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what to avoid, must see etc....

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what to avoid, must see etc....

It is a double celebration - our 30th anniversary & Daughter qualifying as nurse...coming for 5 days on 20 September. Would appreciate some help in getting the most from our time in NYC - thanks

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1. Re: what to avoid, must see etc....

As everyone is different I'd advise getting a guide book, writing down your list of must sees and wouldn't mind seeing if we have time and then come back for advice. For example I'm not a musuem person so I wouldn't advise going to any, I wasn't overly impressed by visiting the SOL but others love it and I'm not a big Broadway fan.

My quick list of my must sees are:

Empire State Building (www.esbnyc.com)

Top of the Rock

Central Park

Brooklyn Bridge


Time Square

Staten Island Ferry (to see the SOL from a distance for free)

I also enjoyed going on the water taxi, walking round Greenwich Village, Soho and Tribeca and Chinatown in the morning when the fish sellers are out!

There are loads more but they're just a few off the top of my head.

Congratulations on your anniversary and your daughter qualifying :)


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2. Re: what to avoid, must see etc....

Empire state building- the views a re to die for

Staten isle ferry- good views of downtown, statue of liberty and all free

central park- great atmosphere

downtown- the livlyness and vibrancy is to die for too

Jus my two cents

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3. Re: what to avoid, must see etc....

avoid -Little Italy

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4. Re: what to avoid, must see etc....

Personallu i'd stick with totr for views ,also its cheaper and less likely to have to q to get up it, also one my one major argument for totr is when you take a picture of the manhattan skyline from esb guess what yo u dont see..... yup the esb where as rom totr you get great views of esb and central park, hope ya have a great time and dont forget to get you 11% card from macys when you go shopping.

all the best

the bear

New York City, New...
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5. Re: what to avoid, must see etc....

The more specific your questions, the better the answers you'll get. What you've asked here is pretty general. I'd read through the FAQ at the top of the page (link here


which has an enormous amount of info.

Do you have a hotel booked? If not, what's your budget?

Queens, New York
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6. Re: what to avoid, must see etc....

Welcome to th eforum.

Have a look at the FAQ "sticky" at the top of this forum.

In it are helpful links and threads regarding "must-see" items. At the bottom of the FAQ are collections of trip reports, most by first-timers. Check out the collection of adult relatives traveling together.

A few things to def avoid are:

(1) taking a taxi ride from anyone who approaches you unsolicited at the airports. These are scams. Use only yellow NYC taxis or reserve a car in advance to pick you up.

(2) buying electronic goods at small independent stores in touristy areas. They are scams. You can find amazing deals here, but please go to only the reputable and famous places like B&H Photo, J&R electronics, Best Buy, Adorama and The Apple Store.

(3) falling for "charitable organizations" asking for money near Central Park or the World Trade Center site, and giving out "I Love NY" caps and stickers. Who knows who these folks are. Could be legit, I'm sure, but why give money to them when you can easily donate over the internet or send a check to charities you know.

(4) horse and carriage ride in Central Park. Most people report that $40 for a 15 minute ride is a total rip off. Then there's the animal care concern, but even aside from that, it gets thumbs down from many who do it.

I'm sure you'll have a great time and congratulations to you all!

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7. Re: what to avoid, must see etc....

It depends what your interests are, but I also think the tour of the UN is excellent and very interesting.

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8. Re: what to avoid, must see etc....

Must sees:

Central Park and the streets that surround it. IN CP, I love Poets Row, Bethesda Fountain and the views of the apartment buildings from the center of the Park itself.

Columbus Circle with The Time Warner Center is a magnificent building with a mini mall located in the base of the building. Located at the SW corner of Central Park.

Walking Fifth Avenue starting at Grand Central Terminal and going North ending at the Southern tip of Central Park. Along the way, you will see St Patricks Cathedral, many big name designer stores and The Rockefeller Center. The complex of buildings have some truly beautiful friezes and statues all around it. Most are from the Art Deco era and are definately museum quality pieces of art. I have spent one day there photographing every one of them from all angles and now have screen savers for the remainder of my computers life!!

The Top of The Rock (observatory deck on the top floors of the building) I have been to both TOTR and the Empire State Bldg observation decks and prefer TOTR, as do most people. The condition of the place, the friendliness/knowledge of the staff is far superior than ESB. If you are set on visiting both, do the TOTR during the day and ESB at night.

Walking in neighborhoods to get a feel for the real NY. The West Village and The Upper East Side are especially great areas to walk through, especially if you are an architecture buff. The buildings, esp on the UES are magnificent.

Staten Island Ferry roundtrip...it is free and gives you a great view of lower Manhattan. The RT takes a little over an hour and gives you close views of the Statue of Liberty.

Although not really an attraction, travel the city by subway. You can get an unlimited travel pass that will save you $$ and the hassle of paying for each ride. Although you will be in NYC for only 5 days, get a 7 day unlimited pass for $24 each.

Although it was something I never thought I would do, when a few friends were visiting us here, they surprised me with a helicopter ride around the city. I was so frightened when it started, but now looking back at it, it was an awesome thing to do as you get a fantastic view of NYC from above.

Take the subway to Brooklyn and then walk back across the Brooklyn Bridge. The views are fantastic and the photo ops are great. There is a very detailed step by step set of directions written by one of the most knowledgable posters on this forum, Green White and Blue.

His knowledge about the city is truly endless and he knows EVERYTHING about every inch of NYC. He just amazes me with his encyclopedic mind! I have even gone to his Trip Advisor (find one of his posts and click on his name to get to this area) list of topics he replied to and just read his responses to others to lean so many small facts...really amazing that one person can know so much about the city!!

Avoids (for me anyway):

Chinatown/Little Italy (although only a few blocks of the original area is left) The streets here are always packed and the merchandise is very cheap and useless for the most part. Also, to me it smells terrible in this area. I love the food aromas in many areas of the city, but not here!!

South Street Seaport..basically a mall with old building on the edge of the East River. I was expecting a nice area with good restaurants and nice shops and was very disappointed once there.

Times Square late at night on a weekend. IT is so packed with tourists it is hard to walk a few steps without people bumping into you. I def think you should go to see the neon lights, but just do so shortly after dark to avoid the crowds!

I do not care for group sight seeing tours as I prefer to see attractions on my own after I do plenty of research. There is one hop on hop off tour that takes you all around the city. I walk by plenty of the stops this tour takes and the people riding or waiting just don't seem to be having a good time. What I did before my first trip was to go to their websites and see their itineraries then built mine around theirs to see basically what they showed you without the price or the time wasted waiting for the others and the drivers who love to stand around with cigarettes hanging out of their mouths....not fun!!

Final note, read the Trip Reports posted by people after their trips. You will be surprised by the small details you will find in them that will make your trip. Nothing like getting advice from people who have just finished their vacations and the information is still fresh in their heads!

Sorry so long, I have been told (sometimes rudely) that I am long winded and my posts are way too long, but I cannot condense anything I want to say, so I hope I didn't bore you with all this stuff!!

Have fun researching what to do with your time, for me it was a big part of the fun of all the trips.

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9. Re: what to avoid, must see etc....

What a great post. I really liked your observations and will take note of a lot of them. Thanks.

New York, NY
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10. Re: what to avoid, must see etc....

Buying fake designer crap from street vendors or those vendors in china town "Psst, wanna buy a watch?" It supports slave labor and terrorist organization and who knows what else?!!