Going to the U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows is a tennis lover's dream — a real bucket list item. Knowing the inside skinny on how to get there, what to take, what to wear and where to eat makes your day a winner no matter who ends up holding the championship trophy. Here are some valuable tips to make your day all you want it to be.
01 of 09
Take the Subway or the LIRR
Don't even think about driving to the U.S. Open. Driving is a headache. Parking is expensive and far from where the tournament is played, and the traffic can kill your swinging mood.
The No. 7 subway is cheap and stops a short walk from the U.S. Open. So does the more expensive LIRR (Long Island Rail Road). The advantages of the LIRR over the subway are the set schedule, comfier seats and a faster trip from Manhattan's Penn Station.
02 of 09
Want to be close to the action? You aren't going to get that in Arthur Ashe Stadium unless you have a corporate connection or big bucks. You're better off skipping the expensive upper tier at Arthur Ashe (and its infamous poor views) and getting a grounds admission pass during the first week of the U.S. Open.
Grounds admission lets you see matches at Louis Armstrong Stadium, the Grandstand and all of the up-close-and-personal field courts. Who plays there? Some of the best. The grounds pass is sold for the first eight days of the Open.
03 of 09
Don't Bring a Bag
Don't bring a bag or purse, not even a paper bag with your take out lunch. The security lines for folks with bags can get insane. If you don't bring a bag, then you can get in a separate line that moves a lot faster.
If you must bring one, there is a limit to one bag per person. Size limitations apply. Amongst other items, backpacks, laptops, food and selfie sticks are not permitted.
04 of 09
The morning lines at the East Gate, right off the subway/LIRR, are the longest and slowest. Walk around the crowd and to the South Gate, which is directly in front of the Unisphere.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09
Dang, that sun is bright, and there isn't a lick of shade at Flushing Meadows. Want to follow the match? Visitors are highly advised to bring their own pair of sunglasses, lest you feel forced to fork over your Christmas bonus in advance for a fancy pair at one of the many U.S. Open shopping kiosks. A hat and sunblock will also make you happier.
06 of 09
The U.S. Open offers up seven restaurants and bars for your dining pleasure., including some cult NYC favorites like Korilla BBQ and Fuku, the chicken sandwich joint from Momofuku mastermind David Chang.
But you will pay dearly for this privilege and location. If you're feeling frugal, get your hand stamped and step outside the Open for late lunch from a hot dog cart in Flushing Meadows Park for half the price or less. There are carts immediately outside the East Gate or near the Unisphere out the South Gate.
Or walk farther in the park toward the soccer fields, and you'll find a couple Ecuadorean and Peruvian snack carts for even less money.
Or eat on your way to the Open or on your way home by subway to train.
07 of 09
Take a Walk to the West Side
On a sunny day, the Open can feel overrun with people. Head to the West Side, away from Louis Armstrong Stadium, and you'll find fewer people and more chances to see great tennis at the field courts.
08 of 09
The U.S. Open is played over two weeks from the end of August to the second week of September. It's summer, and the New York summer is hot and humid. Wear a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and loose clothes. If the weather report says anything about possible thunderstorms, pack an umbrella for these short monsoons (or to keep the sun off). And keep hydrated in the heat.
You might catch some shade at Arthur Ashe Stadium (except on the north side) but don't count on it to last. The field courts are all about hats. At night it'll cool down, but not as much as you might like. Thunderstorms are a real possibility.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
Too worn out from a day at the Open to see New York? All you have to do is walk seven minutes to the Queens Museum of Art and see the whole of NYC in a room. The Panorama of New York City is a huge, scale-model replica of the city, and it's free for your viewing pleasure during the Open.