Help for an upcoming NYC trip.

Old Jan 29th, 2014, 03:19 AM
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Help for an upcoming NYC trip.

Hi folks,

I'm new on here, but found lots of helpful info so far. My Mum and I are planning a 7 night trip to NYC in early May, we have lots on our "to do" list. I have visited once before (away back in December 2004), but Mum has never been.

On my first visit I got some great views of the Statue of Liberty both from a helicopter tour and a cruise. This time, however, I am wondering if it would be better to visit Liberty and Ellis Island or hop on the Staten Island ferry for some great views. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Also, being from the UK, we are excited about doing lots of shopping, as we usually finf it much cheaper in the States. Is Woodbury Common worth a visit? (I'm not 100% sure if I want to spend one of my days outwith this fab city).
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Old Jan 29th, 2014, 05:15 AM
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I'd do the Staten Island ferry. You can certainly do the trip to the Statue and Ellis Island, and if you are here for a week, it may be worth the half-day you'll use up standing in line, particularly if you can get a Crown ticket. But Ellis Island itself (which is definitely a worthy museum under normal circumstances), is still only partially open with most exhibits out of commission, and I'm not sure it will be up and running in full for quite some time.

Woodbury Common is the best outlet mall on the east coast, and if you want to buy high-end designer goods (Prada, Gucci, Tori Burch), you can find them at good prices, but this is expensive stuff (like even on sale a Tori Burch bag is over $300 or $400). The Kate and Jack Spade outlets often offer really good deals, and they are less expensive. But it's a mob scene and obscenely crowded, so you really do have to spend the whole day there since it's so big. Many tourists bring or buy suitcases there and fill them up with their purchases. Almost everything will be at least half the price you'd pay back in the UK, so big shoppers do well by going there.

For regular mid-range stuff (and if shopping isn't a contact sport for you), I don't think it's worth your while. You can make a quick stop at Century 21 after visiting the Statue of Liberty and often find deals that are just as good. But you will not find the volume or variety of goods that you'd find at Woodbury. (On a weekday, it may be easier to rent a car and drive up really early than to take a bus tour.)
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Old Jan 29th, 2014, 07:56 AM
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I find Elis Island fascinating and would be willing to do Liberty and Ellis Island - but do realize that it takes most of a day. Between the various lines and ferries it will probaly be 6 hours at least. And you do have to reserve timed tickets in advance to risk lines that are more than an hour long. Best to go for the day's earliest ferry. If you don;t want to spend that much time you can take the free Staten Island ferry (1.5 hours RT across the harbor) or the Circle line 2 hour harbor cruie - with commentary.

In the US stores have sales ALL the time - not at speicifc times as in much of europe - so I would just stay and shop good deals in the city versus a whole day to WC.
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Old Jan 29th, 2014, 09:26 AM
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Thank you both for your very helpful replies. We still have a couple of months to decide but think we are swaying more towards the Staten Island ferry. We are still undecided about Woodbury Common, I do love shopping but get mad when it becomes a contact sport. We may just wait until we arrive and decide then. I never got to do much shopping on my last trip (my travel buddy wasn't so keen). It would definitely have to be the bus tour option though, I am a relatively new driver (even although I am in my early thirties), I am still getting used to the Scottish roads, never mind the USA ones, not sure how I'd cope with an automatic car or driving on the opposite side of the road.
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Old Jan 29th, 2014, 06:33 PM
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There is bus service from the city to Woodbury Common if you really want to go. Scroll down at this link for bus options. But I'm sure yo'l find great prices if you shop right in Manhattan.
http://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlet...tions.asp?id=7


Another option to see the Statue of Liberty is a Circle Line Cruise, which is not free but might be worth the money to get nice views of the midtown and downtown skylines and bridges as well as a much closer look at the Statue. I recommend a semi-circle cruise, not the full circle. Many people enjoy the Harbor Lights cruises to see the city at sunset and the lights of the buildings.
http://www.circleline42.com/new-york...schedules.aspx
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 02:13 PM
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I've been to Woodbury Commons several times because my daughter lived nearby for several years. I never really found it to be a madhouse or too crowded. It's huge and the crowd seemed to me to be spread out pretty well.

I don't know if I'd take a day from my trip for it, though. We just spent two and a half days in Manhattan and I didn't get to do half of what I was hoping for. We were moving constantly and even though I've been to NYC dozens of time, there is just so much to do.
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Old Feb 13th, 2014, 08:14 AM
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As for shopping.. Woodbuty Common would really be an entire day trip. A lot of merchandise at the outlet stores are made especially for the outlet stores, so if you are looking for particular items, you may not find what you want.

