New York City has three major, air carrier airports, Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark, all operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and three major train and subway hubs, Grand Central and Penn Stations in Midtown, and the World Trade Center Oculus Downtown       


     John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)  is located in the borough of Queens, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) and about a 45-minute drive from Manhattan from Midtown Manhattan in light traffic (MAP).  JFK is a major hub for international airlines including British Airways and Emirates Airways, providing service to destinations all over the world, including Europe, Asia, and South America. Delta Airlines is the dominant domestic air carrier, operating more than 200 flights daily, followed in order by Jet Blue and American Airlines providing service mostly to domestic U.S. destinations.

In addition to taxis and ride-sharing services via Lyft and Uber, arriving and departing passengers have several options for transportation into Midtown Manhattan, including AirTrain JFK with connections to the New York City subway and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) at Jamaica Station, where passengers can transfer to the LIRR or other subway lines to reach Midtown.

Read more about JFK Airport here.  (

      LaGuardia Airport (LGA): LaGuardia Airport New York City’s major domestic airport, also located in Queens, about eight miles (13 kilometers) from Midtown (MAP), and served primarily by domestic airlines providing scheduled service within the United States and Canada.  

LaGuardia Airport is a major hub for Delta Airlines, currently providing more than 200 flights daily, and though not a hub, per se, for either American and United Airlines, both provide significant levels of direct or connecting service for visitors traveling to and from destinations in their respective networks.

 LaGuardia closer to Manhattan, about a 30-to 45-minute drive in light traffic but occasionally up to two hours at the peak of rush hour.  Transportation options to and from Midtown include taxi and ride-share providers from each terminal, of course, as well as by NYC Airporter Bus, which provides service to several Midtown locations.

Read more about LaGuardia Airport here

    Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), although located in Newark, New Jersey, is still considered one of the main airports serving New York City.  It’s a hub for both domestic and international flights.

United is Newark Liberty’s main air carrier, handling about 60 % of its passengers, followed by Jet Blue, which operates about 10% of the scheduled flights.

Newark Liberty Airport is the most remote of the three air carrier airports operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in the New York City area, and is located 16 miles or about 45 minutes from Manhattan in light traffic. (MAP)  

Transportation options for passengers traveling from EWR to and from Midtown Manhattan include taxi and ride-share operators outside each terminal, of course, as well as Airtrain Newark, and Airport Express Bus.  Travel times to Midtown average about 30-40 minutes, depending on transfer times and train schedules via AirTrain, and about 45-60 minutes by bus or by taxi or Lyft or Uber ride-shares, again depending on traffic conditions.  

 Read more about Newark Liberty International Airport here.  


Grand Central Terminal (also known as Grand Central Station), pictured above, is one of the most visited destinations in America.  It is an architectural masterpiece and a bustling commuter rail hub serving the Metro-North Railroad’s Harlem, Hudson, and New Haven Lines, principally connecting New York City commuters to and from New York and Connecticut suburbs.

Even for visitors not catching a train, Grand Central Terminal is a must-see attraction.   The four-faced clock at the center of the massive Main Concourse (once the largest enclosed space in the world), is a traditional, hard-to-miss meeting place for residents and visitors alike, and the somewhat lesser-known Whispering Hall on the balcony outside the Oyster Bar is an attraction in itself, where two people can stand at opposite corners and whisper, and the curved ceiling carries their voices all the way across the gallery. There is also a large, mostly fast-food dining concourse one level below the Grand Hall, a very good, reasonably priced family lunch option on a rainy day.

Grand Central Station’s main entrance is on 42nd Street, a short walk along 42nd Street from Times Square, between Park and Lexington Avenues (next door to another major New York City attraction, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, both easily walkable from Times Square.  Grand Central Terminal is also connected to several subway lines, allowing for easy access to and from other parts of Manhattan and beyond.  

Visit New York’s editors recommend that families who will be in Midtown and Downtown (that is, most families) visit Grand Central Terminal in Midtown and the Oculus transportation hub Downtown for an interesting comparison of transportation hubs opened 103 years apart.

Read more about Grand Central Terminal 

List nearby attractions.

