Car-only NYC spots?
January 20, 2010 9:28 PM   Subscribe

What are some great places in NYC that you actually need a car to get to easily?

For example: my friends and I love Killmeyer's Old Bavarian Inn on Staten Island, which is accessible by a thirty minute drive -- or two hours worth of bus transfers. Are there any other great places in NYC that are worth going to, but only by car?
posted by davidriley to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (15 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Red Hook!
posted by youcancallmeal at 9:40 PM on January 20, 2010 [3 favorites]

Another great place in Staten Island is Mandolin Brothers, if you're into stringed instruments such as banjos and mandolins.

If I had a car, I would go to Zum Stammtisch (beware of web page music!) in Glendale. I haven't actually been there, just have heard good things about it and it definitely is a place I'd like to try.
posted by wondermouse at 9:49 PM on January 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've heard great things about the beaches at Fort Tilden State Park (though that link makes parking sound a little tricky.. I think there are actually other lots than the one they describe). Sooo hard to get to by subway/bus. Probably best in warmer weather, though.
posted by alphasunhat at 9:56 PM on January 20, 2010

Randall's Island and Riker's Island?
posted by dfriedman at 9:58 PM on January 20, 2010

You'll be looking for places at the extremities of NYC - City Island in the Bronx, Fort Tilden Park at the end of the Rockaways (as mentioned above), or the edges of Staten Island. Anywhere in or near Manhattan is a traffic nightmare and easier to see by subway.

Any particular reason you're limiting yourself to the 5 boros?
posted by swngnmonk at 10:22 PM on January 20, 2010

Gateway National Recreation Area.
posted by cmgonzalez at 10:45 PM on January 20, 2010

I visit Red Hook semi-often, and have never driven there. Yes, it might make it easier at times, and there are nights I've left via car service (just to avoid waiting for a bus, etc) but it is possible. The B61, the B77, the Ikea Water Taxi - less immediate than a local subway stop maybe, but still doable.
posted by pupdog at 12:01 AM on January 21, 2010

Seconding Gateway, but specifying bottle beach.
posted by thejoshu at 2:24 AM on January 21, 2010

It depends on where you're starting from.
For instance, I have a five minute walk to Van Cortlandt Park but if you live downtown you have a rather long subway ride. Arthur Avenue, the Bronx Zoo and the Bronx Botanical Gardens are also up north.

I hear that the Noguchi museum is more easily visited with a car.
posted by sciencegeek at 4:16 AM on January 21, 2010

I walk by the Noguchi museum almost every week. It's not at all hard to reach with public transit (N or W to Broadway, 104 bus or a 15 minute walk to Vernon Boulevard).

I prefer a car for the Fairway in Manhattan--it's certainly accessible by foot but it's a giant pain to walk back up that hill towards the train with armloads of groceries.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 5:53 AM on January 21, 2010

Wave Hill is on the Metro North Hudson line or accessible by the BX7.

Oddly enough, I walk to the Fairway at 125th St (with a backpack) on a regular basis.
As I said, answering this question well would require knowing where the person starts from.

Each of the places I listed are accessible by public transportation but are significant trips for someone coming from downtown. Maybe not "two hours of bus transfers," but long enough to enjoy reading a good few chapters of a book on the subway/bus.

Personally I find a car in the city to be more of a hindrance than a help except when making large shopping trips (Costco) or going to Ikea (but I've avoided the Red Hook one).
posted by sciencegeek at 6:19 AM on January 21, 2010

I was going to pop in and say Wave Hill as well.
posted by yeti at 7:04 AM on January 21, 2010

It's a terrible pain to get to the airports by mass transit -- absent extreme traffic conditions much longer than by your own car or a car service or cab, and requiring transfers which are horribly unpleasant if you have significant baggage.
posted by MattD at 7:10 AM on January 21, 2010

Spa Castle in College Point, Queens. And I second City Island.

If you're going to Red Hook, take the F to Smith & 9th, then the free Ikea shuttle. Or do the same from Boro Hall. It's a much nicer neighborhood on foot than behind a window.
posted by tip120 at 7:32 AM on January 21, 2010

It's a terrible pain to get to the airports by mass transit

Do you travel in parallel New York? JFK is hooked up to the subway now, and LaGuardia is reachable by a couple bus routes that run all the way down Manhattan and are easy to pick up (I got mine near Columbia and just sat for a while).

I will admit to feeling a bit cheated by the $5 fee to get from the JFK subway stop to the airport itself, but didn't find the transfers a problem. If you have that much luggage, you'll never want to take the subway anyway.
posted by whatzit at 9:13 PM on January 21, 2010

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