Beat the crowd on Memorial Day

Memorial Day in New York City is a special time.  Tons of tourists will turn their extra day off work into a long weekend in NYC, and with so much going on, why not?  Memorial Day Weekend is the focal point of Fleet Week here in NYC, so the streets will be flooded with our armed forces.  There are great events, great people.. Memorial Day is really a great time to be in Manhattan.

In the coming weeks, we’ll have many more blog posts about everything you can do during Fleet Week and Memorial Day, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.  If you’re going to be in NYC the last week of May, but you don’t want to deal with over crowded streets and extravagant events, this is the post that you want to read.  Here are some dos and don’ts on avoiding the crowds in NYC Memorial Day Weekend:

Tom’s Restaurant, popularized by the sitcom Seinfeld, is a Morningside Heights staple

Find the local scene

If you want to avoid crowds Memorial Day Weekend, just do as a local would do.  My recommendation: head up to Morningside Heights.  There is great food and a fun nightlife up around 110th street and the best part is that Columbia students will already be done for the semester.  So let’s ad this up: An area that caters to college students – the college students – most of the locals (New Yorkers love to head “down the shore” Memorial Day Weekend, so many will be out of town) = A great weekend.  If you really want to avoid the crowd, Morningside Heights could be the way to go.

Mr. Met at Citi Field

Catch a ball game

The Yankees will be on a west coast swing over Memorial Day, but the Mets will be home all week.  The great thing about going to a baseball game is that it cannot get too crowded.  The team can only sell so many tickets, so at most it will be like any other big game!  Plus, the Mets have had trouble selling tickets all season, so the stadium will probably be pretty spacious during the home stand.

Double-Decker Bus Tour

Hop-on to a Gray Line New York double-decker bus tour and let everyone else worry about the crowds.  Seriously, you get your own comfortable seat and you still get to see all of the sights.  This is truly the best way to still get to see everything and avoid the crowds.  Otherwise, you’ll have to make some sacrifices.

Stay away from monuments

Here is a simple truth: all war monuments in NYC will have crowds Memorial Day Weekend.  If you want to stay away from the crowds, you have to understand that you won’t be able to see the traditional Memorial Day sights.  You won’t see the Intrepid or the 9/11 Memorial, so start making other plans.  Next time you come to New York you can go see those sights.  You know, when it’s not Memorial Day.

Stay away from the popular tourists locations

Just because Times Square isn’t a war memorial, doesn’t mean that the streets will be empty.  There will be a bunch of people in Manhattan Memorial Day Weekend.  Times Square is packed on Tuesday afternoons; it will be packed Memorial Day Weekend.

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