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Overview

New York

To many New York City is New York State, but there is much more to this historic and scenically diverse state than the Big Apple. Within an hour's drive visitors can find the beaches of Long Island or escape to the Catskill Mountains to fish, hike or ski. A little further north, on the Hudson River, is the state capital Albany, which is a good base from which to explore 'upstate' New York. In the centre of the state, the solitude of the Adirondacks region can be found - home to some of the highest and most dramatic mountains in the eastern United States, attracting the energetic with a range of activities including hiking, skiing, horse riding and mountain biking.

On the border with Canada, between lakes Ontario and Erie is possibly the country's most spectacular natural attraction, and certainly the most popular - Niagara Falls. Located midway between Niagara Falls and New York City are the Finger Lakes, which despite being within 200 miles (322km) of the city remain one of the most unspoilt vacation areas in the USA, renowned for their picturesque lakes, wineries and lush forests.

Until the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century, most of the area that is now New York was controlled by the Iroquois Confederacy, a group of Native American peoples. Henry Hudson discovered and named the Hudson River in 1609 and claimed the area for the Dutch, and sixty years later the British took control and named it New York. The Native Americans prospered during this time, controlling the lucrative fur trade. A century later, during the French and Indian Wars, the British defeated the French and took control of all of northeast America. The victory was largely thanks to the Iroquois allying themselves with the British and in 1763 all the new British Territory, extending as far as the Mississippi, was declared an Indian reserve. This was short-lived however, as the Iroquois again allied themselves with the British during the War of Independence, and in the reprisals entire communities were wiped out and much of their land was deeded to the revolutionary war veterans.

George Washington was sworn in as the republic's first president in 1789 in New York City. By 1830 the population had exploded to 250,000, but mass immigration did not start until the 1840s, with the arrival of the Irish. By 1880 the population was 1.2 million. With this abundant labour, vast natural resources and unfettered capitalism New York, and the other Mid-Atlantic States, became one of the most industrialised regions in the world and home to one of it's greatest modern centres in New York City.

Attractions

Tarrytown

Forty miles (64km) north of New York City is Tarrytown, known to Washington Irving fans as Sleepy Hollow, setting for the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The town is packed with historic homes including the impressive Rockefeller residence; Irving's home can also be visited. Over of the east bank of the river is Hyde Park, where President Franklin D Roosevelt was born and spent much of his adult life. The Franklin D Roosevelt Home and Library contains hundreds of photos and artefacts, including the specially made car he drove after being struck with polio in 1921, and the letter from Einstein that led to the development of the atomic bomb. Two miles (3km) outside Hyde Park is the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site - a spectacular Beaux Arts mansion.

The Statue of Liberty

The universal symbol of freedom and democracy, the Statue of Liberty was the first sight to be seen by the 12 million immigrants who passed through the Ellis Island Immigration Centre. Sculpted by Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi and modelled on the Colossus of Rhodes, the statue was donated by the people of France in 1886 to commemorate the alliance between the two countries during the American Revolution. The interior of the statue itself is closed for renovation. The ferry calls at both Liberty and Ellis Islands, and tourists can visit Ellis Island Museum, which documents the experiences of the immigrants.

World Trade Center - Ground Zero

The six-hectare (16-acre) work site that has emerged from the rubble of the twin towers has come to symbolise the dreadful events of September 11, 2001 when almost 3,000 people lost their lives. The 1,350ft (411m) World Trade Centre towers were the tallest buildings in New York and symbols of the city's skyline. Millions now come to pay tribute at the site and witness the devastation from one of the viewing sites. In April 2003, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation launched a worldwide competition to design a memorial at the World Trade Center site to honour the victims of September 11. The LMDC received 5,201 memorial design submissions from 63 nations and 49 states making this the largest design competition in history. In January 2004 'Reflecting Absence' by Michael Arad and Peter Walker was unveiled as the design for the World Trade Center Memorial, and will feature a landscaped civic plaza with two massive voids aligned with the footprints where the twin towers once stood. Currently the perimeter of Ground Zero is accessible to the public. The Tribute Center, across from Ground Zero, offers tours around the perimeter, and provides visitors with an accurate account of what the community endured during the attacks. The Memorial and Museum are scheduled to open to visitors in September 2012.

