How to Plan Your Perfect Day at the U.S. Open
There are many occasions both big and small that mark the beginning of fall in New York City. The trees begin to change colors in Central Park. The evenings end with a cool breeze. The smell of pumpkin-flavored treats waft toward you in your favorite bakery. There’s one event in particular that truly signifies the arrival of autumn: the U.S. Open. For two weeks, New Yorkers gather in Queens to watch the best tennis players in the world compete for the cup. A day at the tournament is a classic New York experience that you don’t want to miss. Here’s everything you need to know about going to the U.S. Open.
Buy your tickets ahead of time.
The U.S. Open takes place across three venues: the Arthur Ashe Stadium, the Louis Armstrong Stadium, and the Grandstand Stadium. There are different types of tickets available at all three, so buy your tickets online and start planning your visit.
Map your journey.
The subway is the fastest and easiest way to get to the U.S. Open. From Manhattan, catch a Queens-bound 7 train and ride it to Mets-Willets Point station. Or, take the Long Island Rail Road to Mets-Willets Point station from Woodside. You’ll probably meet fellow tennis fans on the way! From Midtown, the trip takes about 45 minutes.
Arrive early so you can explore the grounds.
Matches start at 11 am every day, but the gates open at least an hour ahead of time. We suggest getting there around 10 am, giving you ample time to beat the rush, go through security, and explore the grounds before finding your seat. There’s plenty to see and do at every turn. Pro tip: Make sure you head up to the new roof for stunning views of the stadiums and city, which debuted last year.
Bring only the essentials.
Going to the U.S. Open is a full-day event, and it’s tempting to bring a lot with you. But try to limit it to only the essentials. Your bag cannot be larger than 12”W x 12”H x 16”L. If you do need to bring something with you, there’s a bag storage facility on location for a small fee.
Know what you can’t bring into the stadiums.
According to U.S. Open guidelines, the following items are not permitted: backpacks, hard coolers, sealed packages, glass or metal bottles or cans, aerosol cans or noisemaking devices, alcohol, video cameras or recording devices, computers or laptops, food, weapons, animals, flags, laser pointers, tennis racquets, drones, and selfie sticks.
Bring your appetite.
From snacks to sit-down meals, there are countless spaces to dine and drink at the tournament. The U.S. Open Food Village features grab-and-go regional cuisine and specialty items from restaurants like Hill Country BBQ, Fuku, and Prime Burger. For a more formal dining experience, there are also full-service restaurants like Aces and Champions Bar & Grill. Don’t forget to make a reservation for those!
Make a day of it!
Like we said, there’s plenty to see and do on the grounds at every turn. While most of the action happens at Arthur Ashe Stadium, there are plenty of other matching happening all over. When you’re not watching a set, make your way to the practice courts to see some of the world’s greatest players warm up. If possible, make a day of it and stay into the night, because that’s when the play heats up and the U.S. Open really shines.