New York Itinerary - action packed :)


We had 5 days in hand, day 1 & 5 were half days. Driving from Lexington, KY to Newark, NY where we had our hotel booked, total 694 miles 10hrs 44mins. Good thing about NY is that we have Time square so no matter how late you are its still very much alive to have fun.

On some research we found that its not a good idea to take a car and instead get comfortable with trains (Pathways/subways). We decided to book hotel near to PENN train station with free shuttle service to and from station. NY had a very good network of subway trains we took unlimited 7-day pass which also includes bus ride between stations.

To roam attractions, we bought New York Pass instead of Citypass because of mainly because of the huge choice of attractions which I could choose from. If you are one of those people who like to walk on the road less travelled. And also The Tour musical bus show which was something new and was not in the Citypass.

For Statue of Liberty we had done the booking to climb up to the crown 2 months beforehand. You can either go till the crown or the pedestrial or just park. For the crown book you need to book way ahead, for the Pedestrial you can get on short notice and the park you can go any time. Also note that the climb to the crown has very narrow steps at the top. If you are claustrophobic then please think twice before booking.

We wanted to cover as many different things and as much variety as possible.


Hotel: Best Western Plus Robert Treat Hotel, 50 Park Pl, Newark, NJ 07102

Pathway train: 3-day unlimited pass

Subway Train/Bus: 7-day unlimited pass

New York Pass: 3 day which includes below:

Below is our itinerary: Enjoy!

Day 1: Time Square – Broadway Show

Reached hotel at 5pm.

Started from hotel at 6pm to Newark Penn Station and bought the 3-day unlimited pass. You can get it from most stores inside the station. The train took around 40mins to reach Manhattan. From there we got out and explored some parts of Time Square and collected our New York City Pass.
Everyday scene at Times square

While exploring we checked out couple of Broadway theaters and decided to watch The Illusionist (magicians) show. We loved it. I was advised by NY City Pass lady that if we go there just before the show and if they have tickets available then they will give discounts and she was right 😊. After the show we headed back to the hotel and called it a night.

Day 2: Macy’s Thanks giving parade, Top of the rock (Rockefeller Plaza), Madame Tussauds, The Ride (now renamed to The Tour), Grand Central Station

Day starts at 8:30 am

Breakfast done and took the hotel’s shuttle to Newark Penn Station. Reached the targeted spot across Top of the rock building to watch the Macy’s Parade. Macy’s Parade happens only once a year on Thanks giving day. About over a million people come to watch this and can be pretty heavily crowded. This took an hour, so if you are there in thanks giving then you can skip this in your itinerary. Initial plan was to view parade from Rockefeller Plaza but we were late, but we enjoyed from road a lot. 

Yup it's Mariah Carey

Then we went to Top of the rock – Rockefeller Plaza. It has a nice view of skyline from the top and has a pretty happening vibe at the Ice-skating rink outside. Its time for a lunch break. 

At 5pm Madame Tussauds was next on our list, so lots of pictures with our fav stars I mean waxed stars 😊


It’s almost time for The Ride (renamed The Tour) musical & dance bus ride tour which we pre-booked for 7pm tour. It was superb, we enjoyed way too much. It has live music and dancing shows with people inside and outside the bus. People outside have mic and they interact with hostess inside, lots of fun. We won party the sunglasses in their quiz completions. Must do tour in my opinion. 

We had dinner then from there we took the green line subway to reach Grand Central Station. Then we went to Times Square and spent the rest of the night there until we got tired.

Day 3: American Museum of Natural History, Central Park, Cathedral Church Saint John the divine, Empire State building

We went to pier 83 there early to pick up our Ticket for the cruise which we will be doing the next day.
We reached American Museum of Natural History by 12pm, This museum is quite huge to complete in a day, so we targeted some key areas per my preference, I would suggest you do the same if you are tight on number of days. Lunch at Museum.

By 4pm we went on to visit the Belvedere Castle and surrounding areas in Central Park, it’s a nice place to have a relaxing stroll.

We wanted to see a Church in NY to make our trip unique with variety. We decided to visit Cathedral Church Saint John the divine is an active church, fantastic architectural building and the world’s fifth-largest church.

Finally onto Empire State building at midnight. The idea was to enjoy night view since we had already seen Day view from Rockefeller Plaza. They also have a history show in 3d, it was nice. It is now 2 am so heading back to hotel.

Day 4: Twin Tower Memorial & Museum, Circle line sight Cruise (Best of NYC cruise), Brooklyn Bridge, Time Square, Hunger Games Exhibition

We started our day with the Twin tower memorial at 10pm. I have a vague memory of seeing the towers with my own eyes when I had visited this place around 20 years ago. A lot of nostalgia filled with some sadness when I visited this place. But the memories of lives lost will always be embedded deep with this beautiful memorial. The museum inside is worth a peek too. It’s made on the exact place of the foundation of the tower.

From here we grabbed some quick lunch and headed on to the cruise which was around 2pm. There were different cruise options if you have limited time, but we took the Best of NYC cruise which was the longest and covered the max area. It lasted for 2.5 hours and took an entire circle of Manhattan. It was breathtaking and refreshing.

Around 5.30 we took the subway and went off to our self-guided walking tour of the Brooklyn Bridge. The city view from up top is great. You can also rent a bicycle and ride the way. The walk one way took us between 30-40 mins. We took the subway back to near Times Square.

After a short kinda late dinner break we went to see The Hunger games exhibition. I am a huge Hunger games fan so it was fun for me to see some of the scenes in model form and many clothes on display. After this long fun day, we headed back to hotel around midnight.

Day 5: Statue of liberty, Ellis Island

Our final day started super early since we had to catch our cruise to Liberty at 7.30 am. Statue of Liberty upfront is gorgeous. The structure is so well maintained as well. We took our time to stroll around. There were quite a few steps to climb up. There is no lift or elevator to go up. You need to climb. So, it was a mini workout for us. The crown itself from the inside is pretty tiny and holds not more then 10 people at a time so we had to Click Click Click and move on unless it’s a less busy day. But it’s a great view. The walk down was fun. You are free to spend as much time you want there and take back the next ferry. The ferry takes you to Ellis Island. There you have a museum and history of the American Immigrants.

We were done by 2pm. At 3pm we waived goodbye to the City that never sleeps LITERALLY and back to our long drive home.

Hope this was helpful. You can tweak and work out the itinerary as per your preference. But I believe in utilizing the time at hand to the max. It was a fun filled experience. Plz comment and share your experiences as well. You may also share your itinerary in the comments too.

Visit or revisit - Revisit (since there is so much you can do in NYC)

1 comment:

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