New York Great winter rates for New York hotels

Visit the Big Apple this winter for great out-of-season deals on hotels and packages. By avoiding the crowds and busy summer you can visit New York City in style, enjoy up-to 40% off accommodations, which leaves you more money for shopping - just in case the weather turns really bad! Book here now for early deals.

Where do you want to stay?

When to visit based on price

Although New York City is busy all year, the best time to find lower rates is between December and March, wit the exception of Christmas and New Years.

Key attractions

Plan to be very busy on your trip to New York City. Here are a few top places and sights to visit, of many.
The Statue Of Liberty, famous world wide, should be on every visitors list for their first visit. Taking the ferry over gives you many opportunities for viewing and photographing the “Lady Liberty”. Climbing the steps to get a good look at New York City is quite the experience, however, only for the fit.
Taking the elevator to the top of the Empire State Building is so much fun. Arriving at the top, and walking around the observation deck, you just may want to keep an eye out for any bi-planes looking for King Kong.
Day or night it’s always fun to walk around Times Square, looking at the giant live screens up high, people watching, and of course, shopping.
Central Park is one of the most excellent places to relax, read a book and enjoy this fantastic park in the center of the busy city life. If you truly want to experience the park, and get a tour, try one of the horse drawn buggy rides.

Having fun

Spend a day at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Here you will spend hours in fascination aboard the Aircraft Carrier Intrepid, A National Historic Landmark. You will get to watch actual movie footage of battles fought by this war carrier, see artifacts and more. After spending time on the water, jump on the Space Shuttle Enterprise. With many exhibits, artifacts and films learn everything and more about space travel. And when you think that’s got to be all, step aboard the submarine Growler, which was at one time, a “top-secret” missile command vessel.
A visit to New York City should always incorporate a day at Coney Island for some fun and adventure. With three miles of sandy beach, amusements, and its famous boardwalk, it’s more fun than you can fit in just one day. Take a step back in time and stroll the wood of the boardwalk, while reliving your past with a pile of cotton candy.


In New York City, as we all learned on televisions infamous show, Sex in the City, Manhattan is the only place to shop, in the world. What really needs to be added to that statement is, “with a heavy purse”. Here you will find all the best in designer clothing and accessories, from you skinny jeans to eight-inch stilettos.
Madison Ave will find you storefront at Jimmy Choo, Chanel, Gucci and Armani. If your looking for a local “on fire jeweler”, it’s Judith Ripka on Madison also.
Home to legends in department stores, Fifth Avenue still holds the key, with Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord and Taylor, Henri Bendel, Tiffany and Company and Bergdorf Goodman.
Lastly, you’ll find some eclectic shopping on Elizabeth Street, from art-driven boutique shops, to glass items for the home. There are perfume boutiques to local artist sculptures and much more.


For all of you that were glued to the TV during the hit HBO show “Boardwalk Empire”, a visit to Atlantic City is “in the cards”. Close enough for a day trip, located only two miles south; why not visit this icon of the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s era. Walk the boardwalk; try some cotton candy or salt-water toffee, and try your luck in the casinos. Many of the original buildings and businesses are still standing and in operation today. Among them, The Ritz, some of the “Rum-runner houses and more. Another excellent attraction,is a 6-story high elephant once used as a bootleggers tavern, with great views of the beach.

Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel

Starting From


Hilton Garden Inn Times Square

Starting From


Wellington Hotel

Starting From


The Maxwell New York City

Starting From


The New Yorker A Wyndham Hotel

Starting From


The Marcel at Gramercy

Starting From


The Belvedere Hotel

Starting From


Arthouse Hotel New York City

Starting From


Mayfair New York

Starting From


Hilton Times Square

Starting From


DoubleTree by Hilton Metropolitan - New York City

Starting From


Hudson New York

Starting From


New World Hotel

Starting From


YOTEL New York

Starting From


Hotel Pennsylvania

Starting From


Grand Hyatt New York

Starting From


The Lexington Hotel, Autograph Collection

Starting From


Park Central Hotel New York

Starting From


Waldorf Astoria New York

The Roosevelt Hotel, New York City

Starting From


Pod 39

Starting From


Paramount Times Square

Starting From


The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel

Starting From


Hotel Edison

Starting From


New York City The Five-Borough Budget Tour

You decide to visit New York City and then you realize it is so huge how could you possibly get a feel for the entire area? What if you decided to hit a few spots in each borough?

