We have a one day layover at JFk airport in a couple of weeks, and of course we (3 of us) would like to see a little of Manhattan (probably Times Square). We'll arrive JFK at about 3:30pm on Wednesday and leave JFK about 4:30pm Thursday. It will be the second time in Manhattan for two of us, and the first time for one of us.
We can't afford a hotel around Times Square, but were able to find two reasonably priced hotels in Long Island that might work for us. One is the Hampton Inn NY-JFK, 144-10 135th Avenue | Jamaica | NY | and the other is the Verve Hotel, 40-03 29th Street, Long Island City, NY. Realistically, we have enough time just to have dinner say near Times Square and then just walk around the area on Wednesday, and maybe go somewhere with a nice panoramic view of Manhattan on Thursday morning. So we have several questions:
1. which hotel might work out better for the three of us in terms of location (neighborhood, transit connections, etc)?
2. what is the best transportation options for us from JFK to hotel, from hotel to Manhattan, and back? Given that we'll be arriving at rush hour, would it be better for us to stay near JFK (the Hampton) or closer to Manhattan (Verve)?
3. What is a good and not too expensive viewpoint site of Manhattan that we can easily get to?
4. what other considerations do we need to take into account or some place worth visiting nearby the hotels?
We're getting excited. Thanks for your advice.