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NY Itinerary Review

Sydney
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NY Itinerary Review

Hi TA & New Yorkers,

My name is Glen and I'm from Australia. I am planning a honeymoon to NY for March 2014 whilst my fiancée plans our wedding.

We are going to Anaheim, NY then San Fran. I have been researching heavily for the last few months and I would like some feedback on the Itinerary if possible.

- We flexible with our days and plans. I’m happy to move things around if activities are best suited for others days.

- How can I improve it and is there anything I have missed?

- Is there any days which I have tried to fit too much into?

- Is there any restaurants or places we shouldn’t miss when in that area?

Thursday 06-Mar-14

Arrive at NY (JFK) @ 7:30AM.

Taxi to hotel $70 (Affinia Dumont) and store bags...

Walk to Grand Central Station

New York Public Library

Down 5th Avenue. Shopping.

Empire State Building

Lunch @ Eataly?

Madison Square Garden? Flatiron building

230 Fifth Rooftop Bar for some drinks/view.

Dinner @ ????

Friday 07-Mar-14

Statue of Liberty Crown and Ellis Island tour. Approximately 6 hours.

Walk Battery Park, Charging Bull Statue/Bowling Green Park, Walk up Wall St, NYSE, Trinity Church 9/11 Tribute Centre, 9/11 Memorial, St Paul's Chapel, NYFD Memorial Wall

Shopping @ Century 21

Dinner @ O'Hara's Restaurant and Pub

Saturday 08-Mar-14

Central Park – Hire Bikes?

Central Park Zoo http://www.centralparknyc.org/maps/

Lunch @ ????

American Museum of Natural History

Top of the rock in afternoon/Dusk

Dinner @ Hard Rock Café Times Square or John's Pizzeria

Lion King Show - Minskoff Theatre - 8PM

Times Square @ Night

Sunday 09-Mar-14

Catch the subway to Brooklyn

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Lunch @ Grimaldi's Pizza

Dumbo (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass)/Shops, Jane’s Carousel

Brooklyn Heights Promenade

Walk Brooklyn Bridge back to Manhattan

Dinner @ ????

Monday 10-Mar-14

NY Shopping… Take a suitcase to Jersey Gardens

Tuesday 11-Mar-14

NY Niagra Falls Day Trip (14 hrs. Starts 4:45AM) Is this trip worth it?

or

Shopping again? Woodbury Common

premiumoutlets.com/outlets/directions.asp…

Wednesday 12-Mar-14

Bronx Zoo (Free on Wednesday) 1hr trip by train or bus

The Metropolitan Museum of Art or The Museum of Modern Art?

Rockefeller Center – Ice Skating?

St Patricks Cathedral

Dinner @ Club A Steakhouse

Thursday 13-Mar-14

Catch the subway to Brooklyn

Coney Island?

Lunch @ Nathan’s Hotdog

Aquarium

Friday 14-Mar-14

Staten Island Free Ferry

South Street Seaport

Chinatown

Little Italy

SoHo

Saturday 15-Mar-14

High Line Walk

Chelsea market.

Lunch @ the Markets

Greenwich Village

Dinner @ Spotted Pig

Sunday 16-Mar-14

Check out:

10AM Flight leaves from JFK to San Fran.

Slightly off topic.. My fiancée is keen to go shopping :( so what is the best/cheapest city to do most of the shopping - Anaheim, NY or San Fran?

Thanks

Glen

Rockville, Maryland
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1. Re: NY Itinerary Review

Thursday At hotel, ask if you can check in right away, or around noon. If so, check in then—you may be tired after your fight. Consider moving Empire State Building from here to Thursday, with reservation, 1st thing in the morning another day—there’s a lot here for your date of arrival.

Friday . Don’t do the crown, and have the time available for elsewhere in the day.

Saturday Begin the day with the Museum, then bikes and TOTR. John’s for dinner. Lion King – reserve tickets now

Sunday. Do you wish to return to your hotel before dinner?

Tuesday. Skip Niagara Falls. Use the time for sleep late, rest, other things.

Wednesday Do Metropolitan Museum of Art. Consider skipping the Bronx Zoo—use the time split between Rockefeller Center and the Museum.

Thursday. Consider deleting Brooklyn and insert Empire State Building. Have the time available here; have Nathan’s in Manhattan (many locations); do walking tour of Greenwich Village or Soho

Saturday 15-Mar-14. Go early to dinner @ Spotted Pig (they don’t take reservations)

Shopping: If it’s clothes, NYC.

