Planning the Perfect New York City Vacation

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Plan a New York City vacation that includes a mix of high-energy and more casual venues for a fun and memorable vacation. Choose traditional tourist venues for the photo opportunities, and consider including a vacation rental home in your New York City vacation ideas. A rented vacation home in a quiet area, one with a great view of the city or one that’s within easy distance of venues you plan to visit, adds a relaxing quality to your trip. Plus, it saves you money compared to the cost of most hotels, and cooking meals in the vacation rental’s kitchen area lets you cut your travel food budget.

Five ideas for a great New York City Vacation

  • Coney Island
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    Brooklyn is home to this famous area that hosts several amusement parks. This high-energy venue is a favorite with kids of all ages who enjoy rides, festival-themed food and a festive atmosphere. There are rides and attractions to enjoy, and jet skis are available for guests to rent in season.

  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
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    Visit this monument to America’s immigration history by taking a ferry out to see it, then stopping at Ellis Island to learn more about the history of immigration to the U.S. If you just want to see the statue without taking the ferry, it’s also visible from Battery Park and from the High Line. The High Line is an abandoned rail track that’s been turned into a peaceful urban oasis on the west side of Manhattan.

  • The Empire State Building
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    The Empire State Building is NYC’s second tallest building, and it provides an elevated view of the city. A guided tour of the Empire State Building is included with the price of admission, so you have the chance to learn about the building’s history in addition to enjoying the stunning views from as high as 1,050-feet above the Big Apple. Be sure to snap some photos of this art deco building from the ground in addition to any pictures you capture when looking down from above the city.

  • Bronx Zoo
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    The Bronx Zoo is home to over 4,000 animals, and visitors can pay per attraction or pay a fee that includes a chance to see all of the exhibits. That makes this a stop you can customize to fit your family’s preferences. Visit the Butterfly Garden, ride the monorail or head for the gorilla forest, just to name a few of the zoo’s popular exhibits.

  • Central Park
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    Central Park encompasses 843 acres, and hidden in its greenery you find 36 bridges, 48 fountains and 20 playgrounds. Guests enjoy moving around the park on foot, and there are bikes, boats and gondolas available to rent at the Loeb Boathouse. Loeb Boathouse is located by the Bethesda Fountain on East Park Drive. The Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art are also located along the edge of Central Park.

5 Pro Tips to Conquer Hotels in Los Angeles, California

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Los Angeles is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the country, which means that things get busy when the weather is hot. You can find plenty of vacation rental homes and hotels in Los Angeles, California, so finding a place to stay is the easy part. Finding a great place to stay and making yourself feel at home can be more challenging, but by following these tips, you can make your trip a success.

  • Get to Know the Area
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    Los Angeles is a big place, and it can be easy to get lost before you even set foot in the city. Before you book anything, get to know the different areas and think about which ones would work well for you. If you’re going to LA for the beach consider areas such as Malibu, South Bay, Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Downtown has some of the best hotels in Los Angeles, and there’s something going on during all hours of the night.

  • Be Aware of Hotel Etiquette and Rules
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    If you’re staying in a vacation home rental or budget hotel, you’ll likely be doing things for yourself most of the time. Still, if someone helps you carry your bags out of your car, giving that person a small tip is good form. If you’re staying at an upscale hotel or vacation property with a cleaning service, you might also want to consider leaving a tip for the cleaning staff to reward their good service.

    While it’s important to be polite, it’s also essential to know the rules of where you’re staying. Some hotels and vacation rentals don’t allow pets, so you should check pet policies in advance if you want to bring your dog along. You should also look out for policies on maximum numbers of guests per room if you’re traveling as a group.

  • Book in Advance
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    Los Angeles receives tens of millions of visitors each year. Even though there are plenty of hotel rooms and vacation homes in the city, it’s still worth your while to book early. Planning in advance ensures you get the kind of accommodation you want in the area you want. It can also help you save money.

  • Consider Renting an Apartment or House
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    If you’re traveling with your family or in a group, consider ditching rooms or suites in favor of a vacation house or apartment in Los Angeles. This kind of vacation rental can accommodate your whole party without the need to book extra rooms, and the space will feel more like home. In addition, vacation homes tend to have washers and kitchens, so you can save money on everything from laundry to meals.

