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  1. Default what to do with our car in big cities?

    We'd like to do a road trip from Calif. to the East coast and back. When it comes to big cities (Chicago, DC, NYC, Boston, Philadelphia in the US, and in Canada, Vancouver, Montreal, Quebec), what do we do with our car? For the most park we plan on camping and staying in cheap motels. We want to see some big cities though, too, so what do we do with the car?

    Thanks!

  2. Default Park and Drive

    Many of these cities can be toured by automobile easy enough. If you want to use public transit in some of them, or it seems adviseable to do so, find a parking garage and catch the transit system nearby. Many of these cities you could figure out locations and stations on the internet before you go. Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Park-n-Ride lots

    From what I've seen, most major cities have parking lots adjacent to where you would hook up with the major mass-transit options. In the Seattle area, they are called 'park-n-rides'. I would imagine most cities have something similar. While an internet search prior to your trip is a great idea so that you're prepared, I would imagine that any good campground office staff will also be able to point you in the right direction. So I wouldn't sweat it too much if you don't gather all this information before you leave.

  4. #4

    Default nyc by mass transit

    For New York City, I strongly suggest you tour it on foot or mass transit. It is a nightmare sometimes to try and find parking (esp. if you do the parking meters ;) and the parking garages are really expensive.
    I don't know exactly where the park'n'rides are, but I've seen a municipal parking system in some areas like Flushing where you park for a small fee, and a lot seems to be near subways.
    My advice would be to park in one of the boroughs and take the train in. You get free maps by any subway booth. Here's a link to the map(s) online and if you research the map beforehand, you should be able to hit where you want.
    Also, another suggestion would be to park in Staten Island and take the (free) ferry over. Takes 1/2 hour to cross and drops you near Wall St.

    about camping sites, I know there's one in Lido Beach in Long Island that's pretty cool and next to the beach, fills up quick though.
    are you tenting or do you have an RV?
    Last edited by AZBuck; 03-29-2007 at 10:37 AM. Reason: Preferred Link Format

  5. Default what to do with car in NYC

    This is really good info. I've been to NYC once before but my friend hasn't and I agree we should be on foot and using public transit. We have a car and will be camping with a tent, maybe sometimes using motels. A campground or neighborhood where we can safely park and commute in would be ideal.

    We did a 6 mos. road trip in Europe last year in a converted VW bus. We had a great time, but unfortunately someone broke into our van and stole everything in Poland, so I'm afraid of something like that happening again. When you're from out of the area you don't know what the danger zones are. The suggestion to ask at campgrounds was a good one.

    Thanks everyone!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Liberty Harbor

    Quote Originally Posted by roadrunners View Post
    A campground or neighborhood where we can safely park and commute in would be ideal.
    There is a RV park directly across from Manhattan in New Jersey that I have stayed at several times -- I don't know if they allow tenting -- I rather doubt it but you can check. The cafe on site used to be (and may still be) outstandingly wonderful. Contact info is also on that previous link.

    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Western/Central Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Transit

    As much as I love to drive, I much prefer being able to get to "know" a city without worrying about my car being in it.

    Plus, as mentioned, parking can get pricey. I know that I'd much rather pay the $2 fee at some MBTA (Boston) stops outside the city than try to find a place and have to pay for it in the city. Granted, it isn't as expensive as NYC, but it can get up there.

    Many campgrounds I have stayed at offer shuttle services into the cities, or at the very least, to a local transportation hub. One thing you will want to be aware of, however, is that these services tend to offer less flexibility than if you were to just park at the transportation hub yourself. Still, it can be a useful option.

  8. #8

    Default

    When I visit a big city on a road trip I play it safe. I find a quality hotel with secure parking. We donít mind paying a little more for security. I leave the car there and use public transportation to get to the sights we want to see. Most valuables are in our room. ( good hotels always have a safe) What ever is left in our vehicle is covered with a blanket. If itís just a quick visit for a few hours or more we try to find the safest parking available in a highly visible area. One or two nights in the big city is more than enough for my wife and I.

  9. #9

    Default NYC, the tentfree :(

    It seems that NYC hardly has any tent camping available.
    Like the one suggested in New Jersey, the one in Lido Blvd, called Nickerson Beach Campgrounds seems to be mostly an RV park, though I did see some tents pitched there. It's a safe area, good neighbourhood, near to the Long Island stop of the LIRR- about one hour to Penn Station.

    Your other option is a motel or hostel. Try to get one near the subway so at least you save on gas. Depending on how long you're staying, get a one day fun pass ($7) or a week fun pass ($24) Metrocard- you can travel as much as you want on subway or buses for the time period bought.

    If you need more advice on safe places or the inexpensive way to see new york city, feel free to ask :)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Thanks for checking it out!

    Quote Originally Posted by mikphire View Post
    It seems that NYC hardly has any tent camping available.
    That hardly seems surprising!
    Like the one suggested in New Jersey, the one in Lido Blvd, called Nickerson Beach Campgrounds seems to be mostly an RV park, though I did see some tents pitched there.
    Hey! Very cool for going and taking a look for us!

    Mark

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