This past summer, I visited New York City 3 times and each time by a different mode of transportation. I’ve done Greyhound buses, drove with my own car, and flew. Each time was an experience by itself and I don’t regret anything. Here is some info on each to help you if you’re also thinking of planning a trip to NYC…(which I totally recommend)
I took the greyhound bus once leaving Toronto at 7:30PM on a Thursday, arriving in New York City at 6:30AM on Friday. It was an overnight bus which was nice since you can just sleep the entire way….other than getting out at the border for passport check. If you book in advance you can get pretty good deals. I paid $180 round-trip since it was a last minute booking and it was during a long weekend. The buses do have a toilet in the bus, although they don’t encourage using it. The bus driver also does stop a few times along the way for bathroom/food break. One good thing about taking the bus is that it arrives right in the heart of the city at Port Authority which is minutes from times square. It also leaves right from downtown Toronto. My return was on Sunday at 8PM, arriving in Toronto at 7AM on Monday…and straight to work from there of course!
According to google maps, Toronto to New York City is an 8 hour drive that I was dreading but I decided to do it since my lease was going to be up soon and I had unused KM’s left on my car.. so I figured I might as well use the car to it’s max before turning it in (yeah, I like getting my money’s worth!). To my surprise, the drive was not bad at all. The scenery along the way is quite beautiful. As long as you’ve got good company, a good playlist, and the time available, I would say go ahead and drive. Gas only came up to $160 CAD round trip so it was very cheap! (I drove a Ford Escape at the time). There is a toll bridge you will go through to get in the city that costs $15 USD. We left Toronto around 3PM and checked into our airbnb in Brooklyn around Midnight…this includes us making a couple quick stops for food and bathroom. You can click here to see the exact route we took (shortest route). Once we got to our home base in Brooklyn, we parked the car on the street for free and did not move it till we were leaving the city! Metro or Uber is the way to get around while in NY. If you’re looking to split up the drive into 2 days, there are a few cool spots along the way that I would recommend checking out, like Watkins Glen. I will write a post about that soon! stay tuned.
I flew with Porter Airlines for the first time for my 3rd New York trip. I liked the fact that they run out of Billy Bishop’s airport right downtown. If you setup a loyalty account with Porter Airlines online and subscribe to their emails, you might get a discount coupon code sent to you that you can use towards your flight. Porter only flies into EWR-Newark airport which is in New Jersey. A cab will cost you at least $80 USD to Manhattan, plus the time getting stuck in traffic. I would suggest taking the New Jersey Transit train, which is what I did. It only costs $13 USD and 25 minutes from Penn Station in Manhattan to pretty much right into the terminal in EWR and vice versa. It was super easy and better than I expected.
You can also check flights from departing from Pearson Airport in Toronto and also Buffalo, NY. I’ve seen JetBlue sometimes offering round-trip flights from Buffalo to New York City for $60CAD.
In conclusion, best way to get to New York City from Toronto really depends on what kind of trip you’re looking for. Driving, if more than 2 people total in the car is the most economical way. However, if you’ve only got 3-4 days I’d recommend flying to make the most of your time. If you’re traveling solo and flying is not in your budget, greyhound or Megabus is your best bet. This all also depends on the time of the year, as well. I drove at the end of April/beginning of May and it was a great time to see all the trees come into life with cherry blossoms gaze into the many different shades of green alongside the road.
Stay tuned for my recommendation of things to do and checkout while in the city!