  • Pack Necessities
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    Depending on the kind of accommodations you opt for, you may have many of your needs taken care of. Hotels offer bedding and towels, and vacation rentals usually offer basic cooking supplies in addition to these. Still, you should bring a few necessities with you to keep you comfortable during your trip. Make a packing list of all the clothes and accessories you’ll need while you’re away and check things off as you go. If you need anything special, such as neck support pillows or toys for your children, don’t forget to stow these in your suitcase.

The Best Hotels In New York & Alternative Options to Consider

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It’s no secret that New York City is known as being an expensive travel destination. Fortunately, there are ways to stay and play in the city without maxing out your credit cards. Affordable hotels in NYC might be few and far in between, but there are many alternative options to consider that might fit your budget better. Use these tips to help you find the right place to stay in NYC.

The Top 4 New York City Hotels

Listed below are four of the best hotels in NYC, based on customer ratings. Keep reading below to find the best accommodations for your trip to the Big Apple!

  1. The Beekman
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    The Beekman is located on Nassau Street in Manhattan, and its location puts it in close proximity to some of the city’s popular sights. The Beekman is known for its views of the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s also close to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. There’s a restaurant in the hotel that offers well-rated food, and free Wi-Fi is also part of the Beekman’s offerings.

  2. The Lowell Hotel
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    The Lowell Hotel New York is located just off of New York’s famous 5th Avenue, and it’s known for its diminutive size and the afternoon tea served there. With only 74 rooms, the Lowell is smaller than some of the city’s other hotels, but it offers a cozy feeling and touches of luxury that guests appreciate. It’s a bit pricey with rooms costing over $2,000 per night, and it’s rated number two in New York and Number 10 in the world.

  3. The Towers at Lotte
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    The Towers at Lotte is located in Manhattan, in the Midtown east area, and it’s within walking distance of both Rockefeller Center and Times Square. The Towers at Lotte is known for its views of the city and its luxury accommodations. There’s a spa onsite for guests who want some extra pampering, as well as a fitness center for times when a good workout is needed.

  4. Renaissance Times Square Hotel
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    The Renaissance is a Times Square hotel. Guests can stand on the hotel’s balconies and look out over the Theater District and Times Square. A variety of attractions are within close walking distance of the Renaissance, and there’s a lounge in the hotel where guests can grab a drink and enjoy the NYC nightlife scene.

Hotels in Affordable Neighborhoods

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If the four hotels listed above don’t fit your budget, that’s totally okay. Although finding cheap hotels in New York City Times Square can be a bit of a challenge, we’ve got some tips for you. Times Square is right in the center of the action, making it a hot spot for travelers to stay. As such, hotel rates in that area are often higher than other parts of the city.

While discounts and coupons are available, consider looking in other neighborhoods for lower overall rates. Queens, Bronx and Brooklyn are all just 20 to 35 minutes away from Manhattan via public transport and offer reliable and affordable accommodations for your NYC trip. Though quite a bit farther, New Jersey and Connecticut also offer affordable options if you don’t mind a commute of an hour or more.

What to Expect From an Affordable Hotel in New York City

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In order to keep the prices low, affordable hotels in NYC don’t offer many of the amenities you’re used to in hotels of the same price range in different locations. Expect smaller rooms in an independent hotel that’s not part of a national chain. A pool, exercise room and free breakfast might not be available either. However, you’ll be within walking distance of hundreds of attractions and eateries.

Hostels and Bed & Breakfasts in NYC

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Hostels or bed and breakfasts are other options in NYC. Hostels are becoming increasingly popular because of their affordability. Private rooms and dorms are available depending on if you’re just looking for a place to crash or want a private place to hang out after a long day of sightseeing. Alternatively, find bed and breakfasts all over the city near many major attractions. These guest houses are cozier, offering a quieter and more personalized experience.

Vacation Rental Homes: A Great Alternative to New York’s Luxury Hotels

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For a money-saving alternative to one of NYC’s hotels, consider creating a home away from home with a vacation rental that delivers all the amenities you want the most. New York City vacation home rentals would probably be your best bet in finding affordable accommodations right in the heart of the city. You choose the area you want to stay (including Times Square), what type of accommodations you need and amenities you want, such as free Wi-Fi, access to a kitchen and pet-friendly facilities. This means you get all of the things you need for your trip at a price that falls within your budget. Additionally, private rentals are all over the city, allowing you to stay near the destination or attraction you plan to frequent.

