The Best Winter Getaway Spots In New York

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There’s never a bad time to visit New York—and yes, that includes winter. Believe it or not, it’s one of the best times to see our state at its most beautiful. The Northeast is notorious for winter storms, but they’re actually few and far between… and for most of the season, we simply enjoy a winter wonderland.

If you’re consider a visit to New York City during the winter, you may want to jump into your LaGuardia airport car rental and explore some of our nearby cities and towns. The Big Apple is beautiful this time of year, but sometimes it just doesn’t compare to the kind of peaceful snow-filled landscape you’ll only find upstate. Consider an SUV rental New York or a vehicle that’s known for doing well in the snow, and get ready to fall in love with New York’s winters.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the best spots in New York to go for a winter getaway. Pick your favorite and plan for an extra few days away from the city for new adventures.

Hunter

Hunter Mountain is a two and a half hour drive from New York City, and Hunter Mountain happens to be one of the best places to ski and snowboard in the state. Because it’s a resort destination, there are also plenty of great dining and shopping options for those who don’t ski or want to do other things as well. Hunter Mountain is actually the closest skiing destination to the city, so if you’re interested at all, it’s probably your best bet.

Hudson River Valley

Located about two hours north of the city, the Hudson River Valley is a winter wonderland. The National Geographic Traveler has declared the area one of the World’s Top 20 Destinations, and for good reason. The breathtaking landscapes really come alive when they’re dusted with snow, and the houses are almost all decorated for the holiday season. The amazing dining, outlet shopping and theater performances will only add to your amazing experience.

Montauk

Montauk, which is a two and a half hour drive from the city (with traffic), is a wonderful place to visit in any season. It’s known more as a summertime getaway, but you won’t regret exploring it in the winter. The beaches are just as breathtaking, though you’ll want to bundle up before your beach walk. And even though some of the surf shops and beachside bars close up for the winter, you can still dine at the best seafood restaurants and indulge in a spa treatment without any competition. The Montauk Manor, situated on a hillside, is the perfect place to stay.

Lake Placid

Lake Placid is a long drive from the city—about five hours. But it’s worth it. The Lake Placid Lodge goes all out for the season, when the silent, snowy forest and the frozen lake make a magical landscape for exploring… or for gazing from the comfort of your fireside lounge chair. The winter activities here are limitless: Skiing, sledding, ice fishing, ice skating, snowshoeing and bonfires, just to name a few. And if you need to warm up, the Lake Placid Spa & Salon is a great place to relax.

Shinn Estate Vineyards and Farmhouse, Mattituck

Mattituck is a quiet community about an hour and a half from the city on the Long Island peninsula. The Shinn Estate Vineyards is an all-in-one destination: you can taste and buy wine, stay at the luxurious but cozy farmhouse, take a self-guided tour through the vineyards, and enjoy a complimentary breakfast each morning. The pace slows down during winter, but it’s still a beautiful time of year to go.

Canandaigua

New York’s Finger Lakes are located in Ontario County, which is a good five hour drive from the city (but a great way to explore the state). Canandaigua is home to Bristol Mountain Ski Resort and the beautiful Bristol Harbor Resort. Bristol Harbor really goes the extra mile to make sure your getaway is spectacular, with a fireplace in every room and heated bathroom floors to keep you cozy. Between all the amenities and the gorgeous view of Canandaigua Lake, you won’t want to leave… but if you can pry yourself from the ground, check out Twisted Rail Brewing Company and sample some local brew.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls seems like the perfect summer destination. But the state park doesn’t close for the winter, and in fact, this may be the best time to view the falls. The intense heat and extreme crowds of summertime can drive any sane person away, but during this time of year, the viewing areas are all yours. The popular Maid of the Mist boat ride does close down in early November due to icy conditions, but most of the viewing areas remain open. The nearby town of Buffalo is also a fun place to spend a winter weekend, with businesses offering snowshoe rentals and an outdoor skating rink at Canalside that’s four times the size of Rockefeller Center’s.

How To Experience New York City Like A Local

How To Experience New York City Like A LocalIf you rarely visit New York City, it may be difficult to fathom that people actually live there. Between the hordes of people in Manhattan, the perpetual excitement of Broadway and the sky-high rent prices, it might seem like a far off dream for most. But plenty of people do live there and love it… and part of the reason is because they know where the hidden gems are.

Plenty of locals actually do enjoy some of New York’s top tourist attractions. You’ll find many of them at Central Park enjoying a picnic, jogging, or relaxing in the grass. They also love Broadway shows and comedy clubs, though admittedly they do tend to shy away from Times Square. But there are also quite a few great places to explore that are off the beaten path.

