The Big Apple…..Via RV!

Most of us don’t associate our RV travel with a visit to New York City. The two just don’t seem to mix. Our RVs represent freedom to travel, the open road, scenic vistas….New York symbolizes the hectic pace, the snarled traffic and the ongoing excitement of the most populous city in the United States.

But it doesn’t have to be that way….many RVers do experience New York to the utmost. While you won’t find any campgrounds in Manhattan, there are campgrounds in areas surrounding the city, and by utilizing the excellent public transportation routes throughout the area, it’s easy to spend some time in the city without the hassle and expense of a downtown hotel.

We opted to stay as close as possible to the city, so we very carefully drove our fifth wheel trailer over the George Washington bridge (well, actually we spent quite a bit of time stopped in traffic on the bridge) and headed for a campground across the river in Jersey City. Yes, it was a bit scary and treacherous navigating the one-way streets, but once we arrived – magnificent. Liberty Harbor RV Park is little more than a marina parking lot with RV hookups, but the location and the view just can’t be beat and there are several other RV parks in the area.

Not only did we have views of downtown Manhattan’s skyscrapers, we also looked out at the Statue of Liberty. Lady Liberty was the concept of a Frenchman, Edouard de Laboulaye, who commissioned French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi to design and build her using the Greco-Roman techniques. In 1874, Bartholdi sailed into New York harbor, and spotted Bledsloe’s Island, and decided that it would be the site for his statue, since it would always have an audience. The Americans agreed to build the pedestal for the statue, while the French funded the statue’s building and assembly. This worked quite well in France, where fees were collected publicly and through sales of various items with the statue design on it, but financial support did not come about as readily in the United States. Finally, Joseph Pulitzer took over the fundraising through his newspaper “The World” and the necessary funds were donated.

Our campground was located just a short drive to Liberty State Park, where we were able to catch the ferry to Ellis Island, the Statue and then on to Manhattan. The city is a walking metropolis, and neighborhoods abound with character, great food, interesting architecture, fabulous shopping, and great people. Chinatown, Little Italy, Greenwich Village, Canal Street and Soho are just some of the diverse and exciting areas to explore. The opportunities to see world class theater productions on Broadway, wander through famous art museums, visit Wall Street and Rockefeller Plaza, and journey up the Empire State Building just can’t be found anywhere else in the world. There’s nightlife and restaurants galore with every variety of food imaginable, and you can escape the hustle and bustle right in the middle of Manhattan in the 843 acres of Central Park.

Located on a huge natural harbor and the Hudson River, New York actually consists of five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island. It was founded by the Dutch as a commercial trading post in 1624 and named New Amsterdam. The English took over 40 years later and renamed it New York.

New York is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and diverse cities in the world. Like so many other fantastic destinations, it’s quite possible to enjoy the Big Apple in your RV!