Although every tour is different there are numerous topics and sites that are extremely popular. Many are chosen as a group or general theme. The following are the most popular tours and we are always open to personalizing your tour to suit your specific requests and suggestions if we believe they’ll add value to your tour experience. Tour durations vary, therefore the length of your tour determines, in part, how much we can do. We do our best to let you know the estimated duration of your tour based on your site wishes. Many sites can be “stop and go” or enter and explore. In many cases the choice is yours
For First time visitors tour:
Rockefeller Center, Central Park, Fifth Avenue sites (The Plaza, Trump Tower, Tiffany’s, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Grand Central Terminal, The Empire State Building, 911memorial, Wall Street, view of The Statue of Liberty and The Brooklyn Bridge. Modification and discussion is always most welcome for all tours!
The Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal, The Chrysler Building, Rockefeller Center, 432 Park Avenue, 42nd Street Library, One World Trade, New York by Gehry, The Dakota, The Brooklyn Bridge, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Alexander Hamilton Custom House, The Doralton, The Ansonia and many more if you have the time.
“This is your life” and Nostalgia Tours:
Birthdays and special occasion such as: Mom and Dad’s 50th anniversary, where they grew up “the ol’ neighborhood” and other moments to be revisited with family and friends are most special experiences. We gather the places, schools, soda shop, church, etc. etc. that create laughter, memories and memorable moments. With your help such tours are truly unforgettable experiences. Often we go to The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, etc. Bring a box of tissues
Mafia, Players & Hit men:
The tough guys who didn’t “play” by the rules, the real estate barons who lived “outside the box” and the characters who stopped at nothing to get the “job” done. Chutzpah, brio and audacious movers and shakers who, in their own way, moved this city in every direction imaginable. A fun tour!
Tour where our founding fathers walked, Washington, Hamilton, etc. Visit Hamilton’s home, Washington’s HQ, Battle of Brooklyn sites such as The Old Stone House (16980 in Park Slope, GW’s inauguration location and where they bent their elbows, Fraunce’s Tavern. The Lower Eastside, South Street Seaport, America’s oldest city hall, The Brooklyn Bridge and America’s first suburb. It’s a love fest for history buffs!
Neighborhoods, history and culture:
Harlem, The Upper Westside, Hell’s Kitchen, The Meatpacking District, The West Village, Greenwich Village, Chinatown and Little Italy, Brooklyn Heights plus others is you have the time.
New York City Overview:
Wall Street District, 911memorial and grounds, Chinatown, Greenwich Village, Gramercy Park, Midtown, Harlem and a touch of Brooklyn too.
Brooklyn Heights, America’s first suburb, Williamsburg, a fascinating place, DUMBO (Down under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), Park Slope, site of The Battle of Long Island and other favorites for you to choose from.
Northern Manhattan and The Bronx:
The Upper Westside, Northern Central Park, The Grand Concourse in The Bronx, The Real Little Italy and the real New York City, in the Bronx, of course!
Parks & Squares:
Central Park, Gramercy, Union, Madison Square and Washington Square Parks and segments of Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Soho and Tribeca too. It’s a most popular tour.
Your topics & interests:
Over the years we’ve had unusual requests such are: A Bobby Darin tour, Spike Lee tour, How New Yorkers live, Graffiti tour, Mafia tour, Bridges & Tunnels, sites with Angels Tour, actual marriage tour and others. Tell us know what you wish. Chances are we’ve either done it or will gladly create it just for you!
CUSTOM & PRIVATE
NEW YORK TOURS, INC.
382 Central Park West
New York, NY 10025
Suggested Outline For “City Tour”
“Select, Cut & Paste Your Tour!”
The focus is on you, your family, friends or associate’s interests, preferences and whims. It is a cultural and historical overview of New York City that will amuse, amaze and entertain you! Your tour is not a lecture!! You will not be disappointed!
Why did New York City become so big, globally significant and influential and not Philadelphia or Boston? Humm, good question, yes!?
- What are the roots of our history, innovative spirit, splendor and diversity; the imaginative drive that has propelled this City to global prominence and significance?
