Okay, so maybe the title of this post is a little misleading. You’re not exactly going to pull your RV up to Central Park and put out the slides, ok? You can go RVing in NYC though even if you’re not “technically” in NYC. Let’s just say that close enough wins in this case, in a big way.
While thousands of people pay upwards of $300 a night for a hotel room in NYC, you my friend can be kicking back in your own bed for $80 a night and you’ll only be a train ride away from all the action. That’s the beauty of Liberty Harbour RV Park in Jersey City, New Jersey. New York City is within view the entire time you’re in this park and I might add, the iconic and lovely Statue of Liberty as well.
What this RV park lacks in typical amenities like a pool, a firepit, a place to barbecue, grass, it more than makes up for with location, location, location. At the end of the day, you don’t need the typical amenities anyway because you’ll be off exploring in New York City for most of the day and all you really need is a place to rest your weary head. As I mentioned, it’s the location that makes this park such a draw and getting to New York City from Liberty Harbor is incredibly easy.
There are two ways to get into the city from Liberty Harbor. You can take a NY Waterway ferry into the Financial District or a NY/NJ PATH train. The ferry is $7 one way for an adult and is a great way to explore the Financial District. You’ll find the 9/11 Memorial here as well as the iconic Wall Street, and Zucotti Park, the birth place of Occupy Wallstreet. For the Bargain Betty’s you will not want to miss Century 21 on Cortlandt St. This, in my humble opinion, has to be the world’s most outrageous discount store filled with everything from housewares to women’s wear and everything in between. Bring water, your credit card and a few hours to go through this store.
Your other option to get into the city is to walk three blocks to the Grove St. PATH station and take the train to 33rd St in Manhattan. When you exit here you’ll be in the heart of midtown and within walking distance to Fifth Avenue, Times Square, and Central Park. It cost four of us $20 a day to get into the city and back and again using the PATH train. Talk about stretching your dollar. If you didn’t pack breakfast with you in the RV (like I did), you can also do that on a shoestring. Restaurants like Pret a Manger and Fresh & Co are everywhere in Manhattan and offer healthy fare at reasonable prices. Two days in a row, four of us ate breakfast for just under $20 a day.
Much like you see in the movies, cabs are everywhere in this city. While it’s certainly fun to hail one if you’ve never done that before (just ask my daughters), it’s not the most affordable way to get around, or the most efficient. The best way to get around is to use the subways. The first time I entered a subway station in NYC I had every terrible subway scene I’d watched in a movie playing in my head. Thankfully all that was dispelled quickly. New Yorkers are some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. Trust me, ask for directions and you’ll see what I mean. While it’s just smart to keep your guard up wherever you travel, the NYC subway system is quite safe and a fantastic way to explore the city like a local. On our last visit, after spending some time visiting Central Park, we hopped on an F Train under 6th Avenue (Avenue of the Americas) and got off at East Broadway which put us smack dab in the Chinatown/Little Italy area. Look at us acting like New Yorkers.
Another option for exploring Manhattan is to purchase a CityPass and let a double-decker bus transport you to all the major attractions. While this is the most expensive way to see the city, it is a fantastic option for first-timers looking to get a lay of the land. The hop-on, hop-off feature allows tourists to see the attractions that appeal to them the most and while you are slightly at the mercy of their schedule, they come frequently enough that you’re never waiting too long.
At the end of the day, when you return to your RV you are not going to feel like cooking. Trust me. Thankfully the world’s best Mexican restaurant is only a block and half away from you on Grove St. We are so dedicated to Taqueria that we don’t even bother trying to find a place to eat dinner in the city anymore, and have been known to eat there three times in a two day period. What? We don’t get there that often.
For us, RVing and Liberty Harbour RV has not only made New York City an accessible and affordable destination, it’s become a family favourite that we look forward to now year after year.
If you’d like to visit NYC with your RV, you can make reservations with Liberty Harbour here. Worth noting, they also have a few tent sites available for $50 a night.