NYtick: Stay in New Jersey, yes, New Jersey to savor NY

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New Jersey is a hard sell for a romantic getaway, but reward requires risk.

Manhattan has a tremendous collection of hotels but none can claim a panoramic view of Manhattan. Faces glued to airplane windows on approach to LaGuardia are a testament to the sublime skyline. Why not enjoy the view all night from a quiet redoubt across the Hudson?
Hoboken and Newport lie on either side of the Holland Tunnel, sheltered from the traffic snarl. Hoboken is the land of Sinatra and modern hipsters, renovated warehouses and trendy pubs. Newport is high-rise residences, bank office towers and a shopping mall, even the main website for Newport is from the real estate developer, but visitors are forgiven for mistaking Newport for Seoul or Mumbai for the large Asian community that favors the parks, quality residences, and most of the all, the safety. The two are connected by tranquil walkways along the water.

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They are reached by the 24-hour PATH train, essentially a subway that is relatively modern and functional (in contrast to its famous neighbor). Mrs. Rapid Traveler said, “This is a real subway, like Hong Kong or Shanghai. It is clean, it has AC, I can understand the announcements.” More on PATH in a future post but a glance at the map shows that for less than the price of a NYC subway ticket, PATH provides fast access to the World Trade Center and 33rd St (Penn Station, Madison Square Garden, Empire State Building, Macy’s, etc). PATH is faster to these popular Manhattan areas than plenty of areas in Manhattan. The downside is that taxis are not cheap.

First-time visitors in particular should not underestimate the stress of visiting NY and a tranquil refuge to return to each night can work wonders.
The major hotel groups are well represented and some weekends the rates can be especially attractive since they are primarily business hotels, going north to south:


Exchange Place (just south of Newport, with its own PATH stop):
Of these, the best room views will be at the W, Westin and Hyatt Regency.
Jumping back north there is the Sheraton Lincoln Harbor Hotel, but it requires an extra transfer on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, so gets downgraded on lack of convenience, but is fine for the taxi set or those looking to chill out.
If you do not stay, then at least include a stroll across the Hudson on your itinerary. Imagine the looks on your friends’ faces when you say the big highlight of your trip was New Jersey!

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