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New York, NY
Weekend Vacation Getaway

Destination Overview

New York is called the “Greatest City in the World” for good reason. No other city has so much to offer in so many areas. World champion sports teams, Broadway theatre, world renowned museums, opera and ballet, leading fashion designers, top rated restaurants, shopping for every budget, beautiful parks and so much more.

Click picture to enlargeBemelmens BarProvence GardenBoathouse in the Park

Since the time I was about 7 years old when my grandmother took me to the City every weekend for some event until today, my pulse still quickens as I enter Manhattan. New York exudes a vibrancy, an excitement like no other city. With the possible exception of Paris (but who goes to France anymore?), there is no more romantic city than New York and no better place for a weekend getaway.

While to an insider, New York is manageable and exciting, to those unfamiliar with the City, it can be intimidating. Crime is virtually non-existent to the traveler as New York ranks today as one of the safest major cities in the country.

Like many cities, New York is made of neighborhoods, each with its own distinctive character and appeal.

Downtown
Lower Manhattan.
Financial District. Wall Street. New York Stock Exchange.
Civic Center and South Street Seaport.
City Hall and the cobblestone streets of the old Seaport, now filled with boutiques, museums and restaurants.
Little Italy and Chinatown.
Colorful ethnic sections with exotic food shops, outdoor cafes and authentic bakeries.
Lower East Side and East Village.
Orchard Street is the place for bargain shopping.
Soho and Tribeca.
Tribeca is the center of the city’s movie industry (Tribeca Film Festival) and its lofts are home to many celebrities. Soho boasts restaurants, art galleries and chic boutiques. It is also the favorite spot for Sunday brunch.
Greenwich Village.
Home of the beat generation, the bohemian lifestyle, jazz and folk music. Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary all started here. Tree lined streets, cafes, clubs, 60’s shops.
Union Square, Gramercy Park and Flatiron.
Union Square Greenmarket, home of a host of the City’s top restaurants. Beautiful and serene (and private) Gramercy Park.
Chelsea and Herald Square.
Center of the City’s gay population. Chelsea Piers; boat docks and all sorts of recreation (skating, basketball, bowling, golf and more. Macy’s at Herald Square.

Midtown
The hub of the City; Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building, Broadway and the theatre district, Grand Central Station, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall. 5th Avenue Shopping includes Saks, Tiffany, Trump Tower, Bergdorf Goodman, Lord & Taylor and Bloomingdales. Museums include the Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney and the Museum of Television and Radio.

Uptown
Upper East Side.

The address for the City’s wealthiest people. Exclusive boutique shopping on Madison Avenue. Many of the City’s most elegant restaurants and hotels. Guggenheim and Metropolitan Museum of Art. Central Park.
Upper West Side.
Lincoln Center, home to the ballet and opera, American Museum of Natural History. Zabar’s food emporium.
Harlem.
America’s best known African American community. Columbia University. Jazz. The Apollo Theatre. Southern style cooking.

Our BestWeekends Destination Profile will unlock the mysteries of the City for you. We’ll simplify it and help you to enjoy the many things New York has to offer.

See my Photo Scrapbook.

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Click picture to enlargeTop Bar at the Peninsula HotelBalthazarFeinstein's

Making Your Travel Plans

To make your travel plans you can go to our Weekend Planner for all the contact information.

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Getting There

New York is served by three major airports; Newark, NJ (Liberty), LaGuardia and JFK. All are a short distance from Manhattan by cab or shuttle. LaGuardia is closest, then JFK, then Newark.

The City is about a 5 hour drive from Boston, 2 hours from Philadelphia and 5 hours from Washington DC.

Amtrak train service to New York is available from just about anywhere in the country.

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When To Go

Unlike resort communities, major cities have no real seasonality. There is so much to do all of the time, that any season is suitable for a visit. New York is as beautiful in the Fall with the leaves turning colors in Central Park as it is in Winter when a snowfall throws a hush over the City. A carriage ride in Central Park is as enjoyable in Winter with a blanket over your legs as it is in the warmth of summer. I have spent many wonderful days strolling through the park or down in Soho in every season.

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Getting Around

You do not need a car to get around in New York and wouldn’t want one. Taxis are plentiful and subway and bus service is reliable and inexpensive. Car and limousine service is readily available and we’ll tell you the best ones to use.

