New York City is my long distance lover. Every opportunity I have to visit her I exploit. From Toronto (where I live), the optimum way to travel to New York is by plane. However opportunities to travel do not always line up with seat sales. Add in a wife and kids, and suddenly a 4 day New York trip can max out the credit card before the first cab has been hailed.My kids travel well in the car so driving is viable. However parking in Manhattan is expensive and there is always the risk of being caught in a major traffic backup after a long trip.
On our last trip we drove to Poughkeepsie, parked the car, and took the MTA Metro North commuter train to Grand Central Station. From there we rolled our luggage down Lexington Avenue to the wonderful Affinia Shelburne Hotel.
Everything about this option was excellent. Parking in Poughkeepsie was $5/day and free on weekends. The MTA tickets were reasonable and almost free for the kids. It is a beautiful train trip down the Hudson River, passing by historic West Point Academy, and arriving at the splendid Grand Central Station.
We will never drive into Manhattan again.
Commuter trains sprawl out from Manhattan into New York State and New Jersey. So if you are traveling by car to Manhattan, consider parking your car at a station and taking a commuter train into the city. You can save time, money and lots of stress.