Safe, residential, professional, and full of families, the Upper West Side is sandwiched between Manhattan's Central Park and Riverside Park, running from West 59th Street up to West 110th Street. Beautiful low-rise brownstones blend with tall, swanky apartment on the numbered streets that branch off Columbus Avenue, Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway, the area's major thoroughfares. Kid-friendly museums like the Children's Museum of Manhattan, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Hayden Planetarium make this a prime location for families looking to get outside the tourist crowds in Times Square.
Though certainly affluent, the Upper West Side is a bit humbler than the downtown neighborhoods -- think Seinfeld, not Sex and the City. Like anywhere in New York, great restaurants are easy to find. But velvet-roped nightclubs, fashion boutiques, and art galleries are replaced by sports bars, doggie apparel shops, and the Folk Art Museum.
Hotels in the Upper West Side target a balance of families, couples, and business travelers -- basically anyone looking for a quiet alternative to the tourist traps in Times Square. But being a less popular destination also means that there are few hotels to choose from. Classy options includes the Lucerne, which offers tasteful decor and top-notch service. For families, the Beacon provides large, kitchenette-outfitted rooms for a reasonable price. For a small-scale boutique-hotel experience, check out On the Ave.
It might seem impossible for a great hotel to stay under the radar in New York City, where everything new and noteworthy gets hyped to death within, well, a New York minute. But the residential Upper West Side is often overlooked by tourists. It's a great destination for visitors who want to experience New York as the locals do, and it's home to a a few hotel gems that deserve more recognition than they get.
April - June
Jan. - March
No, for nationalities included in the Visa Waiver Program
120 V, 60 Hz
15-20% in restaurants and cabs