New York City Travel Guides

Two great books for two distinct audiences: family travelers and those looking for off-the-beaten-path exploration.


There are so many guidebooks about the Big Apple that you could spend hours staring dumbfounded at the travel section in your local bookstore. Here are two guidebooks that reflect very different ways to explore the city: one a useful reference, and one that highlights the whimsical and offbeat. 

by Laurie Bain Wilson. Open Road Publishing, 2008; $14.95.

This comprehensive guide is perfect for overwhelmed parents who bring their children to New York and don’t have a clue what to do. Laurie Bain Wilson, who happens to be a TravelMuse writer, takes you beyond the Statue of Liberty and Times Square with advice from a mother who’s been there.

New York City with Kids offers a great overview about exploring the city with children and is separated into attractions by borough. Neighborhood maps and detailed subway directions are quite useful and eliminate the need for you to haul around an additional map. Wilson lived in New York City with her son when he was just a baby and her personal anecdotes give weight to her suggestions. You believe her when she says kids like a particular restaurant, or how to entice reluctant museum-goers into changing their tune.


I enjoy Wilson’s chatty tone and like that every listed venue includes all the vitals: hours of operation, directions, cost, deals. In the back of the book, a resource section even offers suggested reading material for children before you make a trip to the city.

Great Tips

Parent Tip boxes offer nuggets of info, such as where to go for little sports enthusiasts to burn off some energy and borrow sporting equipment, like jump ropes. I also especially liked the sample three-day itineraries for kids and teens, respectively.


Some of the descriptions are a bit short, but that’s about my only complaint.

Worth Buying?

Yes. This is a solid guide for families.

Destinations: New York City

Themes: Family Travel, Urban Endeavors

Activities: Arts and Entertainment, Sightseeing

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