NYC Trip: Where to Start?
September 15, 2022 12:29 PM   Subscribe

We're thinking about visiting NYC next year, and need help on where to start.

My husband and I will be traveling, likely in the spring of next year to NYC. He has never been, I've been but it was only to see family and also over 20 years ago.

Is there a website/book/video/other that you recommend as a good starting point to do research on where to say/what to see etc? I've been doing some googling but it's a bit overwhelming.

We'd most likely be flying there from Pittsburgh and spending 4ish days in the city.

Thanks all!
posted by cozenedindigo to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This DK guide is a good place to start. When we visit a brand-new (or mostly new) place, we like to look through a guidebook, put post-its on the stuff we want to see/do, and then use what we've learned to help us decide where to stay.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:35 PM on September 15 [2 favorites]

Yes, get a guidebook, such as DK, Lonely Planet, or Frommers. I think a paper book is best for getting oriented and browsing without getting overwhelmed as it's so easy to do online. They all have suggested itineraries and highlights. Then you can look online for more details, or current opening times, or to find something very specific, like Tibetan jewelry stores (which I picked as an overly obscure example, but of course it's New York, so there are several Tibetan jewelry stores).

For eating, I found the Eater NYC maps useful for on-the-go searching. They have maps of recommended restaurants for various cuisines and neighborhoods, so if you're in the mood for sushi, or pizza, or steak, or whatever, you can easily find one near you.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 12:46 PM on September 15 [3 favorites]

here's the city's visitor guide. they no longer print a paper copy
posted by brujita at 1:00 PM on September 15

You might like the Not For Tourists guide (yes, it's also for tourists).
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 1:59 PM on September 15

Which bourrogh do you want to say in - probabaly Manhattan? From there, just figure out what’s most important to you- are you here to see a baseball game or go on a museum tour? Seeing a play on Broadway and going to central park? Are you into artsy downtown vibes? Once you’ve narrowed down what your idea of a New York trip is, it’ll be way easier to figure out where you want to stay, and what you want to do. If you can share a bit more here, or in another post, I’d be happy to add in some personalized suggestions.
posted by Champagne Supernova at 2:47 PM on September 15

What's the purpose of the trip? Are you trying to relax? Trying to explore the city? Trying to see major landmarks that you've seen in movies? Trying to eat as much great food as you can?

Also, what do you enjoy? Do you like a lot of walking and being outdoors? History? Art? Music? Architecture? Food and drink? Meeting new people?

There are lots of ways to "do" NYC. Figuring out the best trip *for you* depends what you're looking for.
posted by decathecting at 5:37 AM on September 16

Decathecting has a good point, that this city is so broad and varied that it's no wonder you're getting overwhelmed, and thinking of a way to narrow things down may be helpful. (And then come back in here, so when you say that "okay, I think I want to focus on food," then all us New Yorkers will say "oh, okay! In that case here are links to 10 different guides....")

However, to give you a general taste of the city, I can second that Brujita's suggested web site is a good place to start. That's the city's own tourism site, and it'll still be super-broad, but it is a good one-stop-shopping choice for research.

Time Out New York is also a good option - that may be a site you want to consult a little closer to your trip, though, since it's best at "what's happening this week or this month" kinds of info. It does have some good overall "here's a general list of stuff to do" articles, but because it's more of a "current stuff to do" model, it is best at "Here's our favorite ways to celebrate spring in New York!" kinds of articles.

In terms of a place to stay, you may want to confine your search to something in Manhattan, south of about 100th Street. That's as "central" as you're going to get in New York, and you'll be close enough to anything on the subway system that you can easily get around, even if you wanted to head out to anything in the outer boroughs. It'll be spendy, but you can still find some hotel options that are a bit friendlier to the pocket. If that's still too much money, check out options in either the "Long Island City" neighborhood of Queens, or "Downtown Brooklyn" in Brooklyn. Those are both just across the river from Manhattan and also fairly well-served by subways.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:38 AM on September 16 [1 favorite]

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