Conquer all five boroughs of the greatest city in the world with a budget that, to be honest, most locals use too.

(Rule #1: Buy a 7-Day unlimited MetroCard. Not only is it good for all NYC Subways, you can use it for MTA buses as well. You can also pay it forward and help a rider who’s short of fare!)

New York City is all about the views. The higher you go the price goes with you. To get the best views of the city, you’re going to have to pay–unless you visit the Queens Museum. For $8, it offers an impressive view of the entire city…well, sort of. The Panorama of the City exhibit is actually a miniature model of the Big Apple. But don’t let “miniature” fool you. It encompasses over 9,300 ft2 where you can study the skyline and get a sense of the city’s layout. You’ll need when you feel disoriented coming up from the subways.

Staten Island
Speaking of those views, grab a breathtaking one on the Staten Island Ferry. Not only is it FREE but you get an up close and personal view of Lady Liberty as well as Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. Stroll up and down the refreshing boardwalk and visit “Postcards,” a memorial sculpture dedicated to SI residents lost in 9-11. Have breakfast or lunch at The Gravel Grill, a hometown diner with great prices and impeccable service. The only Smartphone there was plugged into a speaker playing an 80’s playlist. Hop back onto the Ferry that departs every half hour and your back in the city before you know it.

The best zoo in the city is the Bronx Zoo. Even though general admission is only $17, the Total Experience Ticket is well worth the extra $17. It gets you into rides and attractions you’d have to pay for otherwise. It sounds off-putting but that’s the way New York works. It’s capitalism at its best. In any case, the zoo is beautiful and unlike many zoos this one is not depressing. The animals actually have more living space than New Yorkers themselves. Be sure to ride the monorail and visit the gorillas. They are full of New York attitude!

There is always something happening at Prospect Park. Especially at the LeFrak Center at Lakeside Prospect Park. Year-round events like roller skating in the warm months and ice skating in the cold months come with the best prices and availabilities you’ll find in the city. If skating is not your thing there are plenty of other activities in the Park. When the sun sets and you are looking for something fun and unique to Brooklyn, head on over to the Brooklyn Night Bazaar in Williamsburg. Admission is free. There are food and culture vendors, arcade games, mini golf and live bands. Skinny jeans are not necessary, nor are they frowned upon if that’s your fancy.

Nothing can be more rewarding than a visit to one of the greatest art museums in the world. The Metropolitan Museum of Art or “The Met” for short is humbling and inspiring, immense yet personal and all for a suggested donation. For those on the strictest of budgets, the best museum in the city at name your own price rates–what can be better than that? There’s also a rooftop garden café and martini bar where those aforementioned views can be had showing beautiful Central Park and the famous Midtown skyline.

So what are you waiting for? See the sights without the price and conquer the boroughs of New York City!

Read More

Awesome Day Trips from New York City trip

The Big Apple is a very busy hustle kind of place to visit, and there’s more than enough to keep you busy while in town. However, you just may reach a boiling point, literally, where you just need to get out of town for a while. We’re going to give you some advice on not so far destinations to get that breath of fresh air, relax and build stamina for the next day.

