Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   United States (
-   -   Need help planning a trip to New York City (

mody Feb 25th, 2009 10:09 AM

Need help planning a trip to New York City
I am planning a last minute trip to New York City next month with my daughter for her 16th birthday. I need help with choosing a hotel and ideas on things we don't want to miss...problem is I need to go on a budget. I have been to NYC many years ago - but more for buisness and not leisure - so I do understand about how hectic the city can be. This will be her first time and we just want to explore some sights like the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, St Paul Cathedral, China Town and of course Time Square. We will only have 2 1/2 actual days to sight see (driving in on a Thursday & leaving out on Sunday morning). Any suggestions for hotel on a budget - also is it possible to see all of this in 2 1/2 days? Best value on rooms is in NJ, but I can't figure out the cost & time for traveling into NYC - could really use some suggestions. Thanks

yk Feb 25th, 2009 10:16 AM

There's no need to stay outside of Manhattan. there are lots of hotel deals in NYC going on right now.

Just a quick look at Travelzoo:

Plenty of choices under $150. The priciest thing for you would be parking your car in NYC for 4 days. Where are you driving in from? Is there other option, like taking public transportation to get to NYC?

steffiemax Feb 25th, 2009 10:17 AM

Wow - 2 1/2 days. That is not enough time to really see the city. I live here my entire life and I'm still seeing new stuff here. If you want to do the usual stuff as you mentioned you'll have plenty of time. I would definitely get up to the top of the Empire State, you can see Lady Liberty from Battery Park - if you really want to take a boat next to her you travel to Staten Island - its cheaper - but it is not the greatest trip (pretty dirty actually) but you're looking for cheap.
See Times Square - but just walk through it... never mind the wax museum - take your pictures and be gone (very crowded). Go to 5th Avenue and 57th Street and see some of Central Park and walk down 5th Avenue to see all the great stores and St. Patricks. If you keep walking down 5th Avenue you'll see the Library (worth seeing) and 34th Street (will take you to the Empire State). China town is nothing great... cheap stuff to buy - over crowded streets and dirty... but if you want to check it out go for it.
I say skip China Town and head down Broadway for SoHo and NoHo and great stores and sidwalk vendors.
End it in the Financial District to see the Bull and Battery Park and the Old Customs house that is now a Native American Museum. You can do that in a day and the next day - go eat and enjoy the greatest restaurants on earth.
Good luck and have fun. Let me know if you have any questions.

mody Feb 25th, 2009 10:24 AM

Thanks for the quick responses - I think I will take your suggestion steffiemax and ditch China Town. So what area of the city should I try to stay in - and yk - no we will have our car as we are driving in from TN. So just how bad is the parking for the hotels in the city? Is it bad enough that we should stay in NJ and use the public transportation to get in?

yk Feb 25th, 2009 10:30 AM

You should still plan on staying in Manhattan for your trip. With so little time in Manhattan, the last thing you want is to waste time commuting into the city every day. If I were you, I would NOT park at the hotel itself, but a nearby garage. There are garages all over NYC, so there should be at least a couple within a block or 2 of any hotels. The rates at these garages should be much cheaper than hotel parking.

It's been years since I last parked at a Manhattan garage... it used to be around $30/day? I'd just include that into your expenses. If you stay out in NJ, not only it consumes time to commute, but you'd also need to consider the COST of the commute, which is not cheap.

mody Feb 25th, 2009 11:14 AM

Yk - thanks for all of the info - I have been trying to check into several different options about where to stay or how to get into the city from NJ, but the problem is - it's all so confusing for someone who doesn't know the area. It's like several hotel sites say it's close to the Path for getting into the city - but no additional info on cost and such. Then when you look for a hotel in NYC there are several different areas - and none even mention parking or cost of parking. Thanks again & any additional advise anyone has - it will be appreciated.

sf7307 Feb 25th, 2009 11:25 AM

Do not even consider staying outside the city with so little time to explore!

You can find parking garages and rates here:

It will help of course to pick your hotel first. Would you consider using Priceline?

I'd suggest that you stay in Midtown (even Times Square would be okay) -- somewhere between 59th Street to the north and 34th Street to the south, and between 3rd Avenue to the east and Ninth Avenue to the west. But honestly, anywhere you stay other than way uptown or way downtown will be within "hailing (sp?) distance" of all you're going to visit. And even those will be easily accessible by subway.

