Is this you?
You've been to New York City before. You've seen Rockefeller Center, the Statue of Liberty, and Times Square. Now you want to get off the beaten track, save some money, and avoid tourist traps. Because you're not a tourist—you're a visitor.
You've never been to New York City, but you already know the touristy stuff isn't for you. Still, you'd like to see Manhattan...
You're ready to do some walking. (Don't worry, there's lots of resting and eating, too.)
Why this itinerary?
- Because Manhattan can be overpriced. This itinerary shows you beautiful views, fascinating history, and delicious food...all within a reasonable budget. Some things are reasoanbly priced ($10 lunch) and some things are outright free (Staten Island Ferry, the High Line). All told, you can expect to spend $100 (give or take, depending on your thirst/appetite) for the day, including all your meals, entrance fees, and transportation costs.
- Because Manhattan can be overcrowded. Stuffed to the gills with commuters and flocks of tourists with cameras, Times Square is a Square that most New Yorkers avoid like the plague. If you don't enjoy the prospect of fighting crowds all day, this itinerary will get you into less crowded, but still amazing sights.
- Because Manhattan can be overwhelming. There's so much to do and see in New York that your head might explode before you do it all. To help narrow down the day, this itinerary sticks to lower Manhattan. This helps cut down on transit time, and also helps divide the city into manageable chunks. Nothing in this itinerary takes you above 30th street, and no individual activity or event will cost more than $30. (See Reason #1, with its caveat that this might change depending on how much wine & beer you order.)
What will you see?
The Ace Hotel & Chelsea, for a taste of local style and flavor;
The High Line, for a glimpse of how New Yorkers make urban landscape beautiful and unique;
Union Square, for people (and squirrel) watching, delicious lunch options, and one-of-a-kind shopping opportunities;
The Tenement Museum & Lower East Side, for a glimpse into New York's fascinating past;
The most beautiful view of the Statue of Liberty & Downtown Manhattan that money can't buy,
and "Curry Hill," for more great food.
Sample of Itinerary
**Actual itinerary has maps and photos.
New York's best boat ride. For absolutely no cost, you can ride the ferry to Staten Island, then turn around and ride back. For only $3, you can buy a 16oz beer and enjoy it on deck while you watch the sun set behind the Statue of Liberty.
TIP: Look up what time sunset happens on the day you go. Time your boat ride for this event. For example, if the sun sets at 7:41, you want to get on the 7:20 ferry out of Manhattan. Schedule here: http://www.siferry.com/SIFerry_Schedules.aspx
TIP: Bring a jacket! It gets cold on the observation decks, and that's where you want to be.
As you board the ferry in Manhattan, keep to the right side of the boat. Once you're settled on a bench on the observation deck, crack your beer and enjoy the view. As you pull away from the tip of Manhattan, you'll see the new Freedom Tower under construction. Farther out in the harbor, you can see Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Those of you lucky enough to have a zoom lens on your camera can get some beautiful shots of Lady Liberty silhouetted against the setting sun.
I lived in New York (Manhattan and Brooklyn) for 5 years. When I came back for a visit, I shared an outline of this itinerary with friends who still live in the City. They all nodded their heads in sage approval, and said they'd do this itinerary any day of the week.
My email address is included in the Appendix section of the itinerary. Feel free to ask me any questions.