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One Afternoon/Overnight - itinerary help appreciated

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One Afternoon/Overnight - itinerary help appreciated

My husband and I will be in NYC the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. Our flight (not purchased yet) lands around noon-ish if all goes as planned, at LGA. The plan is to take a taxi to our hotel (Conrad) and check our luggage at minimum unless we are fortunate enough to do a full check in.

Three things on my "must do" list:

See the 9/11 Memorial (and hopefully the museum will be open by then)

See the SOL decently close - no need to do a pedestal/crown tour on this trip perhaps via the free Staten Island Ferry

See Times Square

Ideally, if I can work it in:

Top of the Rock

China Town

Little Italy

I know it's ambitious --and very ambitious on a holiday weekend. But is this possible? We can stay out as late as we want. We have to be at the airport the next morning at 8am for an 11am flight to South Africa. I am thinking after we check into the hotel (or drop/check bags) -- we do the museum first. It's close, closes fairly early, and if we only drop our bags, we can swing back by the hotel to check after we are finished.

After that, I say we walk (it is walkable, right...like 20 minutes or so???) to Battery Park and take the ferry to Staten Island. Get off so I can get some good pictures (hopefully) of the skyline and the SOL. Not spend much time there and board the next ferry back.

From there I say we take the Subway to Times Square. OR should we stop off in Little Italy and/or China Town first before Manhattan? And where does Top of The Rock fit in? I know I need to buy tickets for it, so I am trying to time this out. I have read much of the info on the Subway--and can likely put 2 and 2 together later if needed. But if anyone has recommendations on which location I visit first, if you could also tell me which Subway station and line/train? to use ---that would be helpful. If not, I can sort through the map and figure that out likely.

I am not sure on timing or how to ensure I get on the right place at the Subway (or right train? line?) I know there is also specific terminology that I am not recalling at this time, and I apologize if I am not saying it correctly. Then finally, we will need to return to the Conrad after that journey. And somewhere along the way, we will need to eat dinner. We aren't packing fancy clothes -so we will need a place we can get good food and drinks --but dress casual.

I appreciate all your input :)


Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: One Afternoon/Overnight - itinerary help appreciated

Hi Bridkoe, I think you'd be able to do your 3 'must dos' on the Friday. Visit the 9/11 Memorial and see the SoL in the afternoon and visit Times Square that night (in all its retina burning glory)

But I would recommend a boat trip that will get you closer to the SoL than the Staten Island Ferry. The view from the ferry is quite a way away. It's not far to walk from the 9/11 Memorial to Battery Park to just look at her from the southern tip of Manhattan. Two other boat options are the water taxi and the Circle Line Ferry.

I think you could also do the 'up high view option' on the Friday night too if you visit the Empire State Building instead of ToTR. Two reasons: (1) the view of Central Park from ToTR is a 'big black hole' at night time; (2) the ESB stays open later (I think)..you could also splurge on the Express Pass at the ESB.

I note that sunset is a little before 8pm at that time of year...so maybe you could do ToTR at about 6.30pm or so to see Central Park and then go to Times Square after.

But that's missing Little Italy and Chinatown, but that would be be pushing it!

AND for planning your route:

google maps is a great resource for helping to get around. It has a function called 'get directions'. Type in your departure point, your destination point and then you can choose if you want to go via car, public transport or walk.

The public transport option is fabulous. It will tell you which subway station or bus stop to go to (and how to walk to there and how long it will take). You're likely to get a few options, from fastest to slowest. If you need to swap trains/buses that will be explained too. If you go by train, the signs in the subway are really clear about how to go from one line to another. Just remember which way you want to go..uptown or downtown. 'Get directions' will also tell you how to walk to your destination at the other end of your trip when you come out of the subway or from the bus.

There is an app called Hopstop that does the same thing, and everyone that has used it raves about it. So if you're online while you're out and about ...MarkM recommends the app Embark - iphone only.

So the trip is ages away so have a think about these ideas and get back to us. Then a sensible food option can be put forward when we know where you'll be...but you could just get a pretzel or a dog from a street cart and keep going....

New York City, New...
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2. Re: One Afternoon/Overnight - itinerary help appreciated

I agree with everything Jenny said, including that you should skip Chinatown and Little Italy on this visit. (Little Italy is pretty much just one street left for tourists now anyway). I think you'll be able to make it up to ToTR before sunset, and then perhaps a nice Italian dinner before seeing the lights of Times Square? :)

Edited: 25 October 2013, 22:27
Salt Lake City, Utah
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3. Re: One Afternoon/Overnight - itinerary help appreciated

If you're landing around noon at LGA, you're not going to be settled into your hotel until 1:30 or so. Walking to the 9/11 Memorial won't be a problem, but you may find a long queue because of the holiday weekend. You're looking at 1-2 hours and if the museum is open, it will eat up more time.

The walk to South Ferry Terminal will be about 20 minutes. Then the ferry ride is 25 minutes each way, plus wait times, which will put you close to 90 minutes round trip.

Take the R from Whitehall, uptown to Canal Street. Walk around Chinatown and Little Italy. Eat dinner somewhere that looks good. Then take the N or Q train uptown, from Canal up to 49th and go to TOTR.

Times Square doesn't close, so you can do it last and is best at night anyway. You'll have a full day and will likely be tired, but i think you could do it all. Take a cab back to your hotel. You won't want to deal with the subways at this point. Hopefully you'll be able to get one in this area on a Friday night. Have fun.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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4. Re: One Afternoon/Overnight - itinerary help appreciated

I agree about the black hole of Central Park on TOTR at night. The positives of TOTR at night are shorter lines than the ESB and it might even be less expensive. You're also looking at the ESB which makes for great photos. It's closer to the other skyscrapers like the Bank of America Building and Chrysler Building as well, so that you feel you can reach out and grab them unlike the ESB which is kind of all by itself between downtown and midtown. TOTR will be a little closer to Times Square too. At any rate have fun.

5. Re: One Afternoon/Overnight - itinerary help appreciated

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