Radio City Music Hall

Located in Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall is one of the most famous theatres in the world. The home of the Rockettes chorus line, the theatre's interior was declared a New York landmark in 1978. The Hall's beautiful cinema, while not in regular use anymore, still hosts premieres and shows selected feature films. The Hall's most popular event is the annual Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, which attracts more than a million people and has been running since 1933. Tours of Radio City Music Hall run daily.

Empire State Building

One of the enduring symbols of New York, and once again the city's tallest structure, the Empire State Building stands 436 feet (145m) tall. Completed in 1931, this Art Deco behemoth remains one of the most impressive engineering feats of all time; it was built in just 410 days and remains the fastest rising major skyscraper ever built. The building has been immortalised in many films - most famously the classics King Kong and Sleepless in Seattle. The observation decks on the 86th and 102nd floors offer magnificent views of the city.

Central Park

With great foresight, the founders of New York set aside 340 hectares (840 acres) of central Manhattan as a public space. Central Park was officially opened in 1873 and today provides an essential 'green lung' within the concrete jungle that is New York. Originally designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the park contains themed gardens, tennis courts, lakes and even a small zoo. Much of the park is infused by the city's bustle and on nice days swarms with joggers, skaters, buskers and tourists, but there are areas beyond the range of baseballs and frisbees where tranquillity can be found in this beautifully landscaped park. It also hosts performances of everything from rock music to Shakespeare. During winter, two ice-skating rinks open up in Central Park, the Wollman Rink (mid-Park at 62nd St) is one of the most picturesque in the world, set among the trees and rolling hills and against the backdrop of Manhattan's skyscrapers.

Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), founded in 1929, owns the most important collection of modern art in the USA including works by Monet, Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, Max Beckman, Ansel Adams, and Kiki Smith. What started as a gift of eight prints and one drawing has developed to a vast and varied collection of 150,000 paintings, prints, sculptures, photographs and other media, and the Musuem's Library and Archives boast an impressive collection of books, historical documents and photographs. Priding itself as an educational institution, the Museum of Modern Art offers various activities and programs for the general public, as well as special segments thereof, in order to broaden the community's knowledge of, and approach to, the exciting and puzzling world of modern art.

The Guggenheim Museum

The Solomon R Guggenheim Museum was designed by US architect Frank Lloyd Wright and was completed shortly after his death in 1959. It is well worth a visit just to see this icon of Modernist architecture, which was designed specifically to showcase the modern art within. Inside, it features a highly commended collection of late 19th- and 20th-century art works, as well as touring exhibitions. From beneath the huge glass dome, a quarter-of-a-mile-long ramp spirals down the inside of the building, past the collection of art, including works by Pissarro, Kandinsky, Klee, Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec, Cézanne, Mapplethorpe and Gober.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum possesses one of the greatest, and largest, collections of art in the world; it is a cherished New York institution and a must see for any visitor. Banners above the Met's Fifth Avenue entrance herald the current attractions; there are always a few exhibitions on-the-go displaying masterpieces from around the world alongside the Metropolitan's own collection. The highlights of the permanent collection are numerous, American collectors having had the foresight, and cash, to buy up a large number of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces from Europeans at the end of the 19th century. The Metropolitan Museum's collection now contains more than two million works of art from all points of the compass, from ancient through modern times, including great works by Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet and Cézanne to rival any gallery in the world.

