Getting to New York City from the West Coast remains a reasonable flight, even with changes in air travel. Once there, Manhattan offers beautiful fall days in the city. On a recent trip in mid-October, I found that a single woman traveling alone is quite safe and that New York can be surprisingly affordable.
Here are some of my favorite finds for getting around, places to stay and places to eat, shop and sightsee for the budget-minded adventurous traveler:
Tip #1: Walking is the best way to get around Manhattan. With a map and the help of friendly strangers, I criss-crossed Central Park and found most destinations walkable. For longer trips, the subway was safe and reliable.
Tip #2: A seven-day MTA pass allows unlimited travel on the subway and buses in NYC. It’s a bargain at $27.
Tip #3: Hotels in Manhattan are expensive, so consider extended-stay hotels that offer lower prices for a stay of seven nights, such as the Imperial Court Hotel at 307 West 79th Street on the Upper West Side.
Tip #4: Discounts for theater tickets are often available and can either be purchased ahead or on the day of the show. Two helpful websites to plan your entertainment are nycgo.com and broadwaybox.com.
Tip #5: Cafes and restaurants in Manhattan include all cuisines and prices. Some favorites: Cafe Leche for down-to-earth, delightful Latin American food. My chicken soup had a touch of lime and cilantro. Nice Matin for breakfast and lunch with French Mediterranean flair is also excellent and affordable. Nougatine in the Trump Tower Hotel at Columbus Circle, where Jean Georges is chef, can be affordable with a glass of wine and dessert at the bar!
Tip #6: Many museums have free days, so check NYC museum websites before you go. If you have museum memberships at home, see if your membership offers reciprocal entry for NYC museums.
Tip #7: Shop for bargains. Filene's Basement on the corner of West 79th and Broadway has clothing for men and women, including accessories!, Backwoods, a smaller store at 317 West 57th Street, has trendy styles from all over the world at incredibly low prices.
Tip #8: Take the free (!) Staten Island Ferry from the end of Broadway in Lower Manhattan on a sunny day. You’ll see views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island going both directions, and the Manhattan skyline on the return trip.
Tip #9: Visit the U.N. for a tour and find out how all member nations work to solve global issues.
Tip #10: Enjoy the rhythm and diversity around every corner of the city!