Only 1 night in NYC?! Of course, prices of hotels in Dec are pricey and hard to get (b/c of the holidays) so be sure to book in advance.
From Boston to NYC it's about a 5hr drive, but I'd much rather take a bus, train or flight.
A flight is prob your priciest option, but it's also the shortest (about an hour). Check out the Delta shuttle: www.delta.com/prog_serv/delta_shuttle/
You can take Amtrak (train) to NYC but you'll either be stuck making lots of stops or paying more for an Acela (faster, more direct). www.amtrak.com
The cheapest and easier (in my opinion) is a bus. I like Greyhound. You'd leave from South Station, Boston and get into Port Authority, NYC. Direct too. www.greyhound.com
Definitely go to NYC. It's very easy, especially for a madIrishgirl!! :-)
It's a short flight, but it's much cheaper to go by car or bus. The drive is 4-5 hours, but if you factor in airport security and the distance of the NYC airports from the center of town, it's comparable time-wise.
I'd either drive to New Haven and take the Commuter train in to NYC or take a bus straight from Boston. GOOGLE Peter Pan Bus and/or Greyhound. I recently got a great 30- r/t fare. It was very easy: buses leave every half hour from South Station and arrive at the Port Authority terminal in Manhattan.
I have driven from Boston to New York, taken the bus, taken the train, and flown. If money is no option, I would fly on the Delta shuttle. If you want an inexpensive option, then I would take the bus.
Don't rent a car and drive. This makes no sense and you really don't want to have a car in Boston.
2) The Bus
This is the cheapest (and sometimes the fastest) was from New York to Boston. By far the cheapest option is the Fung Wha bus. This bus costs $15 each way departing from Chinatown in New York and arriving in Chinatown in Boston. The bus runs every hour.
The only draw back of the Fung Wha is that it can be unreliable because buses have been known to break down and it's not luxurious (but it's really cheap).
There are other bus options. The one that I've used in the past is the Peter Pan bus which costs around $30 and leaves New York approximately every half hour. It leaves New York at the Port Authority and takes you to South Station in Boston. The Peter Pan bus is pretty comfortable and they show movies on board. One benefit is the flexibility because you can use your bus ticket on any bus so if you want an extra hour or two in New York it isn't a big deal.
There are other bus lines that you could use like Greyhound that might be worth checking out also.
The bus takes around 5 to 5.5 hours depending on the traffic. Because you have to deal with the traffic, choosing to leave at an off peak time that won't have you competing with Rush Hour traffic in either Boston or New York would be to your benefit.
3) The Train
There are two options for the train -- the acela express or the regional train. The acela express takes around 3.5 hours and the regional train takes around 4.5 hours. The price can vary, but it costs around $60 for a regional ticket and around $100 for an express ticket. The train can either take you to South Station or Back Bay station. The train is relatively fast and comfortable, but it can sometimes be delayed.
The best and easiest (and most expensive) way to fly between New York and Boston is on the Delta shuttle. I love the Delta Shuttle, but only ever use it for business because I would never pay the $300 each way out of my own pocket. It's a very nice hourly service that leaves hourly from Laguardia Airport to Logan airport. You will also need to pay for a cab to Laguardia from downtown which I think costs around $50. I've seen really cheap flights on rare occasions (as low as $60 on Jet Blue) from JFK airport in New York to Boston, but you'd have to get to JFK which could be around $50 or so too. It'll also cost you at least $20 to take a cab from the Boston airport, although you could take public transportation for a lot less.
In truth, although the flight is only an hour, once you arrive early to go through security and count waiting and taxi time, there isn't a huge time savings over the train or the bus, although there is a time savings.
Enjoy your visit.
Please don't take the Fungwah bus. Please. Please. Please.
(picture a million more "please's" below).
Do a search on this forum under "Fung Wah" and you'll see why. Make sure to thank a post-er named "mahj" though, he's the one that got the ball rolling.
Thank you Healy for the mention and I will reemphasize. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should anyone take the Fung Wah Bus. Their track record is horrendous. P.S. Mahj is a she!
Good news! If you book Greyhound/Peter Pan on line you can get their "e-fares" for $15 each way.....the same price as the Chinatown buses. They`re reliable, safe and deliver you right to midtown Manhattan.
Excuse me--Ms. Mahj. Funny how the non gender-specific screen names actually do take on a gender in my mind. What a surprise.
SO many options with such little time! You can fly, you can take the Peter Pan or Grayhound bus OR take AMTRAK, whatever suits your fancy. Definitely do NOT take the Fung Wah bus, promise us?
Also, there's another way to get to New York from Boston that is hardly ever mentioned here. It's the Limo Liner and it's awesome, I took it before and just loved it. Granted it's $79 one way but it only takes 4 hours door to door, HOW they do it is beyond me, but they get you there in less than 5 hours quite a lot of times. This type of transportation is unique, it leaves from Boston's Hilton Back Bay Hotel and drops you off at the Hilton New York Hotel. Here's their site to check it out:
Enjoy your trip no matter which way you travel, it'll be really fun!
Another vote against the Fung Wah bus. They're on the news every few months with some sort of problem...
I recently took Peter Pan on one of their deals and it was GREAT. No problems. Clean bus (movie on the way back). Nice driver. Pit stop in CT to buy muchies. Fine trip.