help me plan our days in NYC

Aug 16th, 2009, 03:33 PM
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help me plan our days in NYC

we've written a list of what we'd like to do, what we'd like to try, where we'd like to eat , some tours etc
but we're sort of stuck in how to plan our days - I know people keep talking about crowds and long lines everywhere so I'm a little unsure in how many activities to cram in each day

we'll be in the city for 12 days ( + 2 days in Washington DC) so want to try and see & do as much as we can
should we stick to an area for most of the day and do the things in only that area
or just take advantage of the public transport and do a variety of things in different areas per day?
we want to try and take some walking tours, food tours too so if we need to meet at certain time we'll need to plan our days properly so we dont miss out.....
ac291 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 03:39 PM
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My crystal ball is out of order. Why not trying to lay out your itinerary of things you think you want to do and when and give us hints about the days (as in Mondays etc ) you think you want to do these things and then perhaps someone here can help you also - plan on buying a 2 week MetroCard no matter what you do.
SueNYC is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 04:16 PM
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There are some things you MUST get in advance (tickets to climb Statue of Liberty) and osme things that always have a line (Empire State Building - do Top of the rock instead since you can get advance timed tickets).

Also have a look at the museums to see which days they are closed and which evenings they are open.

If you give a list of sights people can be more helpful.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 04:22 PM
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IMHO, it makes much more sense to plan activities in the same area for the same day: Midtown, Greenwich Village, whatever. New York is a great walking city, and this will give you a better feel for the unique neighborhoods.

It also makes sense to plan for the weather: Outdoor days (parks, walking tours, etc.) and mostly-indoor days (museums, shopping) and then as much as possible adjust to each day's weather forecast. For instance, although you want timed tickets for Top of the Rock, you also don't want to go on a cloudy rainy day, so don't buy them TOO far in advance!
Anonymous is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 05:52 PM
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Thanks for your quick responses - will let you know our list soon....
we dont plan to do the statue of liberty but will defn do Ellis Island - does the free ferry take you there?

and I also think id rather do Top of the Rock than Empire state building....

thanks for the tip on the metro card, we'll be using the subway a lot and walking a lot too!
ac291 is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 05:55 PM
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Free boat doesn't go to Ellis. MetroCards will let you on public buses as well as subways
SueNYC is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 06:40 PM
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The Staten Island Ferry is free, but as Sue mentioned, it does not go to Ellis Island. It does, however, pass pretty close to the Statue of Liberty and affords great views.

There is one boat that goes to both Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty.
panecott is offline  
Aug 26th, 2009, 06:52 PM
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thanks SueNYC and panecott...will look into the Ellis Island boat - so guess there is no need to do the free ferry then?! we're also planning a circle line cruise...
we started to look at everything last night - its so overwhelming! i have no idea how many things to cram into each day??
ac291 is offline  
Aug 27th, 2009, 12:41 PM
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"i have no idea how many things to cram into each day??"

You have 12 days, which is a luxurious amount of time compared to many people's visits to NYC. My rule of thumb on ANY vacation is to plan one main sight to visit in the morning and one main sight in the afternoon. I check the opening schedules carefully so I don't schedule my must-see sights on closing days, and try to choose the two "main" sights based on geographical sense if possible. I fill in the time in between with exploring the areas I'm in and having a "local" lunch. I note any "minor" sights nearby that might make a quick visit if there's time or the inclination.
ellenem is online now  
Aug 27th, 2009, 01:01 PM
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In July we went to Top of the Rock on a Sunday morning, and there was no line at all. We did not buy advance tickets because of concerns about the weather, and it turned out that we didn't need them at all. However, if you want to be there at sunset, you might want the advance timed tickets.
kansasmom is offline  
Aug 27th, 2009, 02:22 PM
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agree with Kansasmom, buying tickets in advance will be better.
See Moma and guggenheim if you have cultural interests.
Get grayline tours also. They are almost everywhere in the City. I hope the weather will be there for you!
mikeglaser is offline  
Aug 27th, 2009, 03:52 PM
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yes, we'll defn buy some tickets in advance
but i like your advice ellenem - i dont want to feel so rushed off our feet that we dont enjoy the city and its atmosphere...but 2 main sites a day? - we might not get to see everything we want to see!?
i have a manilla folder full of print outs of things we want to do and see, restaurant recommendations....i also want to see the Avedon exhibition which has now been extended - im really excited about that as i missed out on the MET's ';Model as a Muse'....

