New York Tours...

Old Jan 19th, 2004, 11:48 AM
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New York Tours...

We are going to New York for 4 days in May. Any advice out there on who best to do a few tours with. I have been looking at the 'hop on hop off' tours along with taking a 'cruise' tour & maybe even a helicopter tour. Would also like a sort of walking orientation tour for a few hours on our first day. First time in States (never mind NY) so not really knowing what to see and how best to see it ! We are early 30's and eager to see everything !
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 12:35 PM
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Hi laa,
I am also going to New York in May, for 6 days. I have been seriously considering one of the double decker bus tours early in the trip. Have never been to New York and thought it would be a good way to aquaint myself and save my feet. By the way, we are Canadian, also in our early 30's!
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 12:39 PM
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Well, there's way more than you can see in 4 days so the hop on/off may help get you oriented. A cruise around Manhattan is anoher good option for an overview. I think to help you decide look for New York sights above and decide what your must dos are. How much shopping, how much theater, how much just walking and seeing neighborhoods, how much art etc. One thing I went to with an Australian visitor was the Ellis Island exhibit. (By the way this boat also goes to Liberty Island - which you can tour, although the statue itself has not been open since 9/11.) He was amazed at this immigration museum - for what it tells about America as well as about the immigrants from so many lands. (FYI, I understand that at the moment natives of over 140 countries are living in New York city.) If you give specifics about your interests people can make more suggestions.
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 12:42 PM
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Being a frequent visitor to Manhattan, I would highly recommend a Greyline Tour on the hop on/off bus. The $49 All Loop pass is good for two days.

Get a good guidebook before you go and mark the things you want to see. Go to the Greyline site and find them on the map (you will get one when you buy your tickets).

I always take first time visitors and they love this. I enjoy it having done this at least 8 times.
Old Jan 19th, 2004, 01:34 PM
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One great option is getting a Big Apple Greeter. You'll be given a private walking tour of a certain part of Manhattan (you can specify what area your interested in or just let the greeter choose) by a native NYer. The best part? It is TOTALLY free!

We did this with our family last year and it was really great. Our tour guide took us through the financial district, down to the water, through Chinatown and Little Italie and we even walked the Brooklyn bridge. It was great because, being from NY, our guide knew of all those little hidden gems that we would have never found on our own (ie, little chinese tea shops, a little italian pizzaria with INCREDIBLE food). And did I mention it was free - they don't even except tips.

It is really easy to book, but book it soon. You just apply through the website, then the greeter will call you when you get to NY and you will be picked up at the hotel. I can't recommend this service enough. It was a high point of our trip.
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 01:36 PM
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***accept*** not except. sorry.
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 01:37 PM
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Jeez, I'm having one of those days. forgot to post the website.
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 03:09 PM
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If the weather is nice, here's another recommendation for the two-day hop on/hop off double deckers. You could do uptown one day and downtown the next.

Note that the route goes in a loop, so you'd want to plan to hop off in order, unless you want to ride around the loop again.

A seat on the open air upper deck is one of the very best ways to get "oriented" (better than walking), since you can see all over and lean back against your seat to see the tops of the tall buildings (something awkwardly, at best, accomplished while walking).
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 03:52 PM
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We took a "Big Onion" walking tour and really enjoyed it. They have tours for many different areas of NYC and their guides are graduate students studying history at local universities. They used to be free, but it looks like they charge $12 pp now. I think it's still worth it though. Go to At the bottom of the page is a link for the tour descriptions.
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 04:56 PM
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I thoroughly enjoyed the $49 two-day Gray Line hop-on-hop-off all-loops tour recommended above.

My experience with Big Apple Greeters was a disaster, because they matched me up with someone who knew nothing about the neighborhood we toured. So you should either sign up far in advance, or let your tour guide set the itinerary. In my case, I found out 10 minutes into our tour of Greenwich Village that my guide was a lifelong resident of the Upper East Side and didn't particularly even know how to GET to GV, much less the ins-and-outs. I would've been glad to just see the UES with her, if only she'd mentioned it sooner!
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 09:21 PM
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The Grayline Double Decker Tours are great. I've done the Lower and Upper Manhattan tours. Next time I would like to take the Brooklyn Tour. Definitely buy a 2 day pass. You can get a great overview of the City and then visit places that interested you later in more depth. Try and get a seat on the top of bus if you can.
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