the most pleasant route from New Paltz NY to JFK and LaGuardia airports

What’s a blog for if not to pass along completely random information? Upstaters, you’ll thank me for this, seriously.

I have a side job dropping off and picking up my sweetheart from area airports, and a lot of our time is spent thinking about ways to mitigate the trauma of driving to NYC airports. He tries to get flights from our little Stewart airport, but it’s not always possible. The next best is Newark, then LaGuardia, and JFK is the worst.

Most of his flights go out of JFK.

Here’s a nice little route that MapQuest will never suggest. It’s not a shortcut – it usually takes me between 2 hours and 2 hours, 15 minutes to get to JFK, 1 hr 45 minutes-2 hours to LaGuardia (with 1.5 hours to Newark and 1/2 hr to Stewart, you really see why JFK is such hell).

Take the Thruway to exit 17 and merge onto 84 East. Go for 45 minutes or so to exit 20S (mile 67) and get onto 684 S. At exit 1, get on the Hutch (named for Anne Hutchinson, a very cool lady.) Notice the nice stone bridges.

You can start listening to WNYC, the nice NYC NPR station at about this time (AM 820 or FM 93.9). Follow the Hutch over the Whitestone Bridge. (Hey, does the Taconic become the Hutch at some point, is that perhaps an even easier route? Let me know if you have experience with it.)

From here just follow signs for either JFK or LaGuardia. Both routes will incur traffic at about this spot. It’s OK, it’s always like this.

Notice the New York Times Building (not the one in Times Square – this is the building where the paper actually gets printed!) on your right at exit 14.

At exit 13 either turn right to go to LaGuardia (who I personally blame for everyone thinking my name has a capital G too), or left to go to JFK.

If going to JFK, on your right at around this point is the World’s Fair park with that big globe, and on your left is Shea Stadium and the US Open stadium.

Keep following the signs and you’re there!

When you come out of JFK to go home, follow signs for the Van Wyck and reverse the whole thing.

If trying to get home from LaGuardia, good luck, I always get turned around and can never remember the signs that will get you back to the Whitestone.

6 Responses to “the most pleasant route from New Paltz NY to JFK and LaGuardia airports”

  1. celeste, a mac geek

    I like Albany. It’s mellow, it’s got Southwest, parking is inexpensive and I love that neat-o observation deck at the end of the runway. It’s probably the same distance as Newark but the drive is exponentially more pleasant.

    And oh! there’s an Apple store along the way.

  2. lagusta

    Yeah – I have friends in Albany, and also love Apple stores, and most people I know try to get flights out of Albany and tell me it’s so much nicer. Annoyingly, Jacob’s flights are almost always scheduled out of an NYC airport because he flies with the rest of the band and it seems to be easier (and maybe cheaper?) for them to go together. I’m going to push for Albany flights though, thanks for the reminder!

  3. johanna

    Heh. I prefer JFK over LaGuardia just b/c the bus on my corner takes about 20 min. to get to JFK. So theoretically I could be a bonus on your JFK route, ha ha! (for another month anyway until I move)

  4. sarah

    how can i get to new paltz from la guardia? would appreciate suggestions. does a bus run at 11 pm?

  5. Lynda

    Hello, we are USA rookies (travelling from the Highlands of Scotland), planning to land at JFK on 20 Sept and drive to New Paltz the next morning after picking up a hire car. Are we mad or will a Saturday morning be better than a week day? Do we have to drive through NYC and are the signs as you mention for Van Wyck obvious, Many thanks


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