8 Tours That Will Let You Experience the Very Best of New York City
So Many Ways to Explore the Big Apple
Guided tours are a great way to experience a city like a local. You’ll be able to get an inside look, investigating places you probably would have missed otherwise. The tour guide will be able to tell you more about a city’s history, its people, and where they eat and play, than you’ll get out of any guide book or internet search.
New York City offers almost every kind of tour you can think of, just about guaranteeing something for every interest. So what’s on offer when it comes to New York City tours? Here’s what we’d recommend checking out for an incredible Big Apple experience.
Central Park Bike Tours
Central Park Bike Tours are one of the most popular options for exploring Manhattan’s most famous park. You’ll cover much more of its 843 acres of meandering pathways, meadows, woods, ponds and numerous attractions than you ever could on foot.
While there are many different options, a small group bike tour packs a punch in a 2-hour excursion, offering the chance to pedal to highlights like Strawberry Fields, the Bethesda Fountain, the Jackie Kennedy Reservoir and Cleopatra’s Needle.
You’ll see historic architecture, filming sites from some of your favorite movies and television shows, gardens, hidden waterfalls, and much more, all while learning about the city’s most popular green space along the way.
For those looking to visit NYC on a budget, there are also free guided walking tours of Central Park covering various themes that are a good alternative to bike tours.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Pizza Walking Tour of Manhattan
You can’t leave New York without having sampled its fantastic pizza, and true pizza connoisseurs really need to put a pizza walking tour on their must-experience list. This is your chance to get a taste of the city’s, and some say the entire nation’s, very best. Every local has a favorite spot, including your tour guide.
You’ll be able to choose from the Lower East Side, Little Italy or Greenwich Village, feasting on delicious slices fresh from the oven. Depending on which route you pick, expect to experience some of the most beloved, famous local institutions such as John’s of Bleecker Street, Patsy’s Pizzeria and Joe’s Pizza.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Tour
No trip to the Big Apple is complete without visiting the iconic Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. For millions of immigrants, the towering statue was their very first glimpse of America. A 4.5-hour tour starts with the ferry ride from Battery Park to the Statue of Liberty, providing a sense of wonder as you approach, before you climb to the observation deck where you can take in spectacular views of the skyline.
The adjacent Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration tells the story of the island and immigration from the colonial era through today via multiple galleries with artifacts, taped oral histories and photos. It’s as if you’re following in the footsteps of all those who came through, while learning about their journey to a new life.
You can also search the database that contains a repository of over 22 million passenger records for those who arrived into the Port of New York between 1892 and 1924 to see if your ancestor was one of them.
For an even more amazing view of the island and statue, splurge on a NYC helicopter tour — most include Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty as part of the itinerary.