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Accommodations

There’s no longer any need to roll the dice on where you stay or to settle and stay at a “safe” national chain. BestWeekends Travel Advance Team takes the worry out of where to stay when you go away.

The BestWeekends Travel Advance Team does all the work for you. We research each destination by scouring the guidebooks, articles, blogs, reviews and rating systems. Then we visit the destination and stay in the properties. Finally, we talk to the locals to be sure we didn’t miss anything. The result: we post on our site only the best of what we experienced. You can book with confidence knowing that “we’ve been there” and that no one pays us for a review.

September through December is the high season. Rates are highest and the most desirable rooms book well in advance. Summer is the second busiest time and Winter and Spring are the slowest. The best weekend rates are in January and February.

New York is a business town and as such, hotel rates are geared toward the business traveler. That is good news for the weekend visitor, because once the business week is over, hotel rates drop for the weekend and there are some great deals even at the best hotels.

Be aware that when it comes to “deals” for New York hotels, a great price often translates into a small room. Many hotels give up their inventory of less desirable rooms to the on-line bookers. Also read the fine print. We recently booked a Queen room only to find the small print, hidden somewhere on the web-site, said, “based on availability.” Not surprisingly, there were none left when we checked in and we were left with a tiny room with a full size bed……for $385 a night! I was not happy.

Inside see our Featured Properties.

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Dining

When you are away on vacation, there’s few things worse than a bad dining experience. We agree, so we follow the same process for identifying restaurants as we do for accommodations, but with an extra step. We believe that the best dining experience has the strongest combination of food, ambiance and service. Good food is a given in our recommendations, but the best food in the world just doesn’t taste as good in a poor setting and the best setting with poor service just doesn’t cut it for us. The BestWeekends Travel Advance Team only presents those restaurants that meet our strict criteria. Mangia….enjoy!

We couldn’t possibly do justice, in this limited space, to what is arguably the finest restaurant city in the world. From haute cuisine to ethnic to a basic burger, New York consistently offers the best collection of restaurants anywhere. At the same time, it also sets the standard for some of the most ridiculously priced meals in the world. Where else can you get a $1,000 breakfast or a $100 hamburger or a meal that starts at $360 per person? Come on now…..what are they thinking?

See our Favorite Restaurants.

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Things To Do

New York has so much to offer it is hard to know where to begin. For sports fanatics, the City boasts some legendary teams; the Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets, Rangers, Devils, Knicks and Nets. Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center host the City’s finest music and dance. Madison Square Garden is home to the Knicks and Rangers and the site of many popular music concerts. Radio City features the Christmas Show and the famed Rockettes and also many concerts.

There is a museum for just about anything, amazing art collections and the best live theatre in the world on and off Broadway. Huge Central Park is an urban haven like no other where you can walk, bike, skate, horseback ride, sunbath, dine, take a carriage ride and even rent a boat. The neighborhoods each hold their own charm and there is no better city for shopping. The Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty are sights known the world over. With the possible exception of golf, there isn’t much that you can’t do during a wonderful weekend getaway in New York City. Here's the full list of Things To Do.

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BestWeekend' s Exclusives

After selecting our favorite places to stay and eat, we sat down and made a list of all the other things that would save you time and make your stay more enjoyable. The result is “Special Things” and “Good To Know, Good To Go,” BestWeekends Exclusives.

Special Things identifies unique, fun and romantic things for couples to do together in a particular destination. Good to Know is our list of the “best” of everything from breakfast to burgers, cocktails to after dinner fun and much, much more. Why stumble around trying to find the “best”….we’ve already done it for you!

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Don't Miss

  • Central Park
  • A carriage ride in the Park
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Rockefeller Center
  • A Broadway Show
  • Saks, Bloomie
  • Drinks at the Boathouse
  • Radio City
  • Afternoon snack at Balthazar
  • Union Square Greenmarket
  • Dinner at the River Cafe
  • After dinner drink at the Campbell Apartment

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News and Resources

The New York Post and New York Times are the best newspapers in town. Time Out New York and New York Magazine are the best magazines.

Smart Destinations offers sightseeing savings. Up to 55%.

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