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Day trip into NYC/site seeing

Watertown, New York
1 post
Day trip into NYC/site seeing

My grandchildren are in upstate New York for summer vacation. Their uncle wants to surprise them with a day sight seeing trip into NYC while they are there. They are currently in Watertown NY. What is the easiest and cheapest way to go sight seeing for a day without actually driving into the city ?

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4 replies to this topic
Astoria, New York
Level Contributor
20,316 posts
1. Re: Day trip into NYC/site seeing

Watertown NY is over 300 miles north of the city , I'm not sure there is any form of transport that would be feasible for a day trip

If they can spend a few of days, they could drive to a commuter train station north of the city and do a visit from there. http://web.mta.info/mnr/html/mnrmap.htm (There are also Amtrak trains from farther north) or park in New Jersey and take a train, bus or ferry into the city

Not sure if there is any suitable bus service from upstate.

Syracuse, New York
Level Contributor
18,109 posts
28 reviews
2. Re: Day trip into NYC/site seeing

In order to get a bus, you need to head to or at least through Syracuse I believe but the bus will take most of the day so you have to stay overnight. The train is out of Syracuse as well but it's not that much faster if at all as a bus. I have driven from Syracuse to NYC for 2 shows & a buffet lunch (at a place that has long since gone out of business) in one day with a friend but we were young & foolish & exhausted by the time we got home & then you'd have the drive to Watertown. The only way this could possibly work is to take the 1st plane out of Syracuse (again you'll have to drive to Syracuse from Watertown (which, if I remember is about a hour drive) and then take the last plane back (again with a drive back to Watertown.) If the uncle wants to treat them, I also say they should stay at least one night. I'd suggest that Ottawa Canada is a much more doable day trip but the uncle & kids need proper documentation to go into Canada.

Edited: 12 June 2018, 21:38
Level Contributor
1,615 posts
154 reviews
3. Re: Day trip into NYC/site seeing

Honestly, doing a day trip, especially without driving yourself, really is not feasible. How old are the kiddies? This would be an extremely long and tiring day for them. They may not enjoy themselves if you make this a 14 hour day for them. Any way they can stay overnight?

We are experienced road-trippers and even we would not put ourselves through a day trip from Watertown to NYC and back to Watertown. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

United States
Level Contributor
639 posts
122 reviews
4. Re: Day trip into NYC/site seeing

I don't see any realistic way to do a day trip from Watertown NY unless they fly, but given the cost, they could drive and stay in a nice hotel in NYC for a night or two. (FYI: The RT flight from Syracuse to any of the NYC airports plus ground transport is ~$300 to $350 per person.)

If they can stay overnight, then drive from Watertown to Albany (~4 hrs) or Poughkeepsie (~5.5 hrs) and either (a) stay overnight and take an early train into Manhattan the next day (2.5 hr from Albany; 1:35 hr from Poughkeepsie); or (b) take the train into Manhattan, arrive early afternoon, stay overnight, and depart the next afternoon day.

I don't recommend taking the Amtrak from Syracuse (~6 hrs) or Utica (5 hrs) because the service rarely runs on or close to schedule for trains that originate west or north of Albany.

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