One of the all time favorites that many of us that grew up on the east coast probably experienced as kids is the Howe Caverns in Howes Cave, NY. You need to leave early in the morning because it’s a 3 hr. drive, but oh what a beautiful one at that. A farmer discovered these spectacular underground caverns back in 1842. You’ll travel by boat 156 feet below the surface to an underground lake, discovering strange lit up rock formations. Taking this excursion in the hot summer months is quite the prize. If you happen to be there in late afternoon, the evening “lantern tour” is awesome. Bring your singing voice because the sound is something else.
If you long for a quiet day in the beautiful green mountains of New York State, a one hour drive will get you in Bear Mountain State Park. Pack a picnic lunch and you can spread a blanket by a river, or bring hiking boots and scamper about the Appalachian Trail.
For children as well as adults, there’s something heartwarming about a well-maintained animal rescue location. You can get to the Catskill Animal Sanctuary in about 2 hours by car, visiting with animals that are free to roam the 110 –acre property. Sheep, pigs, chickens, goats a more have been rescued and awaiting a hug or two. The Sanctuary is located in the town of Saugerties.
If it’s time to get away from the monster size buildings and maybe build a sand castle, then it’s off to one of the area beaches. You can relax, get some sun and fun, and not spend a lot of money today. Most beaches you can get to by jumping on a bus or train and checking out the local sand.
The new boardwalk on the ocean at Long Beach is a great getaway, especially if you’re into in-line skating. You can relax on the perfect white sand, jump into the refreshing ocean or just enjoy the people watching. If you choose to hit Long Beach, be sure to check out the ribs and ice-cold beer on tap at Swingbelly’s beachside.
Another excellent choice would be a day at Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn where the boardwalk and amusement park have seen their day, but still offer some excitement. The real draw here is as always, the beach, where you are sure to view some of New Yorks finest looking men and women improving their tones. Of course there’s boardwalk food available, and although it’s probably not the best for you, it’s good, and what the heck, you’re on vacation, right?
Read More

Visit the newest “hotspots” on your next trip to NYC

attention, and tourists. If you are planning a visit to the “Big Apple” this year, we thought you might like to know some of the newest “hot spots”, clubs, restaurants and the like that are thrilling the local crowds.
Undoubtedly, the most visited location and usually top of the list would be Times Square for 1st time visitors. With all the action going on, shopping, shows, hot dog carts, it can be really keep you busy. But when the end of that day comes, and the feet are ready to give up their spot to your seat, there’s one new exciting place you should experience. We’re talking about Bar 54, located on the 54th floor of the Hyatt Times Square. Take a wind-sucking trip on the elevator and when you get off on the 54, experience why this is where the “high rollers” and executives bring their ladies. If you’re lucky, get a table on the balcony and enjoy the fantastic view of the city below. You can see Central Park and even New Jersey from up there while enjoying that “small plate” and martini. Even if you’re on a tight budget, you can enjoy a couple “small plate” appetizers and a cocktail for dinner. After all, it’s vacation.
Maybe you find yourself in the East Village area, checking out NYU, and decide its time for a bite to eat and a break in your day. The newest “hot spot” for students and professionals alike is located in the Garden at The Standard East Village Hotel. The atmosphere created is quite laid back, with many the local well-known artists, models and actresses frequently spotted there. Café Standard located in the Garden offers food and drinks that won’t tax your budget, which is quite evident by the clientele.

attention, and tourists. If you are planning a visit to the “Big Apple” this year, we thought you might like to know some of the newest “hot spots”, clubs, restaurants and the like that are thrilling the local crowds.
Undoubtedly, the most visited location and usually top of the list would be Times Square for 1st time visitors. With all the action going on, shopping, shows, hot dog carts, it can be really keep you busy. But when the end of that day comes, and the feet are ready to give up their spot to your seat, there’s one new exciting place you should experience. We’re talking about Bar 54, located on the 54th floor of the Hyatt Times Square. Take a wind-sucking trip on the elevator and when you get off on the 54, experience why this is where the “high rollers” and executives bring their ladies. If you’re lucky, get a table on the balcony and enjoy the fantastic view of the city below. You can see Central Park and even New Jersey from up there while enjoying that “small plate” and martini. Even if you’re on a tight budget, you can enjoy a couple “small plate” appetizers and a cocktail for dinner. After all, it’s vacation.
Maybe you find yourself in the East Village area, checking out NYU, and decide its time for a bite to eat and a break in your day. The newest “hot spot” for students and professionals alike is located in the Garden at The Standard East Village Hotel. The atmosphere created is quite laid back, with many the local well-known artists, models and actresses frequently spotted there. Café Standard located in the Garden offers food and drinks that won’t tax your budget, which is quite evident by the clientele.
Read More

