We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Driving in NYC

Union, Kentucky, USA
1 post
1 review
Save Topic
Driving in NYC

At the end of June we will be driving from Cincinnati, Ohio to Bar Harbor, Maine. Along the way we would like to see NYC. We would not be arriving until Sunday evening, probably after 6pm. We have 3 young children and don't want to attempt public transportation with them. What will traffic be like on a Sunday evening to drive around the city to show them (just by drive by, not stopping) things like the Empire State Building, Times Square, Statue of Liberty, etc.? Also, can the 9/11 Memorial be seen from the street or do you have to enter? Thanks!

Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
5,597 posts
145 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Driving in NYC

You need input from residents. I shiver everytime I think about driving in Manhattan.

New York NY
Level Contributor
11,144 posts
104 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Driving in NYC

You really can not see or experience New York City this way. Lots of families with three children come to New York City and use public transport.

Driving in New York City is a nightmare. First of all you need to get onto the island (Manhattan is an island). It isn't like Exit 178 or Exit 180 off Interstates 71 / 75 for Florence or Village at the Mall Shopping Center. Not at all.

You need to enter Manhattan through either the Holland or Lincoln Tunnel if you are coming from the Florence / Hebron / Erlanger area. The tunnels get horribly backed up on Sunday evenings - particularly in the summer. The tunnels spit you out on random streets and there isn't any signage pointing you to the sights. Then getting out of NYC heading toward New England isn't all that easy if you don't know where you're going.

You could avoid this hassle by crossing the Hudson River at the Tappan Zee Bridge and stay in either Tarrytown NY, White Plains NY or Stamford Connecticut where you're more likely to find economical hotels and parking. You can then take a nice pleasant Metro-North Commuter train into Grand Central Terminal and spend a day exploring the city on foot. You could do a one-day Hop On Hop Off bus tour. You have lots of options if you do it that way - just trying to do a "drive by" would probably be a nightmare you come to regret - my opinion (for what it is worth).

Limerick...
Level Contributor
1,484 posts
90 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Driving in NYC

Sun will be going down.

Will be dark by 7 or 7:30

Traffic will be heavy but very few trucks.

You will see little to nothing.

Staten Island, New...
Destination Expert
for Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Level Contributor
12,234 posts
49 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Driving in NYC

Don't you want to stay a little? Bar Harbor (stunning btw) is 10 hours away as you probably know.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
21 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: Driving in NYC

I disagree. You can still feel the pulse of the city from inside of your car. The lights, the traffic on the street and on the sidewalks, and the sheer scale of the city is exciting enough without having to leave your car. With that said, if you enter through the Lincoln Tunnel you may be able to find parking between 8th and 10th Avenue in the high 50's. The kids will love Times Square. Driving in the city is mostly all straight lines anyway; you will be fine. I would risk getting lost downtown though the Holland Tunnel. Lower Manhattan will be eery on a Sunday Night anyhow. You can see Ground Zero from the street.

Kent, Connecticut
Destination Expert
for Provincetown, Wellfleet
Level Contributor
5,715 posts
236 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Driving in NYC

The last time that I tried to drive into Manhattan from New Jersey on a late Sunday afternoon it took over an hour just to get over the George Washington Bridge. Why don't you plan to stay overnight?

NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
Level Contributor
37,871 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Driving in NYC

I drove into Manhattan this past Sunday. I left at around 8PM. This required driving crosstown and slightly uptown. It took me over 30 minutes to go about 3 miles. There is no way, IMO you are going to be able to enjoy showing your kids anything, you will be too busy paying attention to the road,other cars, the pedestrians and the cyclists.

IN terms of your specific list--Times Square is mostly pedestrian mall, you can only drive near the perimeter and you can not stop, if you stop in front of the Empire State building you see nothing--a brick building, the Statue of LIberty is in the harbour--where are you planning on going to see it and the 9/11 memorial is below street level--can't be seen on a drive by.

And yes, I know you indicated that you aren't going to stop--but just drive by--please, sightseeing from the window of your car, while trying to drive is an accident in the making. This is a terrible idea!

Brooklyn, NY
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
25,629 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Driving in NYC

You really, really can't see any of these things from the car. If you really don't want to leave the car, then find a way to drive up the BQE from Brooklyn to Queens and you'll get nice views of the harbor, the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, and the skyline, both lower Manhattan and Midtown, without ever entering Manhattan.

Brooklyn, NY
Level Contributor
16,015 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Driving in NYC

Empire State Building, Times Square, Statue of Liberty

Sheer adness to try to see any of those things by car.

ESB will look like a regular office building.

Statue O Liberty-You can't drive there.

Times Square-if the weather is nice, it will be packed. To see NY the right way, you need to walk around.

I would not do it!

Queens, NY
Level Contributor
8,498 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Driving in NYC

I agree with BrooklynBridge. If you're just driving through, focus on getting a good skyline view. Up close all you're going to see is dense traffic and nothing interesting.

If you take 278 across Staten Island you go across the spectacular Verrazano Narrows bridge, then follow the BQE up through Brooklyn and Queens for great views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges and the Manhattan skyline. Continue to follow the BQE to the Grand Central Parkway and then go over the Whitestone Bridge to continue your trip into New England without encountering Manhattan traffic.

If you want to make a pit stop, the Brooklyn Heights Promenade is literally just above the BQE and has amazing views.