New York City: make the most of it

New Yorkers believe their city is the centre of the universe and, given the Big Apple’s overwhelming array of things to see and do, they could be right. Comprising five boroughs – Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx – NYC is one destination guaranteed never to bore. Be sure to arrive in town well rested because in the city that never sleeps, you won’t want to either.

Getting there
New York is served by three airports: LaGuardia and JFK, both in the borough of Queens, and Newark, New Jersey. Air Canada has several daily flights to New York from Canadian cities; other airline options include American, Delta and Continental, which have at least one flight per day. Taking the train from Toronto or Montreal is another option; contact Via Rail for details.

Where to stay
Location is everything in New York: most hotel rooms in Manhattan are cramped unless you pay a fortune, and you won’t want to spend much time in them. So one good strategy is to pick Lower Manhatten, Midtown or Uptown. A good base of operations is always Midtown, which starts at 34th Street (where you’ll find the Empire State Buildinand Macy’s) and runs up to 59th Street (the foot of Central Park). If you’re a dedicated museum goer, consider a traditional New York hotel such as the Stanhope on the Upper East Side, which is across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a short walk from the Guggenheim, the Whitney and the Frick Collection.

Where to eat
Every culture on the globe is represented in the food scene here. Chinatown is filled with inexpensive Chinese and Vietnamese eateries. Good Italian food is available in every part of town, but Little Italy still draws sweet tooths to its Ferrara Bakery. If you want to dine at some of New York’s finest restaurants, such as Jean Georges, Union Square Café or Daniel, make dinner reservations long before you come to town.

How to get around
Bring your sturdiest walking shoes because exploring the town on foot is the best way to absorb Manhattan. The clean, safe and efficient subways are another good way to get around, and the famous yellow cabs will get you where you’re going in a hurry. Take the Staten Island Ferry for a magnificent view of the Manhattan skyline and for an up-close look at the Statue of Liberty.

What to do
Where do you start? If you’re a theatre lover, head to Broadway and pick up your tickets at the half-price booth in Times Square. In addition to the great art museums mentioned above, visit the renowned Lower East Side Tenement Museum for a unique look at how immigration shaped New York and American history. The Bronx Zoo is still one of the best in the world.

Where to shop
New York has great department stores such as Bloomingdale’s and Henri Bendel, but every street also has its one-of-a-kind boutiques. Bargain shoppers will adore downtown’s Century 21, which sells designer clothes for men, women and children at a fraction of the retail price.

Park Places
Brooklyn’s Coney Island amusement park is a shadow of its former self and definitely not worth the long trip out – spend an hour or two in Midtown’s Bryant Park instead. Central Park is a wonder, but stay on the well-travelled paths during the day and avoid it at night.

For more information call 1-800-NYC-VISIT for a free vacation guide or check out