Fun and inexpensive ways to explore New York City on Vacation

Are you planning a visit to New York City in 2017, but expecting to blow that budget you set as a goal New Years Eve? It’s a fact that you can spend a bundle of cash on the streets of the Big Apple, but you really don’t have to with carefully planning and direction.

Transportation can eat up your budget unless you are careful, and if you take the advice of most native New Yorkers, forget about that rental car, and use public transportation to get around town. Just look at the many professionals who work in the city, and don’t even live here, but choose to take the train every day to and from work. This city is a public transportation haven.
Now lets take a look at specific transportation that you can use to visit and see the sites, namely your two feet. That’s right, if you want to get some exercise or just take your time and learning about New York City, there’s a company just for you. Expert guides, who provide a plethora of information to you, guide its called, Free Tours By Foot, and you into specific areas. The choices include a variety of exposure to some of the most interesting areas, including Greenwich Village, Chinatown, Street Art Districts, and many different tours in both Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Please keep in mind that as we said, these are “free” tours, but if you feel the tour or tours you walk were enjoyable and informative, these tour guides rightly deserve a good tip.
If you are reading this article, for sure you are carefully planning your visit to the Big Apple. In planning for your trip, it’s a great idea to actually print out or purchase a detailed map of the city and cites within it. That way you can locate specific places and cites within certain areas that can be visited within a day. Examples would be a visit to Wall Street and the Statue of Liberty, or Times Square and Central Park within one day.
You can also gain a lot ore of “real” New York City experience, by looking to other neighborhoods to visit instead of the usual “tourist traps”. Just spend a few hours in Greenwich Village, visiting shops, grabbing a cup of coffee, talking to locals, and you will see what me mean.
For cyclists you can get around the city quite well, as long as you use the specific bike lanes. Check into the NYC “bike share” program, Citi-Bike and grab some wheels. Two very popular bike routes will take you along the Hudson River and East River.
When it comes to dining, there are a fair amount of extremely expensive restaurants in town, no doubt. That being said, you don’t have to break the food bank during your vacation to satisfy your hunger. One of my personal suggestions, that I bring up in many larger cities are the Food Trucks, and New York City has some awesome choices. New York has always been known for its “street food”, where business people are often seen grabbing a dog at a cart, or woofing down a slice of pizza, my favorite. Now you can search on your smart phone, sites like NewYorkStreetFood and find the closest to you.
Visiting Chinatown and or Little Italy also gives you the opportunity of experiencing ethnic neighborhoods, and the local foods. There’s nothing quite like outside dining on the sidewalk of Little Italy, slurping down an awesome plate of pasta while sipping a nice glass of red.
Read More

Exciting Day Trips from New York City

Planning a vacation to New York City is a once in a lifetime must for anyone who has never visited the “greatest city in the world”. There’s so much to see and do from shows, Statue of Liberty to Times Square and more. That being said, at some time the mere size of crowded everything can get to you. Our suggestion if you can fit some extra time into your visit, is to check out a day rip out of town, or maybe two. Yes there is Coney Island and Long Island for beach time but even there you will find massive crowds during summer months. For relief, why not jump over the bridge into New Jersey and check out beaches there?

