Thursday, June 13, 2013

New York City

I love visiting New York City.  Buyers beware- this is not a relaxing vacation...there is so much to do and it is too expensive to stay for long.  2 weeks ago, I escorted a group of 80+ people to New York City.  We stayed at the Comfort Inn Manhattan.  I love this hotel.  It is the 2nd time that I have stayed here.  It is close enough to walk to time square and broadway, but far enough out that you save $200 or more a night.  The hotel is clean, charming, has breakfast and the staff are very attentive.  Also, the hotel across the street has a roof top bar that I heard (didn't get a chance to see) has great views of the city at night.  Attractions that I recommend:  60 minute harbor cruise, empire state building, china town, little italy, canal street, central park, museum of natural history, time square and broadway.  Take away:  We did the 9-11 memorial, which is very nice.  However, it is time consuming and there really isn't much to see yet...just 2 reflecting pools.  I am sure once they open the museum it will be well worth your time, but until then I personally think a drive by is enough of a visit.  We also visited St. Paul's Chapel, which was nice if you are in the area.  The picture above was taken while we were on the 60 minute cruise...90 minutes would have been too long.  The cruise was nice because you got to see the sky lines, up close views of the statue of liberty and bridges.  I have been to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, and honestly I liked the cruise to it and back more than the time I actually spent on the islands.  Every year we go to Rockafeller Center and 5th avenue to check out the shopping, and for me it is fun to go and see the beautiful stores.  However, once you have seen it, there really is no reason to see it twice.  Time Square is a crazy tourist zoo...but everyone must experience it at least once...and especially at night.  There are a lot of people out there that want you to take pictures with them, and they all expect a tip.  So, try not to make eye contact if possible.  We saw Spiderman on Broadway during our stay.  Great show!  It started slow, probably because you know the story, but after intermission it really picks up and they do some really cool staging.  I would definitely recommend it.  My other two favorite broadway shows are Wicked and Phantom of the Opera.  I love broadway!  One of our nights we went to Yankees Stadium and watched them play the Boston Red Sox.  Everything at the stadium is expensive, but the atmosphere is so much fun.  We took the subway back to our hotel and that was very easy to do.  We also visited the Museum of Natural History.  I normally do not care for the educational outings...just saying...but this was wonderful!  It is so big and their dinosaur exhibit is huge.  If you have a chance, this is a must see in NYC.  They do have a cafeteria in the museum, but we went down the street and grabbed some pizza.  The food was good and much cheaper.
Even though NYC is not the cleanest place and is very crowded and busy; overall it has a lot of history and charm and there is always something going on...so it is a must see!  If you have any questions or need help planning a trip send me an email at katherine@adv-travel.com