I'd like to spend a day in NYC on my roadtrip, but am nervous about the traffic/parking situation there.
Personally, I hate driving in NYC so much that I would absolutely bus it in (and I learned to drive in the city!). If you've never driven there before it can be a pretty harrowing experience. Rules are rarely followed, the traffic is beyond bad and parking is a giant pain. Besides, if you do any real sight-seeing you'll probably end up on public transportation anyway. My feeling is, why do it to yourself? I'm not sure where you're coming from, but I would actually try my best to take a train in--routes into the city can be a nightmare traffic wise.
If you do decide to drive in, parking will run you anywhere from about $20 to $60 for the day (absolutely, positively forget hourly parking--you'll be running back to fill the meter and the rules are wildly confusing even to New Yorkers). If you really feel the need to drive in you can check out http://nyc.bestparking.com/ for places to park.
I read that you're staying in New Brunswick so that lends itself to a few options. I'd suggest just taking the train in and saving yourself the hassle. Although it would be nice to take the ferry over for the experience and the view. If you're going to take the ferry, I'd suggest taking either the Staten Island Ferry or heading up to Hoboken and taking the ferry from there. Both will provide and great view of the skyline, but I prefer the ferry from Hoboken becasue you'll approach the city from the side (vs. approaching head on from Staten Island) and you'll get the more classic view of the whole NYC skyline. Plus Hoboken is a cool little city right on the Hudson River and worth checking out. You can find street parking in Hoboken or a much cheaper garage than what you'll find in the city. I've tagged the cities on the map below so you can get an idea of where these places are in relation to where you are staying. Have a great time!
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Hi Tiffany! Just found you and hope this answer isn't too late to help. I've driven to NYC a couple times and stayed outside the city and used public transportation to get in. Staten Island Ferry is FREE and parking at their lot is $5.50 for the day. The ferry runs 24 hours and is a great way to see Manhattan (both coming and going). I've got some of my favorite pics of the Statue of Liberty from this ferry at sunset actually! Thats probably my preferred mode of travel into Manhattan. Their website is www.SIFerry.com. I also stayed at the Hyatt Regency Jersey City on the Hudson (right across the water from Manhattan) and took the PATH train right to the World Trade Center stop. Very direct and quick access. $1.75 each way. It would probably cost you more to park in this area though. There is also a ferry from there through NY Waterway Ferry System ($6.50). Definitely Staten Island is the cheapest and GREAT views too. I know there is another location on the Jersey side where you can park and take the ferry across to Manhattan as well. I just have no personal experience with that one (I remember researching it and I think it was like $9 each way and ran much less frequently than the other options). Hope this helps and you haven't already made the trip. Let me know if you have any other questions on NYC I might be able to help you with. You're gonna have a blast!
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I once took a road trip to NYC! For Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. My friend and I had no idea where to park and had no smart phones at the time, but with a stroke of luck, this awesome chain of events somehow happened:
As I mentioned before, it was Thanksgiving, so there were no parking restrictions that day. You may want to look into that neighborhood and check about whether they have 2 hour parking till when, or whether it's unlimited on Sundays, etc, depending on what time and day you arrive.
Have fun! :)
You can drive and park in the city, but it's a very challenging environment to navigate if you aren't used to it. I suggest parking at one of the train stations outside the city and taking a train in. It'll cost you less than parking for a day, and you can then take the subway to your destinations.
I know this is probably an old question, but in case others are reading this: I've gone into the city multiple times over the years, and yes, it's cheaper to park and train/ferry into the city, but it's also time consuming. It can take anywhere from 30mins to over an hour to get from your parking spot to downtown, and then you have to take public transit to wherever you're going. If you're going on the weekend or at low traffic times, driving is quick, like instead of an hour or more to get to your final destination, it'll take 10 to 15mins. Parking isn't cheap, but it's not always about saving money, sometimes time and convenience is more valuable. And yeah, driving can be confusing, but it's not hard, especially with GPS these days.
One benefit with driving is that you have a "home-base" you can get back to easily, especially handy if you're shopping and want to drop off your stuff. You can also do a quick wardrobe change (not the most comfortable, but better than nothing) between afternoon site seeing and evening diner. If you take the train, that means you're carrying everything with you at all times. And once you go back on that train, well, you're not going back. Most times when we've taken the train, we ended up heading out of the city for diner (and not going back), which is OK but there's so many cool places to check out at night too.
So there you go... 5 votes for train/ferry and 1 vote for drive.
PS, if you think you're an exceptional driver and want to put your skills to the test, head to DC, or for next-level stuff, Montreal! NYC is a piece of cake.