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Wheelchair Accessible Things to Do in NYC

NYC skyline at dusk

It’s easy to get around the streets of New York City, but figuring out what transportation and places are wheelchair accessible prove to be a bit more difficult. Take an easy ride around the city in a wheelchair accessible van to truly explore all of the amazing sites.

 

Where to Stay


Though most hotels should have wheelchair accessible rooms as mandated by New York State law, they can often be cramped and uncomfortable. Here are some exceptional rooms we found in New York City:

Tryp New York City Times Square South


Located in Midtown, the Tryp is located near Madison Square Garden, Lincoln Center, and Broadway shows.

The hotel has 11 wheelchair accessible rooms with the option of either one king bed or two queen beds in each room. The bathrooms each have roll-in showers and chair benches upon request from housekeeping. The rooms also have wooden floors, which are much more wheelchair friendly than the usual carpeting found in hotels.

Unfortunately, the room falls short in other ways – the bed is positioned highly, which makes transferring from a wheelchair difficult, and the closet rack was placed highly. However, I will say that the loft ceilings are a nice touch, and the hotel had plenty of convenient amenities like Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and in guest rooms, a coffee maker in the room, and a mini fridge.

The Radisson Martinique


Located in Midtown around the corner from the Empire State Building, The Radisson Martinique is on Broadway just a short walk to Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square, Madison Square Garden, Times Square, the Jacob Javitz Center, and Rockefeller Center.

The hotel has 16 handicap accessible rooms (one on each floor), which each entail a roll in shower and sizeable rooms that allow wheelchairs to move comfortably around the room. The showers feature hand rails and a hand-held showerhead, which make showering much easier.

The only downside of this hotel is their Martinique Café, which can be difficult to maneuver in a wheelchair. One must wheel down the wheelchair ramp into the café’s entrance, but then a staircase comes seemingly out of nowhere and feels dangerous if one can’t stop in time. I would advise staying in the hotel and venturing elsewhere for meals, especially since there are plenty of delicious restaurants in the area.

Affinia 50


Located in Midtown East and overlooking the East River, Affinia 50 is near Grand Central Terminal, the Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center, and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

Affinia 50 has nine rooms that are wheelchair accessible. This includes baths with roll in showers, large rooms that allow wheelchairs to move about comfortably, and furniture that is placed lower to the ground so that it’s easily accessible from a wheelchair. The hotel offers both rooms with one king sized bed and rooms with two queens sized beds.

This boutique hotel has a really charming vibe to it. With wood paneled headboards, bright red accented furniture, and hand drawn paintings of the city along with humorous, New York-related cartoons. The aesthetic of the hotel is really beautiful with miniscule details everywhere from the strip of hand painted books lining the wall by the bar in some guest rooms to the glass figurines hanging from the ceiling by the lobby. Of course, Midtown East is quite crowded, but so is everywhere in NYC. This hotel definitely feels like an escape from the chaos you’ll find outside of their doors.


Sightseeing


Statue of Liberty and city skyline


Ellis Island


Though you’ll need assistance from the crew-members to push your wheelchair up the ramp and into the boat, hopping on the water taxi or boat is a beautiful way to spend the afternoon on the water or simply see the Statue of Liberty. Though wheelchairs are unable to hop up to the top-level, there’s still a sweeping view of the city from the main level. The only downside of this boat ride is that there is not any wheelchair accessible restrooms, so be sure to find one before boarding.


Empire State Building


The Empire State Building is fully ADA compliant and has restrooms for people with disabilities on the 86th floor as well as conveniently lowered viewing walls and binoculars to take in the beautiful views. The 86th floor also has a ramp that makes it easier to get around. They’re currently working on making their 102nd floor viewing area wheelchair friendly, but it’s not there quite yet.


Central Park


Central Park is a wonderful escape from the ongoing chaos of the city. Whether you want to head to the zoo or visit the reservoir, the park is vast and offers so many fun things to do. It’s important to note that the terrain does vary through the park, especially by the zoo. There’s a map detailing these slopes as well as a list of restrooms throughout Central Park, although only some of these restrooms are wheelchair accessible.

