John and I love to travel. Here are a list of of the places we have been so far
John and I have been to new York together at least 7 times. This is by far our favorite place to visit. We love the energy and feel of the place. Our favorite place to stay is the Waldorf Astoria. I know it's expensive (but then again so are other hotels), but if you can swing it, it's amazing and so is the service.
This guide is great. We generally take trains. Newark to Midtown is quickest on a train, just follow signs for "Ground transportation". Buy tickets there; we like the 3 or 7 day passes. They had a 1 day pass, but just did away with it. Kennedy to Midtown is a bit longer train ride if you are not in a hurry. A cab will get you there faster but costs more. La Guardia is the biggest pain for trains because it doesn't have a track. Catch an M60 bus to N or Q trains, or Q33 to 7, E,F,M, or R trains. When you get off the train, go to the attendant in the little booth and ask for a new map.
Things to do:
Empire State Building
34th/ 5th Ave Go at least once. It is a giant pain now, with tons of tourists and at least a 2 hour wait. The views are pretty cool, but now Top of the Rock is more appealing, as you can see the ESB from Top of the Rock.
Ice Skating in Central Park or Rockefeller
$20 if you rent skates
Walking through Central Park
There is a "castle" in the Park, Belvedere Castle, which is actually just an observation tower from 1869. Also, don't miss Tavern on the Green, which used to be the best restaurant in NYC. Featured in "Mr. Poppers Penguins", the restaurant was closed in 2009, and is now a gift shop. Look for Trump to re-open it soon.
The Late Show with Dave Letterman
53rd/ Broadway Get tickets here. Someone will call to ask a question about the show. Answer correctly and you're in! They're free. Don't have time? He routinely closes 53rd West of Broadway for stunts. This is also where the guests enter if you like celeb spotting. Stop by around 3 p.m.
Best Al fresco chicken parm and gelato at most restaurants here.
Statue of Liberty
From Battery Park Also a pain now with lines and security. Tickets are here, show up early. Almost worth the ride around the harbor, and if your people came through Ellis Island, you can look them up while you're there. Takes most of a day and lots of walking.
Walking around the Financial District
Broadway/ Wall sts. Trinity Church (from "National Treasure"), The 9/11 Memorial, and Fraunces Tavern are all here, besides Wall St.
42nd/ Broadway You've never seen so many lights in one place. Also, there is a TKTS booth under the stairs, where you can get last minute tickets to Broadway shows. Very touristy, generally more expensive hotels and restaurants here, but deals are possible. Also can be considered the "Theater district".
Madison Square Park
23rd/ Broadway Site of the first two "Madison Square Gardens", the park is nice. Home to Shake Shack, and best place to view the Flatiron building. The new Madison Square Garden replaced the once glorious Penn station, which was relegated to the basement. For more fun facts about NYC history, see the link to Forgotten NY below.
5th Ave Shopping
Start at 5th ave and Park Ave S. and work your way downtown. Shop your feet off, then reward yourself with a cupcake from Crumbs on 42nd. Enjoy it in Bryant Park, site of the "Crystal Palace" (Forgotten NY link below), then check out the NY Public Library if you don't have many bags.
Soho/ Boutique Shopping
All you need to know is here, at New York Magazine's Best of New York Shopping. Great reference for other NY- related things, but they have compiled a map for boutique shopping in Soho.
Best Italian Restaurant ever. It is a favorite with tons of celebrities. Be prepared to pay over $120 for two, though.
It was the first pizza place in the U.S.
Great Little Chinese place in Chinatown, open 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. (18 hours!)
Like history? You'll love Forgotten New York! Buy the book to go on self- guided tours of forgotten things throughout all 5 boroughs.
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