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6 best New York holidays 2023: City break and adventure holiday ideas

Budget city breaks, inter-railing journeys and awe-inspiring architecture tours await in the Big Apple

Natalie Wilson
Friday 07 July 2023 09:56 BST
<p>Iconic yellow taxis in lively Times Square </p>

Iconic yellow taxis in lively Times Square

The dazzling metropolis of America’s east coast, New York is home to a legendary food and drink scene, iconic landmarks and attractions and wild nightlife, so it’s no surprise that the most populated city in the US is an in-demand destination for short breaks and urban escapes.

A thriving epicentre of US life, New York’s famed skyline, world-class museums and all-singing-all-dancing Broadway shows line the five boroughs, meaning even short trips can be packed with culture big-hitters.

What constitutes the perfect NYC adventure is up for interpretation but, with some of the world’s finest art galleries, indie shopping districts and transport networks, everyone from history buffs to shopaholics will find something to enthral in the Big Apple.

From hipster Williamsburg to the thick of Manhattan and exploring the Upper East Side, here’s a selection of the best holiday deals to inspire a once-in-a-lifetime trip to New York and spend a few days on the other side of the pond.

Read more on New York travel:

Best for: Bucket list landmarks

Four-night NYC break

The Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building and Central Park are all popular attractions

Famed for its iconic sights, New York is synonymous with world-class museums, larger-than-life landmarks and soaring skyscrapers. Tourists flock to the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building that rise above the busy streets, and a New York trip wouldn’t be complete without exploring the wonders of sprawling Central Park.

Trailfinders provides a four-night “New York City Break” holiday package for a fast-paced introduction to the classic highlights of the American metropolis, including a cruise around Manhattan, shopping in Soho and a visit to Central Park. From £680pp – based on two adults sharing – including three-star accommodation, airport transfers, a Manhattan Harbour Lights Cruise and a hop-on hop-off bus pass. Return flights from London start from £402 in September.

Best for: Outdoor enthusiasts

East Coast camping adventure

Pitch up on the foothills of the Pocono Mountains

There’s more to New York State and its surroundings than the cosmopolitan hustle and bustle of NYC. Upgrade walks in Central Park to strolls on the Highline Trail, an elevated former train line now a lush urban park and aerial greenway in the city, and tie in mountain adventures in neighbouring Pennsylvania for a slice of the Great American Outdoors.

Discover the natural wonders of the east coast with Intrepid Travel on a seven-day camping adventure from New York City to Washington DC and Niagara Falls. This trip is for 18 to 29-year-olds and is perfect for solo travellers looking to explore some of America’s top highlights. Tour costs £828pp, including six nights’ camping accommodation, all activities (including a Niagra Falls boat tour), and private transport between scenic stops.

Best for: Rail fans

East Coast by rail

Reduce your carbon footprint and see New York by rail

Reduce your carbon footprint and take to the tracks on a multi-city train tour of the US. From Grand Central in New York City to 30th Street in Pennsylvania and South Station in Massachusetts, the impressive architecture of iconic transport hubs are all a part of the bucket-list journey, and window seats are a must to view the dynamic landscape along the way.

Audley Travel’s “Cities of the East by rail” tour from Boston to New York and Washington DC, priced from £3,905pp, includes international flights, destination transfers, excursions and all accommodation for the 13-day trip. Highlights such as the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan skyline and Chelsea Market dot the east coast route, which includes a three-night stop in NYC.

Best for: Grand architecture

New York grand designs

The Manhattan Bridge, NYC

From historic bridges to decadent townhouses, brick urban lofts to high-rise luxury apartments, NYC is not short of postcard-perfect architecture. Gothic, Art Deco and Neoclassical buildings pepper the grids of streets and the distinctive designs of the Chrysler Building and the Brooklyn Bridge are well worth a visit by the architecturally inclined.

Kuoni offers a “New York Grand Designs” holiday for tourists to explore the “ever-evolving buffet of architecture” that New York City has to showcase, and the grandeur starts with your hotel. Stay for three nights in Soho at the innovative Arlo, featuring a rooftop bar with skyline views and effortlessly cool rooms boasting trendy wooden accents. For £823pp – based on January flights out of Heathrow – live and breath design for three nights on walking tours of the Big Apple.

Best for: Budget city breaks

Yotel, Midtown

Bag a bargain with cheap eats from NYC street food vendors

You can swerve the famously sky-high prices in the city that never sleeps by staying at budget hotels; plus skyline views of Manhattan, some summer concerts and al fresco movies are free. Indulgent meals don’t have to cost the Earth either; get familiar with friendly hole-in-the-wall deli owners and prolific pizza slice street vendors for a taste of New York that doesn’t break the bank.

TUI provides a four-night package holiday to New York for £864pp, including return flights from Gatwick. Stay at Yotel in Midtown Manhattan, featuring monsoon showers, futuristic decor and a rooftop terrace with views of 42nd Street. There’s a rooftop cinema club in the summer months, and LED-lit bikes to hire from reception.

Best for: Relaxed travel

Southampton to New York seven-night cruise

Escape the airport hustle as you cruise into New York

What better way to travel stress-free than arriving by cruise ship to Manhattan Cruise Terminal? Enjoy a seaborne holiday before you even reach your city break destination on a journey to the Hudson River from the UK,, and say goodbye to airport annoyances, intense jetlag and a long-haul flight with the kids. Dine on salmon and souffles at elegant onboard restaurants and retire after evening entertainment to comfortable suites with a book from the ship’s library – there’s even a planetarium.

A seven-night cruise with Cunard from Southampton to New York promises luxury days at sea on its flagship ocean liner, Queen Mary 2, from £849pp.

Read more of our New York hotel reviews

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