Memorial "Day Trip" New York City

Mar 21st, 2007, 03:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Memorial "Day Trip" New York City

My family of 5 (wife plus 3 girls 14, 11, 8) was scheduled for a visit this past weekend to New York--the blizzard prevented that! (the only loss was some theater tics but the shows have been generally nice regarding redos)--the good news is we are now coming from early Friday May 25 to late on Thursday May 31--(over Memorial day weekend)--since 5 we have the Embassy Suites booked--

and my ? I found a great mini-van rental for about $60 with tax for one day (national chain near the Embassy Suites) --I was thinking of venturing outside the city Memorial day (easier to escape traffic wise that day) --which is most feasible/fun: 1) Up the Hudson to Hyde Park? and down the other side?

2) The Hamptons--curious re the beaches with the beautiful homes--maybe Sagamore Hill--but wary of the traffic and i understand the dearth of beach parking? But heard about my whole life so curious

3) even Phily is not far--but would seem to be more "city"--

We are from Alabama so not in these areas often ha--

any tips appreciated?

I can cancel the car 24 hours before--and if I don't show--only out $60 so --a day trip Monday still leaves us half Friday and all day Saturday Sunday Tuesday Wednesday in the city (we leave at 5 Thursday) af Thanks
alanf is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 03:09 PM
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Be careful about driving on Memorial Day. It may be very hard to return to the city that evening, with all your fellow weekend travellers. If you can, maybe you could travel Tuesday instead? or maybe Sunday would be better than Monday?

I haven't driven into NYC on Memorial Day myself, but I think the trip back from Philly could be a nightmare, with people returning from the Jersey shore.

Maybe someone else could offer advice on whether to travel on Monday.
travelgirl2 is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 04:09 PM
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Don't think about leaving the city on memorial day, it will take you forever (quite literally) to return. If you want a day trip, why not do it Tuesday.
eleanorw is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 04:16 PM
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Memorial day is a bad day to travel, especially as others have mentioned , coming back to the city.If you have a choice, virtually any other day is not bad(except the day you arrive).

As far as the actual trip, Hyde Park is about 2 hours north of the city.
Is there something special you wanted to see there? There are many nice mansions and historical sites and scenic drives closer to the city (Lyndhurst, Sunnyside are only about a half hour away, Cold Spring and Bear Mountain state park are about an hour's drive)
Hamptons--forget it. Anytime during the summer season (memorial day to Labor Day) all you'll see is the highway.
Philly: doable, but parking may be tough there too, and as you mentioned, is another city.
janie is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 04:22 PM
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Do not even consider getting in a ar on LI on Memorial Day. The usual 2 - 2.5 hour drive back from the Hamptons would probably take 5.

Sagamore Hill is interesting and worth seeing - but nowhere near the Hamptons (Long Island is - 110 miles).

If you want to see the Hamptons either do the Sunday or the Tuesday - and you still will see a lot of traffic IN the Hamptons - which has 1 main road - so you're happy to move at 30mph.

You can see a little of some of the houses - but many are set behind walls or trees or long drives - so you won;t get up really close. (To tell you the truth you can probably see more details on the NY Times Real Estate section.)

The town beaches are a problem - snce you can;t park there without a town sticker - but you can go to a couple of public beaches and state parks. There are also historical houses, pretty towns like East Hampton, incredibly wealthy ones like South Hampton and Montauk which combines more middle class motels and beach condos with a real fishing port and a bunch of wineries.

Just- be prepared for tons of people on the one major road.
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 04:55 PM
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I would not head to the Hampton's. Traffic will be brutal - regardless of the day of the week.

I'd suggest the route North up towards Hyde Park. I might suggest for a scenic drive you head across the Hudson (the G. Washington Bridge is the easiest option - though recognize traffic can be bad) and up the Palisades Parkway. You can take that to Bear Mountain Park and West Point. There is a bridge near West Point that'll put you back on the NYC side of the Hudson.

If I was to pick a day with the least potential for traffic, I might suggest Sunday. There will still be plenty of traffic, but those of are taking a long weekend (like me) will already be there. Hershey Park in my case.

One last thing to factor in, the Yankees are home that Saturday and Sunday with day games scheduled. Try and avoid being near the GW Bridge prior to 1:05 and between say 4:00 aned 5:30.

