My NJ/NYC Dream Itinerary-Part 1

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I am going to be in NYC and New Jersey very soon, both for the first time.  I am going with a travel company for the first time as well. There are moments of group tours and moments of solo adventures.  I’m optimistic, but also a bit leery.  I am hoping its awesome because there are so many places I want to see that would be sort of dangerous to travel solo to. I really hope this works out!

There is plenty of free time away from the group so I want to use my time wisely and try to squeeze in as much as possible before I head home.  I am creating and planning this list to be used by myself while in Manhattan and the Hudson River Valley (ie Newark 2 nights, Poughkeepsie 2 nights, Manhattan 3 nights), and also to share with others with like-minded interests.

Day One: Newark, NJ

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I fly in at 1:45 pm on Friday Oct. 14, 2016.  I am landing at Newark Airport and then it’s just a quick shuttle to my hotel, The Doubletree Hilton Hotel.  I am arriving about the same time as check in at my hotel. I am thinking I will drop my stuff and then find some local food!

Forno’s of Spain is the #1 restaurant in Newark, NJ…not sure if I’ll try to get in there though.  We’ll see.

Hell’s Kitchen Lounge (not to be confused with the actual Hell’s Kitchen, which is also on my agenda) is a 2.3 mile drive from my hotel. Hours are 11-2. I haven’t decided if I will make a reservation yet.

As we don’t have über in WY, I am not 100% on how to use it (Directions), but I think I would like to download the app for when I get to NJ. There are quite a few attractions within a 6 mile radius to my hotel and I have heard taxis can be hard to come by.

I will definitely be swimming sometime after dinner as the pool is open 24 hours.  Probably after I return to the Hotel and have a glass of wine or a cocktail, but before bed.

Day 2: Newark, NJ

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The pool at the Doubletree by Hilton

This is the first official day of the tour.  6:00 pm is the welcome dinner and that marks the tour’s beginning. So I still have a days worth of activities to plan.

The Statue of Liberty seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up, so I am definitely going to head to Liberty Park after breakfast to catch a ferry to Liberty Island. The ferry costs $18 for an adult. The Departure Schedule is a helpful guide. I’d really like to be on that 8:30 one. I think I can get some nice shots in the early morning.  Also as a bonus, there is a stop at  Ellis Island.

I am going to opt out of taking any of the tours.  The Ellis Island one is 90 minutes and I’m not trying to be there that long.  I am, however, going to download the free app for some virtual tour info.

I should be done no later than 1030 if I get an early start, so I will most likely try to get some good shots at Liberty Park and then maybe hit that small Liberty Park cafe for a coffee before I head over to Ironbound.

There are some great reviews of a section of town called ” Newarks Culinary Gem,” aka the Ironbound District.  This feels like it needs exploring.  Seems like lots of shopping and it is rumored to have many Brazilian and Portuguese restaurants, so maybe I will save my appetite for this!

I don’t want to rush myself and I’d also like time to grab a drink, a swim, and a shower before the welcome dinner. Because of this I think I will limit my days activities solo to the above mentioned.  If I find I have an extra 5-6 hours, maybe I’ll catch a cab to The Newark Museum, it is only 4 miles from my hotel. It is open Wed-Sun 12-5. $15 admission.  If I run out of ideas I can simply refer to this great list for ideas.

I’ll head back to my room around 5:00 and hopefully my roommate (I opted to share a room w/another woman to save $$, there was an option for single rooms though) will have arrived by then so I can meet her! I am very excited to got to the welcome meeting/dinner and get this show on the road!!

Day 3: Poughkeepsie, NY

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We are going to visit Hyde Park the first morning and then we will head over to tour the Vanderbilt Mansion.

Then next we head over to the Innisfree Gardens.  These gardens were designed using the Chinese “cup” gardening principle that creates “picture-perfect” views no matter where you look. I cannot wait to bust out my camera for this one!  We will be having a picnic lunch at these gardens.  After lunch we are on our own!

This might be a good time to try to catch a cab/uber to The Newark Museum before I head out for dinner.

Apparently the #1 restaurant in Poughkeepsie is a place called Mill House Brewing Co.  So I have made a reservation for 1 @ 5:30 10/16 (I’m pretty proud of myself for remembering to do that actually) in advance and check out their brew and grub! The menu looks delish! (I need to remember to snag a to go menu!) I want to try the Charcuterie of Genoa Salami or the Fried Green Tomatoes to start and  The Pan Seared Salmon or The New England Lobster Roll as an entree….now whether I still feel the same way in a few weeks is a whole other thing.  2 beers or 2 cocktails is my limit until I return to the hotel (safety first people).

The hotel bar is open until 2 am every night (I’m not embarrassed to say I checked this out before I saw if they even had a pool or free breakfast!).  I’m really hoping a few of the ladies from the tour will join me for drinks, but I’m not afraid to drink alone, either!

Day 4: Poughkeepsie, NYC-tbc

 

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