, then take a train to Manhattan and stay in one of less expensive hotels. Did this many times and it worked always great for us. IMHO, all option should be introduced so k12lima can make her final and educated decision.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 07:40 AM
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k12lima, have a great trip to NYC, regardless where you stay
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Old May 8th, 2006, 08:44 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions so far! Here's our story: we (me, hubby, 2 15 yr old boys and a 12 yr old girl) spent 4 days (3 nights) in NYC over spring break this year. We had a great time! We flew into LaGuardia, stayed at Doubletree Suites, did sightseeing, and saw 3 Broadway shows.

The kids want to go back this summer to see 2 more shows that we didn't have time to see last trip. I told them I'd see if there was a much more economical way to return to NYC so we could see the shows.

We would be returning the 2nd week of August. My plan would be to arrive on a Tues. so we could spend Tues. night somewhere nearby NYC. We'd head into town for a matinee and an evening performance, then head back to our hotel for the night and back to Ohio that next day.

There would be at least 4 of us, and maybe 5 of us again. I know having 5 makes it trickier to find a hotel in NYC. That's why I was hoping to stop somewhere along route from Ohio and take a train into town.

As far as the specific route to NYC, I'm flexible on that. Mapquest has us go Highway 80 into Newark.. it takes 10 hours that way. I did just check Mapquest to Albany, and it's only about 1/2 hour longer that way.

I definitely want to stay in a "safe" place. After reading some replies here it seems like a city besides Newark would be better for us.

And, as far as a budget, right now I'm just trying to gather some information to let the kids know if it's even possible for us to return to NYC again this year. I'm trying to find the most inexpensive way to get there and see the shows. So, the least expensive the better for hotels. We spent $335/night at the Doubletree. Sure don't want to spend that kind of money again. We don't need anything fancy at the hotel, since we're really just planning to sleep there.

Thanks again!
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Old May 8th, 2006, 10:05 AM
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Since you are talking about 1 day trip to the city to see 2 shows then head right back to Ohio again, another option to consider is to stay at ANY hotel in NJ along rt 80 corridor and drive into Manhattan after Wed am rush. (i.e. get to Hudson river crossings after 9am or so). You have a huge # choices when it comes to hotels in NJ - open up a map (either paper or online) and look at the roads leading to GW Bridge (I-80/95), or Lincoln tunnel (Rt 3 from NJ meadowlands/Seacaucus area).

That would greatly expand the hotel options, give you better timing flexibility about exiting the city after the last show.

The cost of parking for 1 day right next to your theater will not be much more than the cost of transit for 5 into / out of NYC.

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Old May 8th, 2006, 10:36 AM
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I would sleep in my car before I'd stay in Newark. Dismal place.

The Candlewood Suites is the most economical and best located in Jersey City. It is right at Exchange Place within very short walking distance to both PATH or the ferry.
Old May 8th, 2006, 10:55 AM
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I agree with k12lima. I live in NJ and commute to NY each day.
Look at Holiday Inn at secaucus New Jersey. Or hotel even cheaper in Totowa/Wayne. Can then drive into the city. Convenience of driving into the city, plus cost of parking for one day is worth it. Cost of train can add up for your group, plus you can be stuck waiting for a train for an hour. If you are doing this only for one day you are ok. Otherwise would recommned Jersey City or stay in NYC.
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Old May 8th, 2006, 11:12 AM
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Okay... do you guys really think someone from a small town in Ohio can manuver the streets of Manhatten??? What about a place to park?

Would there be an ideal time to get on a Wednesday? Or, should I plan for a Saturday with the matinee/evening show because traffic would be easier?

I guess if I had very specific directions to a safe parking garage I might consider it. But, I will admit that I am pretty hesitant about driving given the traffic snarls I saw when we stayed at Times Square Easter weekend.
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