Ryan is offline  
Mar 21st, 2007, 05:39 PM
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Agree the Monday is the worst possible day to go anywhere and don't think a day trip by car makes any sense. If you want to see the Hamptons or Phil. or anywhere else like that, stay overnight or go by train or bus.
mclaurie is offline  
Mar 27th, 2007, 01:31 AM
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Definitely heed what everyone has said about the drive to the Hamptons. Forget it! (not worth the long, slow ride at all). The train would be your best bet if you're really bent on doing it, but I like Ryan's suggestions, and it really does depend on what type of activity you are looking for or site you want to see.
ILuvRox is offline  
Mar 27th, 2007, 05:15 AM
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Hate to pile on but not a good idea.

Plenty to do in Manhattan and Memorial Day isn't crowded at all.
Mar 27th, 2007, 06:12 AM
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I remember being in Manhattan on Memorial Day in 2001. We went to see the movie Shrek on the upper east side in the late afternoon. We were almost the only two people in the theatre. The residential parts of the city were truly deserted that day -- which was a wonderful change.
NeoPatrick is online now  
Mar 27th, 2007, 06:16 AM
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In case you haven't gotten the point, bad idea

We drove to Stone Harbor from New York last Memorial Day. A typically four hour trip took 7 hours.

Stay in the city and enjoy the lack of crowds.
lizziea06 is offline  
Mar 28th, 2007, 10:17 AM
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If you're determined to visit the Hamptons, you can get there via the Long Island Rail Road. It will be just a bit more than the cost of your van rental, but without the hassle of traffic and parking.

With your family of 5, you can buy a 10-trip for a discount.
TarheelsInNj is offline  
Mar 29th, 2007, 04:59 PM
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if you are not in the area often i can see why you would be tempted to go explore, but there are SO many things to do in nyc. i would explore some nyc tourist websites and stay in the city. you will not run out of things to do.
sjo75 is offline  
Mar 29th, 2007, 05:09 PM
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I'm from Long Island, and enjoyed spending a weekend at a friend's vacated apartment in NYC during Memorial Day weekend since the city was so much quieter!! Much better than the hell that is eastern LI traffic on a holiday weekend!! Enjoy Central Park, museums, and eat somewhere outdoors (Boathouse in CP?) and have a lovely time in Manhattan!!
LittleSalty is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 08:21 AM
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Quick question in response to this post. Does anyone know what the post-broadway traffic is like on getaway day-the Friday of Memorial Day weekend? We have to drive back out to Nassau County on Long Island and I'm afraid the traffic will still be bad.
coochorama is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 09:14 AM
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If i'm reading your post correctly, you're driving back out to Long Island on the Friday before Memorial Day?

Traffic in the NYC area will be horrendous the entire Memorial Day weekend. Most heavy on the Friday before and the Monday after.

jodeenyc is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 09:21 AM
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That is correct, though we'd be leaving at 10:30 PM or so, I was wondering specifically about this time. Thanks for your response.
coochorama is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 09:48 AM
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On Memorial Day weekend most trafic will be muc h earlier than that - since a lot of offices close at midday - so form 1 to 7 or 8 pm will be incredible bad. Then- there's the second groupp - whoc to beat the traffic eat dinner in the city and then drive out ot LI afterwards. You'll be leaving the sme time they are.

So - traffic will not be as bad as earlier in the day - but still expect it to be fairly heavy at any time that weekend.
nytraveler is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 09:49 AM
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Don't bother leaving the city. If you want a country like escape, take the train to the botanical gardens in either brooklyn or the bronx, or go to the bronx zoo.
I think there is also a ferry that could take you to Atlantic Beach for the day, or the bus to Jones Beach if you are interested.
Or, just spend a day hanging out in central park--rent bikes and have a picnic, go to the zoo. Just relax.
Traffic getting in and out of the city on a holiday weekend is a nightmare.
bugswife1 is offline  
May 15th, 2007, 10:06 AM
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It's sort of the opposite scenario, we're staying on Long Island with family and want to spend a day in the city but must drive due to circumstances beyond our control, thus we'd be entering the city in the morning (probably 10 AM) and leaving in the evening (10 PM or later). If we decide not to go, we just stay on Long Island and hang around Levittown...not much going on there.
coochorama is offline  

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