One of the favorite N.J. beaches to day trip especially by locals is Sandy Hook Beach. Locals love it because you can take the Seastreak ferry directly from Manhattan to the beach in about a half an hour. So many New Yorker don’t have vehicles so it is perfect for them, and you as well, knowing that it’s just “cost saving smart” to just public transportation. The cost of the ferry is only $5 and that includes beach fee and a shuttle that takes you to one of four beaches. For families with children beach E and D are your best bet. North Beach is very popular and gets crowded. Beware, Gunnison Beach is a “nude beach”, so if you aren’t visiting from Europe and used to nudity, you might want to avoid this one.
Atlantic City, Ney Jersey of course is a very popular destination for “day tripping”, with super beaches and its brand new boardwalk. Even if you have visited here in the past, it’s worth the trip to see what’s new and exciting since hurricane Sandy. Built into the boardwalk are two public-art sites, volleyball courts and more. Of course there’s still the gambling casinos, shows and excellent choices for dinner.
You may not think of New York in the same sentence for the work surfing, but in fact, Montauk, Long Island actually enjoys some fine surf. It’s also a great getaway for just hanging on the beach and watching the surfers, and grabbing some fresh seafood for lunch. If you surf, or are interested in learning, this is the place for you. Hit a surf shop and rent a board for around $40, or get a lesson is you have “extra” large bills with you to cover a couple hundred.
Hot Tips: For lunch try the local favorite food truck, Ditch Witch.
If fresh water, thrills and paddling are your desire then you certainly should head up to Weverton, NY where you can engage in extreme whitewater rafting on the Hudson. This isn’t for the weak at heart, but adventure lovers both experienced and the novice will have a ball. You can enjoy a day trip that starts in the Indian Lakes thru the Hudson River Gorge, plunging you into class II and IV rated rapids. Of course there’s a stop for lunch and maybe even some cliff diving I you are so inclined.
An extremely popular day trip for locals as well as anyone visiting this kind of area, is of course, the local wineries. Let’s take a look at some really close wineries you can taste at, out of the city on Long Island. You can either drive or if being “budget smart”, not renting a vehicle, take the trail to Long Island and take a tour or Wine Limo. Many of the wineries on Long Island do have food available, but it’s always smart to bring snacks or even a picnic lunch.
Some of our top pics are the Lentz Winery, and specifically its German wine, Gewürztraminer, pleasant summer wine. At this popular winery, you can in fact grab a bite from a food truck, if you dare.
Another ever popular winery to visit is Baiting Hollow, where on weekends there’s entertainment as well as vendors. Wines are reasonably priced and you get to rub elbows with others from the big city, looking for an escape.

Read More

How to stay “on budget” during your New York City vacation

Let’s face the fact, vacationing in any large city, especially the “Big Apple” can eat your weekly vacation budget in a day or two, without careful planning. Think about this, locals who live there have learned the trick to keeping costs down, and they are available to you too. We hope to show you how to visit NYC like a local, and stay in that budget.

Once you have arrived at the airport your money savings task begins, and in fact it’s the right place to do just that. Deciding before you leave home whether or not you will be leaving the city, because not having to rent a vehicle can be a major cost savings. Not only saving on the rental fee, but gas and parking fees that can be mega. That being said, one cost saving you can realize is using the MetroCard that will give you a cheaper access to the busses and subway system.
Hot Tip: In most cases you may find that taking the Super Shuttle is a cheap alternative.
There are a couple other cheap transportation options around town that you should take advantage of. One is doing the “Hop On, Hop Off” self-bus tour. It would be an excellent way to get an idea of the different area’s downtown. A nice thing about this tour, especially if you are visiting for the first time, is you can get off and then get on another bus.
If you want to get perhaps the best photos of the city, and take advantage of free transportation, check out the Staten Island Ferry.
Your meals can take a serious chunk of change from your budget; so cost savings is key here, without starving of course. You owe it to yourself to check out some of the fine dining in New York City, especially Little Italy and Chinatown. Of course, Chinatown you can certainly get away with cheaper dining. However, I personally recommend some awesome Italian dining in Little Italy. My favorites are the restaurants where you can dine outside on the sidewalk tables, and people watch.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, what I miss more than anything from my days living in NYC, is slice pizza! You’ll notice business men and women walking the streets downtown eating a slice at lunchtime, from a hole in the wall” pizza joint.
They enjoy this lunch because its good, and its cheap, and you should take note and follow suit so stay on budget.
Another food experience that has taken over the country is the Food Truck experience. This isn’t about hotdogs and burger from a generic truck, but actually fine dining and cheap. You can find just about any cuisine these days, easily by just downloading a “food truck app”, and in fact there’s one specific for NYC.
Read More

Why not go “off the beaten path” when visiting New York City?