American Museum of Natural History

Possibly with the exception of its counterpart in London, the American Museum of Natural History is the largest and most important museum of its kind in the world. More than 30 million artefacts are packed into 42 exhibition halls - quite enough to keep anyone busy over a rainy afternoon. The most popular exhibit is a 50ft (15m) tall skeleton of a barosaurus in the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda, and there are three more spectacular dinosaur halls on the fourth floor. Other halls include the Hall of Biodiversity, the Hall of Ocean Life, the Hall of Human Biology and Evolution and the fabulous Hayden Planetarium: a 90ft (27m) wide aluminium sphere that seems to float inside a massive glass cube, which in turn is home to the Rose Center for Earth and Space. Those tired of walking can check out the Museum of Television and Radio.

Niagara Falls

Straddling the United States and Canadian border, 340 miles (547km) north west of New York City, the Niagara Falls are one of the most popular natural attractions in the country attracting about 13 million tourists a year. The Niagara River has been flowing for about 12,000 years but the eroded escarpment over which the falls flow today is much older, having been formed during the ice age. The river plunges over a cliff of dolostone and shale to make it the second largest waterfall on earth, after the Victoria Falls in southern Africa. The mighty torrent is best appreciated from a spray-filled 'Maid of the Mist' boat tour. The falls have attracted daredevils over the years, who have gone down them in various contraptions - most have survived. The most famous stunt was done by the Frenchman Jean François Gravelot who crossed the Niagara Falls on a tightrope in 1859. Traditionally a honeymoon destination, the area around the Falls has been built up into a major tourist area, with attractions like Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum, and cheap eateries and chain restaurants.

The Catskills

It is no surprise that the beautiful Catskills Mountains area, north west of New York City, has long been a popular vacation spot and the choice of many a wealthy New Yorker for their summer home. The region is dotted with picturesque towns, reservoirs, forests and parks, historic buildings and plenty of resorts, and there is much to see and do. Nicknamed the Borscht Belt, from the 1940s to the 1960s, The Catskills was highly popular with Jewish New Yorkers in particular, and some of the finest Jewish comedians sprung from the area, including Woody Allen, Mel Brooks and Joan Rivers. The region is also famous for hosting one of the world's best-known entertainment events, the 1969 Woodstock Festival. Over 500,000 free spirits gathered on Max Yasgur's dairy farm in Bethel to see some of the finest musicians of the era and today, the site is open to the public, as is a museum that houses archives and interesting information from the event. The Catskills also boasts plenty of exciting activities, including hunting, fly-fishing, canoeing, hiking and camping. The region is also home to several ski resorts, including Belleayre Mountain Ski Center and Hunter Mountain.

Finger Lakes

The 11 narrow lakes that stretch north to south below Lake Ontario are known as the Finger Lakes. The lakes are popular for boating and fishing, and the rolling hills in-between are interspersed with waterfalls, gorges and parks ideal for hiking, cycling and cross-country skiing. The Native Americans believed the Finger Lakes were formed when one of their Gods reached out to bless their region and left behind an imprint of his hand; but it is more likely that they were formed by glaciers during the Ice Age. The Finger Lakes are one of the most important wine growing regions in the United States; most of the vineyards are located on the rolling hills of the Cayuga Wine Trail, overlooking the Cayuga Lake, and many offer tours and tastings.

Buffalo

Dubbed 'the biggest small town in America', Buffalo is situated on the eastern shore of Lake Erie, and is a good base for visiting the Niagara Falls and for exploring the Finger Lakes region. New York's second largest city, the town was established by the French in 1758 (it is believed that the name derives from beau fleuve - beautiful river), and became an important port for trade with the eastern US. Buffalo has some noteworthy Victorian architecture and some good museums. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery contains an impressive collection of works by American artists and hosts many great touring exhibitions. The Buffalo Zoo is home to elephants, gorillas and Siberian tigers. The nearby Letchworth State Park is popular with hikers and offers wonderful views over the Genesee River Gorge, promoted as the 'Grand Canyon of the East'. Buffalo is also a popular stopover destination for travellers on their way to nearby Niagara Falls, as it is the nearest major airport.

