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Old 12-02-2014, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
1,271 posts, read 2,564,833 times
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There are taxis at the airport. Car to Exchange Place (presume you're staying at the Hyatt?) from LaGuardia will cost about $65. I live very close by and have done that route before. Don't use a separate car service--the taxi stand at the airport is cheaper, and you don't have to work for it the way you might elsewhere.
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:03 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
15,706 posts, read 18,290,599 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trishtopher View Post
How much time should we plan on for the following sites: Statue of Liberty, 9/11 Memorial (husband is a disabled retired fireman, so a must see), Rockefeller Center (for the tree), Empire State, Central Park and Time Square and possibly Ellis Island.
I suggest:

1 day at Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and 9/11 Memorial
1 day at Rockefeller Center, Times Square and Central Park
1 day at Empire State, then 5th Avenue, Madison Square Garden and Little Italy to finish up if you have time.

And take a cab between the airport and your hotel.
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY (Crown Heights/Weeksville)
996 posts, read 951,109 times
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Were you interested in Ellis Island for the immigration history? (Your OP said "maybe" on Ellis..) The Staten Island Ferry will give you a very fine view of the Statue, but won't let you disembark on Ellis Island.

However, you can experience immigration history a different way by scheduling a tour right in Manhattan within The Tenement Museum. Tenement Museum New York City - NYC Museum

I've taken tourgroups of teens there, who found it interesting. It's all based upon lively storytelling from history research on several real families who lived in the building. There are other theme topics, too, such as shopkeeping. This museum is popular and tightly scheduled during holidays, so book it now before it fills up. The rooms are so small, they have to keep a lid on numbers per tour. There's an excellent film introduction and small gift shop.

I've not gone on their Neighborhood Tours, which don't go inside the building itself, but I really recommend the building tour. Afterwards, when you walk around that Lower East Side neighborhood, you'll find that the immigration stories continue today -- not from Ireland, Russia, Germany or Poland but by the newest residents from other nations around the globe. It's very much a living history experience to schedule one morning or afternoon inside The Tenement Museum, then shop the neighborhood.

Actually you could keep to the schedule in the post above this one, but substitute Tenement Museum for Ellis. To visit inside the 9/11 Memorial with all the artifacts and displays, you also need to schedule in advance.

Last edited by BrightRabbit; 12-02-2014 at 10:19 AM..
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:08 AM
 
3,147 posts, read 2,656,110 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrownstoneNY View Post
There are taxis at the airport. Car to Exchange Place (presume you're staying at the Hyatt?) from LaGuardia will cost about $65. I live very close by and have done that route before. Don't use a separate car service--the taxi stand at the airport is cheaper, and you don't have to work for it the way you might elsewhere.
That price is ridiculous. Yes, you can hire a metered cab at LGA to take you to NJ and the price for such a trip is negotiable and being an out-of-towner you will be taken advantage of. Also, you must pay for each extra passenger plus all tolls (going back into the city) plus a surcharge and squeezing 5 people into a NYC cab won't be easy and may not even be legal.

Ask for limousine or car service recommendations in the CD New Jersey forum. You're sure to get better advice.

The Hyatt Regency Jersey City offers a reserved van service from LGA right to the hotel for $132. See link below.

http://jerseycity.hyatt.com/en/hotel...portation.html

Last edited by Wells5; 12-02-2014 at 10:16 AM..
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:22 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY (Crown Heights/Weeksville)
996 posts, read 951,109 times
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Maybe it's me, but can anyone please explain to me why tourists spend time with the Empire State Building?

I just recall as a child taking forever to go up an elevator to see a high view of a city (through clouds...) , but why is that much different than being in an airplane today? If the excitement is being able to identify all the major landmark buildings of NYC, I can't see why that's a "must do" for a tourist. That kind of building recognition seems more interesting to a resident, familiar with the city.

It all takes a lot of time and money to line up for the elevator and get up there!
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:43 AM
 
Location: BK All Day
4,480 posts, read 8,342,532 times
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Another fun thing my friends and I like to do is start early at the beginning of the highline (I think its around 30th st now) walk all the way down to the west village and end with a brunch. It's fun and its a unique view. We usually do it on Sunday mornings.