How to Find Weekly Vacation Rentals in NYC

New York City is home to more than eight million people, all of whom co-habitate in a fairly small physical area. There are a lot of apartments, townhouses and even some detached single-family dwellings in New York, and many of them are available for extended vacation rentals of a week or more. Whether you’re looking for cheap weekly apartment rentals in NYC or you want to splash out on a luxurious Manhattan vacation apartment with incredible views, you’ll have plenty of options to consider. The key to finding the right place is to consider what your goals are before you make your reservation.

Find Your Place

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Before you start looking for a vacation rental in the big city, it may be helpful to look at a map and understand not only where New York’s five boroughs are located but also where important spots like museums, parks and transit hubs are located. This will make it much easier to choose a rental in the right part of town. Though New York is physically small, the sheer volume of people in the city — more than 27,000 per square mile — often means that getting from place to place is harder than you’d expect.

See All the Sights

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From public transit delays to traffic jams and peak-season tourist crowds, optimizing your vacation rental location can be particularly important if you have specific goals in mind for your visit to the Big Apple. For example, if you want to hit all the major tourist attractions, like Times Square and the Statue of Liberty, it’s best that you find a vacation apartment rental in Midtown or Lower Manhattan rather than Brooklyn or the Bronx. If you want to see more off-the-beaten-path sights in New York, Harlem or Brooklyn may be better locales for your stay.

New York for the Budget Conscious

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When budget is an issue, it may make sense to look into New York’s outer boroughs. However, you’ll want to stay focused on your ideal activities itinerary and keep distance in mind. For example, Staten Island is home to some of the city’s most affordable neighborhoods, but it’s a literal island that’s separated from the rest of New York by water.

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Spending a full week on Staten Island would mean commuting to Manhattan and other parts of NYC by ferry, and while that might be fun for a day or two, it could become time-consuming over the course of an entire week. Queens, which is connected to the subway system and easily accessible by car, provides a good balance of affordability and access.

Get Ready for an Amazing Week

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The great thing about visiting New York for a full week is that you’ll never run out of sights to see, places to go and amazing things to eat, even if you do end up in a relatively quiet corner of the city. One last tip for finding the right weeklong vacation rental — check to see whether it has conveniences like air conditioning and an elevator. A single night in a 15th-floor walk-up apartment might not be so bad, but it’ll get old after a few days.

Fun Things to Do in Chicago: A Windy City Bucket List

Whether you’re a first-time visitor to Chicago or a Windy City connoisseur, add these 10 fun things to your Chicago must-see list. Book your vacation rental home in Chicago to create a home base that feels like home before you head out to see the sights.

Here’s what to do in Chicago

  1. Wander the Hallowed Halls of the Art Institute of Chicago
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    From European armor to Impressionist paintings, the museum provides art education that includes over 300,000 works. Spend a few hours wandering through the museum and view the permanent displays of Renoir and Vincent van Gogh.

  2. Catch a Game at Wrigley Field
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    Wrigley Field is a must-see for both baseball fanatics and anyone who loves a great hot dog. As the second-oldest baseball park in the United States, Wrigley Field has been a Chicago institution since 1914. Delicious dogs, green beer on St. Paddy’s Day and a chance at watching history being made give Wrigley Field its aura of excitement.

  3. Visit the Field Museum for Natural HistoryLocated on the Grant Park’s Museum Campus, the Field Museum provides history lovers with everything from Egyptian mummies to interactive dinosaur exhibits. Meet “Sue” the T. rex, or take in a lecture in the Abbott Hall of Conservation.
  4. Spend Some Cash on the Magnificent Mile
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    This stretch of shops, restaurants and homes between the Chicago River and Lake Shore Drive beckons to anyone with an eye for fashion and a taste for delicious food. The holiday season gives vacationers an added bonus by ramping up store window displays to create a festive shopping experience.

  5. Share Your Love of the Ocean at the Shedd AquariumWander the halls of one of the top aquariums in the United States and make friends with over 32,000 sea creatures. With everything from beluga whales to sharks and playful penguins, this Chicago staple is on everyone’s bucket list.
  6. Take in the Cityscape at the 360 Chicago Observation DeckTowering 1,000 feet over the heart of downtown Chicago, the 360 Chicago Observation Deck greets guests with breathtaking views of the city. Pick a clear day, and you can see over 50 miles in any direction.
  7. Watch the Fur Fly at the Lincoln Park Zoo
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    With animals ranging from flying foxes to icy polar bears, the Lincoln Park Zoo does not disappoint animal lovers with its huge variety of land, sea and air creatures. No entrance fee means this bucket list item is also a budget bargain.