It doesn’t really matter if this is your first visit or twentieth to New York City, after a while the crowds and gawkers will take their toll on your senses. After all, you can only visit Times Square, the Statue of Liberty and such so many times. Why not go for the “unusual” and virtually off the tourist path this time.
Any visitor today should experience the New York City subway system, because it’s just the way to travel. That being said, the original southern terminal, the City Subway Station has been closed since 1945, but even today is where the train turns around at last stop, Brooklyn Bridge. You will slowly turn around in this haunting, now museum of the past. This terminal first opened back in 1904, and has again opened as a museum, showing off its architecture that today is still original. There are also pieces of art and even an old “period” subway train for your selfies.

No, you aren’t in vintage Chicago during the days of “Prohibition”, but still will feel the ghosts of the past. Why not take a trip back in time and for an evening cocktail head to one of the two original “speakeasies” still in operation today from that period in time. The Backroom Bar still operates today, with vintage décor and furnishings. You will experience those days of illegal booze the way they did back then, sipping cocktails out of teacups!
How about taking a fun water voyage for and experiencing history and maybe even enjoys a picnic lunch in the sun. The best part is the whole day experience can be free, with the exception of purchasing a picnic lunch before heading out.
Take the free ferry to Governors Island located about half a mile from Manhattan mainland. Jump on the ferry from either Manhattan or Brooklyn offered during summer months, and maybe bring a rented bike out for a ride > There’s also an man-made beach, as well as historic buildings from the 18th Century, including Fort Jay and Castle Williams. And don’t worry if you forgot your picnic lunch, you’ll find food trucks on the island.
Our suggestion for an excellent sunset photograph, or even getting on “your Spiderman”, is taking the Aerial Tramway from Manhattan out to Roosevelt Island.
To justify the “Spiderman” comment, Spiderman rode this tram in his last movie.
The ride is fun, and views from the tram “picture perfect”, and although not mush on island, it’s a great place for a private picnic on the beach.
Since I brought up the Spiderman thing, there’s another “off the wall” attraction for you “superhero’s” to check out. It’s the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Store in Park Slope. Purchasing your “can of courage” or “invisible paint”, will donate to the non-profit writing lab for youngsters.
If you feel the need to “get your burger on” we have the best-kept secret for your food desires. Located within the Parker Meridien Hotel, is the “Burger Joint”, located hidden from view behind floor to ceiling thick curtains? The only clew that it is there would ne the neon burger sign, and your nose. Walls filled with graffiti, old 1970’s posters and such, jump in line and step back in time.
Read More

Hot tips for NYC Family Vacation in 2017

The Big Apple is such an excellent vacation destination for families, with vast opportunities for adventure, culture, education and just outright fun. Your challenge comes with the fact that the weather offers extreme differences, with steamy hot summers and bone chilling winters. If you think you can fool Mother Nature with a vacation planned in spring, NYC has a habit of inviting “the iceman” in for a few days, unexpected often.
Hands down one of the best things to do with kids when visiting New York City, is spending a day or more at the Bronx Zoo. I say that because its actually difficult to experience all 5,000 plus animals in one day. Just think of the magnitude of strolling the paths on over 260 acres, with children. No “speed walking” here, because there will surly be many exhibits they won’t want to leave. Of course there are also some outstanding live shows to attend, like sea lion feeding time. Be sure to give your feet a break by taking the Wild Asian Monorail Tour of elephants, rhino’s and the red pandas.

