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My family and I just returned from a 2 week vacation touring lots of historical sites in the Eastern USA. We spent a few days in New York City. I’ll share with you a few highlights. We traveled with 3 sons and a future daughter-in-law – so there was 7 of us in total.
Hop on Hop Off Pass
We purchased the New York Pass – which is a hop on/hop off double decker bus tour with entry to over 100 top attractions. We thoroughly enjoyed this feature. The open air bus is great for getting an above the street view of the skyscrapers and crowds.
A few must sees are:
The Empire State Building
This was our first stop as I think it gave us a good overview of the massiveness of New York City. A couple in our group have issues with heights and it didn’t help that was very windy. But, I enjoyed it and it’s awe inspiring to see so many tall buildings.
The 9/11 Memorial
This experience was quite raw, emotional and a beautiful memorial to such a tragedy. You can’t leave the Memorial without feeling more patriotic and appreciative to those brave men and women who were the heros of the day and feel a sense of sadness for the victims – and anger at the terrorists.
The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
The iconic symbol of freedom in America is a must-see. In order to visit, we rode the Subway to Battery Park, then boarded the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. After our visit there, you board another ferry to Ellis Island. Ellis Island was the processing stop where the imigrants coming to America were sorted out and accessed for illnesses. Those who were deemed fit to enter were processed and sent on their way. Those were ill were quarantined and often separated for their family – many for months at a time until they were well enough to leave. The stories in this museum are very interesting.
We took a art tour of the Rockefeller Center and surrounding buildings as it was included in our pass. My daughter loves art and I worried about her getting bored – and parts of it were boring for her – but overall it was entertaining. We could have also gone to the top of this building, but didn’t feel the need after touring the Empire State Building.
This green oasis in the city has so many things to do including bike tours, walking tours, horse carriage rides, concerts and even houses a zoo. Sadly, we didn’t have a lot of time to spend her, but we’ve vowed to come back again and spend more time.
Wandering the Neighborhoods
New York City has many different neighborhoods. I enjoyed Little Italy – there’s some fabulous cafes and eating gelato on the streets is a must-do. Chinatown is always a must-see for us as my daughter was adopted from Taiwan so she enjoys the culture there. We loved using the New York Pass. Check it out here.
No trip to NYC would be complete without see a Broadway Show. We chose to see Phantom of the Opera. It did not disappoint. Wish we had time to see more – next time.
A Few Recommended Hotels for Families – Moderate Range
There are so many choices of hotels, so it’s hard to narrow down my favorites, but I have to recommend Times Square as my top location as it’s ease to get to entertainment and top locations. These hotels are great for families. You can call us to reserve, or click below and book yourself.
DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel New York City – Times Square
The fresh baked chocolate chip cookies you’ll receive when you arrive is always a bonus here. This location is surrounded by Broadway Theaters, but still close enough to walk to Times Square. This hotel contains suites that sleep up to 5 people and each room as a microwave and mini-fridge.
Tryp by Wyndham Times Square South
If you have a big family, then this is your hotel. The family room can sleep up to 8 people with 2 queen beds, a sofa bed and a bunk bed. They also have smaller rooms that can sleep either 4 or 6 people. Location is about a 10 minute walk to Times Square and the Empire States Building.
The New Yorker
The location is in Mid-town, probably a 15 minute walk to Times Square, but it is close to the subway. Our room had 2 queen beds and a sofa sleeper in the living room area. It also contained a mini-fridge. This historic hotel tends to be a favorite among the airline industry as we saw many staying here. It’s across the street from Madison Square Gardens and our room had a beautiful view of the Empire State Building. Make sure you ask them for a room with a view.
New York Luxury Hotels for Families:
If you want a bit more pampering, try these hotels:
The Langham – Fifth Avenue
Try the family one bedroom residence with a king bed and sofa sleeper with a kitchen for one of the best kid-friendly suites with luxury. It’s a short walk to Times Square, but located on the prestigious 5th Avenue.
Sofitel New York
Book the king suite as you’ll have a separate bedroom with a king bed and in the living room is a sofa sleep. It’s a great location in Midtown and close to subway lines.
Located a block to Central Park, this hotel has huge rooms. Suites have kitchenettes or may even have full-size kitchens. In room amenities are plentiful and service is top-notch! But, there’s not a pool.