  8. Breathe in the Fantastic Fragrances of Maggie Daley ParkAcres of green and gardens create a feast-for-the-senses outdoor space at Maggie Daley Park. Take an hour or two to enjoy the blossoms, and check out the city views.
  9. Explore the Exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry
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    With over 32,000 artifacts on display, the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry encompasses the entire Palace of Fine Arts. The building itself is a wonder, covering over 14 a10. cres.

  10. Take in the Chicago Architecture River CruiseGreen or not, the Chicago River winds its way through some of the most historic portions of the Windy City. A 90-minute river cruise takes you from the Navy Pier through the Magnificent Mile while focusing on the beauty of Chicago’s unique architecture.

5 Tips for Planning a Trip to Venice Beach, Los Angeles

Planning a trip to Venice Beach, Los Angeles?

Consider these five tips to ensure a seamless vacation to a fantastic beach.

  1. Where to Stay
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    Consider the luxury holiday rentals in Los Angeles that give you the opportunity to feel like you’re home when you’re really on vacation. Venice Beach is a great place to spend a week or a weekend, and determining your ideal location will simplify getting around. Pacific Avenue is a busy area with lots of hustle and bustle, so you’d have shops and restaurants close by. Oceanfront rentals allow you to walk out the door to the beach with the steady breeze and the ever-present aroma of salty air. If you stay near the 1,300-foot Venice Pier, you’ll get a chance to meet local fishermen, tourists checking out the area and locals who know where to catch the most spectacular sunset overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

  2. Bring Your Wallet
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    Be sure to bring your wallet if you plan to shop. There are plenty of gift shops for souvenirs and clothing stores to entice shoppers. If you take a stroll down the mile-and-a-half Venice Beach boardwalk, you’ll want small change to tip the entertainers along the way. This boardwalk area is an ideal way to experience the culture and the personality of Venice Beach. Street vendors, performers and artists provide the entertainment for tips.

  3. Get a Day Pass for Muscle Beach
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    Go ahead and get a day pass for the popular Muscle Beach gym. The outdoor gym has impressive bodybuilders and weightlifters working out for the spectators. Beyond the gym, the beach has plenty of sand, play areas for the kiddos and a skate park. You can easily spend a day here taking in the sun, the sights and the sand.

  4. Where to Eat
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    Venice Beach offers plenty of dining options from fine dining to casual bars. The promenade is one area lined with eateries. If you wait to make a decision on where to eat once you’re hungry, it might be hard to decide. Barrique offers a fine dining experience with Italian cuisine complete with a wine bar. There’s a rooftop terrace to watch the sunset, too. Komodo is a quick walk from the beach and serves Asian-fusion fare. Venice Ale House is on the boardwalk and is considered a gastropub. So you get good food in a casual atmosphere as well as a selection of 30 beers on tap. California wines are also served for the wine enthusiasts. Grab a burger or tacos at Bank of Venice and try one of their cocktails.

  5. What to Pack
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    The weather at Venice Beach can change quickly. You might want to wear layers for the breezy wind and pack an umbrella or poncho in case of rain. The pier and the boardwalk provide plenty of walking so you’ll want comfortable walking shoes. Bring flip-flops or water shoes for the beach. Pack a backpack to hold beach towels, sunscreen and any extra items. It’ll be handy for carrying any shopping purchases back with you, too.

Take in all that you can at Venice Beach. It’s a popular destination for many vacationers, and one visit usually isn’t enough.

Manhattan Beach Vacation Rentals: Tips & Tricks

Manhattan Beach is an ideal place to look for vacation rentals for your Los Angeles trip. Although South Bay doesn’t enjoy the popularity of Santa Monica, this area has become a hotspot over the past few years, with celebrities flocking to Manhattan Beach in droves. Whether you want to experience some exciting nightlife or you want to find a quiet beachfront vacation home for your family visit, Manhattan Beach vacation rentals have a lot to offer. To find the right place for your home base, keep these tips in mind.

Look at a Map of Southern California Before You Commit

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Not all vacation rentals offer the luxury of being right on the beach, so if this is important to you, double check the address before you commit to a choice. If you don’t want to be right on the beach but still want to enjoy lots of sand and surf, you may want to consider choosing an address within walking distance to the beach. Other things to look out for include dining and shopping options in the area and access to the highway, as you’ll likely want to explore more of Los Angeles during your vacation. If you’re traveling with your family, look for the quieter neighborhoods away from the beach, as these are far away from busy local bars and clubs.

