New York City travel guide: big plans for the Big Apple
This city never sleeps, is never boring and never disappoints. After a year of lockdown, many are celebrating the full opening of New York City and are looking what to do for an upcoming trip. Even if you are a regular traveler, there’s always something new and exciting to discover in New York City.
We invite you to explore the city with an expert, local driver with Elife, the global ground transportation platform. Book instantly a ride in New York for an all-inclusive fare. Sedans, vans, SUV’s mini and coach buses available 24/7 to get your New York City plans on wheels.
Getting to NYC
There are 3 main airports you can use to get to New York: John F. Kennedy International Airport is the largest and busiest in the system, located in southern Queens; LaGuardia International Airport is also located in Queens, in the northern part and is the closest airport to Manhattan within the system; Newark International Airport even though its location in New Jersey is also considered a part of the NYC airport system due to its proximity to Manhattan.
Consider that each one of these terminals receive dozens of millions of passengers, so you must consider booking your New York airport car service in advance to avoid unnecessary time waiting for an airport cab or a ride hailed through an app.
There are 2 main train stations, both in Manhattan: Grand Central Terminal and Penn station. Not only these stations allow you to connect with NYC from several cities in the North Atlantic area and beyond, but they are also great tourist attractions themselves, as you will surely recognize them from several movies and TV series.
As well as with the airports, New York City’s train stations are very crowded and getting a cab or bus can be difficult, and you can easily be wasting your time looking for one. Any of Elife’s train station pickup services include a 60-minute waiting period free of charge, so you can rest assure we’ll be waiting for you once you arrive.
New York City is located on the southeast corner of the State of New York. It is a surprise for many that NYC is not the state capital but Albany, located 150 miles north. The City is well connected with the state, as well as with neighboring’s New Jersey and Connecticut.
It is a good idea to plan a road trip to New York City, but perhaps you’d like to avoid spending long hours driving and have a long, fun quality time with your travel companions instead. For that matter, Elife has a wide array of vehicles for you to choose from, so you can make of a boring car ride an unforgettable experience.
Exploring New York City
The Big Apple is divided in 5 main boroughs, each one with its own vibe and thigs to do and see.
Perhaps the most recognizable borough, as its being pictured for decades as the visual representation of the city. Amazing landscapes, food from all over the world, museums and the most vibrating urban vibes collide here. Many of the most famous landmarks of the city are in Manhattan, and you’ll feel at home among the thousands of tourists you’ll find everywhere.
As the city’s heart, Manhattan has arguably the widest set of activities in the city, so give yourself the time to explore its streets and dive into the pace of one of the most vibrant cities in the world.
What to do in Manhattan:
- Take a museum tour: It’s hard to decide which ones to pick. If you’re a first timer, you can’t miss the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (also know just as the Met) and the gorgeous Museum of Natural History. If you’ve already visited those, explore the rest of the museums along the famous Museum Mile over 5th Avenue, like the Guggenheim and Jewish Museum.
- Take pictures of the magnificent views you can get at any of the most famous observatories: Empire State Building, Top of the Rock and One World Trade Center.
- Take a walk around Central Park and submerge into the green quietness. The Park is full of beautiful locations where you can go eat, drink, run or just lay in the grass as you take a break of the city stress.
- Explore its neighborhoods. Tribeca, Soho, Greenwich Village and the Upper West Side. Each one and many more have unique mood that will delight your senses.
Located west of Manhattan crossing the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, it has become the cooler, trendier haven for those running away from the mainstream Manhattan vibe. Here you will experience a relaxed, more hipster mood with great drinking and dining options along with one of the city’s sports Mecca: the Barclays Center, home of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.
What to do in Brooklyn:
- Take the walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and admire the Manhattan skyline while you cross the East River.
- Walk across its most iconic neighborhoods as Dumbo, Williamsburg, Bedford Stuyvesant, Greenpoint and Bushwick.
- Visit Coney Island, where Brooklyn’s iconic amusement park is located. Take a stroll on its boardwalk, enjoy some great local food and visit the aquarium.
- Depending on the season you’re visiting, book some tickets for a basketball game. It can be difficult but the experience worth it.
Most tourists leave the Bronx outside their travel schedule -unless they’re going to a Yankees game- and they’re missing the art, open green spaces and history of the northernmost borough in the city. Home of iconic landmarks such as the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the oldest public golf course and the first zoo in America, the Bronx is a borough to which the city owes most of its heritage.
The biggest park in NYC (Yes, even bigger than Central Park), a house where Edgar Allan Poe once lived, home of NYC’s original Little Italy and, hold on, the birthplace of the famous Häagen-Dazs ice cream (we’re sure you lifted your eyebrows with this one) the Bronx have some great surprises waiting for the tourists looking to leave the usual.
What to do in the Bronx:
- Spend the day visiting the Bronx Botanical Gardens, with over a million plants from all over the world, gorgeous, lush gardens and acres of American native forests.
- Even if you’re not a baseball fan, visit the Yankee Stadium is going to one of the most important sports temples in the world. A place full of history.
- If you’re into the hip hop culture, specialized tours are given by true local legends, where you can visit and discover some inside histories from the birthplace of West Coast hip hop movement.
The easternmost borough in the city houses the most diverse population in the city, and that’s where its charm resides. It’s just a matter of walking around its neighborhoods to find colors, flavors and aromas from around the world. You will surely find something that will remind you home when you visit Queens, but in its unique, New Yorker style.
Queens is also home of Flushing Meadows, created as the site of the 1939 World Fair and the current venue of the US Open, one of the most important tennis tournaments in the world, as well as the 2 international airports in the city. When you arrive to New York, you arrive to Queens, and a piece of the world lives in this borough.
What to do in Queens:
- Visit the local shrines from various faiths from around the world, like the Ganesh Temple of Queens and the Hanmaum Zen Center of New York.
- Visit one of its great museums, like the MoMA PS1, the Queens Museum and the New York Hall of Science.
- Experience the New York baseball experience at Citi Field.
- Spend the day at Rockaway Beach, the largest urban beach in the country.
The southernmost and perhaps the least touristic borough in the city (it takes a ferry ride from Manhattan to get there) doesn’t lack in suburban charm. Perhaps the quietest borough offers some great breweries, a botanical garden and a zoo, unique Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty views and some activities good for a weekend getaway.
What to do in Staten Island:
- Visit the unique National Lighthouse Museum and learn more about these important and mystic structures.
- Explore the Seaside Wildlife Natural Park, attracting cyclers and joggers from all around the borough.
- Learn more about the nautical history of the region at the Noble Maritime Collection.