Broadway

Going to the theatre is one of the most popular tourist events in New York and the shows on Broadway are world famous, boasting some of the best productions in the world from blockbuster musicals to intense and intimate dramas. There are ongoing shows that have been running for years, such as The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, Chicago and A Chorus Line. Newer, edgier shows play off-Broadway, and may provide just as much entertainment at slightly lower prices. This is one way to experience part of the American dream, even if only on vacation.

Times Square

Though it's just an intersection at the corner of Broadway and 42nd Street, Times Square has achieved iconic status, representing, in a single frame, the hive of activity that is New York City. Flashing advertisements and huge billboards produce a headache-inducing but memorable sight. Times Square has been used in countless films, television and literature. It is the base for ABC's Good Morning America programs and MTV's popular Total Request Live. Annually hundreds of thousands gather on New Year's Eve in the square to revel and see the infamous ball-dropping ceremony. In 2009 Times Square was closed to traffic, and visitors can now enjoy strolling and sitting at their leisure, without worrying about getting hit by New York City's notorious taxis.

Rockefeller Centre

Named for the man who developed the space, the world's first dollar billionaire, John D Rockefeller, this 22 acre (8ha) land houses a plethora of iconic New York City attractions. Radio City Music Hall used to be the most popular tourist venue in the city and still ranks highly among visitors. Radio City has hosted multiple awards shows such as the Grammies, Emmies and MTV Music Awards. It is also a concert venue frequented by today's popular performers. The GE Building, the address for which the popular TV series 30 Rock is named, is the home to Saturday Night Live and the site from which the eerie 'Lunchtime atop a skyscraper' photograph was taken. At the base of the GE building is the Rockefeller Ice Rink with the golden statue of Prometheus at its head. Underneath Rockefeller Plaza is the Concourse, an underground pedestrian mall boasting designer brands and food outlets.

Brooklyn Bridge

The sheer scope of New York City is hard to understand until your traversed the Brooklyn Bridge, inaugurated in 1883, which crosses 5,989 feet (1,825 m) of the East River and connects two of New York's biggest metropoles, Manhattan and Brooklyn. At the time the construction of the bridge was a feat of engineering ingenuity, the longest suspension bridge at the time. Today it is a treasured landmark of the city, colourfully illuminated at night to highlight the architectural towers and hangings. There is a pedestrian walkway from which visitors can savour vistas of both Manhattan and Brooklyn.

St Patrick's Cathedral

St Patrick's Cathedral is a magnificent example of the geometric style of Gothic architecture that was popular in Europe in the 13th century. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic archbishop of New York and the largest Catholic cathedral in the United States. With its spires soaring 330 feet (100m) into the air, and the ornately detailed entrance, this is undoubtedly one of the city's most spectacular buildings. St Patrick's was built between 1850 and 1878; its giant organ has over 7,300 pipes. To most New Yorkers and harried tourists, St Patrick's is most valued for its peace and tranquility - rare qualities indeed in this most frenetic of cities.

Grand Central Station

One of New York's most famous and best loved landmarks, Grand Central was opened in 1913 opposite Rockefeller Center. It is the world's largest train station with 44 platforms, but true distinction, however, is its magnificent architecture and striking ambiance, anchored by enormous windows and the refurbished ceiling, covered by a detailed astronomical fresco. The Terminal houses five good restaurants, twenty value and lunch time eateries, and about fifty specialty shops. The 12,000 sq ft Vanderbilt Hall regularly houses public events. Don't miss the one-hour guided tour; book several weeks ahead in peak season to avoid disappointment. Grand Central sees around 250,000 commuters per day, but over 500,000 visitors.

Central Park Zoo

Home to some exotic and beautiful animals the Central Park Zoo is a must for all children and animal lovers visiting the city. Residents at the zoo include the elusive red pandas, polar pears, snow leopards and snow monkeys to name a few. The Tisch Children's Zoo is a great place for young kids, where goats and peacocks can be viewed and children can even pet the goats, sheep, alpacas, potbellied pigs and other barnyard animals on display.