If you don't want to spend a whole day out of the city, you can shop at many stores in Manhattan, and sales are frequent especially in the department stores macy's, lord & taylor, bloomingdale's & saks, also have discount coupons when they have sales that are available online, or in the local newspaper or at the customer service desks.
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Old Feb 28th, 2014, 07:32 AM
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The Bergen Towne Center in Paramus, NJ is much closer to the city, and although it doesn't have as many stores as Woodbury Commons, I don't think you will be disappointed. There's a Century 21 department store with discounted designer clothes, along with a Bloomingdale's, Nordstrom, Off Saks 5th Avenue, Neiman Marcus Recall, Marshall's, New York & Company, and The Disney Store. These stores sell overstocked merchandise. I mention this because many of the stores in outlets sell merchandise that is specifically manufactured for their outlet properties, and these items are not the same quality as the higher priced branded product. The list of companies that do this includes The Gap, Coach, and Brooks Brothers, to name a few. Bergen Towne Center also has a Target, Payless Shoes, Old Navy, and Banana Republic. I probably left out a few, but they do have a website. There's a lot of places to sit down and have a meal or a snack, including a Whole Foods Market, and Bobby Flay's Burger Palace. You can get there on New Jersey Transit Bus # 168 that leaves from NYC Port Authority on 42nd Street. You'll be there in less than one hour.
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Old Mar 5th, 2014, 03:17 PM
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I went to NYC a few years ago and had the same dilmemma - leave for the day to go to WC? I was totally against it but lost to some major shoppers in the group! We took the bus from Penn station. We were only in NYC for 4 days and my companions thought it was awesome. If you have 7 days and love to shop - I would say it may be worth it for you. I have been once since while visiting friends in Pennsylvania and it was worth the visit on that trip - got a lot of nice things for my family.
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Old Mar 5th, 2014, 06:46 PM
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There's a Tanger Outlet in Deer Park, Long Island. Google it and click on directions. (Train or car)
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Old Mar 7th, 2014, 08:45 AM
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The Staten Island Ferry provides distant views of the statue, but it's free. You can go and see if it's enough for you. There are a number of other cruise options that will get you much closer from nywatertaxi.com and nywaterway.com to fancier boats that do sunset cruises and lunch or dinner like sail-ny.com and shearwatersailing.com. The website goldstar.com often has discounts for some of these (you join for free).

As to the shopping question, it's down to personal preference. With regular prices here so much better than in the UK (something that costs £10 at home will cost $10 here) plus the added discounts the dept stores like Lord & Taylor, Macy's and Bloomingdales offer out of town visitors and the discount stores like Century 21, Nordstrom Rack and Burlington Coat Factory IN Manhattan, for most people, going to Woodbury is not necessary and is somewhat hit or miss. Others like the idea of all the shops in one place and as Doug says, if you're into very high end designer labels, it may be worth it.
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Old Mar 8th, 2014, 12:03 PM
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I second the warning on "made for outlet" goods with lesser fabrics and lesser construction standards. This is especially true of clothing stores, including Brooks Brothers and Burberry, to my disappointment after supposed bargains. I cannot comment on the most expensive super luxury stores.

For sure the goods will be less than current. The old days of the slow selling and leftover goods appearing at the outlet are long gone with the proliferation of outlets demanding material for sale far exceeding the available goods of true outlet nature.

Shop in Manhattan.
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Old Mar 11th, 2014, 05:13 AM
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I can't say that I'm very fond of Nordstrom Rack or Burlington Coat Factory; even Century 21 can be really hit or miss, and Marshall's and TJ Maxx are a joke, so I can't really agree that there are true outlet bargains in Manhattan.

While "made for outlet" clothing is common at many outlet malls, Woodbury Common has a wide range of real, upscale outlets for companies like Prada, Tori Burch, Gucci, Yves St. Laurent, etc. These are companies that have relatively few outlets in the US. If you are looking for luxury goods at discount prices, it's a great resource, and there are few outlet malls that can match the wide range of choices.

The number of foreign travlers who arrive with rather large, empty suitcases attests to its popularity, and I'm always surprised when people (particularly New Yorkers) don't get the appeal.

Granted, shopping in Manhattan for most Europeans (even at full price) is a relative bargain, so there's not always a need to go upstate, but for serious shoppers, Woodbury Common can't really be beat. It's significantly better than the outlet malls in NJ and Long Island (for me, at least). And transportation is generally easier because many companies run buses.

I'm less happy with
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Old Mar 12th, 2014, 05:20 AM
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It depedns on what you are looking for. If you want specific designers that have stores at Woodbuy Common - then it's probably worthwhile - but I would only go by rental car so you can travel on your own schedule.

Agree if you are looking for upscsle rather than moderate things the only discounter in the city that may have things is centruy 21. But don;t forget that major department stores are always having sales as well and you may find a lot at bloomies, Saks, etc.
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Old Mar 13th, 2014, 12:09 PM
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I find that a good sale is always comparable to the pricing in these so-called outlet malls. I would stay in Manhattan and shop as you sight-see.
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Old Mar 18th, 2014, 10:51 AM
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Having worked there and lived nearby, I would say the Woodbury Commons isn't worth a visit. The prices aren't really significantly lower than your average department store, and it's ALWAYS crowded. Good luck finding your size. And it's about 2 hours from the city with traffic...there is always traffic (not to sound bitter...but man do I hate that place).

In my opinion, you're better off shopping in Manhattan - better prices, and if you really want to go shopping, Century 21 is incredible. Soho (more specifically Prince St) is a really fun stretch of shops, and there's a good mix of upscale & moderate shopping to do.
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Old Mar 24th, 2014, 11:35 AM
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What about consignment stores? I love a good bargain and find the hunt almost as fun as the buy... I have a list of high end consignment places in the city (yelp) and plan to spend a day shopping that way. That said, I have nothing specific I need while I'm there and am not looking to take care of my shopping for Christmas, etc. while in town. I am a fan of outlets though but have never been to the one you mention so I can't comment to those. I agree with the "made for outlets" product though...often it is nowhere near the quality you are expecting so you just need to be careful there.
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Old Mar 24th, 2014, 03:04 PM
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There are several good consignment shops, but finding something good is even more hit or miss than at an outlet. In my opinion, that would be a waste of precious vacation hours. But by all means pop into one just to see. Genuine bargains can be found at these places.
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Old Mar 24th, 2014, 03:26 PM
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The OP probably isn't reading - she hasn't been back since Jan 29 . . . (The thread was topped by advertisers/spammers back in Feb)
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Old Apr 5th, 2014, 05:04 AM
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Thanks for all your help guys, and yes janisj I had been back and looking but unfortunately never had time to hang around long, been very busy with work commitments etc. now it is less than a month until we visit, I am back to my planning.
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