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New York City Travel Tips and Information


General

  1. New York City consists of five boroughs, each with a unique culture.

    Manhattan: The famous island between the Hudson and East Rivers.

    Brooklyn
    : The most populous borough and east of Manhattan across the East River. Known for artists,beaches and Coney Island.

    Queens
    : Home to the city’s two international airports, the New York Mets baseball team and the United States Open Tennis Center.

    The Bronx: North of Manhattan and home to the Bronx Zoo and New York Yankees baseball team.

    Staten Island
    : A large island in New York Harbor, south of Manhattan. The “suburban” borough.
  2. New York is statistically the safest big city in the United States and its crime rate is comparable to many small American towns. The city is much safer than other popular tourist destinations like Orlando or Las Vegas. The most common crime against tourists is purse snatching, so always keep hold of your bag(s).

    Riverside Park and Central Park can be dangerous at night, so unless you know what you are doing, don’t venture into these areas at night. If you go to one of the evening concerts at a NYC park, after the show follow the crowd out of the park before heading to your destination. If you ever run into any trouble get assistance from the nearest police officer. There are many police officers around, and you will find them to be courteous and helpful.
  3. Weather:
    New York City experiences all 4 seasons. June-September are generally hot and humid with average high temperatures around 84 F (29 C). September-December is cooler and December-March brings cold winter temperatures with the average high around 38 F (3 C). March-June can bring wet, Spring weather. The temperature in any season can be quite variable and it is not unusual to have a sunny day in January followed by a snowy, freezing day. Snowstorms can bring as much as 2 feet of snow over a 24-48 hour period, but this is rare. Tropical and thunder storms can hit during the summer and fall bringing downpours of rain. Temperatures can get as low as 0 F (-18 C) during the winter and as high as 100 F (38 C) during the summer.
  4. Maps:
    Buying a detailed map of New York City is highly recommended. Try to get one that shows the subway and its stations along with points of interest. We will list our recommendations when we find something that we really like.
  5. Traveler Tidbits:
    Check out these little nuggets of advice for sightseeing in New York City –

    Tourists often spend their entire vacation in New York standing in line. This is often unnecessary, as there are usually better alternatives.

    For example, one can choose to avoid the Empire State Building during the day (it is open, and empty, after dark until midnight, or 2am on weekends during summer), skip the Statue of Liberty in favor of the Staten Island Ferry, and stay away from the Guggenheim on Monday (it is one of the only museums open that day). Also, there is no reason to stand in line for a Broadway show if you already have a ticket with an assigned seat. If you prefer, get a drink nearby and come back closer to curtain time, when you can walk right in. The lines for bus tours can be absurd because most tourists seem to have the exact same itinerary - which is to get on a bus in the morning in Times Square, get off for the Statue of Liberty, and finish on the East Side in the afternoon. Why not go downtown in the morning, and save Midtown for the afternoon? You will thank yourself for avoiding the crowds. Also, understand that buses are the slowest way to go across town in Midtown Manhattan during peak traffic hours, and taxis are not much better. You are often better off on foot, if you don’t mind walking.

    Best Free Things To Do: Ride The Staten Island Ferry (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/ferrybus/statfery.shtml) and visit the National Museum of the American Indian (www.nmai.si.edu). Also, Shakespeare in the Park (open-air Delacorte Theater in Central Park; www.publictheater.org). Tickets are distributed at the theater on a first-come, first-served basis (2 per person) starting at 1pm. Free park concerts also given by the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera.
  6. Best Season and Best Time of the Year to Visit:
    The best season has to be Christmas. Beautiful and festive, it is like no other time of the year. Midtown and Rockefeller Center can get crowded and the weather can be chilling…but Christmas is wonderful.
    The best time of the year to visit is Summer. Most people prefer to visit during the mildly temperate Fall. During the summer the streets are less crowded, restaurants and shows are easier to get into, and free outdoor events are plentiful…but it can get warm.
  7. Best Kid-Friendly Places in New York:
    Central Park, Bronx Zoo, New York Hall of Science, USS Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum, and Coney Island.