Philly/New York trip

Old Aug 19th, 2013, 06:12 PM
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Philly/New York trip

Hey folks,

My wife and I are going to a Phillies game on September 10th and we decided that considering our proximity to NYC, we'd try to fit a couple days in there as well.
My question is where to stay in between the two cities that would offer the least complicated way into New York via train or bus. Ideally, we'd like to go to Brooklyn but I've heard that you have to go to Penn station regardless and then get a transfer?
I should mention that we plan on driving to Philly and when we go to New York, parking at whatever transit station we leave from.
Also, how much busier will New York or Brooklyn be on September 11th. Will we still be able to do some sightseeing and shopping without much hassle? Should we plan on major delays transit wise? Thanks
vanderglenn is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2013, 07:39 PM
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Where are you driving from? I'm asking because, actually, you'd be better without a car in Philadelphia, too. The Megabus from Philadelphia to New York is frequent, cheap, and easy, and then there's Amtrak as well as NJ transit. Going to a game on the 10th and to NY on the 11th will be a lot of moving around, though; have you allotted other time to Philadelphia? If not, you might want to consider taking the 11th to visit within the city.
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Old Aug 20th, 2013, 05:15 AM
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You are right to leave the car behind and take mass transit into NYC. Amy gives good advice above. Will you be spending any time in Philly or just going to the game? There's Independence Hall, the Art museum, and a number of other great sites that could easily fill a couple of days.

As for NYC, how much time will you have there? If it's only a day or two, I'd suggest carefully planning the specific sites you want to visit so you can use your time most productively. There's a zillion great museums, restaurants, buildings, activities, etc. Do you have some ideas about what you'd like to see and do? I'm a little confused by your reference to Brooklyn... Is there something specific you wanted to see there? It's a large borough, and mostly residential, so it's not the kind of place where you just take a train "to Brooklyn" and figure out what to do. I'd also recommend staying overnight in Manhattan, not Brooklyn or elsewhere.

As for Sept 11, most sites in the city should be open as normal. The only place to avoid, obviously, will be the 9/11 memorial downtown which will be having special events.

So you have the beginnings of plan, but if you provide some more detail about your trip (Where are you coming from, how many days, what would you like to see, etc.) everyone here will be able to offer some better advice. Have fun and Go Phils!
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Old Aug 20th, 2013, 07:46 AM
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It sounds to me as if you want to stay outside of NYC and take public transportation into the city each day. While I don't really think that's a good way to see NYC, I understand the reasons, and it's probably wise if you have a car with you. What you want is to be as close to NYC as humanly possible. It's just too much hassle if you have to commute more than an hour each way.

If you are driving, I'd recommend a hotel in Secaucus or the Meadowlands, both of which are reachable via bus to/from Manhattan. If you can get a hotel within close proximity to Secuacus Junction train station that provides faster transport, but trains are considerably more expensive each way than buses into and out of the city, so this is a trade-off that may not be worthwhile. Just realize that in terms of timing, all buses and trains to NJ are geared to commuters, not tourists, so they are few and far between after rush hour (i.e., 8pm), but they do operate fairly late into the night ... you just need to know the schedule. Also realize that you'll be subject to traffic delays on buses, but that's part of the experience.

As long as you aren't planning to visit the National 9/11 Memorial, you'll find no problems at all with transportation or sightseeing on the 11th. You'll be in NYC on a Wednesday and Thursday most likely, so you may find more people coming into the city on Wednesday both for memorial services as well as Broadway matinees, but it's not unmanageable by any means.

Regardless of how you come into Manhattan, you have to get off at Penn Station (for the train) or the Port Authority (for buses) and then go to Brooklyn by subway, so you can't avoid that, but it's not difficult depending on where in Brooklyn you want to go. The additional travel time will be about 30 minutes.

Finally, you may find that it's impossible to park at any of the train stations that are closer to Manhattan, so it's particularly important to choose a hotel that's close to transit. If you were going to stay in Manhattan, I'd recommend parking at Metropark or some other such station further from the city, but that's kind of cumbersome to be doing every day.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2013, 09:56 AM
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You do not want to be in Brooklyn - which is on the far side of the city from Manhattan (unless there are a lot of things you want to see/do there specifically).

Car travel doesn't seem to make sense for this trip - unless that is the only way you can get to Philly. I would do either train or bus between Philly and NYC and stay in Manhattan if at all possible.

If you must drive I believe you can park at the MetroPark NJ Transit station (for a fee) and take the train from there into NY Penn Station. Where to stay after that depends on budget and what you want to see and do.

Or you can park your car near a hotel in Manhattan - figure garage is about $40 per 24 hours. Or try the Travel Inn on the far west side - which hs the only free parking in Manhattan - if they have rooms left.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2013, 11:31 AM
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I actually disagree (quite strongly) about staying in Brooklyn. There are now a fairly wide array of comfortable hotels in and around downtown Brooklyn. If you choose to stay there, it's not at all inconvenient, but I don't want to suggest that it's all that much cheaper than Manhattan. You're just a couple of stops from Manhattan by subway and pay for the privilege. But garages for parking are cheaper in Brooklyn, and the area where most hotels are is not the trendiest or most walkable area ... though Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill are within walking distance of a lot of the hotels there.
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