Tour bus/group or not?

Discussion in 'New York Area' started by web1b, Jun 29, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. web1b

    web1b Member

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    Looks like I am the only person posting new threads in the forum.

    Anyway, I am going to NYC next week July 4th - and leaving July 12th.
    I will be in an office in midtown Manhattan Monday to Friday and leaving in the morning on the 12th.
    So, will only have a couple hours spare time after work during the week and want to get the majority of sightseeing done on Saturday and Sunday July 5th and 6th.
    I will be staying in Flushing Friday and Saturday nights and in Manhattan the rest of the week.

    The main places I want to see are:
    Cruise to take photos of Stature of Liberty and skyline from the water.
    Visit Top of the Rock to take photos from observation deck.
    Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
    Visit Central Park, Wall Street, Coney Island.
    I'm not that interested in museums, but would substitute Coney Island and Central Park for some museums if it rains Saturday or Sunday.
    My Manhattan hotel is walking distance to Times Square, so I can walk there any day after work.
    I'd don't want to spend a lot of money on eating by myself, so I'd like to find some good places to eat that are a step up from fast food chains, but not much more expensive.

    I'm thinking of signing up for one of the hop on and off bus tours like Grayline or Viator for the weekend or else signing up for this tour that conveniently picks up and drops near the hotel I'll be staying in Flushing. http://www.taketours.com/new-york-ny/amazing-new-york-city-1-day-tour-542-377.html#inclusions

    It is $25 plus mandatory purchase of at least 2 attractions in their list:

    Otherwise, I could just take the subway into Manhattan and do it on my own.
    Any thoughts and suggestions?
     
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  2. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    You can easily do Manhattan and the other boroughs on your own but you need to map out subway stops and routes so you end up in the right place for attractions you want to see. If you have an iPad or tablet, download a subway map that you can refer to throughout the day once you're there. Google maps is also great for finding subway stops when you know you're pretty close and just cant quite pick out what direction to go.

    Columbus Circle/59th Street would give you access to Central Park, CNN/Time Warner Building, walking distance to the John Lennon Imagine mosaic, and then on the other side of the park you'd come out on Fifth Avenue by the Plaza Hotel and could easily walk down to St. Patrick's and Rockefeller Center or even Times Square and the Public Library/Bryant Park (this is the library with the giant lions out front).

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    As to a cruise, just take the Staten Island Ferry from Battery Park (free) which goes right by the Statue of Liberty and will give you great lower Manhattan skyline views. When you get off the ferry in Staten Island just get off, exit, and come back around and board the same ferry back to Manhattan.

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  4. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    You'll find it easier to start your Brooklyn Bridge walk from the Brooklyn side and take in the view towards Manhattan. You can walk over to Wall Street once you're on the Manhattan side.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I always enjoy walking among locals and tourists - an amazing amount of accents from around the world. You might not see everything you want on one trip but you'll have a great time exploring independently versus being subject to a bus schedule.

    More New York City photos HERE.
     
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  5. web1b

    web1b Member

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    OK, maybe I will use the subway to get around and the Staten Island Ferry for getting Statue of Liberty and skyline photos.
    I don't want to be walking around carrying a tablet everywhere I go, but I have a smartphone I can download maps with.
    I will need to plan the order to see these sights so that it is efficient path to see these places without wasted time backtracking.
    Is it it easy to get to Coney Island from Flushing to visit Luna Park on the weekends?
    I will be arriving on the 4th before 6PM and should be checked into the Flushing hotel by 7, so I could probably immediately leave and head to Manhattan that night in time the see the 4th of July fireworks, but I may be tired and not want a 1 hour commute each way the first night.
    Is there any place to view the fireworks that's closer to Flushing?
     
  6. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    I haven't been to Flushing since I went to the Worlds Fair and Shea Stadium in 1965 before our move to the Bay Area, so can't help with that. I'd expect someone else to be along to answer.
     
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  7. philatravelgirl

    philatravelgirl Silver Member

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    I've done as Tom suggests take the ferry to see the skyline and Statue of Liberty - easy to do.
    As for tour groups, I just always do NYC walking on my own as I can get more done that way and not wait on others in group. NYC is easy that way.

    As for food, I've done solo dining at Eataly (pizza/pasta area, they have others to choose from) which was nice with counter seating although a cab or subway from Times Square http://philatravelgirl.com/solo-dining-nyc-eatalynyc/
    Not sure what your expense account budget is from work but think low to high this is a good choice. There is a Shake Shack across the street from Eataly if you wanted to try that instead - it seemed to be less crowded than midtown.
     
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  8. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Still haven't been into one of those. When I stayed in Brooklyn a few months ago there was one nearby, buy it was always very busy. Ended up at a Five Guys instead. There used to be a Five Guys in lower Manhattan near the South Street Seaport area but it's gone now (as is South Street Seaport), though there is a Chipotle and plenty of other places along surface streets to replace it.

    Should you want to do serious ferry there is always the Circle Line. They have a dock right next to the Intrepid Air and Space Museum. That would take a few hours to go through and is one private museum that I think is actually worth the entry fee.
    http://www.circleline42.com/new-york-cruises/home.aspx
    http://www.intrepidmuseum.org/

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  9. Really nice post about these cruise ships.
     
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