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Out of the ordinary New York...

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Nottingham, UK
posts: 845
reviews: 65
Out of the ordinary New York...

Hi everyone, in May hubby and I are heading back to NYC for our 11th visit (yep, we are slightly hooked!). Just wondering if anyone has done, or can suggest any 'out of the ordinary' things to do/see?

We are this time going to rent a car and head out of town for a couple of days - perhaps to someplace on the coast - but will still have 4 days in the city.

Over to you.... :)

Louisville, Kentucky
Destination Expert
for French Riviera - Cote d'Azur
posts: 5,012
reviews: 26
1. Re: Out of the ordinary New York...

We've discovered the Rhode Island coast. Look towards Watch Hill/Westerly/Shelter Harbor. If you've been to the Normandy coastline, this part of the US reminds me a bit of that.

Look at the Shelter Harbor Inn:

http://www.shelterharborinn.com/

It's as cute as it looks on the website, and the food is fabulous.

...and here are two other places you might want to consider:

http://weekapauginn.com/

http://www.oceanhouseri.com/

These are historic inns that have undergone massive renovations and are spectacular. The renovations are tasteful and in both inns, the original historic grandeur has been maintained.

Here's another inn that I've seen, but really don't know that much about:

http://www.watchhillinn.com/

Go to the TA hotel/BB reviews section for more information.

As a warning, traffic can be a bit much from late afternoon on, especially on weekends, so set out early in the day. That said, I've made it from the city to Shelter Harbor in less than three hours, and it's all going to be about your timing.

Edited: 5:12 pm, January 16, 2014
Chesapeake, Virginia
posts: 754
reviews: 146
2. Re: Out of the ordinary New York...

We did some typical things, but we also branched out..... wrote a blog and posted photos... maybe you will get some ideas....

www.virginia2nyc.blogspot.com

Loved Roosevelt Island, St. John's Church and the walking tours(Lower East Side, Harlem) ... also enjoyed the Cloisters and the surrounding area, and our visit to Brooklyn for a Polish meal....

Melbourne
Destination Expert
for New York City
posts: 6,141
reviews: 23
3. Re: Out of the ordinary New York...

I posted this on another thread on the 15th Jan which asked a similar question, so I'll post it here too:

Here are some things we did in our 2012-13 trip (4th trip) that I'd recommend:

Take the subway to the Northern end of Central Park and take a walk around there...the North Wood and the Harlem Meer are lovely. (I am not sure if the ice-skating rink will be open then. It is a swimming pool in Summer!)

You could combine this with a walk around that part of Harlem too,

After exploring the Park (and marvelling at the view of the skyline further South), we made our way across to the Museum of the City of New York. It is at 103rd Street on 5th Avenue. We really enjoyed this museum (and this last trip we also visited the Museo del Barrio which is in that area too.)

I would recommend the audio tour at Grand Central Terminal.

Roosevelt Island - including the fun aerial tram ride and the beautiful, quiet FDR Four Freedoms Park at the island's southern end (check opening days).

The New York Historical Society over on the Central Park West (combine with a walk around the Upper West Side.....don't miss Zabars).

Merchant House Museum - it's nearby to the Tenement Museum but I don't think it's in the Lower East Side (it was really interesting).

We took the M4 bus up to the Northern tip of Manhattan ...great views from Fort Tryon Park. We slowly headed south on the subway and on buses. We stopped at Morningside Heights and the UWS and saw (and ate) heaps thanks to locals' (and others') suggestions including St. John's and the Hungarian Pastry shop that Ginny has already mentioned

We did self guided walks around the Downtown area and Chelsea and Greenwich Village on 3 separate days. we went to Chelsea again this last visit...galleries and the Highline are our highlights.

On another day we did a self guided bus tour on the B62 in Brooklyn...from one end of the route to the other. We combined it with stops in Greenpoint and Williamsburg and then, when we got to the end, we were near Brooklyn Heights and had a lovely walk through there and enjoyed the views of Manhattan from the Promenade, walked over to the DUMBO Promenade to see Jane's Carousel and then up and over Brooklyn Bridge.

We also did a day in Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill (other Brooklyn neighborhoods) on our way to see the Dyker Heights Christmas lights. If you go to Cobble Hill, don't miss the Chocolate Room! There is a post from december with very detailed instructions of a walk around that area.

We had a fantastic day trip on the Northern Metro Rail up the Hudson River. We went to see the museum at Beacon (contemporary art) but also went further to Poughkeepsie to walk on the walk way over the Hudson River. The train trip is amazing - from Grand Central Terminal - sit on the LEFT going NORTH. It isn't that expensive either. (If you are going when the days are longer, you could do other things like explore towns and go for walks along various trails...if this appeals, I will provide info on what I call "Mark's Walk'.)

