new york for 2 days

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Feb 9th, 2003, 11:34 PM
  #1
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new york for 2 days

I am visiting with my husband who will be in a meeting for the first day. We are coming from England and neither of us have visited before, have been finding lots of useful info here. The day I will be on my own we will bestaying at The Mark hotel and I was thinking about doing an open top bus tour, will this be a good option. i would like to get a chance to go to Bloomingdales, and Maceys also. Will I have time to do the tour ? I thought it may be agood way to see quite a lot. We ahve a full day Saturday for both of us to llok around and we were considering going on the Statten island ferry but I have been reading that going to Ellis Island is a good thing to do. As we really do not have a lot of time I was wondering what the idvice would be. I can see we will be wanting to return again! Thanks for any advice. WE will be coming ina couple of weeks time.
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Feb 10th, 2003, 01:12 AM
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Since the Gray line open top bus tours are hop-on hop-off, then you could take as much or as little time on the tour as you wanted. The website says the whole tour takes 3 hours (the downtown loop), or 2-3 hours (uptown loop). I would think (though I don't have a map in front of me) that the downtown loop would include a stop close to Macy's. Make sure you have a good map (there is a very nice fold-out one available in WHSmiths etc - folds down to pocket size), then New York is easy to navigate.

This site gives some details of the routes:
http://www.graylinenewyork.com/sightseeing.cfm

When I was in New York in October, on our main sightseeing day (a Sunday) we saw the Guggenheim, Central Park, Bloomingdales, FAO Schwarz, St Patrick's Cathedral, the Empire State building (9pm - beautiful on a clear night) then dinner. So you can do quite a lot in a day! But we tried to divide up our sightseeing into areas - the places mentioned above are fairly close together, and we explored other areas on the other days.

Also, search for shopping and New York on this site, as there are a lot of possibilities!
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Feb 10th, 2003, 04:28 AM
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As a former New Yorker I often give tours for friends and family who want to visit. I tried the hop on / hop off bus on the last visit in May. Usually I big fan of the all day buses but I was not impressed with the NYC version. Because of traffic you sit a lot. The wait at the bus stops were very long, meaning less time moving around. Plus I thought it was a bit pricey. If you want to try it, I would suggest doing it on a Saturday or Sunday when there is less traffic.

I would recommend the Circle Line Cruise, always a hit! Do the full three-hour cruise around the island. It would be a great way to spend some time on your own. The views are great, great photo opp for the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Yankee Stadium, Lower Manhattan, Midtown, Empire State Bldg, the piers, etc.
http://www.circleline.com/

I would also recommend going to the top of the Empire State Building at night. It’s very pretty with all the lights and most places will close b/w 6-8PM, it’s a good way to make use of your time. If you go to Macy's late in the evening, (I believe the store closes at 6PM and is open late Thurs till 8PM, I tried to check their website, does not include store hours). Go to the Empire State Building after the store closes, very close.

At Macy’s be sure to visit the Cellar.

Ellis Island takes a fair amount of time. There is a wait to get on the ferry boat, depending on time of year and weather. There is an audio tour of the building, would take at least 2-3 hours to take everything in, then the ferry ride back. If you take the Circle Line you get a great view along with everything else.
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Feb 10th, 2003, 04:35 AM
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I agree that the Circle Line cruise is a good idea but with only two days to visit, I suggest that you do the short cruise instead. I believe it's 45 minutes or one hour. The three hour cruise spends a fair portion of its time on the back side and far upper reaches of the island where there's little to see - the guide even stops narration for about 45 minutes.
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Feb 10th, 2003, 06:20 AM
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Do take the Gray Line tour, especially with only a couple of days in the city. If you only have time to take one tour, take the Downtown Loop. It includes stops at Macy's in Herald's Square as well as the shopping area along 5th Avenue. At the Gray Line ticket office you can buy the ticket for the Statue of Liberty/Eliis Island tour as well. It will save you from having to stand in line at the sales office in Battery Park.
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Feb 10th, 2003, 06:50 AM
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I would probably skip the tour. As noted above, a lot of time can be spent in traffic. It is a 3 hour tour and probably better taken on weekends.

The Mark is on the upper east side, so you will have a bit of a travel. From your hotel, it will take about 10 minutes for you to get to Bloomingdales and probably about 20 minutes to get to Macy's. You will definitely be in each store for a few hours, so that may take up most of your day.

Philip
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Feb 10th, 2003, 07:04 AM
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art is not too far away from your hotel. It's a wonderful museum. Also, take a subway to Times Square and just walk around (you'll need to bundle up this time of year).
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Feb 10th, 2003, 07:05 AM
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You're really only going to have 1 day in NY and I think that if your budget allows it, you should reserve a private car & driver. The hotel concierge should be able to arrange it for you. Otherwise, take the bus tour & hop on and off. Just remember that you will be waiting for buses in between stops & that can really use up your precious time. Your hotel is about a mile from Bloomingdales but Macys is another 1 1/2 miles away, so I would pick 1. Ellis Island is a whole day by itself.
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Feb 10th, 2003, 12:25 PM
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Thanks for all the quick replies.I think The Mark has a shuttle service that runs to midtown, I wonder if I may be better getting that and go from there. I am not so keen on going on the subway on my own,that is why I thought the bus may be good idea. My husband will want to do a ferry trip to see the satue of Liberty so I think we will save that for Saturday.We are staying at the Roosevelt for Friday and Saturday night so I think we will be a bit more central then.
Thanks again for all the advice.P.S... I have the thermals ready!
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Feb 10th, 2003, 01:20 PM
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Julie,

If you do the Gray Line Bus tour on Saturday traffic should not be an issue. i have taken this tour on Saturday during my previous visits to The City. If you start the downtown loop around 10:00 AM you should be able to do the entire loop, inlcuding the Ellis Island tour. I would recommend that you not get off the bus until you get to Battery Park, which is where you pick up the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island boat. In this way you will have enough time to see Ellis Island. I would not suggest getting off at the Statue of Liberty, as you get a great view of it on the boat, and you cannot enter the Statue ever since 9/11. Just continue on the boat until you come to Ellis ISland. Plan on spensing about 2-3 hours on Ellis Island.

If you have time after Ellis Island, you can hop off the bus if there are specific places that interest you. Usually the buses come every 15 minutes.

Have a great time in The City.
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