Another of my personal favorites, and one that will certainly open your children’s eyes, is the Intrepid Sea & Air Museum. Something else that was added a couple years ago, the Space Shuttle Pavilion just adds frosting to the cake. The Intrepid is a war veteran aircraft carrier that kids get to experience to the fullest. Your children will get the opportunity to experience life aboard an aircraft carrier as well as on board the Space Shuttle.
Weather dependent, another great way to get rid of some sugar highs, and at the same time enjoy perfect photo ops, is a stroll over the Brooklyn Bridge. There’s a pedestrian walkway the entire one-mile stretch, and along the way, you will enjoy the views of Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the famous Manhattan Skyline.
Obviously the best time to enjoy Coney Island is during the summer months, but its also the busiest and definitely crowded waters. That being said, any time of year is a good time on the pier, where you can spend lunchtime woofing down hot dogs, and the afternoon trying not to “re-experience” that on the rides.
For that emergency: All parents have experienced that moment when your small child crosses his or her legs, looks in your eyes and says, “I have to go potty!” New York city is not child friendly with bathrooms, and really not adult friendly either. Your best bet is to keep an eye out for museums, libraries and large shopping stores
. Suggestions for “child friendly” hotels in the Big Apple include the Doubletree Guest Suites and Embassy Suites. Both of these hotels are suites only, offering separate bedroom for adults and living room with bed-sofa. You have a full kitchen, so can actually have your own food, beverages and snacks. With full hot breakfast offered in both for families starting their day, to evening happy hour for a “cool off period” for adults, a perfect scenario.
There are specific sites that should be in your to see and do, including the Statue of Liberty, the top of the Empire State Building (Dad, wear your gorilla suit?), and for the children, the best museum experience is the American Museum of Natural History.
And then the really cool experience, especially on a warm summer evening, is a ride on the Staten Island Ferry. Actually you can enjoy this all day long, and the experience and photo op with the family is sweet. There are great views of the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan and New York Harbor. You won’t believe the pictures you can take of the Manhattan skyline after dark.
Read More

“The Big Apple” Vacation ideas for lovers

You have decided that its time to take your mate on a romantic vacation in New York City, the “city that doesn’t sleep”, says Frank Sinatra. Although seeing a show and dining in a fancy restaurant to candlelight can often work, there are so many more possibilities in this great city to share and enjoy for you two.

To start with, do your research on hotels and get yourself a suite for a good discount, downtown if possible near Broadway or Times Square. Eliminate the stress of renting a vehicle and fighting traffic, and instead take a shuttle, cab or UBER to your hotel. Most hotels will arrange for roses and champagne on ice in your room if they know your arrival time.
Start you romantic adventure with maybe cocktails in a sexy environment, and our suggestion is the Mulberry Project Bar. Speaking of “Old Blue Eyes”, if he was still around, you would probably bump into him here. This awesome place is hidden in plain view, in “Little Italy”, at 149 Mulberry Street, behind an “un-marked” door with a red light over it. Just hanging in a secluded booth inside this “speakeasy type” bar is fantastic, but check out the small back patio too. This bar reminds me of one like it in New Orleans off one of the side streets I found, a great piano/cigar bar.
Another experience for couples that haven’t experienced it is a trip up to the top of the Empire State Building at night, holding hands in the elevator. Arriving at the top, you will experience the romance as you walk around the observation deck, hand in hand, viewing the city lights below. Just think of the epic love story that ended here, when Faye Reye lost the love of her life, King Cong.
It almost a given, and I recommend this to everyone visiting the Big Apple, and that’s time in Central Park, No matter what time of year, strolling the paths, during the daylight of course, is extremely romantic. You can however, beat even that, buy taking a horse and buggy ride through the park, especially in the evening, says before dinner? I especially love doing this in the winter months, because you get to snuggle up together under a blanket!
For another great suggestion to enhance the evening, why not start with a sunset sail out and around the Statue of Liberty? There’s something warm and fuzzy, besides the cocktails served on the cruise, to wrapping your arms around each other, gliding through the water, watching sunset over the city.
Another excellent adventure takes you to the train station, Grand Central Station, Main Concourse to be exact. No you aren’t going on a trip, other than back in time, to the 1920’s. No longer just a train station, this terminal is now a major shopping and dining destination here in New York. Stroll about, window shop, and randomly choose one of the thirty-five or so restaurant/bars for lunch or dinner. One of my personal favorites is on the lower level concourse, the Grand Central Oyster Bar and Restaurant. Notice I am directing you to oysters? Romance don’t you know.
The Loeb Boathouse is another romantic restaurant where not only can you eat overlooking the water but much more. How does renting a rowboat, and serenading your love interest on the calm waters sound? Not a singer or rower? You can also envision being paddled along a canal in Venice, by renting a gondola and attendant.
Finding yourself hitting New York City in the winter months enables you an iconic romantic interlude, on ice! Bundle up and head out to the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink for a few turns around the ice. They rent skates, play awesome music, and for the best romantic time, keep in mind, its light up after dark.
Read More

