Going to NYC; suggestions?

Hey guys

Myself and 4 others will be going to NYC August 27-29 for fun, and we want to hit as many ‘hot spots’ as possible. With that in mind, should we purchase a lot of “advance tickets,” or will there be enough on the day we go? The Empire State Building, for example. If it’s open from 9:30AM - midnight, will we have a problem just showing up and going to the Observatory?

How about the Statue of Liberty? The online ticketing system shows that there are a lot of tickets available for the dates of our trip (and even for, say, tomorrow or this weekend), so would we be alright to just show up the day of and purchase tickets then? (Apparently the statue itself is free, but the ferry ride over costs $10)

What are some other touristy-spots we shouldn’t miss?

Anyone have experiences with attending live studio audience tapings of various shows?

Stories of trips to NYC?

Thanks guys!

Just in time to narrowly miss the RNC. Look for the cops with the automatic weapons, street closings and sudden, fruitless evacuations.

You can only look up the Statue of Libery’s skirt these days. Not that walking up to the crown was any fun or worth the effort, but there you go. Governor’s Island is open to the public.

According to the National Park Service, the Statue reopened a week ago.

Yes, the Statue is re-opened, for a very dissapointing definition of “open.”

Still, touring the island and the pedestal is a lot of fun and highly reccomended. For the Empire State Building, you’ll want to show up in the morning or the early afternoon. The line is long but it moves quickly - the last time I was there it took us about an hour to get to the observation deck. I think the ESB closes the observation deck around 6:00 or 7:00, so check ahead before you make plans.

Other good stuff:
Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum (it’s on an aircraft carrier!)
Metropolitan Museum of Art (this place is huge, devote an entire day to it if you can.)
New York Public Library
Museum of Modern Art (temporarily re-located to Queens.)
Lincoln Center (right next to the super-cool 3D IMAX theater, by the way.)
Times Square (highly gentrified but still enjoyable)
Hayden Planetarium
Museum of Natural History (dinosaurs!)
Central Park
Grand Central Terminal (I wonder if the Oyster Bar is still on strike)

You can stroll on into the Empire state building. I took some people there a few months back and we waited about an hour or so to get up to the top. As with most things, the earlier you get there the better.

Any request on what to do in New York requires a link to StuyGuy’s (now four year old, ulp) thread Vacation Advice, Please?

Oh, and forget the Statue. Instead take the same ferry, which stops at Liberty Island so you get a great view of the exterior, and get off at the next stop, Ellis Island. The immigration museum there is one of my favorite places in the City.

And friedo’s list is some of the highlights if you are here for only a few days.

Awesome, thanks!

Just stay off of the Jersy Turnpike, if you can. Especially heading south afterwards. Last Thursday it took us five hours to get from one end of the state to the other, in the middle of the day.

freido’s list is a great start. Stick with things you can only really get in NY, sure, you can wander through Times Square and go shopping in a bunch of stores, but really, you have most of these stores in your hometown, they may not be 3 stories high, but why waste your time with them.

If you’re interested in seeing a lavish production, catch a broadway show. Tix run up to $100 each, but you can get half price tickets at the TKTS booth in Times Square. There are long, fast moving lines, and you can’t get tickets to the best shows, but it’s worth it to save $50 a ticket. You can’t really get a full broadway show outside of NY, though some shows preview or have road shows in other cities, they come here for their main production run. Go to playbill to see what shows are running and what shows are the most popular. Check out the Broadway Grosses section to see whether the show you’re interested in sells out all the time.

By all means, go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it is a world class museum with tons of great stuff to see. The Intrepid is VERY unique and worth the time if you have it.

Chinatown and Little Italy are great for getting something to eat. I’m not thrilled with the shopping there, seems like just a lot of small shops selling cheap junk and knockoff purses/watches. Make sure to try a slice of pizza, and a bagel, the linked thread mentioned some well known pizza and bagel shops, you can go there, or just find a typical residential area and pick the local guy.

Really? This is contrary to what I’ve experienced in my past 2 driving trips to New York; that is, the Jersey Turnpike has been the fastest part of the trip, averaging over 100mph throughout the state.

Lucky you, then. I only make progress like that on 95S between DC and Richmond. And once I turn left onto 64E, it’s back down to the 2-digit speeds.