The best way to see all those places, of course, is to rent a great vehicle. That way you can get to the outskirts of the city or the adjacent neighborhoods quickly. If your time in the city is limited, you may as well enjoy it to the fullest. Looking up New York car rental specials will help you find the best deal. Some travelers don’t find it necessary to reserve a New York car rental, but it can actually save you a lot of money and time.

So where are all these local hot spots? They’re everywhere! Here are some recommendations from people who call the City That Never Sleeps home.

Restaurants

The New York dining scene is second to none. Deciding where to enjoy a meal can be overwhelming, even for locals. But they definitely have their favorite spots.

For brunch, head to Good Enough to Eat at 520 Columbus Avenue in Manhattan for classic comfort food served in a farmhouse themed setting. Another favorite for the most important meal of the day is Essex at 120 Essex Street—for $25, you can enjoy an entree and several mimosas.

For lunch, head to Los Tacos No. 1 in Chelsea for delightfully authentic street tacos, griddled tortillas piled high with your choice of fillings. Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop in the Flatiron District is another local favorite, and you can experience an authentic East Coast pastrami sandwich in an old school deli.

For a casual dinner, head to Local 92 at 92 Second Avenue for authentic Middle Eastern food. They serve delicious hummus that you’ll never forget. For fancier fare, the New York residents prefer Estela at 47 East Houston Street or Fedora at 239 West 4th Street. And if you’re wondering where the locals go for pizza, that depends on the neighborhood… but many of them will tell you that Brother’s in Queens, Di Fara in Brooklyn and Lombardi’s in Manhattan serve the best pies.

Entertainment

Every music lover, Broadway fan and comedy aficionado loves New York for obvious reasons. As the entertainment capital of the country, there’s something for everyone in the city. And of course, it’s the locals you want to ask for advice on where to go.

Every trip to New York should involve some stand up comedy, and the best place to find that is the Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village. It’s a small, dark building located beneath the Olive Tree Cafe that doesn’t look like much on the surface. But you’ll be amazed at the people you see onstage. Chris Rock, Amy Schumer and Bob Saget have been spotted here, and sometimes the veterans return for surprise drop-in shows. Reservations are best made in advance since the small space fills up quickly.

The Gotham Comedy Club is another favorite. Well-known performers like Jim Gaffigan and Ted Alexandro still perform here, and their regular lineup is always hilarious. This club even offers family-friendly shows for children 11 and over twice a month.

Although Broadway is synonymous with New York theater, the locals know that there are some amazing things to see Off Broadway. Some of the most innovative new plays and musicals happen on the city’s more intimate stages. Check out the Public Theater downtown or the New World stages’ schedules.

Parks

As we mentioned, New York locals actually love Central Park. But it’s certainly not the only place they go to experience a small piece of nature in the city. Here are some other parks that are locally loved:

Fort Greene Park is Brooklyn’s first park and one of its most beautiful. It’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon.

You can always walk The High Line, a highly anticipated outdoor park that opened in 2009. You’ll find gardens, outdoor sculptures and stunning views of the Hudson River as well as a food court there.

For a truly relaxing getaway, head to Pelham Bay Park along the Long Island Sound. This park is three times the size of Central Park and will take hours to fully explore. The most beautiful parts are Orchard Beach and the Pelham Bay Golf Course.

Try to talk to a few locals during your next trip to New York. Since they call the city home, they’ll be able to help you enjoy it to the fullest.

 

 

 

The Ultimate Fall Foliage Road Trips In New York

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There’s really no fall like an East Coast fall. In fact, our corner of the country is world famous for its fall foliage road trips. Now that the state of New York is full of beautiful changing leaves, it’s a great time to book a vacation to the Empire State. We’ve got plenty of scenic drives statewide that showcase the beauty of our autumns, and some of them aren’t far from New York City.

Of course, you’ll have to find the perfect vehicle to take you on your journey. If you’ll have your family or a group with you, an SUV rental New York will be your best bet. Booking a La Guardia Airport car rental will ensure you have quality transportation from the moment you land. The sooner you can get behind the wheel, the sooner you can get going and start taking in fall’s most fabulous sights.

But where should you go? That depends on how much time you have and what part of the state you’d like to see. Here are five suggestions for routes that will showcase those autumn hues:

The Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway

The Mohawk Towpath Byway is a series of local, county and state highways that follow the historic route of the Erie Canal in upstate New York. As you travel this Byway, you’ll learn the story of the Mohawk River, Erie Canal, the waterway west and the westward expansion of the country. You’ll also see some beautiful fall colors.

From Manhattan, you can reach the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway in about two and a half hours by taking I-87 North. But for a more picturesque drive that only adds about 20 minutes to the duration, take the Taconic State Parkway, which happens to be New York’s longest parkway.

Prospect Mt. Veterans Memorial Highway

Located in the Adirondacks, this five and a half mile highway leads to a parking lot where you can park and take in the sights. During and after your drive, you can expect to see spectacular views of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, Vermont’s Green Mountains and the Adirondack High Peaks.

