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New York - Itinerary Help

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Feb 13th, 2014, 11:36 PM
  #1
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New York - Itinerary Help

Can anyone please comment on this itinerary?

We've left out Coney Island, and museums (unless it is raining) as most travellers in the group are not big museum fans. For background, we have 3 1/2 days now, in May - mid-teens and adults/family, friends:

DAY 1

Arrive airport - dinner 6:30-7:30

TOTR sunset - schedule for 7:30-8:00 (how important is the tour & can it be done in late evening)?

hang out back at hotel (everyone will be tired)

DAY 2 (F)

Central Pk - zoo in the AM

look for hot dogs for lunch

after lunch row boats, look for buskers

hang out park in afternoon (bikes?)

subway to the Bronx from Central Pk.

dinner near Bronx (or at Yankee stadium)

Yankees game in the evening

DAY 3 (Sa.)

Empire state building in a.m.

5th ave. walk to the Library (see reading room)

window shop Tiffany's etc.

42 street to GCT for lunch

check out Chrysler building & UN

Bryant Pk

dinner on route to Times Sq.

theatre night

DAY 4 (Su.)

SOL cruise and sightseeing, incl. lunch

Via Wall Street to Greenwich

Check out West village shops etc.

nice dinner to end the trip

more strolling in Greenwich or

take a sunset cruise

Is the sunset cruise on the last night redundant if we are already taking the SOL cruise included in the tickets?

Can anyone recommend any good restaurants that would fit well with the interary? Something casual the first night, something trendy for the theatre night in the right area? Something extra special in the W. Village (or nearby) for the last night?

Any other tips or suggestions would be great.

Anything in particular to see and do in Central Pk. on a Friday in May?

Any must-sees/must-dos for Greenwich and/or the West Village?
Are things arranged well enough? Is anything missing, etc.?

Thank you!
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Feb 14th, 2014, 02:25 AM
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A couple of notes.

ToTR is not a tour - you can go up anytime with advance times tickets, There is a Rock Center studios tour which gets very mixed reviews. But they are not the same place - this is a whole complex of buildings.

If you ToTR do not bother with ESB - this has usually huge lines and the views are no better.

To visit the SoL and Elllis Island (which is briliant) you need to allow 5 or 6 hours - including the varius ferry trips - and MUST get advance tickets as soon as possible Better to do the first trip of the day to avoid waits/delays. Note the ferry has airline type security - no large back packs and expect anything you carry to be searched. (The same is true at Yankee Stadium - very tight security. Get there plenty of time in advance - 5 pm? to see Monument Park - not open during games.)

Also, note is it either Greenwich Village or :the Village". Just Greenwich is a very upscale town in CT - not Manhattan.

For restaurants you need to tell us what cuisines you like/dislike and what your budget is - specific amount in $ and if this is for the entree or the whole meal including beverage tax and tip (20% is expected).

As for what you are missing - I would absolutely visit the Met - it's the greatest cultural institution in the western hemisphere - way more than an art museum with something for everyone - from an Egyptian Temple to Arms & armor and hte costume institute.
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Feb 14th, 2014, 02:27 AM
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You have scheduled both TOTR and Empire State Bldg. Don't need both-just TOTR.
Re dinner - what budget and type cuisine?
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Feb 14th, 2014, 06:14 AM
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I wouldn't bother with the Central Park zoo unless you're such a fan of zoos that you feel compelled to see one every where you go.

Walking (rather than biking) is a better way to see Central Park.

While you're at GCT, consider the excellent audio tour.

To me, your itinerary is really scant, but if it's what appeals to you and your group, have fun. When there is such variety in museums, it seems odd to write off every one, but it's your vacation.

I like www.menupages.com to read restaurant reviews & menus, and to search by cuisine, price, location, etc.
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Feb 14th, 2014, 07:26 AM
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There are very limited places to eat in the Bronx unless you are going to eat the Stadium.
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Feb 14th, 2014, 07:50 AM
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And the stadium makes a pretty big meal, even for a group.
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Feb 14th, 2014, 10:38 AM
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Third base is particularly tasty, although it can be tough at times.
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Feb 14th, 2014, 04:10 PM
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"Is the sunset cruise on the last night redundant if we are already taking the SOL cruise included in the tickets?"

The OP wrote "included in the tickets?"
Have you purchased one of those passes that includes multiple sights? Usually these passes do not offer good value, so I'm just wondering.

DAY 1 [seems fine]

DAY 2 (F)
Central Pk
zoo in the AM [zoo takes about an hour max to visit, but the exhibits are good, if small.]
look for hot dogs for lunch [zoo has a snack bar]
after lunch row boats [on your way to the lake, woud definitely swin by the carousel--well wworht it, even for adults]
look for buskers [may not see so many on a Friday]
hang out park in afternoon (bikes?) [On a Friday, the roads are still open to car traffic, so it is not as pleasant biking. You can't bike on pathways, only on roads, so as mentioned one can see only limited areas by bike.]

subway to the Bronx from Central Pk. [4 train from 59th ST or 86th St. You might consider stopping in at the Met Museum for an hour or two before heading to the Bronx. It is an enormous place, so it would be important to check their holding online and visit just an area or two of interest to you. For admission you can pay what you wish.]

dinner near Bronx (or at Yankee stadium) [find something before you head to the Bronx or be prepared for high prices at the stadium]

Yankees game in the evening

DAY 3 (Sa.)

Empire state building in a.m. [Top of the Rock is better in my opinion. I would probably skip it. But if you must, only do this on a sunny day.]

