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JFK to New Haven--car or train?

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Sep 26th, 2007, 11:14 AM
  #1
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JFK to New Haven--car or train?

Sorry, we're switching gears so new question:

Overall, is it better to A) rent a car at JFK and drive to New Haven (we'll be going to Hartford the next day), or, B) take a shuttle from JFK to Manhattan then take a train to New Haven?

We are two adults and one well-traveled 11 year old. We'll have a daypack and one rolling suitcase each. We've done the plane, train, bus, taxi thing a lot.

We'd planned to rent a car in New Haven anyway (only $100 for 3 days inc tax with Enterprise) to get to Hartford, but now I'm wondering why we don't just brave Manhattan with a rental car from JFK instead.

we are from LA but have never driven in Manhattan (though we've managed Paris and other chaotic traffic cities).

Thanks!
skateboardmom2 is offline  
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Sep 26th, 2007, 12:20 PM
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Since you're planning to get a car anyways, might as well rent it at JFK. Will save you quite a bit of time and hassle.
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Sep 26th, 2007, 12:24 PM
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The first thing I would do would be to check with Enterprise to see how much it would charge if you started your rental at JFK. If it's economidcally feasible, then obviously that's the way to go.
If the rate would not be that good, it wouldn't be that difficult (or expensive) to take the shuttle bus into Manhattan, which lets you off very close to Grand Central Station, from which the Metro North train departs with some regularity!
Incidentally, you would not go anywhere near Manhattan if you rented a car at JFK and drove to New Haven.
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Sep 26th, 2007, 12:29 PM
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Howard wrote:
Incidentally, you would not go anywhere near Manhattan if you rented a car at JFK and drove to New Haven.

Thanks! I did not know this.
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Sep 26th, 2007, 01:16 PM
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Howard is right -- you take either the Whitestone or Throgs Neck bridge, then get on 95 and follow it out to New Haven.

You're also not that far from Hartford at that point and could just push on, if you wish, another hour or so. You can also by-pass New Haven entirely and drive diagonally across CT via 684 N -- Merritt Pkwy -- Route 8 N -- 84. Probably save about 15 - 20 minutes.
 
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Sep 26th, 2007, 02:05 PM
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Pausanias is right about taking I-95 to New Haven. Pausanias is also right about Hartford not being that much farther. Yes, you can take 684 to 84 and be in Hartford in around 2 to 2 1/2 hours from JFk. But you wouldn't have to drive anywhere near the Merritt Parkway or Route 8.
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Sep 26th, 2007, 02:15 PM
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Pausanias
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Whoops -- Howard is right. I was thinking about leaving from my area. Just take 684 to 84.
 
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Sep 26th, 2007, 02:27 PM
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The Merritt Parkway is much more scenic and usually faster than 684 to 84
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Sep 26th, 2007, 02:44 PM
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The Merritt is also a lot narrower, curvier and hillier - which is why they don't allow trucks on it. So take your pick of "evils": major interstate with trucks, or scenic parkway without.

Personally, I wouldn't recommend the Merritt after dark, since you're unfamiliar with the road. (Didn't you say you land after 6pm?)

As others have said, there's no need to go into Manhattan unless you opt for public transportation.

There's also no need to go out of your way up through Westchester to Danbury if your destination is Hartford. I drive this route a fair amount, and I would suggest:
- From JFK, take the Van Wyck Expressway north and follow it up onto the Throgs Neck Bridge into the Bronx. ($4.50 toll in each direction, as are the Whitestone and Triboro bridges)
- Once over the bridge, follow signs for I-95 North and take it through the Bronx, Westchester and into CT. (Middle lane of the highway is preferable, as there are a number of exit-only lanes and left exits.)
- In Bridgeport, take the Routes 8/25 exit and follow the signs for Route 8 North. Route 8 is nice because it's as wide as an interstate, but less traveled.
- At Waterbury, get onto I-84 East into Hartford.

It's about 1 1/2 hours from JFK to Waterbury unless there's a ton of traffic - and then a mere 30-40 minutes from Waterbury to Hartford.

The other option would be the same beginning, but instead of exiting for Route 8, stay on I-95 to New Haven, then take I-91 North directly into Hartford. (Note: the I-91 N ramp is a left exit in this direction.)

If your friends know the Hartford area at all, they'll be able to tell you which route is better...

ggreen
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Sep 26th, 2007, 02:53 PM
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skateboardmom -

I haven't been following all your threads so this is probably moot, but have you made your flight arrangements already? If not, you can fly into Hartford/Bradley International Airport. Much easier if Hartford is your ultimate destination.

cy
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Sep 26th, 2007, 03:24 PM
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connecticutyankee wrote:
I haven't been following all your threads so this is probably moot, but have you made your flight arrangements already? If not, you can fly into Hartford/Bradley International Airport. Much easier if Hartford is your ultimate destination.


Well....we actually had reservations to fly into Bradley (we did this last year) then plans changed about 10 times for various E.Coast rendezvous spots...and now our tickets are purchased for flight into JFK. Oh well!
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