To reach the highway, you’ll need to devote three and a half hours to driving on I-87 North from Manhattan. This drive is amazing, but it may require two days to complete.

Lake George to Lake Placid

This stunning drive is also located in upstate New York, requiring a three hour drive from Manhattan. But the entire drive is beautiful, and the Lake Placid area is always worth exploring.

You’ll take Exit 30 from I-87, head west on Rt. 73 into the Adirondack High Peaks, cutting through Cascade Pass to Lake Placid. In addition to the changing leaves, you’ll see some seriously stunning natural beauty.

The Catskills’ Immortal Mountains

The Catskill Mountains are well known for their gorgeous scenery in all seasons, but they’re especially beautiful in the fall. You’ll have about a two and a half hour drive from the heart of New York City via the Palisades Interstate Parkway and Highway 17 West.

From Catskills, follow New York State Route 23 west to Prattsville. Backtrack Route 23 East to State Route 23A East through Catskill Park. When that route ends, follow US Route 9W North to Route 23 East. Drive over the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, then turn right on State Route 9G South and head to the Olana State Historic Site. When you reach East Windham, pull off Route 23 at Point Lookout. On clear days, you’ll have a view of five states!

Seven Lakes Drive in Harriman State Park

Seven Lakes Drive is a mere 43 miles from New York City, so this is the perfect route to take if you only have one day to enjoy a drive. Keep driving until you reach Harriman State Park, which features plenty of trees with colorful leaves and several lakes to enjoy. Have a picnic by the water and take a nice walk before heading back into the city.

Spot the best fall foliage in the city

Good news: You don’t even have to leave the Big Apple to see the beautiful changing leaves. There are plenty of spots in the city to enjoy them. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Central Park. The leaves here appear red, yellow and purple throughout the season. Head into the North Woods, a rustic landscape along the ravine, and follow the trails. You can also start at the Conservatory Water near the Fifth Avenue entrance to see hawthorne trees covered in red berries.
  • Fort Tryon Park. Located in the Hudson Heights neighborhood, this park’s Linden Terrace is one of the highest points in Manhattan. Spend some time here enjoying the views of the Hudson River Palisades.
  • New York Botanical Garden. For the best leaf-spotting, head to the garden’s Thain Family Forest. This is the city’s largest patch of old-growth forest, and it includes numerous species of trees. The park even hosts some Fall Forest weekends that include guided foliage-themed tours and other activities.

Happy fall!

 

 

 

 

10 Places In New York Perfect For A Romantic Getaway

10 Places For A Perfect Romantic Getaway in New York

When you think of romantic places, cities like Paris probably come to mind. But New York is a pretty magical place when it comes to romance, and we don’t just mean Manhattan (though the Big Apple certainly qualifies). If you’re ready to surprise your special someone with a trip for two, look no further than the Empire State.

Whether you plan to stay in the heart of New York City or you prefer a country getaway, you’ll have a much better experience if you rent a car. Not only will you and your sweetie be entirely on your own schedule, but you’ll be able to explore the area you stay in at a moment’s notice. Think of all the hidden gems you can find with your New York luxury car rental… hiking trails, restaurants, day spas, theaters, anything you can think of. Look up New York car rental specials so you can get the best deal.

Once your chariot has been reserved, all that remains is deciding to find the perfect hotel, resort or bed and breakfast to visit with your other half. And rest assured, you’ll definitely have your share of charming options.

Here are 10 suggestions for romantic getaway destinations in New York

The Maidstone, East Hampton

Who hasn’t dreamt of a perfect romantic getaway in The Hamptons? The Maidstone has created an eclectic place for couples to enjoy. The hotel is designed to make you feel welcomed and has a “Scandinavian cozy” theme you’ll love. You and your partner can enjoy comfortable bedding, aromatherapy, an in-room French press and complimentary champagne as well as free yoga, beach parking and a library. The onsite restaurant, The Living Room, is delightful. Call 631-324-5006 to book.

Mount Merino Manor Bed and Breakfast, Hudson

With stone pillars throughout the Victorian home and multiple fireplaces, the Mount Merino Manor seems more like a castle than a bed and breakfast. But this place is anything but stuffy… couples enjoy charming and relaxing vacations here. The seven luxurious suites feature whirlpool tubs, candlelit fireplaces and individualized decor. Wrap yourself in a plush robe, take a sea salt bath and enjoy your evening. In the morning, you and your mate will be treated you a full breakfast in the dining area.

The Inn at Erlowest, Lake George

The Inn at Erlowest is a turn-of-the-century Queen Anne stone castle, and it’s incredible. Located in the Adirondack Mountains on the tranquil Lake George, this sanctuary has ten guest rooms that have been restored and decked out with antiques from the early 1900s. You’ll be treated to complimentary champagne when you arrive, and you and your sweetie will have access to plenty of modern amenities like free WiFi and flatscreen TVs.

