New York City Sightseeing
Boat Tours One of the best sightseeing bargains when you’re on vacation in the city is a ride on the Staten Island Ferry. Leaving South Ferry in The Battery every day at least once an hour, the free ride provides views of the Lower Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. Avoid the ferry during peak commuter hours, Mon.-Fri. 8-10 and 4-6; phone (718) 390-5253. Automobiles are not permitted on the ferry.
Bus ToursTo see the most in the least amount of time, take a bus tour, an especially great option for group travel. There are numerous bus tours that cover all parts of the city; information is available either from your local AAA club or by phoning the bus lines directly.
Although there are variety of places to eat in the city with delicious food from all over the world, none is more iconic than New York pizza. This pizza bus tour also stops at must-see travel sites.
Guided Walking Tours
For some exercise, take a guided walking tour to the destination of your choice. The Municipal Art Society of New York, 488 Madison Ave., offers various guided walking tours. Of interest is an in-depth look at Grand Central Terminal; phone (212) 935-3960.
Big Onion Walking Tours take visitors to many of the city's myriad ethnic neighborhoods and historic districts. Tours explore Central Park, Chinatown, the East Village, the Financial District, Greenwich Village, SoHo and Times Square. Themed walks take in Irish New York, rock and roll history, and gangs of New York. Tours meet at various locations and depart daily. For additional details phone (212) 439-1090.
Guided walking and shopping tours by Shop Gotham include the 3-hour SoHo and NoLita Shopping Tour to private groups of 6 or more. Tours depart from various locations; phone (917) 599-6650.
Self-guiding ToursAn inexpensive way to see the city is by self-guiding walking tours. Various ethnic neighborhoods offer intriguing shops, restaurants, sidewalk fairs and other fun places to go best sampled on foot.
Some of the best known communities include Little Italy, centering on Mulberry Street; the Jewish sector, on Essex and Orchard streets; the Middle Eastern enclave, along Atlantic Avenue; and the East Indian neighborhood, on Lexington Avenue. Check with a local AAA club for more information about what other areas would lend themselves to walking tours.
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.
The sales tax in New York City is 8.875 percent. The tax on hotel rooms is 14.75 percent plus $3.50 per room, per day occupancy fee. Car rental tax is 19.875 percent.
Use local precinct phone number.
Mount Sinai Brooklyn, (718) 252-3000; Elmhurst Hospital Center, in Flushing, (718) 334-4000; Mount Sinai Medical Center, (212) 241-6500; New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, (212) 746-5454.
151 W. 34th St. New York, NY 10001. Phone:(212)484-1200 or (800)692-8474
The New York City area has three airports.
Hertz, 310 E. 48th St., offers discounts to AAA members; phone (800) 654-3080. All major car rental agencies have offices in New York City and at each airport.
Grand Central Terminal supports Metro-North commuter trains. Penn Station supports Amtrak, Long Island Rail Road, New Jersey Transit and PATH trains.
The Port Authority Bus Terminal, Eighth to Ninth avenues between W. 40th and 42nd streets, is the main terminal for the city; phone (800) 221-9903.
Yellow medallion taxis are the only vehicles authorized to pick up street hails. Taxi fares begin at $2.50, then increase 50c each additional fifth of a mile, or 50c for each 60 seconds waiting in traffic. Surcharges apply during certain hours. See Getting Around, Taxis.
A $2.75 (or $3 for a SingleRide ticket) subway fare buys you an unlimited-mileage ride as long as you do not get off. Bus fare is $2.75; exact change (no bills) is required. See Getting Around, Public Transportation.