Personally I think seeing MSG is a waste of time. You can only really see the outside of the building.

Bryant Park Christmas Market is cute too.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:23 AM
 
Location: East Mt Airy, Philadelphia
967 posts, read 947,972 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trishtopher View Post
My family and I are visiting New York for the first time and we wanted the teenagers to experience New York during the Christmas season. Will have 3.5 days to see all we can, but want to make sure it is a quality visit.

How much time should we plan on for the following sites: Statue of Liberty, 9/11 Memorial (husband is a disabled retired fireman, so a must see), Rockefeller Center (for the tree), Empire State, Central Park and Time Square and possibly Ellis Island.

Would also like some suggestions about the most economical way to get around. Will be staying in NJ in the Exchange District to some of the sites.
Christmas in NYC is both magical and problematic. Magical because of the storefront displays, the tree at Rock. Center, lights in Little Italy, etc. Problematic because everyone wants to see the storefront displays, the tree at Rock. Center, etc. Be aware, as an earlier poster mentioned, that crowds will be a factor: they'll lengthen lines for things you have to pay for (Empire State, Ellis Island, ...) and they'll just plain annoy you when you're trying to see something that's free (Rock. Center, window displays on 5th Avenue, Times Square, and so on).

You mentioned the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the 9/11 Memorial. You have to be tactical - if I were you, I'd look into ticketing times/availability for Ellis Island and 9/11 and plan accordingly. Don't go to either without some advance knowledge of availability. If both can be done on the same day, that'll be the majority of the day. And I'd ride the Staten Island ferry in between, if possible - a nice break, it's free, and you have great views of the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan. The view of the Statue is probably enough - it'd be hard to do it, Ellis, and 9/11 in one day.

Another day would be mid-town - the tree, St Patrick's, Central Park, Times Square (horrid, garish, venal ... but I guess something to see just for the experience). Another day or good chunk of a day would be Little Italy, the Village (esp'ly Washington Square). Empire State could be part of either day - chose based on weather, and get there early (or opt for top of Rock. Center, as someone already suggested).

You didn't mention museums. My guess (and I'll surely be corrected if I'm wrong) is that they'll be time sucks as well. Natural History, MOMA, the Met, Guggenheim, Whitney are all likely to be afflicted with long lines. And once you get into them it can be hard to relax and enjoy unless you're going to something with timed admission. So maybe chose one or two, max.

Finally, take the subway/PATH everywhere. Underground transit is fast, cheap(ish), and not that hard to figure out (there are probably apps that can help you get around). The subway's also a piece of history, one of the major factors in the city's rise to prominence.

Have fun, and plan, plan, plan ahead!!
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Long Island
6,180 posts, read 2,589,757 times
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Hopefully your visit to midtown doesn't coincide with SantaCon. That was the only day we could get in last year and what a disaster! I've always loved Manhattan at Christmastime but this totally turned me off.
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Old 12-02-2014, 05:01 PM
 
Location: East Mt Airy, Philadelphia
967 posts, read 947,972 times
Reputation: 1670
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnOurWayHome View Post
Hopefully your visit to midtown doesn't coincide with SantaCon. That was the only day we could get in last year and what a disaster! I've always loved Manhattan at Christmastime but this totally turned me off.
There's some s*** you just can't make up! NYC Santacon | Santacon is a non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political and non-sensical Santa Claus convention that occurs once a year for absolutely no reason.. Isn't there enough going on in NYC this time of year? Why can't they move this to Newark?
[Is Santacon a 501(c)3? Didn't see anything about this on their web site.]
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Old 12-02-2014, 08:39 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY.
531 posts, read 322,299 times
Reputation: 447
Get each person a $20 MetroCard.
Central Park is too plain after the Fall foliage is gone, but no snow yet. I like it in fresh snow or foliage, but not in Summer as all the green makes you cookoo.

3.5 days? what's that like 1.5 days with the commute from Jersey?
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