Toys 'R Us, Times Square

Kids love nothing more than a toy shop, and Toys 'R Us in Times Square just happens to be the centre of the toy universe with an indoor 60-foot (18 metre) tall Ferris wheel, life-size Barbie's Dollhouse filled with Barbie dolls and other Barbie paraphernalia, and a 5-ton, 20-foot tall (7 metre), 34-foot-long (10 metre) T-Rex animatronic to thrill and terrify children. With so much to see and so many toys to choose from, kids will love Toys 'R Us in Times Square, but parents should be advised to bring their wallets!

New York Aquarium

The New York Aquarium is located on Coney Island and boasts over 350 species of marine life. Children will love learning about the aquatic life here, with predators such as reef sharks, nurse sharks, and sand tiger sharks, or fuzzier creatures, such as sea otters, sea lions, penguins and walruses. The New York Aquarium makes a great day out for the whole family.

Trump Wollman Rink

This public ice rink located in Central Park, and made famous by many movies, is a fantastic place to take the kids for the day during the winter months in New York City. The setting is beautiful, surrounded by trees with the New York City skyline above them. Children can even attend skating school or host a party or event here, guaranteeing an unforgettable experience. The rink is not just for adults however, and is a popular spot for dates in New York City.

Brooklyn Children's Museum

The Brooklyn Children's Museum is a great place to take the little ones while o holiday in New York City. It was founded in 1899 and was the first museum in the United States. Its collections and exhibits include hand-on activities, role-playing opportunities, resident animals and thousands of artefacts to teach children about science, the environment, culture, and the arts. There are no 'Do Not Touch' signs here!

The Frick Collection

The Frick is quite possibly New York's most underrated art gallery, a collection of exceptional paintings featuring important works from Vermeer, Manet, Rembrandt, Whistler, Goya and Van Dyk. A highlight of the collection is the renowned pair of Holbein paintings of Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell, and the group of small bronze sculptures, rated the finest in the world. This was the New York residence of Henry Clay Frick who transformed a fortune made in the coal business into this sublime building, facing onto Central Park. The interior courtyard is a tranquil retreat from the busy world outside.

Staten Island Ferry

A must-see attraction that doesn't cost a dime? The ferry from Battery Park to Staten Island and back is a great way to see the Lower Manhattan skyline and Hudson river life while resting your feet. The ferry also skirts the Statue of Liberty affording decent views of this iconic structure. Most tourists stay onboard for the return leg, but it's worth hoping off and exploring a bit of Staten Island while you're there. The ferry leaves every 30 minutes and takes 25 minutes each way.

Top of the Rock

Best views of New York City? The Rockefeller Center's eight level viewing platform and the pinnacle of the Empire State building duke it out for top honours in this contest. The winner might be the Rock because it alone offers great views of the iconic Empire State building among its 360 degree vistas of the city below! There are both indoor and outdoor viewing areas, so it's suitable to visit in all weather. The best and most popular time to visit is half an hour before sunset when one can experience both the day and night time views. Book ahead online and skip the queue for your slot.

Greenwich Village

Greenwich Village (affectionately referred to as 'The Village') started out as an industrial park, but was taken over by artists, poets, beatniks, radicals, and other bohemians that founded a vibrant arts community. These days the area has been gentrified and rents are sky-high. You'll see more yuppies than squatters. The area was also the setting for the popular sitcom Friends. Greenwich Village is home to New York University, and the famous Washington Square Park. It has retained a bit of artistic flair though, and contains a number of great off-Broadway theatres and historic music clubs like Bitter End, Village Vanguard, Small's, and the Blue Note. You'll also find an eclectic mixture of international restaurants and cafes.

Wall Street

Home to the New York Stock Exchange, Wall Street has attained near-mythical status at the financial heart of the world. The narrow street runs from Broadway to the East River, and is home to landmarks like Federal Hall, where George Washington was inaugurated as the first US President; and 23 Wall Street, which still has shrapnel holes in its limestone facade from the 1920 Wall Street Bombing. One of the iconic symbols of Wall Street is the Wall Street Bull (or Charging Bull) a 7,100 pound (3,200kg) bronze sculpture by Arturo Di Modica in Bowling Green Park. The sculpture is a popular photo opportunity in New York, symbolising financial optimism and prosperity.

