Imput wanted on NYC itinerary for December.

Sep 28th, 2008, 11:42 AM
  #1  
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Imput wanted on NYC itinerary for December.

We arrive at LGA at 10:50 am on Saturday, December 20 and staying at either Millennium Broadway or The Benjamin. Check in:

-visit St. Patrick's Cathedral
- Rockefellar Center (Top of the Rock)and Christmas tree
- Radio City Hall
-Broadway show in evening

Sunday

-Central Park - either Metropolitan Museum of Art or Museum of Natural History
- Tavern on the Green
- Empire State Building (just see)
- United Nations
- Chelsey Market
- another show

Monday

- Walk across Brooklyn Bridge
- Visit Ground Zero
St. Peter's Church
- Walk Wall Street/American Stock Exchange/Charging Bull
- Staten Island Ferry to see Statue of Liberty (not get off)
- Ellis Island

Time for another Show?

Tuesday

Our flight leaves at 3:10 pm to ORD
-fit in whatever we miss or revisit in am. - ideas?

We are active in our mid-fifties and like to walk. We have never been to NYC - am I trying to pack in too much or can we do more?! Suggestions on shows? Would like to see Christmas show at Radio City, but others not musicals. Would one or the other of the hotels I mentioned be located better? I have found "good deals -$199" on both. I appreciate any and all suggestions.
I would also like to go to Carnegie's Deli and Mesa Grill - best time for those? Thanks!
julieann is offline  
Sep 28th, 2008, 12:32 PM
  #2  
 
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It seems like you are packing a lot in when you consider how busy NYC could be at that time. It could also be cold / snowing so you should factor that in.

When you add in time to get to Manhattan / baggage claim (if checking bags), it will probably be after noon that you get to Manhattan. Then you have to get to your hotel and drop off bags. I think you definitely have too much on Saturday. Sunday looks crammed but ok if you start very early. Will be a busy day. Is there much to see at the United Nations on a Sunday? Monday definitely is too busy when you factor in security lines for Ellis Island / Staten Island Ferry.
tchoiniere is offline  
Sep 28th, 2008, 02:05 PM
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What you have listed is doable if you keep moving fast - which means subway. So get a map, figure out your stops and be ready to use it for everything. (Car traffic will be about 5 mph and some of the days you are there will be gridlock alert days - when traffic comes to a complete standstill.)

You can expect weather to be cold, but there is rarely a lot of snow before Christmas (but a couple of years ago we had almost a foot Christmas day). But be prepared to dress for a lot of time outdoors.

BUT - you're not allowing for the crowds - as in the sidewalks packed elbow to elbow in popular areas. So - try to allow some extra time for that - as well as the extra long lines everywhere. So plan on getting started early every day.