The Inn at Green River, Hillsdale

This historic farmhouse dates back to 1830 and features seven guest rooms with features like whirlpool tubs, two person showers and fireplaces. Each room has a slightly different layout and slightly different amenities. Guests can stroll through the peaceful gardens or sit on the lush green lawns. In the morning, a delicious and healthy breakfast is served.

The Plaza, Midtown West, New York City

There are times when nothing but Manhattan will do. When the urge for romance in the City That Never Sleeps strikes, book a suite at New York’s most iconic hotel. The Plaza is synonymous with New York elegance, and you and your sweetie will be spoiled by 24 hour service from the concierge, room service and butler. Cozy horse-drawn carriage rides through Central Park are available right outside your door, but we recommend driving up in a New York Mercedes for rent when you check in.

The Greenwich Hotel, TriBeCa, New York City

For a slightly more “boutique hotel” experience in the city, head to the Greenwich Hotel for your romantic getaway. This 88 room space feels like a peaceful oasis in the middle of the vibrant city. It has a tranquil plant-filled courtyard, an underground lantern-lit pool perfect for taking an evening swim, and a luxurious Shibui spa to help you relax.

High Peaks Resort, Lake Placid

The High Peaks Resort was rated one of the best honeymoon resorts on TripAdvisor. It’s got all the amenities you’d hope to see in a high end destination hotel, like a fitness center, pools and a day spa. The four onsite dining establishments range from casual to elegant and ensure you don’t even have to leave the property during your stay.

Montauk Manor, Montauk

As a condominium resort, you actually have the opportunity to buy a home here… but it’s much more inexpensive to stay with your other half for a weekend. The building is a national landmark that has been lovingly restored and now includes 140 condos, a private tennis club, indoor and outdoor pools and complete hotel services like housekeeping.

Akwaaba Mansion, Brooklyn

Located just 20 minutes outside of Manhattan, this 1860s landmark mansion has been meticulously restored, and it’s absolutely beautiful. You and your significant other can enjoy a quiet stay in a historic neighborhood rich in culture, not to mention the Southern breakfast served in the dining room each morning. Onsite couple’s massages are also available.

Batcheller Mansion Inn Bed and Breakfast, Saratoga Springs

Looking for a romantic vacation that’s also affordable? Rates here start at just $151, and you’ll certainly get your money’s worth. Each room in the inn has beautiful period finishings, high speed internet and plush robes for you and your sweetie to use. This place definitely combines old world elegance and modern amenities.

 

Neighborhood Spotlight: Little Italy

Welcome to Little Italy Car Rental

New York is full of historic, wonderful and eclectic neighborhoods, each with their own unique characters. The city’s rich immigration history and constant influx of new people gives it a culture that’s totally unique. Part of the fun of visiting New York, especially Manhattan, is exploring its neighborhoods in depth. And it doesn’t hurt that one of Manhattan’s most notorious neighborhoods is known for its incredible authentic Italian food.

Of course, in order to properly explore all those neighborhoods, you’ll want to look into getting a rental car. Making a car rental Manhattan reservation ahead of time ensures you’ll get the best deal on your vehicle of choice. Look up plenty of New York car rental company reviews to see which companies have the best reputations. That way you can enjoy a nice, hassle-free experience—and once you’ve picked up your car, you’ll be free to see New York City at its finest.

We recommend spending as much time in Little Italy as possible. Located in Lower Manhattan occupying a three block stretch of Mulberry Street, it’s a mecca for delicious food and local shops. Little Italy is the living reminder of the great wave of Italian immigration that came through New York City beginning in the late 1870s. The neighborhood once extended as far south as Worth Street and as far north as Houston Street, but now it’s condensed into just a few blocks.

Little Italy originated as Mulberry Bend. Strangely enough, this wasn’t even the biggest Italian neighborhood in the city—East Harlem had a larger Italian population. Mulberry Bend was a poorer Italian neighborhood, with about 10,000 residents just trying to get by. In fact, Jacob Riis once described Mulberry Bend as “the foul core of New York’s slums.”

At the turn of the 20th century, over 90% of the neighborhood residents were of Italian origins. After World War II, many residents of the Lower East Side started moving to Brooklyn, Staten Island or New Jersey. Around the same time, Chinese immigrants became an increased presence in the city after the U.S. Immigration Act of 1965 removed immigration restrictions. Little Italy slowly started losing square footage to Chinatown. Around 2004, real estate prices skyrocketed and forced even more people out.

What remains are some of the neighborhood’s oldest businesses, a charming atmosphere, and a group of residents committed to preserving the neighborhood. You can find apartments in the area for below market value, and the crime rate in Little Italy is actually 70% below the national average. It is one of Manhattan’s safest neighborhoods. And some Italians that are direct descendants of Little Italy’s first residents still call it home.