Edited: 16 January 2014, 10:51
Dallas, Texas...
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2. Re: NY Itinerary Review

Thursday: Eat a good breakfast at Grand Central. Eataly is fabulous, but you will want to aim for eating a very late lunch there. Crowds can be oppressive.

At Eataly, there will be lots of fabulous food to bring back to your hotel. You will have a fridge and most rooms have a kitchen. Plan on heading to your hotel after Eataly, then go out for drinks later.

MSG is just an unimpressive building. You'll have ample chances to see it as it's so near your hotel. If you plan to do a tour, I would push that to another day (but really just skip it unless you have tremendous interest)

Stay flexible about whether you do ESB this day. It may be too much and lines may be long.

For Sunday:

Bikes are only permitted on certain paths in Central Park. Unless you really want a bike ride, doing it on foot would be a better idea. For lunch, Zabars is a fun spot, though not ideal for a real sit down lunch (it's more of a foodie market). You could eat in the park or in the small park at the AMNH. There is some seating at Zabars though.

For pre-theater dining, I would not go to a crowded, no reservations type of place (Hard Rock and John's both fit into this category). Book an early dinner with a place that takes reservations.

Re shopping in general: There is lots of great shopping in NYC. I wouldn't even contemplate doing both Jersey Gardens and Woodbury. Two whole days in boring places!!!

Niagara Falls is a LONG day trip. IMO, not worth it. Also, weather cancellations in that area are still common in March. Your flight could be delayed or canceled, or you could even get stranded up there with a canceled return flight.

Overall, I think you are off to a GREAT start. Your fiance is a lucky lady!

Coney Island is more of a summer destination. I'd take that off your list.

Astoria, New York
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3. Re: NY Itinerary Review

Definitely reconsider park bike rental for reasons noted above. If you are adventurous and want to do some short bike jaunts around town be aware of the bike share program: http://citibikenyc.com/

Would not do TWO outlet mall trips, but if you are dedicated enough shoppers to bring and extra suitcase I won't discourage a visit, BUT check the stores at both and pick one. http://www.jerseygardens.com/ is a bit closer but in a rather un-scenic industrial area in NJ. Woodbury Common is a bit farther trip https:/… but you will get to see a bit of the countryside on the bus ride.

Coney Island is seasonal http://www.coneyisland.com/ but if you decide to go also have a stop at Brighton Beach, just down the boardwalk past the aquarium. nycgo.com/slideshows/must-see-brighton-beach

Definitely reconsider Niagara Falls.

Clever you to find a creative way to split up the wedding planning! ;)

Sydney
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4. Re: NY Itinerary Review

Thank you all so much for your feedback so far. I have taken all your feedback on board and it has really helped..

I have added

- breakfast at grand central

I have removed

- ESB from our first day

- SOL crown tour and replaced it with just the SOL

- Bronx zoo

- Coney island

- Niagara falls

- bikes in central park and replaced it with walking

- The second shopping day to an outlet center.. Thank you so much for recommending this as I’m not a big fan of shopping and it make it easier to sell to the fiancée :-) She can pick between the two..

Questions

- Is there any recommendations for good places that take reservations for pre theatre dinner? I’m thinking another option could be to move the lion king to a different night. This will allow us to take our time at TOTR and eat John's pizza or at the hard rock then look around times square? The Lion King could be moved the Thursday after the Rockefeller Center. I could then move the Dinner @ Club A Steakhouse to after the shopping day.. I might need that to look forward to after a long day shopping.. This approach helps me fill out 2 extra nights. Does this sound good?

- What else should we consider for the day which now only has the ESB early morning?

- We have removed Niagara falls but any suggestions on what I should replace it with or is it wise to leave it as a free day?

- Sunday we haven’t made our mind about if we heading back to the hotel before dinner. I guess it will depend how tired we are. Maybe I should come up with 2 options one close the bridge and one closer to our hotel.

Thanks again for everyones help so far..

Cheers

Glen

Dallas, Texas...
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5. Re: NY Itinerary Review

Hard Rock is a "tourist trap" destination. Sure, people have fun and pick up T shirts, but it is nothing to worry about missing for food. John's Pizzeria is a good place to go if you must eat in Times Square, but again, not a must do at all. There are lots of great pizzas in NYC and I doubt the one at this location would make anyone's Top list.

