Beyond the Baseline: How to Prepare a Trip to New York for the US Open

This year’s US Open tennis tournament will take place from August 26th to September 9th. New York is gearing up to offer plenty of festivities, inviting celebrities, international food vendors, and live musicians to perform on the grounds. Of course, all of tennis’ top pros will be there, too. If you’re looking to join the fun, you need to be prepared. NYC is an enormous city, so you need to come with a plan. Check out this guide to get yourself ready for courtside action!

How to Get There

For a large event like the US Open, it’s generally advisable to take public transit. The No. 7 subway line has a stop at Willets Point/Shea Stadium, which is located in the northern part of the park. You can also take the Long Island Railroad (LIRR), which stops at Shea Station at the same place as the subway. Please note that this train only stops here for the US Open, so don’t schedule any other plans around it.
It’s also possible to drive to Shea Stadium, and there is quite a lot of parking nearby. Grand Central Parkway, the Van Wyck Expressway, and the Long Island Expressway all have exits near the stadium.

7 Trains 03.jpg

Where to Stay

New York is a city of options, and as such there are lots of choices for good places to stay. Flushing Meadows is close to La Guardia airport, so any “airport” hotel is conveniently located near the US Open tournament grounds, which is great for people who are flying in to town for the event. The Mariott. Holiday Inn, and Howard Johnson at La Guardia are both good choices for local lodgings. If you’d like to stay at somewhere more upscale, look into the Hotel de Pointe Flushing or the Marco LaGuardia Hotel by Lexington. On the other hand, if you’ve spent all your money on US Open tickets, you can also look into staying at the YMCA in Flushing, which does offer accommodations.

Attending the US Open

If you haven’t already done so, make sure to buy your tickets as soon as possible because they are going fast. You can buy tickets for the whole series, or select rounds, and they also offer group packages. If you get tickets at the event, a grounds pass for the day costs $45 and grants access to all but the matches in the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Arthur Ashe Stadium

When you get to the stadium, you need to go through the security line to have your bag checked. However, if you don’t bring a bag, you can take the express security line and skip the excruciatingly long wait. The express line is a god send during the busiest sessions.
During the first rounds of the tournament, there are matches happening all over the place all day, so it can be tricky to figure out where to be. Soak everything in by spending the first couple days learning where everything is, so when a match comes up that you are really interested in, you’ll know right where to go.

Kids' Day

Other Things to do in New York

While you’re in New York, why not do something non-tennis related as well (as if you can have enough tennis in your life)? Flushing is home to an exciting China town that has everything from dim sum to comic books, and there it has something to interest everyone. Corona Park has lots of cool attractions like the Unisphere and is also home to the Queens Museum of Art, which houses a unique collection of New York-related artwork. Queens also has a fantastic botanical garden that spans 39 acres. Originally created for the World’s Fair, its Rose Garden and Fragrance Walk are not to be missed.

Unisphere

John Gower is a writer for NerdWallet, a personal finance website dedicated to helping tennis lovers save money with financial tips on everything from travel tips to info on prepaid tuition and college savings plans.

Pics by Victoria Belanger (Train 7), Jonathan (Unisphere) and pics of my trip to the 2006 US Open.

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