Explore Little Italy

Want to explore Little Italy? Head to Mulberry Street and make sure you arrive hungry. You’ll find the blocks lined with authentic and charming restaurants, and sometimes there are penny hawkers who are paid to get you to come in. For lunch, visit Parm, a sandwich shop with the best parm sandwiches and turkey clubs you’ll find in the city. The wait time can get a bit long at dinner time, so going for lunch is your best bet.

After lunch, take a stroll through Di Palo’s for an authentic Italian market experience. Since 1925, this family-owned store has sold incredible cheeses, cured meats and olive oil to locals and tourists. Get some provisions to take back to your hotel room if you have a mini fridge—the mozzarella is like no other.

One place that’s definitely worth visiting is Ferrara Bakery & Cafe, which dates back to 1892. Originally opened by Enrico Scoppa and Antonio Ferrara, the bakery is still family-run (fifth generation!) and uses the same recipes. Sip a glass of Prosecco and treat yourself to a little gelato or something from the bakery.

Little Italy and the neighborhood to the north, which is known as “Nolita,” have a few great shops worth checking out. Condor is a boutique decorated with plants and greenery that’s full of clothing from local and international designers. Creatures of Comfort is a Los Angeles-based boutique, and Scotch & Soda is a must for preppy-with-an-edge male apparel. For souvenirs, head to Il Coccio on on Hester Street for Italian ceramics and NYC Gift Shop on Mulberry Street for all the classics.

Where to Have Dinner?

Deciding where to have dinner in Little Italy can seem like an impossible choice. And to be honest, it is—you’ll have your pick of perfectly prepared Italian food. A few of the best of the best, reputation-wise: Rubirosa (especially if you’re craving pizza), Pellegrino’s, Casa Bella Italian Ristorante, and Lunella. Many of the restaurants will have their menus prominently displayed or would be happy to let you take a look. Expect the restaurant staff to turn on the charm to try and entice you—they all know the competition is stiff.

Another impossible but necessary dream: Saving room for dessert. Caffe Palermo serves cannolis so incredible that celebrities like Ryan Seacrest have taken notice of them. If you can’t enjoy them in the bakery with a glass of vino, box them up and take them back to your hotel room. You won’t want to pass them up.

Little Italy has certainly grown much smaller over the years. But what remains of its vibrant city blocks are just as inviting as ever. Be sure to see our article for a romantic night out in New York City to impress your special someone.

Action Car Rental in the Wall Street Journal

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Check out Action in the news! Click here to read the full story on “How to Rent a Car and Not Break the Bank”.

Indeed, the city’s few remaining independents including Aamcar Discount Car Rental, Prestige Car Rental and Action Car Rental typically offer lower rates than the majors. Action, for example, usually has midsize weekend rentals available for $95 to $135 a day.

“People don’t know Action Car Rental like they know Hertz and Enterprise, so we get them in with a lower rate,” says general manager Luis Cintron. “Once they see the service, we keep them.”

Date Night In The City: 10 Romantic NYC Nights

Date Night In a New York Luxury Rental City: 10 Romantic NYC Nights

It probably goes without saying that The City That Never Sleeps is incredibly romantic. With New York’s fine dining options, rooftop terraces with breathtaking views, cruises, charming hotels and endless entertainment options, how could it not be? If you’re heading to The Big Apple with your special someone, make sure to take some time for some good old-fashioned romance.

Of course, the romantic experience should start as soon as you step off the plane. Treat yourself to a New York luxury car rental so you can really pamper yourself and your other half. Imagine driving around the city in a New York Mercedes for rent. It’s a pretty picture, isn’t it? By renting a car, you’ll have quicker access to all the best things the city has to offer. And then you’ll be fully on your own schedule, ready to explore New York with the person you love.

Need some ideas? Here are 10 romantic nights you can have in New York City.

Feel like a kid again… but then grow up again.

Jane’s Carousel is a refurbished carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and it’s totally romantic. Take a ride or two before taking a sunset stroll along the waterfront. There are plenty of great options for a post-park dinner in the area. The River Cafe on Water Street was voted one of New York City’s most romantic restaurants, while the tequila cocktails at Gran Electra make it a perfect place for a nightcap.

Explore your sultry side at The Slipper Room.

The Slipper Room on the Lower East Side is a hot spot for burlesque and variety shows. It’s a wonderful place to take a date, but if burlesque isn’t really your scene, go on Tuesdays nights when they have stand up comedy. The Blue Ribbon Sushi Izakaya serves delicious sushi right up the street in the lobby of the trendy Thompson LES Hotel, so you can go to the show with full bellies.

Kayak around the city.