This last trip (5th trip) we:

....spent a day on Staten Island. We were very fortunate to be shown around that borough by two of the residents from there who are regular posters on this forum.....Ziggy and Georgiapaedia...sorry, Georgiastatenisland.

....Another day we caught the subway to Coney Island, walked along the boardwalk to Brighton Beach and ate our way through that neihborhood with resident foodie Ziggy.....you can visit there easily and follow his blog...google 'ziggy' and 'spelling'

....pottered around exploring bits of Manhattan mentioned in Helen Hanff's wonderful book 'Apple of My Eye' with ztaks....another regular poster on the Forum.....The book is a wonderful 'Trip Report' from 1977...

Finally, we loved looking out for the art on the subway stations......google en route mta to get the pdf...print it up before you go...(there is an app, but it doesn't say where on the stations the art is. This can make it difficult to find the art in the larger stations).

All these trips were very very easy to do. Resources we used to organise them included the "Not for Tourists" website and the 50 NYC Walks Cards, the great Downtown Alliance hardcopy map (I am not a fan of the website in comparison); public transport website, google maps THIS FORUM ......and for our recent trip wonderful forumites and Helene Hanff's books....

What about Citibikes for a day trip - Ziggy posted a Trip Report about his day of riding (and eating) his way through two boroughs. Lots of good info there...especially the eating!

NY
posts: 731
reviews: 3
4. Re: Out of the ordinary New York...

You can skip the car rental and use the Long Island commuter train (LIRR) to many different coastal towns on Long Island... Early may would be just before the summer rush (and better prices)... My 2 picks would be either montauk which is at the end of the "south fork"... Great laid back beach community. After train can to town and then no car is really needed.. Rent bikes to get around including trip to lighthouse... Or fire island which is a series of barrier islands off the south shore... Ocean being the most developed. This would require ferry ride after the train... (No cars on these islands)

If you enjoy wine the north fork of LI is beautiful too... Can stay in a town like greenport (another of my favs) and it's easy to put together a wine tasting tour by limo. That would show you some amazing scenery all along the Eastern north shore which is so contrast to NYC with its vinyards and farms! Its a fun way to spend an afternoon.

Edited: 6:31 pm, January 16, 2014
NY
posts: 731
reviews: 3
5. Re: Out of the ordinary New York...

Ocean BEACH was the fire island town I meant... Sorry!

Woodbury, New York
posts: 1,817
reviews: 13
6. Re: Out of the ordinary New York...

if you are into art, from April to September, there will be a big Andy Warhol exhibition at Queens Museum. As it's your 11th trip, you have probably been to the Flushing Meadows part of Queens and to the Museum anyway to see the Panorama, but a Warhol exhib is a damn cool thing for them to be getting!

Rockville, Maryland
posts: 1,324
reviews: 13
7. Re: Out of the ordinary New York...

For a road trip in May, consider the Hamptons in Eastern Long Island (in particular East Hampton and Amagansett) during the week. It is just lovely--beach, village green, nature walks, great biking, peaceful..

Among lodging to consider in East Hampton are the Hedges Inn, Mill House Inn, Huntting Inn, and 1770 House, and the Ocean Dunes in Amagansett.

The beach in East Hampton is a jewel

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g47629-d53…

In the most prominent ratings of US beaches, East Hampton Beach is rated #1 by "Dr. Beach".

http://www.drbeach.org/top10beaches.html

The water is still cold in May, but the beach goes for miles and is gorgeous. In May, you will have it (almost) all to yourselves.

Closer in are Westhampton and Southampton.

An interesting trip for a day or two is Fire Island.

The Hamptons are very expensive during the season, but you will have better rates in May.

Edited: 6:51 pm, January 16, 2014
Rockville, Maryland
posts: 1,324
reviews: 13
8. Re: Out of the ordinary New York...

continuing from Post 7

These are some further links on lodging in East Hampton for the "flavor" and your ready reference if you wish:

The Hedges Inn http://thehedgesinn.com/

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g47629-d114510-…

The Huntting Inn http://www.thepalm.com/Huntting-Inn

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g47629-d93172-R…

The 1770 House, http://www.1770house.com/

tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g47629-d64…

The Mill House, tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g47629-d64…

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g47629-d79940-R…

Edited: 9:54 pm, January 16, 2014
9. Re: Out of the ordinary New York...

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