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Travel to NYC, Part 1: How to Get to New York

Updated: Nov 22, 2023

An Introduction to the City of New York (practically speaking!) We'll skip the history of NYC because there are many websites that can give you that information. However, it is interesting to know that Brooklyn was an independent city, Queens and Nassau Counties were one area and the Bronx was part of Westchester County. By 1898, the City of New York was officially established with 5 boroughs that are also counties of New York State: Manhattan (New York County), Staten Island (Richmond County), Brooklyn (Kings County), Queens and the Bronx, retaining their borough names as their county names. (Three towns separated to become Nassau County, part of Long Island.)

Part 1: How to Get to New York 1. Arrive by air: Three major airports serve the New York City metropolitan area: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), La Guardia Airport (LGA), and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).

Arriving to New York, JFK
JFK Airport, Jamaica, New York

There are also two regional airports that will bring you within driving distance of the city limits: Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma (Suffolk County, @50 miles [80.46 km] to Queens), New York Stewart International Airport in New Windsor (Orange County, @65 miles [104.6 km] to Bronx). 2. Arrive by rail: Amtrak, the nationwide railway system, will bring you into Pennsylvania Station, known as Penn Station. The regional railways are the Long Island Railroad (LIRR, coming into Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal), serving Queens, Brooklyn and Nassau and Suffolk Counties and Metro-North Commuter Railroad (coming into Grand Central Terminal), serving portions of NYC, several upstate counties and southern parts of Connecticut. The PATH regional train serve communities in New Jersey.

Arriving to New York
Moynihan Hall, home of Amtrak, LIRR in NYC

3. Arrive by bus: Several carriers have service that come into the Port Authority Midtown Bus Terminal. Known locally as Port Authority, it is located at 8th Avenue and West 42 Street, Manhattan. The George Washington Bridge Bus Station is located uptown at Broadway and West 178 Street, Manhattan. There are also several bus companies that have arrival and departure points throughout the city that the NYC Traveler would not necessarily endorse. However, they are convenient and cheaper.

Arriving to NYC
Coming into NYC From New Jersey

4. Arrive by car:

Technically, Interstates 80 and 95 (I-80, I-95) will get you into the City of New York. If you are coming from the south, follow the signs for the New Jersey Turnpike, once you come out of Delaware (toll road). Choose one of several exits to get you into the city. Take Exit 13 for Staten Island, Brooklyn and continue on the Belt Parkway to Queens which turns into the Southern State Parkway for Long Island. For Manhattan, take exit 14C for the Holland Tunnel, which will bring you into lower Manhattan or exit 16E for the Lincoln Tunnel, which will bring you into midtown Manhattan. The Bronx is a bit trickier, consult your map app, GPS or specific location for the best directions. 5. If you have a car, the first thing you should decide is where to park it. Like many cities, this can be expensive and complicated. Read the signs very carefully if you try to park on the street, particularly in Manhattan. But, all boroughs have their areas that are difficult. Call your lodging and clarify about parking a car. Happy Travels!

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