Are you and your mate the adventurous types? Manhattan Kayak offers super-easy tours (or advanced, if you’ve been kayakers for years). Their New York After Dark tour is an hour long experience that involves learning basic strokes before paddling out into the sunset with a guide. So you’ll get a romantic experience and a workout all in one!

Learn to be your own bartender.

When you get home from your trip to NYC, you’ll be able to have plenty of in-home date nights if you can mix your own drinks. At Apotheke Academy you’ll have your choice of courses, from Prohibition era cocktails to Absinthe drinks. Have fun, and remember to designate a driver and let the passenger do most of the tasting.

Learn to fly.

Did you know that New York has a trapeze school with two locations, in Williamsburg and Manhattan? You and your sweetie will love the Flying Trapeze class, where you can learn to fly. All that leaping will surely work up an appetite, so change into something nice after your lesson and head to the nearby Spotted Pig, a Village eatery known for its European-inspired menu and celebrity sightings.

Enjoy some classic comedy.

The Comedy Cellar on Macdougal Street is an iconic New York City spot. A lot of great comedians got their start here, and if you go, you’ll more than likely see faces you recognize if you’ve ever watched Comedy Central. They have shows seven days a week ranging from moderately naughty to “The Nasty Show.” Upstairs, the Olive Tree Cafe & Bar serves tasty food in an intimate setting.

Can’t decide between drinks and dessert? Do both!

Butter & Scotch, the bar and bakery of your dreams, is located in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood. They pour delicious cocktails and serve tempting desserts, and sometimes they combine them in boozy shakes. You can even blend a piece of pie with ice cream for a pie shake. Yes, a pie shake. Don’t worry, you and your other half can jog around Central Park the next day and burn off the calories.

Head to Broadway.

A Broadway show might not be a unique date, but it’s a quintessential New York experience. To keep the romantic mood going, see a “date night” show like Phantom of the Opera, An American in Paris, or Hamilton—if you can get tickets, of course. Tons of restaurants nearby have special prixe fixe menus for theater guests, like Oceana on 49th Street.

Go the affordable route.

On a budget? You can still have a romantic evening with your sweetheart without spending a fortune. Take a nice stroll through Gantry Plaza State Park, a waterfront part with a beautiful midtown Manhattan backdrop. Then head to the nearby Blend on the Water and share some small plates.

Take a spin at Spin.

SPiN is a ping-pong bar with classic diner food, small appetizers and a great drink menu. It also happens to be owned by Susan Sarandon. Play a game of table tennis with your love, then enjoy some delicious flatbread pizza.

Enjoy your date night in the city. With romantic spots around every corner, you really can’t go wrong.

Surviving New York Summer: 10 Ways To Beat The Heat

rooftop Surviving New York Summer Ways To Beat The Heat

Despite the minor unpleasantries of a New York City summer (yes, we’re talking about the garbage smell), we wait all year to enjoy the longer days, warm nights and beautiful weather. If you’ll be visiting the city this season, come prepared for humid days that make the temperatures seem higher than they really are. But fear not, because there are plenty of ways to beat (and embrace) the heat.

Make sure you have a good New York luxury car rental, because sometimes you’ll need to escape the city to truly appreciate summertime in New York. Besides, with dozens of amazing attractions located just a few hours (or less) away, you’ll want to take advantage of all the state has to offer. If you’re traveling with a group or you’d like to explore some of New York’s tougher terrain, consider an SUV rental New York. Otherwise, anything you feel like driving will suffice.

Once you’ve arrived, here are 10 fun ways to enjoy the summer in New York:

Enjoy a meal and a beverage on a rooftop.

Summer is outdoor dining season in New York, and we’ve got some wonderful options. STK Downtown & Rooftop, Gallow Green and Juliette are all great places to go for a cocktail and some food. The Top of the Standard offers unforgettable view. And for a delicious Mexican meal, head to the Cantina Rooftop on West 48th Street.

Go on a river cruise.

Care for a dinner cruise? A boat ride around Hudson Bay? You’ll find it all in New York, especially in Manhattan. Cruise around and see the city skyline from a different perspective.

Drive up to Niagara Falls and join the tourists.

Pick a weekday, and get there early—very early—if you want to take the Maid of the Mist tour. Niagara Falls is typically packed with tourists, and it’s a long way from New York City. But if you’ve never seen it, it’s definitely worth the trip.

Cool off at a museum.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The MOMA. The Museum of the City of New York. Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. Whatever kind of art you’re in the mood for, New York will have it… and it will probably be air conditioned.

Get out of the city and find a swimming hole.

Outside of Manhattan, New York has some incredible natural beauty, including plenty of lakes and swimming holes. Take a less crowded dip in the water and enjoy a day escape.

Go whitewater rafting.