Choose a Walkable Area

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Walking is one of the best ways to get around the waterfront areas of Manhattan Beach. Getting around by foot gives you great views of the coastline and helps you stretch your legs after driving through LA traffic. Many vacation rentals in walkable areas make note of a “walking street” near the property, which describes a pedestrian-friendly road. This street may or may not be right on the waterfront, so make note of the address.

Check Out Neighboring Communities

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Although you can find plenty of vacation rentals in the city, Manhattan Beach is still a fairly small community. If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for in the city itself, consider expanding your search to other communities in the South Bay. Hermosa Beach is a charming city with a bustling downtown area. If you want to cook most of your own meals during your vacation, it’s also home to a great farmers’ market. Redondo Beach is a quieter community with a picturesque pier. Both of these cities are just a short drive away from Manhattan Beach and offer easy access to the rest of Los Angeles.

Take Advantage of Local Nightlife

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Manhattan Beach is a nightlife hotspot, so don’t pass it up when you’re in town. The views of the pier and harbor during sunset are spectacular, which is reason enough to spend at least one evening close to your vacation rental. If you want to dance the night away, you’ll find plenty of options without having to venture into downtown LA.

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Even if you want to cook most of your meals in your vacation rental’s kitchen, you should go to at least one restaurant in Manhattan Beach. The local dining scene is one of the best reasons to stay in the city, and you can easily find world-class seafood, burgers, sushi and pizza close to your front door.

Where to Stay in Redondo Beach, CA

Redondo Beach makes an excellent choice for finding vacation accommodations in Los Angeles. This beach city offers plenty of opportunities to have fun in the sun, and it’s also a convenient distance from the airport. If you want to visit downtown L.A., Santa Monica, Long Beach or the theme parks scattered around the county, the highway connections are excellent. Because Redondo Beach is a smaller community, you’ll be able to get plenty of peace and quiet after hectic days of sightseeing, surfing or riding roller coasters, making it a good option for a family vacation. Although this city is cozy, you can find plenty of Redondo Beach vacation rentals, and there are a few different areas to choose from.

Redondo Beach Waterfront

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The heart of Redondo Beach is located right on the waterfront. This area includes plenty of coastal sights, so you can fit some down time in between your busy sightseeing schedule. The pier is one of the top attractions in this area. This is a great place to stroll in the mornings and evenings, and if you’re a fishing enthusiast, it’s the place to be. The pier also offers plenty of shopping, restaurants and family-friendly events.

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Just a hop, skip and a jump over from the pier, you’ll find King Harbor, which offers everything from whale watching tours to paddleboarding. Because the area is very walkable, you can park your car and enjoy some fresh air while you’re in town.

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Of course, the beach next to the pier is the main attraction in Redondo Beach. If you opt for a vacation home in the Waterfront area, you can easily walk there to catch some waves or soak up the sun. As this part of the coast gets plenty of waves, you can also try out surfing.

South Redondo and Riviera Village

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South Redondo is a convenient distance from the beach, so it’s an ideal choice for a Redondo Beach vacation rental if you want to soak up some sun. Riviera Village is part of this neighborhood; Riviera is the city’s main shopping area, and it includes boutiques, galleries and studios where you can find local art and goods. If you want to dine close to home, you’ll find plenty of excellent options in this area.

North Redondo

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North Redondo is not situated along the beach, but as it’s the closest neighborhood to the San Diego Parkway, you’ll find it easy to get around Los Angeles if you choose this option. In addition, it’s not far from Hermosa Beach, so you can still enjoy lots of summer fun in the sand. North Redondo is also home to a wide variety of spas and salons where you can rest and relax on your vacation.

Where to Stay: Vacation Rentals in NYC

The neighborhood you stay in can have a big impact on your New York vacation experience. When you’re deciding where to set up your home base while you’re away, think about the things you want to do and the overall vibe you want your trip to take on. You can find a wide variety of great vacation rentals in New York City, from Manhattan to neighborhoods across the Brooklyn Bridge.

Greenwich Village

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Greenwich Village is heavy on classic New York City charm, from its tree-lined streets to its historic brownstone walk-ups. It’s the setting for many iconic TV shows. This neighborhood was a hotspot for music, art and literature in the ’50s and ’60s, and it still maintains a creative atmosphere. If you opt for a vacation apartment in Greenwich Village, expect to spend lots of time admiring historic buildings, leisurely sipping coffee in classic New York coffee shops, browsing independent boutiques, listening to live music and enjoying the food at great restaurants. Local attractions include Washington Square Park and the Stonewall Inn, and you can easily get to other landmarks such as Central Park, the Empire State Building and Times Square.