Rockefeller Plaza


Rockefeller Plaza


All public areas on Top of the Rock are wheelchair accessible and the restrooms on Top of the Rock have designated wheelchair accessible stalls. Also, if you’re interested in taking a tour, their guides are trained to accommodate anyone in need by leading the tour through wheelchair accessible routes at an appropriate speed.

Museums


The Metropolitan Museum of Art


The Met offers a wheelchair accessible entrance on the street level at 81st and 5th Ave and through the parking garage at 80th St and 5th Ave. Visitors with disabilities may use mobility devices, manual and electric wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and manually powered aids, such as walkers, canes, and crutches. Visitors may also borrow standard or wide wheelchairs at the coat check at the 81st Street entrance. The museum also offers an escort as needed if you contact them in advance.


American Museum of Natural History


Entrances for The Rose Center for Earth and Space on 81st Street, the parking garage on 81st Street, and the 77th Street entrance (for special programs) are all wheelchair accessible. All of the theaters include wheelchair locations and companion seats. In addition, the museum’s food service areas are accessible by wheelchair, and they have several wheelchair accessible bathrooms on the lower level, first floor, third floor, and fourth floor. Wheelchairs are also available to borrow on a first-come, first-served basis.


Museum of Modern Art


All entrances and areas of the museum are wheelchair accessible. The entrances on 53rd and 54th Streets have power assist doors, and wheelchairs are available to borrow on a first-come, first-served basis at the checkroom in the main lobby. Motorized wheelchairs are permitted in the museum, and they also offer wheelchair accessible restrooms on every floor except for the Theater 2 level and entry to the Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building.

 

Shopping


Exterior of Macy's in NYC


Macy’s


Enter this flagship store through either the East or West entrance at Macy’s (be sure to avoid the South entrance where the pavement gets a bit rough). The central elevator does have a bit of a wait, but the endless floors and displays are completely worth it. You’ll need to hop on the elevators to get to the restrooms, but they do have wheelchair accessible stalls. The ramps around the store are awkwardly placed but, again, it’s totally worth it for the amazing assortment of merchandise.


Bergdorf Goodman


There are two wheelchair accessible entrances: one on 57th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue and one on 5th Avenue between 57th and 58th Street. There are elevators to access all eight floors all the way from the beauty department to menswear, which is lucky because there’s a ton of gorgeous merchandise to explore at this legendary store. They also have wheelchair accessible bathrooms in their store. Check out the newly remodeled ground floor at this one-of-a-kind department store, which carries designers from Chanel to Tom Ford.


Saks Fifth Avenue


The main entrance for Saks’ flagship store on 5th Avenue and the entrance on 50th Street between 5th Ave and Madison are both wheelchair accessible and there are elevators to access all 11 floors of this gorgeous store. They also have at least one wheelchair accessible stall located in every bathroom. This location features stunning window displays and gorgeous décor strewn through the store.

Times Square streetview at night

Broadway Shows and Beyond


If you’re interested in seeing a show, be sure to contact TKTS in advance since there aren’t a ton of wheelchair accessible seats available. Also, be sure to check with the theater in advance to ensure that they have wheelchair accessibility. Many theaters are easy to access –

like the August Wilson Theatre, which shows Jersey Boys – and have a wheelchair lift into the theater as well as a wheelchair accessible restroom. The Metropolitan Opera, Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, New York City Ballet, and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra also perform in wheelchair-friendly venues.

Like a real New Yorker, you don’t have time to wait around, so let Luxor Limo pick you up in one of our wheelchair accessible vehicles and take you and your friends anywhere you want to explore in this beautiful city.

 
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Category: NYC Fun Facts, NYC Limo, Date Night NYC
Tags: nyc, nyc limo, handicap, handicap accessible, wheelchair

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