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Transit Features Transit Destinations Travel Public Sector

HERE in New York: 5 great public transit destinations

The New York City Subway will take you where you need to go, but…well…you might not enjoy the sites along the way. In this third article of a series focused on great transport destinations in cities, we’ll help you stay above ground for a more leisurely view of the Big Apple, via these quirky modes of transport.

Be a true tourist

While in the Times Square area, you’re bound to be accosted by costumed characters and people selling tickets to New York City Double Decker Tours. I highly suggest you avoid any super hero, Disney princess and otherwise under-clothed, painted women, but do recommend you embrace your touristy-ness and hop on a big red bus.

Tour options include uptown, downtown, Brooklyn, the Bronx or all, and you can hop on and off at will. Some tour packages come with the price of admission to attractions like the Museum of the City of New York or the Empire State Building Observatory.

Grayline

image credit: GrayLine

Riding the red bus you’ll not only see many iconic spots, but since you’re certain to sit in traffic, there will also be time to gaze at the eclectic architecture and take in the flow of the streets along the way.

Tour options include uptown, downtown, Brooklyn, the Bronx or all, and you can hop on and off at will. Some tour packages come with the price of admission to attractions like the Museum of the City of New York or the Empire State Building Observatory.

Riding the red bus you’ll not only see many iconic spots, but since you’re certain to sit in traffic, there will also be time to gaze at the eclectic architecture and take in the flow of the streets along the way.

tour map

image credit: GrayLine

Two if by sea

You may not know that New York City has 500 miles of coastline, so water crafts are great transport options. Seeing New York City from the Hudson River is a must.

If you’re eating your way through the city too and feel the need to work off calories, try a guided kayak tour.

Kayak

image credit: Manhattan kayak

But if you’re more like me, a cocktail’s in order as the sun sets and the Circle Line — a New York classic — offers a 2-hour twilight cruise.

From this view, New York seems like the backdrop of a movie — hardly real. Beholding the Statue of Liberty from this perspective and voyaging under the Brooklyn Bridge are sublime experiences.

BrooklynBridge

image credit: Circle Line

To board, head to Pier 83, West 42nd St.

You as great transport

Space is premium in any city: that’s why it’s built up. The High Line, a New York City public park reclaimed from an old freight rail structure, leverages elevation (and history) but alas, now on any given nice day, space on it is premium as well.

Pershing-Square-Beams-Rowa-Lee-resized

The 1.45 mile-long park overlooks Manhattan’s West Side, stretches from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 11th Avenues and records 20+ million visitors per year.

The High Line isn’t just a place for a walk. It’s home to 450 annual public programs, 350 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, vines and trees; nine seasonal food vendors and 120 exhibited artists.

The High Line is highly accessible. Get there via subway, bus, citi bike or car.

highline

images credit: Friends of the High Line

Over the river

There are only two aerial tramways in the U.S. used by commuters and one of them is in New York. The Roosevelt Island tram provides service between the the big city and this little island, which lies between Manhattan Island to its west and the borough of Queens on Long Island to its east.

Originally known as Blackwell Island, then Welfare Island, Roosevelt Island is officially part of the borough of Manhattan and home to over 10,000 people. Historically it was the site of the New York City Lunatic Asylum — made infamous by journalist Nellie Bly — and a smallpox hospital whose ruins still remain.

Roosevelt Island

image credit: By Wusel007 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

The “Octagon” once part of the asylum is also still standing but has been converted into an apartment building and art exhibit space. (What else would you expect in New York?)

You can learn more about these and other points of interest like the Blackwell Island Lighthouse by heading to the visitor’s center, adjacent to the tram station located near the base of the Queensboro Bridge. On the Manhattan side, pick up the tram at 59th St. & 2nd Ave.

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These young vloggers call the ride “the cheapest view of New York.” At only $2.75 round trip ride, they are probably right.

 

 

Do you have any great New York transport options to add?

featured image credit: Rob van Esch / Shutterstock.com

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