Pennsylvania Station (Penn Station) is a major transportation hub serving AMTRAK, Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), and New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit) trains.  While some commuters do arrive and depart Penn Station, leisure visitors arriving on AMTRAK from locations outside commuting range would always arrive there.

Penn Station is located in Midtown Manhattan, near well-known landmarks including The Edge at Hudson Yards, Madison Square Garden and the Empire State Building.   The main entrance to Penn Station is on 8th Avenue between 31st and 33rd Streets (about 10 blocks south of Times Square), (MAP) but there are also entrances via subway stations on 34th Street and 7th Avenue and on 34th Street and 8th Avenue.

In addition to taxi and ride-share choices for arriving visitors, Penn Station is connected to several subway lines, making it easy to travel to other parts of Manhattan and beyond, and there are bus stops nearby, offering additional transportation options.

Read more about AMTRAK and Penn Station here.

The following is a list of destinations reachable on AMTRAK either directly or via connections to and from Penn Station:


Boston, Massachusetts

Washington, D.C.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Baltimore, Maryland

Providence, Rhode Island

Albany, New York

Buffalo, New York

Niagara Falls, New York

Chicago, Illinois

Miami, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Raleigh, North Carolina

Richmond, Virginia

Charlotte, North Carolina

Atlanta, Georgia

New Orleans, Louisiana

Savannah, Georgia

Charleston, South Carolina

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Springfield, Massachusetts

St. Louis, Missouri

Memphis, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee

Cincinnati, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio

Indianapolis, Indiana

Detroit, Michigan

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Kansas City, Missouri

Denver, Colorado

San Francisco, California

Los Angeles, California

Seattle, Washington

Portland, Oregon

Salt Lake City, Utah

Phoenix, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

San Diego, California

Vancouver, British Columbia


Montreal, Quebec (Canada)

Toronto, Ontario (Canada)


The World Trade Center Oculus is an architectural marvel, a subway and commuter transportation hub, an upscale retail shopping mall, and a not-to-be-missed attraction located steps from the September 11 Memorial Plaza (MAP) and within walking distance (above- or underground) of the, World Trade Center, the One World Observatory and the beautiful Winter Garden in Brookfield Place, and an easy, 15-minute walk (MAP), in good weather, to Battery Park and the Statue of Liberty Ferry.  

Designed by the renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, this striking 350-foot-long structure was designed to resemble a bird being released from a child’s hand, symbolizing love and hope for the City after the September 11 attack that destroyed Lower Manhattan’s subterranean transportation infrastructure.

Families staying in Jersey City or Hoboken can take the PATH train directly into the Oculus, while visitors staying in Midtown can take the subway to the Fulton Street or Cortlandt Street stops.  Every family visiting New York, especially for the first time, should plan to spend at least half a day at this location after visiting the Statue of Liberty.

Learn more about the Oculus here. 

The Port Authority Bus Terminal

Visitors opting to sleep in affordable nationally flagged hotels in the Meadowlands of New Jersey, and not wishing to drive into and park in New York City, have the option of commuting into Manhattan by scheduled bus via the Port Authority Bus Terminal, PABT (pictured at ) in the heart of Midtown.

The Port Authority, as it is called by residents, is the world’s busiest bus terminal, servicing more than 225,000 passengers and 8,000 buses daily and a large network of scheduled bus line operators.  It is located between 40th and 42nd Streets on 8th Avenue, the Port Authority is a stone’s throw (literally a block down 42nd Street from 8th to 7th Avenues) to and from Times Square. 

With over 200 departure gates spread across multiple levels, the terminal might at first seem overwhelming for first-time visitors, especially at rush hour, but digital displays and helpful staff can guide you to your gate.

For families staying in Harmon Meadow and visiting New York City, NJ Transit Route 320 runs directly between the centrally located Harmon Meadow Park & Ride and the Port Authority Bus Terminal every 20 minutes; the trip takes about 20 minutes except at rush hour.

For families staying in the City, but wanting to visit the American Dream complex in the Meadowlands, NJ Transit Bus #355 offers the most convenient option. It’s a direct route with Weekday departures at 10:00 AM and 12:30 PM from Gate 305 at Port Authority, and hourly weekend service from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM.  Return trips run from American Dream to Port Authority following a similar schedule, and the ride takes about 30 minutes under normal traffic.