Separately, I hope you have those hotels reserved already - if not you may find them gone when you go to try.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 28th, 2008, 02:07 PM
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Oh - don;t now what time you have tickets for RCMH - but if your plane is supposed to land at 10:50 and you have checked luggage assume you will get to your hotel by 2 pm. (You may get there earlier - but between weather delays, airport delays and masses of traffic - it could take that long.)
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 28th, 2008, 02:08 PM
  #5  
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Thanks for the input - I was afraid I was trying to do too much. I guess I just wanted to see the United Nations building - I tried to "group" the best I could activities in the same area. How much time should I plan on getting into Ellis Island with security?
julieann is offline  
Sep 28th, 2008, 03:03 PM
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Think you will be fine with your schedule Sat-Mon. If you live in the Chicago area, you are used to cold weather. Be sure your shoes are waterproof. Snow is not likely but it could be anywhere from 25-55 degrees. Think you will love walking over the (150 year old) Brooklyn Bridge, if you're hungry find your way to Grimaldis in Brooklyn for the best of NYC thin crust pizza. Another Bobby Flay that you may enjoy is Bar Americain, with a fantastic raw bar and American cuisine with a southern twist, not seafood as I would have expected. Midtown on 55th I believe. For the best windows do not miss Bergdorf-Goodman; or all the '4 B's': Bloomies, Bendel, Barneys with B-G topping the charts in pizazz always. Saks & Lord & Taylor windows do not usually disappoint either.
There are probably better deli's (lower east side) than Carnegie and Stage, but plan to eat heavy and pay heavily too. If you're freezing, find Alice's Tea Cup on both the Upper East and Upper West for a warm charming tea/lunch/snack in the afternoon. Enjoy!
aliced is offline  
Sep 28th, 2008, 04:28 PM
  #7  
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Thanks - we do like to eat. I think we will be fine/prepared for cold weather - that we know! We have another "show" to book - any suggestions - nothing too serious.
julieann is offline  
Sep 28th, 2008, 06:07 PM
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You've got a very full schedule and maybe not enough time to do it all. I agree that you should definitely schedule in seeing the Christmas windows in the stores--very special, but they can be packed with viewers so be ready. Ellis Island can take several hours with security lines, the boat ride and just walking around. You should also plan on several hours for either of the museums and plan on crowds. Weekends are great in the park--good people watching and street performers if the weather's good. Have you considered a tour bus to visit the buildings you just want to see? It might be the most efficient way to get around and see things and learn about what you're seeing. Traffic in Manhattan is pretty hectic that time of year, but going from place to place on your own could eat up a lot of your time.
Christmas time in NY is my favorite time of year--but very hectic and crowded (be prepared!).
Jo1023 is offline  
Sep 28th, 2008, 07:49 PM
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Could you give me more information about a bus tour - how can they get around with traffic so slow? Are there certain companies that you would recommend? Websites that would show where they would go? This sounds like a good idea - especially if it is very cold. Thanks.
julieann is offline  
Sep 28th, 2008, 08:06 PM
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One thing I noticed in your plans that I thought I would mention, the Staten Island Ferry and the Ferry to Ellis Island are NOT the same. The SI ferry goes to Staten Island, a borough of NY, and it's for commuters mainly and for tourists to enjoy the ride and see the Statue of Liberty. If you do the SI ferry do that at dusk so you see the lights of the city coming up on your way back.

The Ferry to Ellis Island you need to be there EARLY in the AM, because the lines will be long and it takes time to see the exhibit there, so the earlier the better.

From Battery Park, stop and see the "globe" that is there as a memorial to the World Trade Center, and then walk up Broadway, you will walk by the Bull, Customs House, Trinity Church (stop and take a look at the cemetery there), Wall Street, Ground Zero, and Century 21 for some great shopping. That alone will take up most of a day.

Also have a backup plan for your walk across the bridge, December is usually COLD here and walking across the bridge in the strong wind over the river will probably be REALLY COLD.

Have a great time while you are here.
travelbuff is offline  
Sep 28th, 2008, 11:19 PM
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I would do Rockefeller and Top of the Rock on the same day. They're right near each other and you can buy a discounted combo ticket. You'll get a great view of the Empire State Building from Top of the Rock, but I still think you should go to the top of the ESB since it's your first trip. Skipping it would, to me, be like going to Paris and not going up the Eiffel Tower. Also, you can visit the top of the Empire State Building at night.
andrews98682 is offline  
Sep 28th, 2008, 11:22 PM
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Never mind the first part of my previous post. I thought you were asking about the Museum of Modern Art -- not the Metropolitan Museum -- which is near Rockefeller Center. And I realize I also typed "I would do Rockefeller and Top of the Rock on the same day." Hey, it's late and I'm tired.
andrews98682 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2008, 02:51 AM
  #13  
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Thanks for the tip on Ellis Island early. What do you think of bus tour?
julieann is offline  
Sep 29th, 2008, 04:21 AM
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Sorry but I don't know the names of the bus tour companies. I think there are several and you probably can find out details by searching these boards or going to the NYC vistors' or convention bureau website. I think some are hop on/off and others are general tours. Tour buses can often go around traffic jams by networking and knowing which blocks to avoid. You certainly can visit all the sites on your own by public transport, but it won't be as efficient or informative.
Jo1023 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2008, 09:02 AM
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Sorry - the tour buses don't "visit" sights - they just drive past them. I wouldn't waste my time looking at the outside of buildings - I would go and see what's actually inside.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 29th, 2008, 02:35 PM
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Thanks - that is not what I want. What is best time to get to Ellis Island for shorter lines in December?
julieann is offline  
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