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New York city - can you recommend a day bus tour of the city?

New York city - can you recommend a day bus tour of the city?

Apr 14th, 2010, 06:11 PM
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New York city - can you recommend a day bus tour of the city?

My first time in NYC - my 18 year old daughter and I have only 3 days, one of which will be used for a college visit. Can you recommend a bus tour to hit the major sites to see? Any other recommendations? by the way, this is NEXT WEEK! Last minute decision to make the trip.

Cindywho is offline  
Apr 14th, 2010, 06:36 PM
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Please do no waste your tim eon a bus trip. All you do is see the outside of a bunch if buildings (and the good stuff is all inside the buildings) while sitting in traffic. (In Manhattan walking crosstown is the same speed as a bus.) Plus, tours buses can't get to some of the most interesting sights - like Central Park. (I can;t tell you how many tour buses I see at B'way & 96th St - for god know what reason, and the tourists on top are madly snapping me and my neighbors going to the bank or the drug store or cleaners or gourmet garage. Why they want pix of locals doing their errands I have no idea - but I guess they take pix of what they can see.)

Instead I would decide what YOU want to spend time on and just go and do it. To get a real feel for the city (necessary for someone who is thinking of spending 4 years here) you need to walk short distances and take the subway for longer ones.
nytraveler is offline  
Apr 14th, 2010, 07:06 PM
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mclaurie is offline  
Apr 14th, 2010, 09:34 PM
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Same as mclaurie, kingofnyc.com Loved our day with them.
MichelleY is online now  
Apr 15th, 2010, 03:19 AM
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A bus tour would be a good way for you to get a general overview of the city since your time is so limited. You can always plan for "next time" and if your daughter decides to go to school there you'll have lots of time to explore neighborhoods in depth. Agree that kingofnyc.com would be a good one to look into.

As far as people taking photos from the tops of tour buses . . . well sometimes people like NYC street scenes (even in mundane neighborhoods) and although it's flattering to think they are taking your photo going to the bank or the drug store, sadly they are not zooming in on you, but rather getting an overall shot of your street.
Margo_Chester is offline  
Apr 15th, 2010, 05:54 AM
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Although I am perfectly aware that my take will have absolutely no effect on the tour bus industry I still have to recommend to visitors that are much better ways to see this town than those ubiquitous tour buses. First - YOu are encapsulated in that vehicle - on the outside looking in. Your nose is pressed against the window (symbolically) trying to see the city. With a little research before your visit you can easily determine the sites and sights that interest you - and are all easily accessed via public transportation (at a fraction of the cost - save your money for a really good meal at a top notch restaurant).
jroth is offline  
Apr 15th, 2010, 06:01 AM
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I disagree with jroth. NYC can be overwhelming. She's there for 3 days, with one of them devoted to college visits. It's hard to navigate the city and see everything you'd like to see in several days. There's nothing wrong - and a lotta right - with getting an overview of the city via a tour bus. I wouldn't go on a bus tour of a country, but am a big fan of city overview tours. You see highlights of the city, get an idea of what you'd like to go back and visit in a more leisurely fashion and don't get frustrated in the process.

Cindywho, I'm also a fan of the foodsofny.com walking tours of Greenwich Village and other areas. GREAT fun!
starrs is offline  
Apr 15th, 2010, 08:20 AM
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don't miss the Statue of Liberty in Ellis Island. If this is your first time in NYC, you may not want to miss it. A half day is what it's going to cost your precious time, but IMO, it's worth it. My suggestion is to do the bus tour and see the Lady in Ellis Island. Unfortunately, the bus can't take you there because you have to take the ferry to get there. The ferry also gives you an opportunity to see Manhattan's skyline which iconic and IMO, breathtaking.
flyme2themoon is offline  
Apr 15th, 2010, 08:24 AM
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"Statue of Liberty in Ellis Island...see the Lady in Ellis Island"

I think you mean AND (not in) Ellis Island.
vjpblovesitaly is offline  
Apr 15th, 2010, 08:32 AM
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vjp, thanks for pointing it out. that's what i meant, Statue of Liberty AND Ellis Island.
flyme2themoon is offline  
Apr 15th, 2010, 01:03 PM
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agree the Ellis island tour is incredible.Id get an early ferry and not stop at Liberty island,but go to Ellis isalnd, esp if you have relatives that came thru there--its an awesone experience.Make a reservation ahead of time to avoid the lines--when you get there and see the lines, theres a special entrance for folks with reservations--jump to that entrance.Also, the top of the rock is also great experience as well.And i love Grand Central station,have lunch above the terminal floor, and the NY Public library reading room and 42nd and Lex Av
bigbomoho is offline  
Apr 15th, 2010, 02:37 PM
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Well, thank you for all of the suggestions. I understand both of the viewpoints regarding the bus. I guess my problem is that I am a CPA and having been working ungodly hours up until today. I have not had time to properly plan this trip. I usually love doing planning for a trip. As I decompress over the weekend, I may decide to go it on my own, or I may fall back on the bus tour. Either way, I will make sure not to attempt to see it all.

I definitely agree with the Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty suggestion. I'll check the website to see about getting reservations.

We are staying at the new Distikt Hotel between 8th and 9th on 40th Street. Any restaurant suggestions?
Cindywho is offline  
Apr 15th, 2010, 02:52 PM
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This is nearby - West Bank Cafe

I love their prix fixe menus
starrs is offline  
Apr 15th, 2010, 04:22 PM
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Cindy: For Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island, get the earliest times offered in order to avoid waiting in lines. Before 10 am is the best.

Have a nice trip!
MichelleY is online now  
Apr 15th, 2010, 05:27 PM
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The best way to get an overview of the city is to ascend Top of the Rock. Sitting and looking out of windows at things is, IMHO, little better than watching the PBS video tour of NYC.

No - you cannot see a huge number of things - but you can actually see a few.

Sorry - just don;t get this tour bus thing. I never do it in other cities and don;t get doing it here.
nytraveler is offline  
Apr 15th, 2010, 05:41 PM
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If you end up on the Grayline HOHOs say "hello". They are the best way to view the "jumpers" this summer.

SueNYC is offline  
Apr 15th, 2010, 05:47 PM
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nytraveler, what is the Top of The Rock - Rockefeller Center?

Michelle, thanks for the tip. Early sounds good. I just have to rouse my 18 year old...
Cindywho is offline  
Apr 15th, 2010, 05:53 PM
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The Top of the Rock IS at the top of Rockefeller Center, but it's better than waiting in line for the Empire State building AND you get to SEE the Empire State Building from there


The reason there's no wait is that you buy tickets for specific time periods and take the elevator right on up. You can buy tix online ahead of time and/or buy them when you get to NYC.
starrs is offline  
Apr 16th, 2010, 07:25 AM
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Another reason there is no wait at the Top of the Rock: to reach the top, you wait in a short/non-existent line to ride just one elevator.

To reach the top of the Empire State Building, you stand in line to ride one elevator part of the way to the top, and then must get off and stand in another line to ride a different elevator the rest of the way.

You can find ticket booths for Top of the Rock outdoors in Rockefeller Plaza as well as the ticket window at the actual location. Often there are uniformed TOTR hawkers in Rockefeller Plaza offering discount coupons as well.
ellenem is offline  
Apr 16th, 2010, 08:01 AM
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Rather than ride a bus, I suggest picking a few places you really want to see and enjoy those. Or, pick a neighborhood and stroll it, stopping at shops, museums, whatever interests you.
abram is offline  
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