5th ave. walk to the Library (see reading room)[Also check out whatever free exhibit is there]

window shop Tiffany's etc. [Tiffany's is at 59th St. You will pass Rockefeler Center and St Patrick's Cathedral on your way]

42 street to GCT for lunch [interesting choices in the food court on the lower level. Stop by the very small transit museum on the main level]

check out Chrysler building & UN [UN has high security, not easy to "check out" unless you mean glance at the building from the outside.]

Bryant Pk [is right behind the Library and might also offer you some lunch or dinner options]

dinner on route to Times Sq.

theatre night

DAY 4 (Su.)

SOL cruise and sightseeing, incl. lunch [a visit to Liberty Island could eat up most of your day. If you just want a view of the Statue, take the Circle Line Harbor Lights 2 hour cruise just before sunset]

Via Wall Street to Greenwich [Village] [Is this a tour? Are you walking this? It is a lot of territory to cover in one afternoon.]

Check out West village shops etc.

nice dinner to end the trip [what type of food and price are you willing to pay for "extra special"?]

more strolling in Greenwich [Village] or

take a sunset cruise [overkill after the morning cruise; great if no morning cruise]
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Feb 14th, 2014, 05:34 PM
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IMHO you are doing an awful lot of looking at the outside of things - fine if you are an architecture fan or city photographer - but I would want more content.

And if you really wasn to see a zoo go to the big one in the Bronx (a whole day) versus the little one in Cenral Park. Agree biking in the park doesn;t let you see much - since all paths are for pedestrians only (unless you're a little kid on a trike) and limited to the one ring road - missing most sights.
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Feb 14th, 2014, 10:48 PM
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Thank you - wow, great advise - thanks for all the thoughtful comments posted.

Here is some extra info. and questions:
- SOL times - we have 10 or 11 am available on a Sunday - any idea which works best?
- we said no to the city passes and will book select tickets separately
- we will skip the bikes in central park
- will it be too quiet in central park on a Friday?
- should we place West Village before the ball game Friday and move Central Pk. to Sunday?
- our ball game starts at 7 - are we able to see monument park at 6 or is that too late?
- we heard Y. stadium has Johnny Rockets and Hardrock Cafe - are these any good?
- isn't the Central Park zoo the one from the Madagascar movies?
- What makes the Bronx Zoo better than the Central Park zoo? Where could we fit it in?
- any idea of some very nice (but not pretentious) restaurants for a special meal between Bryant Park area and Times Square/Minksoff Theatre for Saturday night? Pricing can vary.

About the ESB/TOTR - we hear mixed reviews - some people like ESB and others don't. For us, the ESB is a huge deal - we just have to go up - I thought TOTR might make a nice option for a chance to see the view at sunset and nighttime (with the ESB in view - a prelude to the next morning's activities). Plus I was looking for something like a "hello" to NY on the first evening. This is why we booked both - is this okay, or does anyone have any suggestions for alternate activities for us on the first evening when we are excited but tired from travel?

Anyone know of a good "small group" and quiet sailboat sunset cruise (with or without dinner) for the first night? We're always worried that the cruises will be cocktail cruises...

Good comment re "scant itinerary" needing more content - we won't know our way around and don't want to be rushed - we had a fuller schedule but dropped a few things. If there is something important that we have missed please let us know and let us know where it might fit into the schedule if you can - that would be great.

We had thought of Coney Island but the reviews seem mixed and I'm not sure if we would have time - what does everyone here thing?

We also considered Little Italy but couldn't find much information on it.

For food options, Italian is good, a soda fountain/American-style burger restaurant or ice cream parlour would be great - pizza would also be good - it would be great to sample some famous NY pizza somewhere that fits in well with the schedule so far. Fusion is also good.

Any further reply would be super - thank you for replying!
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Feb 15th, 2014, 06:00 AM
  #11
 
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Yankees Stadium - I'm not sure of the hours of Monument Park - go to the Yankees website and it should give you times, Do realize that you need to get early since 1) there can be long lines to get in due to security line delays 2) it can take a long time to make your way around to Monument Park and then a long trek back to you seat. The better restaurants there are the standard of the usual mall cahin place. Edible and safe - not much better.

Not to Coney Island - you're there pre-season - before Memorial day - and it's too cold to go in the water and some things are not open. And, - this is a 1940s environment - not 21st century disney type place.

The Bronx Zoo is the world's largest city zoo (as opposed to drive through wildlife parks)with more than 6000 animals and is associated with the World Conservation Society. That in Central Park is good for an hour or so - but is a zoo for children primarily. It's open daily from 10 to 5 and will take most of that time - with a fee of $17 - plus extra costs for specific rides and experiences. (Have checked the movie and it's about a lot of animals, many of which they do NOT have at the Central Park zoo. Go to the website to see the limited number of species they have. It's a great resource for kids in the center of the city - but a very small zoo.)

As for restaurant - pricing can vary is not help at all. IMHO a "very nice" restaurant would be in the range of $100 to $150 per person. If you are looking at a different budget you need to let us know (IMHO a pleasant casual neighborhood restaurant is about $80 all in for 2 people with 1 glass of wine each.)
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Feb 15th, 2014, 06:07 AM
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Sorry - the $80 per couple allows for a shared appetizer, a basic main course (NOT steak, lobster or a lot of fish) coffee, a modest glass of wine, coffee, tax and tip.

You need to explain more about the type of meal you are looking for. One f the city's top restaurants can easily be $200 and up per person - esp if you are going for steak or lobster and have a couple of cocktails at $20-$25 each.
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