Don't feel like you are missing anything if you don't eat at these places. Be way cooler than that and eat at places that are valued for their food, even among locals. There are plenty of great choices where you can reserve for a pre-theater dinner rather than stand on lines of tourists hoping you'll make the show.

A forum regular, Ziggy, has an excellent food blog. Eatingwithziggy.com His Hell's Kitchen Survival Guide section is all near TS. eatingwithziggy.com/2013/… This is just one of many resources for "real" "great" food of NYC.

If you'd like a nice steakhouse dinner, consider the pre-theater prix fixe menu at Capital Grill in the Time Life Building. They do a great job with these menus. Good quality and good value. You have to ask for the menu. $39 pp, but you can get a great steak dinner.

Brooklyn, NY
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6. Re: NY Itinerary Review

Agree with only doing 1 "outlet" vs 2. And I would NEVER consider it on back to back days...

Agree with eliminating a day trip to Niagara Falls. It's just too far!

I would also not go to Coney Island just for Nathan's and the Aquarium....

Any interest in going to a sporting event? NBA basketball?

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: NY Itinerary Review

Hi Glen

I agree with Chris that there's a lot of great ideas in your itinerary (can you put it up again now you've made some changes...pretty please!)

I agree with LittleBiffOne (post 1) about swapping the order of your Central Park/AMNH day. If you do that day this way then lunch near the AMNH is easy....Shake Shack will probably appeal given your other choices. Another option is Gazala's ....380 Columbus Ave, (between 77th St & 78th St) ...we went to their place in Hell's Kitchen with Ziggy and Aynat and then we returned on our own another day...it's very good food.

If you keep the day in the order you've written....then places nearby to the CP zoo are the Plaza Food Hall....not my cup of tea but many love it and lots of choices - Luke's Lobster Roll is good and Greenberg's black and white cookies are delicious. Further along 58th Street (between 5th and 6th) is the wonderful Fika (very good coffee and great lunches and cakes). Or there's the AKA Cafe (in the building where we stayed) which was listed in a Conde Naste December article as a place to go ...this is also on 58th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue. Then you could jump on the bus on 6th Avenue to head up to the AMNH.

Why are you going on the Staten Island Ferry as well as visiting the SoL.....same view pretty much...ofcourse you could always stay on Staten Island and spend some time there.....

I know you said you've deleted Coney Island, but can I say that it's quite interesting to see it (even tho' it's mostly closed at that time of year). We also walked on the Boardwalk to Brighton Beach (20 minutes according to Google Maps add more if it's snowed heavily the day before!)...in Brighton Beach we enjoyed eating at some of the places on Ziggy's blog (we were very fortunate that Ziggy showed us around but I think it would be possible to enjoy on your own).

Glad you've cut down the shopping mall trips to ONE! Maybe when you see how much shopping there is on Manhattan you can cut it back to NONE! And you are already going to Century 21...

If the queue is long at Grimaldi's you can try Julianne's which I understand is pretty much next door.

I'm assuming that the ESB is now the morning of the Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday now you've moved it and cancelled the 3 things planned for those days...why not go to either the MoMA or Met Museum afterwards. If the latter, catch a bus up Madison Avenue (not the Q32...one of the M buses). Get off a few stops early and walk along Madison Avenue for a bit.

I think that's all I can work out now scrolling up and down....

For other ideas (see above re Staten Island and Brighton Beach).....

....on a lovely day go up the Hudson River on the MetroNorth train ...lots of things there including walks and museums

And/or....

.... go on the train or the bus to the northern tip of Manhattan (Fort Tryon Park) to look around there then head back down to Morningside Heights and look around there (will give ideas if you're interested in this) and then get on the M5 bus on Riverside Drive and go down to the Upper West Side and look around again.

Sydney
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8. Re: NY Itinerary Review

Thank you again so much for your feedback. I have taken all the additional feedback on board and updated our plan.. Its really coming along thanks to this great site :-)

I have attached my updated plan as you requested Jenny..

Thursday 06-Mar-14

Arrive at NY (JFK) @ 7:30AM.

Taxi to hotel $70 (Affinia Dumont) and store bags...

Walk to Grand Central Station for Breakfast.

New York Public Library

Down 5th Avenue. Shopping.

Late lunch @ Eataly?