Feeling a little adventurous? Drive to the Adirondacks, which are located about 270 miles north of Manhattan. The Hudson River, which winds over 300 miles from metro New York City to Mount Marcy’s Lake Tear of the Clouds, was deemed one of the top 10 whitewater rafting trips in the United States. Since it’s such a long drive from the city, this is something you’ll want to allow a couple of days for—but if you’re up for the adrenaline rush, it will be an unforgettable experience.

Hit the beach (an underrated one).

Everyone knows about Coney Island and the Hamptons. And those spots are amazing. But for a more relaxed day, head to one of New York’s more out-of-the-way beaches. Wildwood State Park will give you stunning views of the Long Island Sound while surrounding you with white, sandy beaches and beautiful bluffs. And Jones Beach, which is close to the city, is known for its outdoor theater—but you’ll also find miles of beautiful shoreline to explore.

Find some of the city’s best ice cream.

It doesn’t matter how old you are. Nothing cools you off on a hot summer day quite like an ice cream cone. Try the gourmet Sundaes and Cones on East 10th Street in Manhattan, the Big Gay Ice Cream Shop (yes, really!) for some quirky combinations, or Eddie’s Sweet Shop for a classic, retro experience.

Go for a scenic drive.

Climb into your car rental New York, crank up the AC, find your favorite tunes and go for a drive. There are a number of scenic byways in New York, and some of them are fairly close to the city. The Kittatinny Ridge Loop, for example, will run you along the Delaware River and around the flat-topped Kittatinny Ridge, a haven for wildlife watching and exploring charming historic towns. The whole loop takes about two and a half hours without stops, so you could do it all in a day and make it back to Manhattan before bed.

Spend the day at Central Park.

Central Park is a place that both tourists and locals love. Even when it’s hot and muggy, there’s something fun for everyone to do. You can enjoy a picnic with your favorite cool treats, rent a rowboat at the Loeb Boathouse, explore the Central Park Zoo or enjoy a meal at Caffe Storico (or Tavern on the Green if you’re feeling fancy).

Only In New York: 4 Experiences You Can ONLY Have In The Big Apple

Only In New York 4 Experiences Have In Big Apple Statue of liberty

“Only in New York” is so much more than just an expression. While every city has its unique traits, there really, truly is no other place on Earth like New York City. From our incredible history to our world famous museums. Our city ia a cultural melting pot of our neighborhoods. You won’t find anything like the big apple NYC anywhere else. So the next time you’re in a “New York state of mind,” indulge the craving, because nothing else will do.

Read on for examples of four experiences you can’t have anywhere else. To properly pull them off, first do your research on a car rental New York deal that will work for you. This will make going from place to place more convenient and save you tons of money on subway, taxi and town car fees. If you have a large family, finding a minivan rental New York special will be surprisingly easy and very convenient.

Once you’ve got your ride secured, buckle up and prepare for the experience of a lifetime. Here are a few adventures that will leave you saying, “Only in New York!”

Dine on legendary Jewish food and sing your heart out at a bar with “grocery” in the title.

The story behind the iconic New York staple “Russ & Daughters” is fascinating. In 1907, a man named Joel Russ immigrated to New York from Germany in hopes of a better life. His older sister was already here and encouraged him to come, although when he did, she accidentally forgot about him and made him wait for two days at Ellis Island before she picked him up! Joel worked hard selling strings of Polish mushrooms, and during that time he also married a woman named Bella and had three daughters with her.

Joel opened his first store in 1914, and in 1920 he opened a bigger one. One by one, his daughters began to learn the business from him and worked alongside him. He changed the name of his business to “Russ & Daughters” in 1933, and with hard work and sacrifice (including selling their house!), the business survived. Even after Joel Russ’s passing, it remained family owned and operated, and you can still enjoy purchasing high end groceries and appetizers at Russ & Daughters or have a meal the nearby Russ & Daughters Cafe. Theirs is a story like no other.

And you’ll find Arlene’s Grocery in the same neighborhood as both Russ & Daughters locations, which is a former bodega that has been a showcase for local NYC bands since 1996. On Monday and Fridays, their famous karaoke band will give you a taste of the limelight. The people watching is amazing here, and it’s an experience you’ll only find in the Big Apple.

Walk the High Line.

Also known as High Line Park, the High Line is a mile and a half long linear park built in Manhattan on an elevated section of an old NYC railroad spur called the West Side Line. Better yet, it’s a testament to community activism and urban beautification efforts.

The High Line was almost demolished in 1999. But Robert Hammond and Joshua David, two locals, started a nonprofit group called Friends of the High Line. They advocated for the line’s preservation and use a public open space, and soon fundraising events were organized by fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg. Over $150 million was raised, and the battle was won.

The High Line gets more than 4.4 million visitors every year, and it’s being called this generation’s Central Park. And you can only walk it… you guessed it, in New York. Just make sure you walk it during a weekday if you can to avoid the biggest crowds.

Experience the Statue of Liberty.

