How We Got There
Because we are stationed near Washington DC, we decided that flying wasn't necessary. The cost of a cab from the airport alone might not make it worth it. We decided it would be best for us to take the bus up there. It was $40 a person round trip which was pretty nice.
Where We Stayed
We stayed at the Staybridge Suites in Times Square all 4 nights we were there. I made the reservation before Priority Club decided to increase their point rates, so I ended up spending 80,000 points and $160 using their "Points and Cash" option. The room would have cost us a little over $1,800 after taxes to stay their if we had booked using only cash, making this a pretty good redemption.
The room was very small, which is very common in New York City. Space is a huge commodity there. Other than the size, I was extremely happy with the room. It featured a full fridge, dishwasher, microwave, stove top and sink. Basically a mini condo. The bed was very comfortable and we couldn't beat the location.
What We Did
We made the most of our 4 days there. We went to the very top of the Empire State Building, saw two broadway plays, went to a comedy club, visited the World Trade Center memorial, made a trip to Koreatown and saw the Statue of Liberty. Not bad for one trip. We didn't end up making it to Central Park, but we're going back for New Years and plan to see it then.
The two broadway plays that we saw were The Book of Mormon and Spiderman: Turn off the Dark. Now, I'm not usually one that would be into broadway, but I was in New York and felt like I should do it. Spiderman, in my opinion, was not very good. Carolyn seemed to get bored with it as well. On the other hand, the next night we saw Book of Mormon and laughed the entire play. It was no wonder the tickets were so expensive.
We ended up paying a little extra and going to the very top of the Empire State Building. The observatory is completely enclosed and gives you a full 365 degree view of the city.
Times Square is always extremely busy, filled with shoppers, street performers and of course, tourists like us. It's definitely something worth checking out because of how historic it is. Be ready to be approached by salesmen trying to get you to buy things such as comedy show tickets and other things.
World Trade Center Memorial
We saw both the World Trade Center Memorial (top) and the new World Trade Center being built. The memorial features the names of all of those who died in the 9/11 attacks. It also shows where both towers once stood. The new World Trade Center (bottom) is coming along very nicely and, as you can imagine, security around them is pretty tight.
The new World Trade Center looks amazing
- I would never drive to New York City. Traffic is horrible and parking is super expensive. Instead, opt to use public transportation like the subway. It's quick, easy and is inexpensive
- If you want to see a broadway play, try and buy tickets the day of. The closer it is to show time, the cheaper the tickets become.
- Pack everything you will need! The city is VERY expensive and you may find yourself paying prices you never thought you would pay. A good example is if you are a smoker... You'll pay around $14 for a pack of cigarettes.
- Expect to be surrounded by a ton of people. The city of New York can be a little overwhelming for some. Make sure you are prepared to constantly be around a lot of people.