Traveling to New York and finding a great place to stay is easy with so many choices on different hotels or New York City vacation rentals, but if you’ve never been to the Big Apple before, it can be a bit overwhelming. “What’s a borough?”, “How do I ride the subway?”, “Where are the tourist attractions?” are all questions you may be asking yourself. Even if you’re visiting for something specific like the New York City Marathon, it can still be hard to narrow down the options. Not to worry though, we’re here to help! Whether you’re running in the big race, cheering on a friend, or just watching, here are the 10 most convenient places to stay for the New York City Marathon.
1. Staten Island
The race begins in Staten Island, so if you’re running the marathon, this is a great place to stay for convenient transport to the start. Spectators are not allowed at the start, so we recommend staying somewhere else if you’re just watching. Staten Island is also more residential, so if you’re traveling with a large group, you could rent a house over a tiny apartment.
2. Upper West Side
The race ends on the west side of Central Park and easily getting to your hotel or vacation rental after running 26.2 miles will be a relief. The official family reunion area is also here, along Central Park West from West 60th to 66th Street. Here, you’ll find the most picturesque New York City apartments which have been depicted in many of your favorite movies and TV shows like You’ve Got Mail, 30 Rock, Seinfeld, and Gossip Girl. To get here, take the 1, 2 or 3 trains to various stops along Broadway, or the A, B, C or D trains to various stops along Central Park West.
Midtown is also close to the finish line. If you’ve never been to New York City, Midtown’s close proximity to Times Square, Broadway, and Rockefeller Center make it a great place to stay. Heck, even if you’ve been to the city multiple times, it’s probably the hustle and bustle of Midtown that keeps you coming back for more. More than just for sightseeing, there are also a number of top-notch restaurants and bars perfect for celebrating after the big race. Midtown also serves as the hub for pre-race activities.
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Some hotels like Hotel Le Blue have a small balcony view of lower Manhattan where you can see the runners as they pass by on the street below. It’s located right along the marathon course at mile seven. Stay in the hip and trendy Williamsburg to be near miles 10 and 11. If you have enough energy after a such a long day, Williamsburg has some of New York’s trendiest restaurants and night clubs. You can also catch a life indie music performance or wander through an art gallery show.
5. Jersey City
Staying in New York is pricey all the time. Try staying in New York during a peak time like the New York Marathon and you can blow your entire vacation budget on accommodations alone. Staying in Jersey City will be much nicer on your wallet, and while it does add on some transportation time, the money you save could be more than worth it. Getting to Manhattan is only a bus, shuttle, train, or ferry ride away.
6. Financial District
Staying in the Financial District will give you easy access to the Staten Island Ferry. Just walk a few blocks and hop on for a scenic 30 minute ride past the Statue of Liberty. This area might seem like only sky-high office buildings, but there are many historical sites and museums to visit. There’s also convenient transportation, so you can get anywhere you need or want to go.
The Upper West Side and Central Park areas can be a nightmare after the race. It’s extremely crowded and nearly impossible to grab a cab. Staying a bit further downtown in Chelsea will get you away from the mobs and rooms won’t be as expensive. Chelsea is also Manhattan’s art district, so you can spend your down time wandering galleries or visiting The High Line, a park built on an abandoned elevated railroad track. Grab a bite to eat at Chelsea Market and then see some future Saturday Night Live stars perform at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.
8. Central Park South and Columbus Circle
If you want to watch the last mile of the race and cheer on your favorite runners, Central Park South or Columbus Circle are the places to be. Room prices can be steep, but here, you can rest your tired soles at a five-star hotel and dine at a multiple Michelin-starred restaurant. You probably spent most of the year training for this marathon so you deserve to pamper yourself!
The marathon barely passes through the Bronx, but at mile 20, many runners believe that’s when the race truly begins as the finish line feels dangerously close. The stretch between the Willis Avenue and Madison Avenue Bridges are a great spot for fans to shout out their motivation while avoiding the packed crowds at Central Park. This is usually the least populated part of the course so it’s the perfect place to catch a glimpse of your favorite runner and help them from smashing into that dreaded “wall.” The Bronx is also home to the New York Yankees, Bronx Zoo, and the New York Botanical Garden.
Long Island City is about the halfway mark for marathon runners so they’ll need the extra bit of motivation. There are also several fun bars and restaurants in the area, and you’re only a quick subway ride away from Midtown.
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