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first time visit - need help!

St. Louis, MO
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first time visit - need help!

Hello,

I am planning a trip for myself, husband and 18 year old son with the initial purpose of surprising our son with tickets to see Phantom of the Opera in June.

Where would be a great place to stay knowing we will be heading to the theater district, want to see Central Park and the touristy stuff like Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero, Empire State.

We would also like recommendations on restuarants. Would love to hit a big time chef's place like Gordon Ramsey of Bobby Flay.

Help!

Manhattan
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1. Re: first time visit - need help!

You've got time. Start by reading the FAQs and trip reports on the right column of this forum. Consider Top of the Rock for its great view of the Empire State Building during the day. Know that your view of the SOL might still be from far away given the damage done by Sandy to the grounds.

Learn about public transportation and then come back with more specific questions after you do a bit of research and try to figure out what your son would like without telling him he is going. Enjoy your planning.

thestarryeye.typepad.com/explorenyc

St. Louis, MO
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2. Re: first time visit - need help!

Thanks. I have a bit.

I guess out of the gate, what area should we think about staying in and any recommendations on hotels?

Would love to stay somewhere with a view of the park but I bet that's too expensive if it exists??

Philadelphia...
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3. Re: first time visit - need help!

Has your son expressed an interest in seeing "Phantom"? I hate to make gender and age stereotypes, but without knowing your son, I would say it's not a show I would expect young men to be interested in.

If you chose the show just because you thought it was classic and not because your son has a specific desire to see "Phantom," then I suggest you research other options on Broadway.

Seattle
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4. Re: first time visit - need help!

And to get help from the hotel experts, it's best to give a nightly budget and how many beds you need. That way noone recommends a hotel out of your budget. And it usually helps to say what airport you will be arriving at.

I'll recomment the Hilton Garden Inn Times Square. My sister and I stayed there last April and really enjoyed the location. Close to the theaters but out of the craziness of Times Square. Near subway stations that make getting around the city very easy.

I've read many times that June can be pricey on hotels, so give your budget and you'll get help from the hotel experts.

St. Louis, MO
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5. Re: first time visit - need help!

thanks!

3 adults

Under $200 a night if possible

would love it if it were $100-150 but I am learning real quick that New York is expensive!! =)

New York City, New...
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for New York City
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6. Re: first time visit - need help!

Under $200/night in June is not going to happen in Manhattan unless you use a discount site like Hotwire and prepay. Picking some arbitrary dates in June, I do see a few options on Hotwire for $190-199/night plus tax (~15%). Otherwise, it would be rare to see a price that low in a room for 3. You can stay in Queens a subway ride away for that price. Country Inn & Suites in Long Island City is one popular option. Their 2 bedded rooms are queens and they include free breakfast.

I would be less concerned about which area, if you want to stay in Manhattan since the tourist sites are spread out. Subway will get you around. The theaters are in midtown west/Times Square.

New York City, New...
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7. Re: first time visit - need help!

Im pretty sure the Gordon Ramsay restaurants are either closed or no longer affiliated with Gordon Ramsay.

Bobby Flay has 2 good restaurants in NYC - Mesa Grill (southwestern) and Bar Americain (continental). I would pick the one that is nearer to where you will be that night. You might be able to do Bar Americain pre-theater if that is your only option.

There are quite a few Food Network star restaurants in NYC - and more Top Chef winner/contentant owned/operated. There was a recent thread on this topic if you want to do a search

suitcaseready.com

St. Louis, MO
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8. Re: first time visit - need help!

this is all SO helpful!

Thanks

and keep it coming!!

Dallas, Texas...
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9. Re: first time visit - need help!

Mario Batali has a number of restaurants in NYC at various price points.

If you delay your trip until July, Manhattan hotel prices drop considerably. There are great summer sales that appear closer to travel time.

Eugene, Oregon
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10. Re: first time visit - need help!

I like Mesa Grill a lot (been to both New York and Las Vegas) and I've found that the lunch prices for many of the items are much less than they are for the same item at dinner (I love the cornmeal crusted chile relleno).

Since most of these chefs have many restaurants in many cities, you have to get lucky to have them be on premise when you're there.