Coney Island

Coney Island has been a tourist attraction in New York City since the 1830s, when New Yorkers would flock to the beaches. Its movie theatres, amusement parks, museums, circus, aquarium and restaurants still attract crowds each summer, and each Friday there is a fireworks show at 9:30pm. Coney Island claims to be the birthplace of the hot dog, and no visit is complete without sampling the street cart fare along the boardwalk. The activities and amusements at Coney Island are in full swing from May to September. There is no accommodation in Coney Island, but it makes a great day out for the whole family.

Yankee Stadium

The New York Yankees are the most recognisable baseball team in the world, and fans from many countries make the pilgrimage to Yankee Stadium each year. The current stadium in the west Bronx opened in 2009, and features monuments to past players like Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio. The open-air stadium is the perfect place to spend warm summer nights in New York City, cheering on present stars like Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez.

Live TV Show Tapings

Many popular television shows are recorded in New York City, including morning programmes like Live with Regis and Kelly, the Today Show, and Good Morning America; as well as late night programmes like David Letterman, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Daily Show and the Colbert Report, and Saturday Night Live. Attending these shows as an audience member is a popular New York City activity, and while the tickets are free, getting your hands on them can be difficult. Many of the shows allow you to request tickets via their official website, while some allow you to queue for standby tickets. The easiest shows to get into are The Today Show and The Early Show, whose audiences simply gather in the plazas next to the studios.

Fire Island

A long and narrow barrier island located off the south shore of Long Island (and within easy distance of New York City), Fire Island is a sleepy strip of land mostly occupied by private property and national seashore. All but deserted in the harsh winter weather, Fire Island thrives in the heat of summer between Memorial Day and Labour Day. Most of the island's restaurants and hotels are located in Ocean Beach, which is a great place for nightlife; Fire Island Pines and Cherry Grove are also lively spots with active gay communities. For a quieter holiday, Ocean Bay Park and Kismet are good starting points, and camping at Watch Hill is a great way to spot wildlife. The main headache when travelling to Fire Island is that cars aren't allowed and water taxis are notoriously expensive, but tourists who plan ahead can minimise these costs.

Ellis Island

From 1892 to 1924, nearly every immigrant (totaling more than 20 million) moving to the US was funneled through the crowded halls of Ellis Island, just off the coast of New York. No longer in use as an immigration port, today the island draws millions of people each year as one of the most popular tourist attractions in New York City. The Ellis Island Immigration Museum offers multimedia exhibits showcasing the island's crucial role in the history of the US through the stories of various immigrants that passed through. An interesting exhibit is the American Family Immigration Center, which allows visitors to access passenger records to find relatives. A 45-minute audio tour (available in nine languages) offers visitors the chance to experience the island as an immigrant, and is a good option for those with limited time, while special children's tours are also available. Getting to Ellis Island involves a crowded ferry ride (be sure to bring a jacket) from Battery Park. The ferry also stops at Liberty Island (home of the Statue of Liberty), making it a convenient way to see two of New York City's most popular attractions in a single morning. It is best to buy tickets ahead of time, as ferry queues can take several hours.

Airports

John F Kennedy International Airport

Website: www.kennedyairport.com

Location: The airport is located 15 miles (24km) southeast of central Manhattan.

Contacts: Tel: +1 718 244 4444.

Time Zone: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from March to November).

Departure tax: Passenger Facility Charge US$4.50

Transfer between terminals: Passengers can travel between JFK's nine terminals on the free AirTrain. Terminals 2 and 3 are connected by a walkway, and terminals 8 and 9 are connected by an interior concourse. The entire loop takes eight minutes.

