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First time visitor....a few questions

Phoenix, Arizona
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First time visitor....a few questions

Thank you everyone for the advice, I just want to say that first.

We are planning a trip to NYC in 2011 and we have narrowed down our times of the year we are interested in, based on when we know we can have time off from work.

We are considering either August, September, October, March or April.

Of these months which one would be the best time to visit? Which would have lower hotel rates, do you think?

For hotels...we would like to stay the midtown area, since we are a taxi or subway away from any place we want. For a hotel, what area would you consider or would you avoid?

We are looking at hotels either near times square or near madison square garden. Are those good locations or are there better? We also found a Radisson that appears to be across the street from Macys.

We know we can get 2 weeks off from work, but we know we can't afford to take 2 weeks off (we have to put our doggy in a dog hotel while we're gone) and we can't afford to eat out and live at a hotel for that long. So, we are thinking 9 days...2 for traveling and then 7 for actually being in NYC. Does this seem reasonable? Too many days? Not enough?

Thank you again everyone for the advice. I'm sure I'll have more questions but I really appreciate the help!


Naples, Florida
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1. Re: First time visitor....a few questions

September is always my pick for perfect weather, followed by October.

Brandywine Valley...
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2. Re: First time visitor....a few questions

We've visited New York several times in the past 10 years. I'd avoid August completely -- can be *very* hot. Late March to early May is a fabulous time. Mid-September to first week in November (with fingers crossed) can also be delightful.

We've bid on a Manhattan Club suite on eBay for most of our visits, for the one-bedroom unit with two full baths. The location is great -- catty-corner from Carnegie Hall so a little farther north than you're considering. A week there has gotten fairly pricey, but it's a lot of space by Manhattan standards and the mini-kitchen means you can save on eating out all the time.

Be sure to buy the week pass for the MTA system, which includes both subway and buses. We love the bus system; you get to see so much more than you do on the subway, even though it takes longer.

London, United...
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3. Re: First time visitor....a few questions

**Are those good locations or are there better? **

In my opinion, those two locations are probably some of the worst locations in terms of what is around them other than tourist attractions and shops.

Have you looked at hotels in Tribeca, Soho, Flatiron. These are much more interesting areas, and there is much more around them to do, and by to do, I mean things in the evening, as there are decent restaurants, bars, etc.

Subways are close by all areas, and you'll use this as your transportation method, and hardly ever use a taxi. As long as you're near the subway, you can get around to all the normal tourist attractions.


uk - north east
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4. Re: First time visitor....a few questions

I went 15th Oct for 7 nights last year and we had terrible weather. Freezing cold and heavy rain all week. We are going back in May next year as this seems to be more neutral for weather. A good way to get around are the open top double deckers. Even if you are not using them for the guided tour its a great way to see more when travelling and good value. http://www.citysightsny.com $81 per adult for 3 days of any loop hop on hop off. We find it best if you make a list of places you would like to visit and for the 3 days you have this use it to get to these places and see more of the city while travelling. You also get entry to 2 or 3 attractions included in that price its good value!

Last year we stayed in the Holiday Inn west 57th street a little out the way of all the action but a short walk to central park, times square etc. New Yorker is a great hotel near maddison square gardens!

new york city
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5. Re: First time visitor....a few questions

Please discount Lizzy's info about using the double decker buses for transportation--- if you use them at all just get the cheapest one day ticket and stay on for the complete loop just to get the lay of the land and quickly see other parts of the city.. they are NEVER recommended for transportation in this city. Use the public transportation subways and buses for $27 for unlimited use for 7 days

Boston, MA
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6. Re: First time visitor....a few questions

I've found great rates on hotels in April for the past 2 years. In 2009 it started off lovely and then there was record-breaking HIGH temps, which many love, but I'm not fond of which is why I wouldn't consider July or August.

In 2010, the weather was a bit drizzly one day, but then ok.

For both those visits I stayed mid-town East in a more "residential" area. My 11yo commented that staying there made her feel like a 'real New Yorker' -- lol. But there's lots of great areas ....

In 2009 we stayed in a 1 bedroom/2 bath suite at the Affinia Shelburne. The hotel was undergoing renovations and not yet 100% completed, so that helped us get a great rate. The room was brand new and we really liked it.

In 2010 we stayed a few blocks away at the Eastgate Towers. This is an apartment-style hotel also run by Affinia. It is old and tired and in need of renovation, but it it is CLEAN with lots of space, new comfy beds, and a knowledgeable staff. We had a one bedroom apartment with a full kitchen ...

I didn't do any cooking, -- unless you call microwaving popcorn "cooking" lol --- but we did takeout and stocked in beverages and snacks. And several mornings I walked around the corner to Daniel's Bagels while the rest of the family showered and primped, It was easy and probably saved us a bit of $$.

new jersey
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7. Re: First time visitor....a few questions

I live in NJ and will give you perspective from a non visitor.

August--NYC is dead like paris most NY'ers are out on vaca. It is very hot

Sept--NYC is back in action vacation is over and it is hustling and bustling. the weather is BEAUTIFUL!!! I love this time of year and its pretty safe as far as being consistently warm turning cool.

Oct--same as above but can be nippy

March/April-Can be cold, snowing, raining or nice and pleasant but wouldn't suggest Y chance it?

Would not suggest staying anywhere near times square or madison square garden...this is the biggest tourist area and kinda trashy esp madison square area. Midtown is great but what are your interests so that I can help direct your stay towards places that might be closer to what youd like to do. Also I would definately try and rent an apt...again do a rental search on this site for NYC or craigslist. Another solution is split your time 1/2 in a hotel and 1/2 in an apt. NYC is so vast that you will definately find a hotel to fit your budget but I would just be weary as some can be AWFUL!!!!

Regarding the length of your stay 9 days is great but again give more info about what you want to do here.


Liverpool, United...
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8. Re: First time visitor....a few questions

The Madison Square Garden area is fine, please ignore any comments rubbishing it. However, there are certainly lots of other places to stay, so it's a good idea to look out for good suggestions for alternative areas to stay in. Choice is a good thing.

Manchester, United...
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9. Re: First time visitor....a few questions

PLEASE also ignore outtaheres comments about renting an apartment. They are not permitted. Read the FAQ's for more details in this regard

new york
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10. Re: First time visitor....a few questions

The problem when picking the best month is that hotel prices and good weather go hand in hand. You will find the lowest prices in March but the highest in mid/late September and October when the weather is often nicer. I have visited in most months and out of the ones you mentioned I would pick either April or the first week of September. August can be very hot but I visited in August this year and the biggest problem with the weather was I picked the one rainy weekened of the month.

In terms of where to stay, most first time visitors prefer Midtown. The Upper West Side is also a popular recommendation here. Since I have visited so much, I like the Greenwich Village area now. I have stayed in the MSG area and I am not a huge fan of staying in this area. However, if price is the main concern and you find an acceptable hotel in this area then I say go for it. It's not unsafe or anything - I just don't find it very interesting. With the subway, you could stay almost anywhere in Manhattan and you will still be able to see what you want.

In terms of the hop on/hop off buses, if the weather is good then I think they are a good option for the first day to get the lay of the land, see where things are in relation to each other. You can then use the subway to go back and visit places you were interested in.