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Northeast

View from Top of the Rock in New York City
New York City, Road Trips

Budget-friendly first time weekend in New York City

After having lived in New York City for the past 10 years, I have helped countless friends and family generate itineraries for a weekend in New York City.  Rather than allow these plans to rot in the vast nothingness of my Gmail outbox, it would be a crime for me, a travel blogger, not to share some of them with the general public.  I have done countless flavors of a weekend depending on who is coming, but this is a budget-friendly first time weekend in New York City itinerary.  

When people come to visit for the first time, I’m typically asked for a mix of sightseeing the major attractions along with a few local off the grid recommendations.  I’m also told that people want to cram in as much as possible, so buckle on your walking shoes because I’m going to wear you out.

Note: I actually wrote this as an email to a friend and converted it to a post, so you can take comfort with the knowledge that these are authentic, genuine recommendations and not click-bait.

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Subway in NYC
New York City, Northeast, Road Trips, Travel Tips

How to take the subway from JFK Airport

Taking the subway from JFK airport to anywhere in New York City is the cheapest and most reliable option. Subways run on a schedule and are not affected as much by weather or traffic. If you are comfortable riding the subway and are OK with walking up and down the stairs to the subway stations, they are really the best way to navigate the city.

For those of you who are not as adventurous, we’ve got you covered with a guide to all of your options.

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New York City, Northeast, Road Trips, Travel Tips

How to take an Uber or Lyft from JFK Airport

Taking an Uber or Lyft from the JFK airport to Manhattan is almost identical to taking a cab. I prefer the Uber/Lyft option because the cars are usually nicer than cabs, I like getting my receipt emailed to me, and I don’t like fumbling around with my wallet when I have all my bags with me. Another nice option about Uber/Lyft is you can pre-arrange a ride including pre-arranging an Uber/Lyft family ride that includes a car seat. Finally, I just kind of like to follow the map on the app.

Of course Uber is not the only option, New York City offers many options for getting from JFK to the city. We cover all of them, but the size of everything here can be overwhelming so we are here to simplify some of the details.

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NYC Taxi
New York City, Northeast, Road Trips, Travel Tips

How to take a taxi from JFK Airport

Taxi is the quickest and easiest way to get from JFK to anywhere in Manhattan. It’s also the most iconic. We cover other options, of course, but enough people come to NYC with a little anxiety about hailing a yellow cab that we felt it deserves a post of its own.

We’ve seen a few other sites with brief instructions, but to ease your stress, this tutorial comes with photos from each terminal.

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As soon as you enter Dia:Beacon with the kids their imaginations start to run wild
New York City, Northeast, Road Trips

Escape the chaos of NYC with a day trip to Dia:Beacon with Kids

Dia:Beacon is a contemporary art museum that rests on the shores of the Hudson River, conveniently located a short drive or train ride north of the hustle and bustle of New York City.  Past the well-manicured lawns and inside the modest building live a collection of impressive installations that stretch the limits of what you may expect to find in an art museum. The abstract nature, as well as the size of the galleries, are precisely what make Dia:Beacon an approachable art museum with kids.

Aside from the art itself, the journey to Dia:Beacon with kids either by road or by train along the Hudson River provides a welcome respite from the horn honking, occasional smells, and breakneck pace of the city.  Skirt along the Harlem and Hudson Rivers, watch the Columbia University crew team row about and gaze at the grace of sailboat gliding by. Upon arrival, the vast well lit galleries covering over three floors provide a great opportunity to simply exhale and engage the imagination.

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