Facilities: All terminals have ATMs, bureaux de change, bars, restaurants and a wide selection of shops. There is a cellular phone rental facility in the arrivals area of Terminal 3. Travellers will be able to find most services in the terminals, including wireless Internet access, medical facilities, information counters, shoe-shiners and conference facilities. Disabled facilities are good; those with special needs should contact their airline or travel agent in advance.

Parking: There are two kinds of public parking at JFK. The long-term parking is four miles (6km) from the terminals and is served by a free shuttle bus. Passengers are advised to allow 30 minutes to reach their terminal. The Central Terminal Area (CTA) parking is adjacent to the terminals and provides for daily parking needs. Signs to the parking facilities are colour-coded to indicate their proximity to the terminals. A Cell Phone Lot waiting area is located near the airport's entrance for drivers to wait for disembarking passengers. There is parking available adjacent to each terminal, ranging from $6 per hour to $33 per day in the short-term lots to $18 per day in the long-term lots, connected to the terminals by the AirTrain service.

Transfer to the city: Ground Transportation Information is available in the baggage claim/arrival areas of all terminals and provides information on buses, shared-ride vans and limousines. The AirTrain links the airport to the subway, train and bus system, which go to the city centre. 'SuperShuttle Manhattan' is a 24-hour, shared, door-to-door service to anywhere between Battery Park and 227th including all hotels, and the service also operates to Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx and Staten Island. The New York Airport Service provides a regular bus transportation service to and from Manhattan (New York City), LGA Airport, and Midtown Hotels.

Car rental: Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, Enterprise and National are represented at all terminals by either a courtesy phone or rental car counter. The AirTrain shuttles passengers between the terminals and the car rental offices.


New York La Guardia Airport

Website: www.laguardiaairport.com

Location: The airport is located eight miles (13km) east of central Manhattan, in the borough of Queens.

Contacts: Tel: +1 718 533 3400.

Time Zone: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from March to November).

Departure tax: Passenger Facility Charge US$4.50

Transfer between terminals: There are two bus routes connecting the five La Guardia Terminals. The Route A Bus is a free service running every 15 minutes stopping at all terminals in the central terminal area as well as the Marine Air Terminal (15 minutes travel time). The free Route B bus runs every 10-15 minutes between all five terminals except the Marine Air Terminal/Delta Shuttle. The journey time is 5-10 minutes.

Facilities: All terminals have ATMs and currency exchange can be found at the Central and US Airways Terminals, as well as a wide selection of bars, shops and restaurants, but the best choice is at the US Airways, Delta and Central Terminals. There are business facilities at Laptop Lane in the Central Terminal including meeting rooms, dataports, Internet access, fax, phones, printers and photocopiers. Disabled facilities are good; those with special needs should ideally contact their airline or travel agent in advance.

Parking: Short-term parking is available next to the terminals. Long-term parking is available in Lot 3, although there are limited spaces. Additional long-term car parking is located very close to the airport and can be accessed by following the 'P' to the airport exit. Parking at New York La Guardia Airport starts at $3 per half hour with a maximum of $33 per day. After two days, parking is charged at $6 per eight hours or $18 per day. Express payment machines are located throughout the parking areas. Signs to the parking facilities in the terminal buildings are colour coded to indicate their proximity to the terminals. Free shuttle buses transport passengers to the terminal buildings.

Transfer to the city: Ground Transportation Information is available in the baggage claim/arrival areas of all terminals. All service arrangements can be made at these counters. Public buses service the city and connect with the New York subway; the Q33 and Q47 service Manhattan and Queens. The New York Airport Service Express Bus leaves regularly for all areas in Manhattan. The SuperShuttle Manhattan is a 24-hour, shared door-to-door service that goes to all areas of the city.

Car rental: Car hire companies include Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz and National. The Arrivals level of each terminal has either car rental courtesy phones or counters. Free shuttles transport customers between the terminals and the car rental offices.


Newark Liberty International Airport

Website: www.newarkairport.com

Location: The airport is located two miles (3km) south of Newark, 16 miles (26km) southwest of New York.