We’re pretty proud of Lady Liberty in New York, especially since we’re the only city to have anything like her. And if you want the full experience, make a day of it and take the ferry to Ellis Island. You’ll love having the chance to explore the statue and read about history, especially if you have older children or history buffs with you.

That being said, there are a lot of poor, tired, huddled masses waiting in line most of the time. So for a less exhausting way to see the Statue of Liberty, you can hop on a Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise. They depart daily from Pier 83 down the Hudson River, and the boats pass right by Lady Liberty before heading under both the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. We highly recommend this cruise for beautiful views you won’t see anywhere else.

Experience a Yankees game.

We understand that most non-New Yorkers are not Yankees fans… in fact, most have a less than favorable opinion of the team. But even if you’re not a fan of baseball itself, you’ll see that watching a Yankees game in Yankee Stadium is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Why not see a game in the House that Babe Ruth Built?

Tickets aren’t cheap, and this experience won’t be for everyone. But when the Yankees win, the crowd goes wild and the sound of Frank Sinatra belting out New York, New York can be heard over the celebration, you’ll smile and say, “Only in New York.”

 

 

Fourth of July Festivities in New York City

Fourth of July Festivities in New York Indepence Day Fireworks

You might not think of Manhattan or Long Island as the best place in the USA to spend the 4th of July. But just like most things, New York does Independence Day well, and boldly. If you’ll be spending the 4th of July in the City That Never Sleeps, you’ll have your choice of celebrations.

Keep your options open by reserving a car for your trip. This way if you decide to leave Manhattan for the holiday, you won’t have to rely on alternative transportation. Look up New York car rental specials for the best deals.

Of course, you don’t have to leave the city to have an amazing 4th of July. New York City has three different fireworks shows, and they’re all spectacular. The Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks over the East River begin at 9:20, and the Statue of Liberty and Jersey City fireworks shows start at 9:30. All three of them last around 30 minutes. In the event of rain, the start times could be delayed.

If you’d like to enjoy a nice fireworks display, you’ll want to stake out your spot before the sun goes down. Be aware that you may not be allowed into some viewing areas with backpacks or lawn chairs and that your belongings may be searched. But with a little patience and planning, you’ll be able to have a great view of the show.

Here are some of the best viewing areas:

Brooklyn Bridge Park

With 85 acres of open spaces and mountain views, Brooklyn Bridge Park is the perfect place to see the fireworks.

Brooklyn Heights Promenade

The view from the promenade takes the breath away of even the most jaded New Yorker. The ⅓ mile long promenade will have excellent firework views, though you’ll want to arrive early.

The Corner of FDR Drive and East Houston Street

Head toward the East River Baseball Field.

The corner of Furman Street and Old Fulton Street

This viewing area is close to the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory and Brooklyn’s Pier 1 Playground, so if you have children with you, you can occupy thh3 until the show.

Lower Manhattan’s East River Park

Head to the waterfront area between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.

Of course, if you’d rather not wait for hours for the best fireworks views, you can celebrate the 4th of July in plenty of other ways. Here are some events happening in the area:

Firework Spectacular at Surf City

Hop in your car rental New York and head to Jersey City, where the megabar Surf City will be serving frozen drinks and tasty food. There’s no cover, and you’ll have a great view of Jersey City’s fireworks show.

Coney Island’s Annual Fourth of July Beach Party

It doesn’t get much better than spending the 4th of July at the beach, especially when that beach is Coney Island. From 9 AM on, you’ll enjoy live music, food and beverages. Coney Island is also home to the world famous Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. At dusk, you’ll be treated to a beautiful fireworks display. The party usually goes until midnight, so stay hydrated and keep applying sunscreen.

Fourth of July Fireworks Cruises

Watching the fireworks from a cruise ship will be unique and special, although it’s also pretty expensive. Still, a $150-$200 ticket usually buys you a five hour water cruise with food and drinks available. And there’s really no better way to see the show than from a boat.

Revolutionary New York Walking Tour

Independence Day certainly holds a special significance for history buffs. Big Onion Walking Tours usually hosts a tour on the 4th showing significant New York City landmarks from the Revolutionary War. If you’d like to stay historically connected on the 4th of July, this tour is the way to do it.

Head to the Hamptons

The 4th of July in the Hamptons is always an exciting time. Though the area is always packed with New Yorkers ready to escape Manhattan for a few days, you’ll still find a more laid back vibe here than in the city. Enjoy some lobster rolls, catch the Southampton Village Independence Day Parade and watch the fireworks from the beach. Just plan in advance if you want to spend the night, because you won’t be the only one with that idea.

Make it a Staycation

Some hotels, like the Millenium Hilton at 55 Church Street, have rooms with firework views. If nothing else, the show is available on NBC, and you can order room service. Because sometimes celebrating America means enjoying its little luxuries.