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Old 03-29-2011, 03:05 PM
2 posts, read 19,463 times
Reputation: 11


A couple of buddies and I are from California and planning a road-trip to New York City (Manhattan) and could use a bit of help.

We're purely in it for the sights and will sacrifice all sorts of comforts in order to do this as cheaply as possible. So far our idea is to drive up to Albany where one of our friends has access to a family cabin. That's 3 hours from NYC from what we can tell so we figured it'd just be a night/day so he can visit some relatives. After that we were thinking we could camp out at Harrison State Park near Lake Welch. Saw some sites for 19/night, showers and everything! That's only about an "hour or two" to NYC but we need to know a few things. First, is it feasible to have a base-camp at this state park? Second, if so, where should we drive and park after we leave the campground in order to 1)ditch the car cheaply and 2) have access to the public transportation we need to get around the city. If the time it would take to get from the park to pub-transit in NYC is the same as from Albany we can deal with even 3 hours of driving to the nearest parking near the MTA. (Are there any hubs with cheap daily parking nearby? Or free off-street parking nearby any hubs (even remote). Like I said, anything we can do to save some beans.

It will be about a 5-7 day thing. We have past experience with a trip like this that we took to Chicago if anyone is concerned. We're just poor.

We're not leaving for at least another few weeks so please, advise away and I'll clarify anything I might have omitted.
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Old 03-29-2011, 04:35 PM
Location: New York NY
4,011 posts, read 5,689,743 times
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This seems way more trouble than its worth. Commuting to the city every day for a week by mass transit from Harriman is expensive, time consuming, and inconvenient. The train from a nearby station like Croton Harmon to Grand Central is $18 round trip off peak. Then again you'd have to get a place near the station up there to park and pay for that. And the train probably doesn't run when you want it to, especially late at night. (Of course commuting from there to NYC by car is just dumb and would totally ruin your trip. But you knew that.)

How about this? Ditch your car at your buddy's place in Albany. Take a chinatown bus into Manhattan ($35 or $40 round trip last I looked) and make reservations now at a youth hostel in city, so you can stay in the city without the hassle of running for trains back upstate every night just for the pleasure of showering in the woods. Hostels run $20 to $50 a night. Cheap New York Hostels - Search all Hostels in New York at Hostels.com

Alternately, after you've visited Albany, drive to down to the city, parking at one of the long-term parking facilites near Laguardia or Kennedy (defintely not at the airport itself), which is 15 or 20 bucks a day. About Airport Parking.com That saves everyone the cost of buying a bus ticket from Albany and back. From the airport you can take cheap public transportation ($2.50) into the city to a hostel.

Of course I'm assuming you're all young. If you and your running buddies are 62 , well maybe the youth hostel thing won't work!
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Old 03-29-2011, 08:55 PM
443 posts, read 1,232,732 times
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If you are going to try the camping route, there are definitely places closer. Maybe Cheesquake (spelling) State Park in NJ. I went camping there 20+ years ago. There are probably more in northern NJ, maybe something that is close to a train line into the city. Heck, there are campgrounds on Long Island (bethpage, for example) that will be closer and an easier commute, and if your "several weeks" means more like summer months, the NJ or Long Island options could leave you near to some beaches. Still, ditching the car at a train station and staying at a Manhattan hostel is probably a better idea than doing daily sight-seeing commutes to the city.
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:52 PM
Location: New York City
4,036 posts, read 8,462,837 times
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The Times had a piece on camping at Floyd Bennett Field (Sleeping Under the Stars in Brooklyn - NYTimes.com). I'm not into camping, but it might be fun for a night or two. You need to make a reservation.

If you're willing to live on the fly, Priceline offers incredible same-day rates. I've had friends get great rooms for $65. Of course you have to be willing to move every night and sometimes end up in odd places, but that's far less awkward than commuting to Harriman and about what you'll spend in train fare for three people.

Last edited by tpk-nyc; 03-29-2011 at 11:47 PM..
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:55 AM
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,722 posts, read 24,978,334 times
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Another place that springs to mind is Croton Point park in Westchester. It's run by the county, and features cabin rentals for campers, and is not far from the train station. Since you're not members, you will have to pay higher fees, including daily parking for your car. Add to that the transportation costs, and you're probably better off with other options as suggested with the hostel route or booking hotels at the last minute. You can, however, park your car at Croton-Harmon for the week, and take the train to Manhattan. It's only $8 per day for multi-day parking, which is much less expensive than areas closer to the city, even using a site like http://www.nyc.bestparking.com (broken link) to find a good rate in the city.

Croton Point Park: Westchestergov.com - Croton Point Park (http://parks.westchestergov.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2567&Ite mid=4500 - broken link)

Croton-Harmon Parking: Village of Croton-on-Hudson, NY -
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