New York City “Family Vacation” when it’s all about the kids!

If you are planning a vacation with your children to the Big Apple, New York City, it’s not going to be as bad as some people may tell you. In fact most New Yorkers will tell you these days that over the years the city has really become a “family vacation destination”. Your budget will work much better too, because of course, you adults won’t be partying till dawn at those expensive clubs and restaurants.
With some careful research and asking around you can find some pretty cheap alternatives, like where to get the best $2 hot dogs or $1 slice of “pie” (pizza). There are also great and cheap opportunities at popular attractions like a totally free cruise aboard the Staten Island Ferry for your tour of the Statue of Liberty.
If you have never visited the Apple before, it’s easier than one would think to get around the city, and a perfect way to introduce your kids to the big city life. The very best way to get around is actually by foot, so you can actually see something and eliminate traffic. Be very smart, and forget the rental vehicle! The fee, insurance and parking fee’s are horrible, plus traffic and getting lost? Like they say in the city, “forgetaboutit”! As long as you keep clear of speeding taxis and cyclists, you will be fine.

Everybody takes the subway, and for families, kids are only $2 a fare, and real little kids that can walk under the turnstile? They ride for free. The rest of the family should really look at buying Metro Cards “Pay-Per-ride” where you can save a bundle of cash. Of course everyone needs to ride in a “Yellow Cab” especially the kids, who will appreciate watching TV in the back seat! Last of all, you and the family can get the best photos and views of the city from the water. There’s some pretty exciting “water taxi’s” that you definitely should take advantage of, especially in the summer. I highly suggest the large bright yellow catamarans offering a “hop on-hop off” service.
Some fun activities for the family include a ride on the Shark Boat, literally a jet boat with a shark painted on the bow. For almost an hour you will enjoy screaming around the New York City Harbor, eventually getting to the Statue of Liberty. This of course is another one of those exciting adventures for summer heat.
What child hasn’t heard of King Kong and the ending at the top of the Empire State Building? Just think of the tale you can tell on the elevator about the possibility of Kong being at the top? When the elevator doors open, your children will experience possibly the best view of the city below, day or night. The “selfies” are incredible taken up there.
If the weather is in your favor, Central Park is a super place to hang out with the children. Picnic lunches are in order for sure to keep the budget happy, and you can surly sneak a blanket out of your hotel for the day, that will fit in a backpack. If you head to the southeast part of the park, you will discover the Tisch Children’s Zoo and the Central Park Zoo. Located in this are is the famous children’s carousel, as well as the “boat pond” The boat pond is a great alternative to the game boy or “smart phone” games. Your kids can rent remote-controlled boats from the concession stand and race them.
However, for one of the best experiences of my childhood, I can highly recommend a day at the Bronx Zoo, the largest urban animal park in the U.S., founded and opened back in 1899. When I say, “spend a day” I mean it, because there are well over 4,000 animals to visit here, from Congo Gorillas to Serbian tigers, roaming freely in massive enclosures.

Read More