Fun in New York City – The Tour Edition
There are many touring options available to explore New York City including walking, helicopter, bus, subway, boat, ferry, and tram.
New York City has so much to offer its residents and tourists who come from all over the world come to see its famous sites and to get a glimpse of life in the Big Apple. There are many tour companies based in the city that offer some fun options to explore the city. The Insider’s Guide: Family Fun-New York City makes note of some of the more popular tours in the city.
Walking Tours in New York
In the summertime, walking tours are popular in New York. These tours encourage visitors to rub shoulders with the locals and really observe and learn new and fascinating facts about a particular New York neighborhood. No bus seat is required, just comfortable walking shoes. There is no doubt that participating in these tours will benefit the environment and the physique. The tours listed here take participants off the beaten path and into New York neighborhoods otherwise overlooked by the big bus companies.
Foods of New York Tour
Since 1990, the Foods of New York Tour has provided a non-touristy experience in food tasting. Sample foods from ethnic neighborhoods, such as Chinatown’s Peking duck and dumplings. Smaller, but popular restaurants and food cart vendors are patronized. New York prides itself on the mom-and-pop establishments that represent the real heart and soul of the city. The slower pace of this tour encourages people to witness New York on the move while sampling culinary delights from SoHo, the Meatpacking District, and Greenwich Village.
No visit to New York is complete without a slice of pizza. So many pizzerias boast the best pizza in New York that it’s hard to choose a favorite. For serious pizza enthusiasts or a fun activity let Scott’s Pizza Tour help navigate the quest for the best slice in the city. Walking tours are provided through Little Italy and Greenwich Village for a historical perspective on pizza’s origins in New York. Then devour slices at three of the city’s top eateries. Pizza slices are kept simple with no toppings. Visit www.scottspizzatours.com.
Neighborhood Walking Tours in New York City
Neighborhood tours provide a close-up view of a specific area in the city. These tours often showcase neighborhood and cultural attractions such as parks, cultural institutions, architecturally significant buildings, libraries, etc. These tours provide historical information and tell visitors about the things that make the neighborhood particularly unique. Some tours even provide a glimpse into the life of its residents with open houses of prominent buildings, homes, and apartments in the area. For this reason, these tours are especially attractive to both tourists and even curious New York City residents.
Neighborhood tours are usually walking tours, many of them run by cultural centers and neighborhood associations. NYC Walk provides over 26 walking tours (both public and private tours) of neighborhoods all over the city. Five of their most popular walking tours cover the Midtown Architecture, Gargoyles in Manhattan, Upper East Side Millionaires Mile, Little Italy/Nolita, and the Lower East Side Jewish Heritage Walking Tours.
Take the New York City Subway Tour
Another cheap and exciting way to see the city is to take a train ride on the MTA. The best way to do this is to start at the beginning of one line and take the train all the way through to the last stop. New York City has one of the oldest subway systems in the world as well as some elevated track stations in the outer boroughs. A train ride on the D train line for example extends from the Bronx through Manhattan and into Brooklyn ending at the famous Coney Island. The A train line travels through Manhattan and Brooklyn and into Far Rockaway, Queens on one of its service lines. In Far Rockaway, Queens, tourists can take a walk on Rockaway Beach. A subway tour is a good way to explore the outer boroughs and people-watch. Sometimes, there are even street performers who perform right on the train or in the subway station.
Bus Tours through New York City
One of the more popular bus tours around the city is the Red Double Decker Bus Tours which are run by Grayline Tours. These buses are two stories high and are modeled after the bus lines in the UK. These tours follow specific routes through Manhattan and some of the other parts of the city and can be a great way to get an overview of the neighborhood. For added convenience, these bus tours can be picked up at multiple buses stops all across the city. On a warm and sunny day, the best spot is on the top deck of the bus.
Another special bus tour is the Sex and the City Hotspots Tour. This tour takes guests to all of the major sites filmed for the popular television and movie series, Sex and the City. Highlights for this tour include the art gallery where Charlotte worked, the site of Big and Carrie’s wedding rehearsal dinner (Buddakhan), and some of the popular boutiques and stores in Soho and the Village, etc.
Tour New York City by Air: Helicopter and Tram
Tours by air give a bird’s eye view of the city which is a unique way to see the city. Some of the best film shots of the city were taken by air and this is an opportunity to have the same experience. Air tours are often conducted via helicopter. These flights run for about fifteen minutes and charge upwards of $150 for each passenger. The helicopter will travel over Manhattan and the Hudson and East Rivers giving a spatial view of the city that is often only seen in movies and in photographs. Companies such as the Liberty Helicopter Tour and the Helicopter Flight Services offer helicopter tours from heliports around the city.
Another option is to take the Roosevelt Island Tram which travels by air from Manhattan across the East River to Roosevelt Island. Roosevelt Island is a small island that sits between Manhattan and Queens. The Tram provides a great view of the Midtown skyline, the East River, and several of its bridges. Once across, tourists can also take a mini-tour of this island with its small-town feel and even have lunch at one of the restaurants on Main Street.
Boat Tours in New York City
New York City is made up of several islands with expansive rivers including the Hudson and East Rivers and 22 bridges that connect them all. Add the Statue of Liberty, the New York Harbor, and a world-famous skyline to the mix and it is the perfect excuse to explore it all by boat. Boat tours leave from various ports around Manhattan including South Street Seaport and Chelsea Piers. Some of the more popular boat companies include Circle Line, The Beast, World Yacht, Spirit Cruises, Bateaux New York, and the New York Water Taxi company.
A cheaper way to see the city by boat is to take a ride on the Staten Island Ferry. The Ferry provides an alternative way to see the harbor, a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty and Governors Island, and to top it all off it is free!
There are so many ways to explore New York City and group tours are a great way to do it. Take a walking tour for a close-up view of neighborhoods or a helicopter for a bird’s eye view. Tours by subway, bus, or boat are also exceptional ways to see the city. Bon Voyage!