Contacts: Tel: +1 973 961 6000.

Time Zone: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from March to November).

Departure tax: Passenger Facility Charge US$4.50

Transfer between terminals: The AirTrain is a free service that ferries passengers between the three terminals.

Facilities: All terminals have ATMs and bureaux de change, a wide selection of bars, shops and restaurants and business facilities including fax, photocopying and courier services. Data ports can be found next to most public telephones in all terminals. Wireless Internet is also available at all terminals. Disabled facilities are good; those with special needs should ideally contact their airline or travel agent in advance.

Parking: There is short-term parking next to the terminals. Daily parking is a few minutes away on the free AirTrain and Economy parking is 20 minutes from the terminals via a free shuttle bus. In addition to the on-airport parking lots listed above, there are a number of privately operated parking lots located near the airport; see the airport website for details. Valet Parking is also available. Signs to the parking facilities are colour coded to indicate their proximity to the terminals.

Transfer to the city: Newark Liberty International Airport offers travellers a wide range of Ground Transportation services. There are taxis, buses, shuttles, and limousines available in front of and beside all three terminals. Ground Transportation Information counters, located on the lower baggage claim level of all terminals provide information and reservations for buses, shared-ride vans and limousines. The AirTrain connects to regional and commuter trains. New Jersey Transit buses have various routes to destinations in New Jersey and Penn Station in Newark; bus 107 has a direct service to New York City. The Newark Liberty Airport Express provides a bus service approximately every 30 minutes to Manhattan and SuperShuttle Manhattan is a shared minibus service, which goes to all areas of Manhattan, including hotels.

Car rental: Car rental companies include Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, National and Enterprise. The AirTrain links the terminals to the airport car rental offices; Enterprise is linked by a further courtesy vehicle to its office adjacent to the airport.


Buffalo Niagara International Airport

Website: www.buffaloairport.com

Location: The airport is located nine miles (14km) east of Buffalo.

Contacts: Tel: +1 716 630 6000.

Time Zone: GMT -5 (GMT -4 from March to November).

Departure tax: None.

Facilities: There are ATMs, a bureau de change, post office and various bars, shops and restaurants in the terminal. There is a business centre, open weekdays, with meeting rooms, fax, Internet and photocopying facilities. Disabled facilities are good; those with special needs should contact their airline or travel agent in advance.

Parking: The short-term parking lot is adjacent to the terminal building, and costs $4 per hour, with a daily maximum of $24. The long-term parking areas are connected to the terminal by a free shuttle-bus service and offer two hours of free parking, adding $4 per hour after that, up to a daily limit of $11 (for Lot A), and $10 (for Lot B).

Transfer to the city: There are a number of bus services, which operate between the airport and Buffalo and Niagara. Taxis are also available.

Car rental: Alamo, Avis, Budget, Hertz and National are all represented at the airport.


Westchester County Airport

Website: airport.westchestergov.com

Location: The airport is three miles (5km) from White Plains in New York State. It is 33 miles (53km) from Manhattan.

Contacts: Tel: +1 (914) 995 4860.

Time Zone: GMT -5 (GMT - 4 from March to November)

Departure tax: None.

Transfer between terminals: Not applicable as there is only one terminal.

Facilities: Facilities at Westchester include ATMs, luggage trolleys, business workstations, baby-changing facilities as well as a number of shops and restaurants.

Parking: There is just one parking option at Westchester County Airport. The parking garage is next to the terminal and rates range from $3.30 per half hour to $27.45 per day.

Transfer to the city: Bee-Line Bus 12 runs from the airport to the train station from which passengers can catch the MTA Metro-North Railroad. Bus fare is $2.25 and the buses stop on the central traffic island just outside the terminal building. The only other option for getting into White Plains is by catching a taxi or renting a car.

Car rental: Rental car companies including National, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, Alamo and Avis are all available at Westchester County Airport. The rental desks are located in the arrivals hall.




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