Tips on Getting to New York City and Where to Stay
I love New York City! I moved there after graduating from College and lived there for 2 years. It was such a great and challenging time in my life as I worked on my career. I left a little piece of my heart in New York. That is why we go back to visit so often.
In my opinion, the best times to visit New York are in September or Early October and May into early June. If you get the chance to visit NYC in September, you are guaranteed to fall in love with this city. There is nothing like it! The weather is perfect, the tourist season is over and there is just a fun vibe around the city as Fall is approaching.
It is definitely in your best interest to watch fares when looking for flights to NYC. For instance, I know that a good fare from SLC to NYC is anything under $300. I set an alert on Airfare Watchdog and Google Flights to let me know when flights are on sale for this route. This is a great tool to use anytime you know that you will be booking a flight soon.
JetBlue typically has the best fares from my local airport to JFK. There are 3 airports in the New York City Area. LaGuardia, JFK and Newark. In my opinion, LaGuardia is the most convenient and is my preference when flying in. Next is JFK. And last is Newark. It is actually in New Jersey but not far from the city. It usually costs more to taxi into the city due to toll charges.
Once you fly into these airports, how do you get into the city? Easy. There are so many great options. Taxis are still a good option. You can now download the yellow cab app and find more info on their site. I compare prices with Uber and Lyft. Make sure to have all 3 apps on your phone for a quick comparison. You don’t need to order a ride before you arrive. These options are always waiting for you when you get there.
If you fly into JFK, you also have the option of taking public transportation. You can take the subway or airtrain into the city. This is a great alternative if you don’t have a lot of luggage, are traveling during rush hour or just want to save money. I believe it is only about $5. The MTA has great information on how to do this.
There are literally hundreds of great hotels in New York City. The best way to narrow down the hotel for you is to follow these simple guidelines.
Pick a few neighborhoods that are most convenient for your trip. I have some very specific preferences for the location of where I stay. New York City is made up of 5 boroughs. Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn. I always prefer to stay in Manhattan. This borough is the main part of NYC.
Within Manhattan, I have neighborhoods that I prefer. 1) South Central Park - This is the area below Central Park and is in the center of Manhattan. 2) Times Square - This area is just below that and is super convenient to transportation and Broadway shows. 3) Lower portion of the Upper West Side and the Upper East side - These are both lovely and I love walking around these neighborhoods. 4) The financial district near Battery Park - this area has really turned into a nice place to stay with plenty to do down there.
While having all my ideal locations in mind, I search on Hotels.com and Kayak for the best prices possible. A great trick is to filter your results by selecting 3-5 star hotels and then sorting your results by price. You can even add a neighborhood filter too. This organizes my results so that I can truly see what deals are out there. Check out my previous post on finding a good travel deal for even more tips!
After you have found a few hotels that fit your specifications, go to Tripadvisor.com and search that hotel to check reviews. These are always so helpful. They will have ratings for the location, noise, condition of rooms and so forth. I usually find great tips about the area we are staying in when reading these reviews too.
I don’t have specific hotels for you to stay in because I feel like this industry is always changing. I have always had great luck with the big chains like Hilton, Marriott, Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn. We stayed at the Holiday Inn - New York, Times Square last time and really enjoyed it. The staff was incredibly friendly and the views were great. I especially liked the location because it wasn’t right in Times Square, it was actually in the Fashion District. We only had to walk 1 block to get on the Subway. There were a lot of great little restaurants around for breakfast or a quick snack. My only con was that our room space was tight (which is typical in a big city) and it was hard to catch an elevator because there were only two. Other than that, I would highly recommend this hotel.
This article is the first in my series of New York City Travel guides. I hope you found it helpful! Please don’t ever hesitate to contact me with questions or ask for advice! I love to share all that I have learned in my travels!