Lower East Side

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The Lower East Side has shrugged its shabby roots to become one of the chicest neighborhoods in Manhattan. This area is home to trendy restaurants, world-class galleries and boutiques filled with the latest fashions. If you want to experience the nightlife while you’re in town, you can find lots of great bars and clubs within walking distance of your front door, including famous names like the Bowery Ballroom. The Lower East Side is a convenient distance from the Brooklyn Bridge, Williamsburg and Greenwich Village, and the subway can quickly take you to Midtown.

Williamsburg

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Not all of the action happens in Manhattan. Williamsburg is a fantastic place to find vacation rentals in NYC, and its young, hip atmosphere is a huge draw. This Brooklyn neighborhood boasts great restaurants serving everything from sushi to burgers, rooftop bars that give you great views of the Manhattan skyline and quirky stores that sell locally made goods. If you want to venture into Manhattan to see the sights, a quick subway ride or a walk across the Williamsburg Bridge gets you to the Lower East Side.

Park Slope

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If you’re looking for a quieter place to spend your nights, Park Slope in Brooklyn makes an excellent choice. This neighborhood is popular with young professionals and artists, and although it’s heavy on green space and quiet streets, you can still find lots to see and do. Local attractions include Prospect Park, which has its own zoo, and Old Stone House. You’ll find it easy to get to the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan.

Meatpacking District and Chelsea

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Art and fashion play big roles in the daily life of the Meatpacking District. Its former slaughterhouses and warehouses are now home to chic loft-style apartments, trendy galleries and excellent restaurants. This is a nightlife hotspot, so you can dance the night away without venturing far from your vacation rental. If you’re looking for a quieter atmosphere but want to stay somewhere central, look for options next door in Chelsea.

New York City Tours For Families

Include some family-friendly New York City tours in your Big Apple travel plans to give everyone something extra to anticipate on your next trip. Tours also provide a way to learn about the history of an area or about a specific topic. Book a stay at a comfortable vacation rental home, and then map out a route to get around the city so you know about how long it takes to reach each venue.

The 5 best tours in New York

  1. NYC Helicopter Tour
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    Thrill seekers enjoy this soaring tour that takes you high above New York City. Enjoy an expansive view of the city, and capture some stunning aerial photos to keep as mementos of the tour. See some of New York’s historic sights, such as the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Central Park in a 20-minute ride. Let your kids enjoy a special view of Yankee Stadium and the city’s famous bridges, too.

  2. Madame Tussauds New York Wax Museum
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    Popular culture enthusiasts take in the sights and enjoy photo opportunities with favorite figures from movies and TV during this tour of the waxworks in NYC. Introduce the family to some of history’s great thinkers, superheroes and pop culture figures with a tour of Madame Tussauds New York museum. This facility has packages that include touring the site and interactive experiences. The interactive experiences in the gold and platinum packages have minimum ages allowed, so be sure to confirm that your children’s ages meet the minimums allowed before buying tickets.

  3. New York TV and Movie Tour
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    Film buffs may consider this one of the don’t-miss New York City tours, because it takes guests to see where popular movies and TV shows are filmed. This three-hour tour changes destinations from time-to-time, so even if you’ve taken the tour before, you can expect to see fresh sights and hear new stories. The tour takes you from Midtown, through Manhattan and back to Midtown, and the guide shares trivia about the sights as well as telling you about the programs filmed at each stop.

  4. Greenwich Village Cupcake Tour
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    This sweet-themed two-hour tasting tour includes six stops in historic Greenwich Village. You get to sample gelato and the baked confections created in some of the city’s popular cupcake shops, and you get to build your own cupcake at one of the stops. The tour combines a history lesson with some decadent treats. The guide points out some of Greenwich Village landmarks and shares information about the history of how cupcakes are made. Be sure to snap some pictures of your family or take a fun selfie with your kids and cupcakes at some of the sites.

  5. Pizza Tasting Bus Tour
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    This tour adds a tasty twist to your New York City vacation. Foodies and pizza lovers hop on an air-conditioned school bus to travel around town and taste pizza from some of the city’s best pizzerias. The tour carries you through the Bronx, Queens, Staten Island and Brooklyn. The tour guide shares information about the areas visited and the pizzas offered to guests. Beverages aren’t included, so plan to get your own drinks. You do get a goodie bag at the end of trip.