we were thinking of TOTR on a weekday morning - will be nice to see NY in its morning glory! rise and shine.
I cant begin to tell you guys how excited i am!!
ac291 is offline  
Aug 27th, 2009, 04:07 PM
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ac291, since you seem to be a planner, here are the things you need to consider
1)Locations. Map out your "must see" sights. Although that's a start, it won't be the only way to organize your trip. As an a example, even if all the museums you want to see are in the same neighborhood, you don't want to hit 5 museums in one day!
2)Check days of the week and times for the places you want o go.Mondays are bad for most but not all museums
3) "major" vs minor sights. I think ellenem's strategy makes sense when you know that Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island is a "major" sight, as could be The Met Museum. ICP, where the Avedon exhibit is would be a minor site because even if it's a must see for you, it's not a very large place or exhibit, no long lines to get in, etc.
4) Weather. Be flexible when you're here. Over 12 days you will have some bad weather. Count on it, and save some easy to get to indoor sights for those days

So, do you have an actual checklist of items you'd like us to look at and try to put in some logical order for you?
nyer is offline  
Aug 27th, 2009, 04:26 PM
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Do get Ellis Island ferry tickets in advance if you can . Otherwise there is a long line to buy tickets, then another (about 45 minutes) for security to get n the ferry (no large backpacks etc- thins airline type security).

Agree to stick to one area per day (you'll spend more than one in some areas) - to avoid hopping all over the city by subway. MUch better to take train - or city bus - from the hotel to the area, spend the day - then go back to hotel to refresh before dinner.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 27th, 2009, 04:40 PM
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"but 2 main sites a day? - we might not get to see everything we want to see!?"

Over twelve days, that's 24 "major" sights--most people begin with a "top 10" list.

I think it's important to prioritize with "major" and "minor" because you don't want to be ruled by some list of everything you want to see and cut short visits to a place you are enjoying to complete your list. Those two major sights aren't the only thing you'll see in one day, but they'll probably be the most important ones to you. I'll bet that in your folder you already have a bunch of "minors" that will overlap nicely with your "majors."
ellenem is online now  
Aug 27th, 2009, 07:50 PM
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One other question that might help is the time of year that you are planning on visiting NYC. That would help with recommendations on how to plan your days.
K_brklyn is offline  
Aug 27th, 2009, 08:47 PM
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We'll be there 11-25th September
so end of Summer........

Some places we definetely plan to visit
Ellis Island (will prebook)
MET / Cloisters
The Tennament Museum (will prebook)
Food tour NY - Greenwich village (will prebook)
Sex and The City Tour (will prebook)
Circle Line Tour
Avedon Exhibition
Central Park - walking tours?
Brooklyn Bridge /Park Slope
Broadway show

and then lots of exploring the neighbourhoods doing our own walk tours (from our guidebook) and checking out restaurant/cafes and food carts that have been recommended
taking time out for shopping, eating, flea market ( are these only on Saturday/Sunday??) i want to get some art/paper good supplies...catch up with family in Astoria so maybe check out some eateries there....
ac291 is offline  
Aug 28th, 2009, 07:54 AM
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The Met and the Cloisters are affiliated, but are miles apart. Consider them 2 separate sights in your planning.

Top of the Rock, for example, will not really take up a lot of your time. I doubt people spend more than an hour getting in, upstairs, and viewing the scenery.

Pearl Paint on Canal Street (near Chinatown) is the best place in town for art supplies. Huge store (4? 5? floors) with good prices. There are smaller stores like A.J Friedman and Paper Presentation across the street from each other on 18th street (between 6th avenue and 5th avenue) Much less of a selection, prices are OK , better on some items than others.
nyer is offline  
Aug 28th, 2009, 08:32 AM
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Since the OP is looking for scrapbooking supplies/art papers (as stated in another thread), I'll recommend as I did in her other post that she visit New York Central Art Supply for the best selection of artist papers. A good friend who is a 3-D cut-paper illustrator, never visits NYC without a visit to New York Central.
ellenem is online now  
Aug 28th, 2009, 01:27 PM
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I can't remember where I read it... maybe The New York Times... or maybe The Observer ( a freebie weekly ).. but I gather the Sex and the City tour is a bit of a disappointment. You might want to consider allocating that time to something more constructive.... like eating in Astoria -
Gwendolynn is online now  

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