What is your nightly budget (hotel, including taxes, and parking)?

mody Feb 25th, 2009 12:14 PM

I have a little room to be flexible on my nightly budget - just didn't want to cut myself short on being able to enjoy the sites - just don't have a clue as what to figure in for parking. You would think that the parking rate would be on the hotel site - maybe that's to simple. I am glad to at least now have some ref. for streets - that should help. I do have a question - is Midtown different then Manahattan - or just in Manhattan? And when you say don't stay way downtown - are you talking like the Financial District?

sf7307 Feb 25th, 2009 12:17 PM

Midtown (the area I described) is "in" Manhattan (not a specific part, but generally the area I described). And when I refer to downtown, yes I am referring to the Financial District. Again, though, you might be able to get a really good deal on a weekend in the financial district so it might be worth it to you to stay there -- you'll just be a little farther from some of the sights you want to visit, but no one hotel will be near all the sights anyway.

yk Feb 25th, 2009 12:24 PM

I would assume hotel parking is around $50/n or more, that's a guess, as that's what hotels in downtown SF was charging me last fall. I wouldn't worry about finding out hotel parking rates for your trip, because as I've said, it's easy enough to find a parking garage within one block of whichever hotel you'll stay at, and the garages are perfectly safe.

mody Feb 25th, 2009 12:26 PM

Is the traveling in and out of the Financial District safe at night and fairly easy to get to and from the places we are looking to see? We thought we would like to go to the Top of the Rock or the Empire State Building either Friday or Saturday night to see the City lights and my daughter and I will be traveling alone. I am looking forward to some mother/daughter time - but I want to be sure she's safe.

sf7307 Feb 25th, 2009 12:36 PM

Try to stay in mid-town. Again, what's your budget? There are a lot of hotels in the area around Lexington Avenue and 50th Street, which is still where I would recommend you stay (W, Intercontinental, Marriott, as well as other more expensive hotels).

mody Feb 25th, 2009 12:48 PM

I really don't want to pay any more then about $200.00 (hotel,taxes & parking) per night. I was thinking of trying to hold off another week or two about making reservations and try to opt for a last minute deal with Orbitz, Travelocity or who ever had the best going. I need 3/19,3/20 & 3/21 in the city.

Cries_Van_Notebook Feb 25th, 2009 02:10 PM

Have you tried the Roger Williams Hotel? I think the rates are slightly above $200 a night, but it is a decent hotel. My aunt from London stays there when she comes in for the auctions at Sotheby's.


kschaub Feb 25th, 2009 03:34 PM

My husband and I just spent this last weekend in NYC! We live in NJ and took the train in. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Midtown East. Great rooms, great location and a great price!! Are you flying into NJ or you live in NJ and will be driving in? I would suggest NOT driving in if at all possible. It's very easy to drive to a station in NJ and take the train in, then it's easy subway riding from there! The hassle of driving in the city and then paying to park somewhere is an added headache that I don't advise!

sf7307 Feb 25th, 2009 04:28 PM

The Courtyard Midtown East is great if the price is right! (rooms and bathrooms are huge by NYC standards)

sf7307 Feb 25th, 2009 04:37 PM

I just checked and there are plenty of hotels in your price range for your dates, the Roger Williams among them, at $151/nt via Orbitz.

nytraveler Feb 25th, 2009 05:19 PM

C Reyes -

the Statue of Liberty is on an island in the middle of New York harbor - and there are no hotels within miles of it.

If you want ot spend only $200per night total youneed to decuct $40 per night for parking (and don;t ask the hotel -most don;t hve garagea and you wil need to park in a public garage in the area (hence, plus without taxes you're looking at a rate of about $135 per night - which is VERY low. I woud look at travelzoo to see who has deal - then check the hotels on tripadvisor - or ask here.

Any hotel for $50 per night in NYC rents by the hour to transients - not tourists.

And while staying in Jersey may be cheaper for hotel you hae to pay for train, bus or ferry back and forth - never mind wasting a couple of hours a day going to and fro.

You want Manhattan - and if you can;t find a decent hotel you can bid Priceline - as long as you can share one double bed (many NYC hotels rooms have just that).

maggie21083 Feb 25th, 2009 05:43 PM

$89 hotel in the city,nice area too (SoHo) free continental breakfast:

When I visited NYC, I inquired in a local (I mean who knows a city better than the person living in it), well this nice gentlEman runs a blog and he works for the travel business as well. Check him out and maybe he can be of assistance. Enjoy NYC!

writealiving Feb 25th, 2009 05:46 PM

Definitely try Priceline. I live about 40 minutes out of Manahattan and found some great deals for the midtown area on it. My reason was just wanting to stay in the city for a weekend. I found some things for $115-130. Midtown is more accessible to the touristy things I'm sure you'd like to do. Plus walking around gives you more of that feel. I would suggest Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side. The Village has a lot of different shops and cafes. Also Katz Delicatessan on Houston Street has the best pastrami you will ever have, and it was the one on When Harry Met Sally. Honestly, it is an experience you shouldn't miss. The SeaPort is nice but not really much there. There are some pretty views down in the financial district, but again, not much to do there. See the Statue of Liberty from Battery Park. Its a beautiful park with nice views. The trip to the Statue isn't great and I don't believe that you can go in it yet anyway. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure its still closed to visitors. The best part of Manhattan is that for all the itineraries you get, sometimes its nice just walking around and discovering your own thing. There really is something to do or see everywhere. Have a great time!

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:12 AM.