Walk back to hotel with leftovers

230 Fifth Rooftop Bar for some drinks and view.

Leftovers for Dinner @ Hotel

Friday 07-Mar-14

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tour.

Walk Battery Park, Charging Bull Statue/Bowling Green Park, Walk up Wall St, NYSE, Trinity Church 9/11 Tribute Centre, 9/11 Memorial, St Paul's Chapel, NYFD Memorial Wall

Shopping @ Century 21

Dinner @ O'Hara's Restaurant and Pub

Saturday 08-Mar-14

American Museum of Natural History

Central Park

Central Park Zoo http://www.centralparknyc.org/maps/

Lunch @ either Zabars, Shake Shack or Jean Georges?

Top of the rock in afternoon/Dusk

Dinner @ John's Pizzeria Time Square or one of Ziggy’s recommendation.

Times Square @ Night

Sunday 09-Mar-14

Sleep in? Rest /Relax? Free day..?

Monday 10-Mar-14

Catch the subway to Brooklyn

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Lunch @ Juliana's Pizza or Grimaldi's Pizza

Dumbo (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass)/Shops, Jane’s Carousel

Brooklyn Heights Promenade

Walk Brooklyn Bridge back to Manhattan

Dinner @ ????

Tuesday 11-Mar-14

Shopping… Take a suitcase to either Jersey Gardens or Woodbury Common

http://www.jerseygardens.com/directory

premiumoutlets.com/outlets/directions.asp…

St Patricks Cathedral

Dinner @ Club A Steakhouse

Wednesday 12-Mar-14

The Metropolitan Museum of Art or The Museum of Modern Art?

Rockefeller Center – Ice Skating, etc.

Dinner @ The Capital Grille, Time-Life Building. Ask for the $39 pre-theatre menu

Lion King Show - Minskoff Theatre - 8PM

Thursday 13-Mar-14

South Street Seaport

Chinatown

Little Italy

SoHo

Friday 14-Mar-14

High Line Walk

Chelsea market.

Lunch @ the Markets

Greenwich Village

Early Dinner @ Spotted Pig (they don’t take reservations)

Saturday 15-Mar-14

Last day in NYC. Empire State Building early morning with reservation.

Free time. Use it to spend more time in place which we found special or do something we missed.

I have added

- Dinner @ The Capital Grille. That place sounds just like me

- Also added the shake shack..

I have removed

- the hard rock. I mainly had it there because we went there once in LA and the finance still talks about the chicken fajitas she had..

I have changed

- the order of central park and AMNH. I actually did it in the previous revision but forgot to write about it here.

- Also moved the rest day forward.. i think I’m going need it..

Questions

- What pizza places are considering amongst the best in NY?

- Is there any particular bagel places that we should try in our travels?

- Is there any places we shouldn’t miss for a NYC breakfast?

- Is there some places to eat that we shouldn’t miss in the South Street Seaport, Chinatown, Little Italy or SoHo for lunch and dinner?

Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: NY Itinerary Review

bagels at Zabar's....tho' you won't be near there for lunch on your Saturday with the revised plan that day...you could go after AMNH and before Central Park.

I'd go to Eisenberg's instead of Eately for lunch on your first day.....unless you love food halls like DJs in Sydney's CBD.

You won't want to go to St Patrick's after the shopping day...

The other thing is maybe consider these plans as ideas for each day without allocating them to a set day so you can be flexible depending on weather and how you are both feeling..... I can see only 3 things on your itinerary that are prebooked.

There's another thread at the moment about 'best' pizza....have a look there...good inforrmation.

We liked Rubirosa on our day in Soho...it's around in Nolita (i think) which isn't far......we had good pizza there, but I don't know if it's on anyone's 'best' list!!!!!

Rest on the plane!!!! Consider visiting the Tenement Museum...a great accompaniment to Ellis Island...you will have to book a tour at the TM....We thought Hard Times was a good first tour.....do allocate time to seeing their wonderful film ...about 1/2 hour on a loop.

Edited: 17 January 2014, 18:52
Sydney
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10. Re: NY Itinerary Review

Thanks for all your advice Christina. They are all great suggestions.. I like your idea about keeping it flexible based on weather as I was thinking the same..

I’ve added Eisenberg's and moved eatly to our free day. We can sleep in have a nice lunch there then take some extra food back at the hotel.

Thanks for the tip about Rubirosa and the museum. They both looks great :)