- Sites are chosen that demonstrate and illustrate concepts and trends that have, over time, created New York City as it is. Let’s explore your sites of interest and together we’ll plan your tour!.
- A conversational and engaging tour is best when guests participate. Exchange is enjoyable, engaging, stimulating and amusing. What do you have to say? Let’s dig into New York in the most captivating and memorable way.
- Tours are peppered with stories and tales from both a personal and historical perspective. You want information sure, but, if it isn’t fun then, it isn’t a tour!
- Whether were on the beaten path or off we’re always on the right track!
- You may tour as long as you wish (4 hour minimum). Much of the following can be seen in half a day (4-5 hour) tour with time to visit many up close on a 6 hour tour.
The Empire State Building:
A must see for first timers, an icon of the city, built in one year and forty – five days, completed in 1931! But, it’s the story behind this edifice that makes it truly come alive. Whose idea was it? Why was it built? Was it a profitable venture? We’ll delve into the incredible innovations that were invented in New York City making it all possible. Join me for a visit to our temple of greatness. Recommended viewing site is The Top of the Rock or at The Flatiron Building. We avoid lines and enjoy the best views of the EPS without hassle. Let us tell you the story. It’s quite a TALL tale.
The heart of it all! Named after The New York Times in 1904. Times Square, has become the cross roads of the world; theatre, energy, the art of light high-tech signage. “The great white way” has exploded into an entertainment mega with Broadway theaters, restaurants and amusements for fun seekers young and old from all over the world. Safe, clean and unique, Times Square is truly one of a kind. Rockefeller Center is still, after 78 years, the heart of New York City. From the rink, the tree, the GE building, the world’s first underground indoor shopping mall and The Top of the Rock. Truly, in New York City, the quintessential focal points are: Times Square and “Rock Center”.
Grand Central Terminal:
It’s the largest terminal in the world with 67 platforms and one of the only terminals with platforms on two levels,. This massive 1913 neo-classical beaux arts edifice is a feat of engineering and aesthetic design that is truly most impressive, massive, majestic and spotless. This is the way terminals should be. Learn the folklore, Cornelius Vanderbilt, the constellation ceiling, what was the hole in the ceiling for, the food market and the “ballet ” of New Yorkers scurrying to catch their trains. Lots to see, an amazing place! Shuushhhh! We won’t forget to stop at whispering arches!
Nothing in the world compares with the grandeur, elegance and bustle of our premier boulevard. From the “gold coast ” to Museum Mile , Central Park, The Plaza , Peninsula, The Met, Bergdorf’s Tiffany ‘ s , Trump Tower , Cartier’s, Harry Winston, The Apple Store, FAO Schwarz, St. Patrick’s, Saks and Rockefeller Center. It’s a candy store for your heart and wallet. We’ll stop by St. Patrick’s Cathedral and take a stroll down the Rockefeller Center Promenade.
New Silver Building on 8th Avenue:
A new 46-floor rental that is 18 feet wide illustrates the concept of “air rights”; that’s a New York City invention. The drama of this marvel provides evidence of the “air rights” concept and draws wonder. View the best example of how New Yorkers find solutions to problems, pushing forward, achieving success. Where else, New York City! Camera a must! Would you live here? Sure, but don’t get dizzy or loose your balance! It ‘s the tallest disproportionate building on earth and has the highest blank wall on earth. Gotta see this!
Our newest town square will impress you for many good reasons; The Norman Foster Hurst Building, a $500 million skyscraper literally built in side a six story surviving landmark. Hurst headquarters erected in 1929 did not pre vent the construction of this beauty. The Time Warner Center, the nation’s largest mix-use building, most expensive home purchased in New York City, $88 million up until this year, is located next to three buildings that have been re-clad demonstrating that “if you can’t replace it then reface it.” We’ll stop at 15 Central Park West, Robert A.M. Stern’s retro condo that netted Zeckendorf Realty the highest return on any new residential building in New York City’s history. But perhaps there may have been a big mistake. You’ll find out how and why. Although they made $600 million, the evidence is clear, they could have made more then twice that! It’s another story you won’t want to miss. Columbus Circle is the best evidence that in New York City “change is the only thing that stays the same.” Does that make sense? Sure, that’s NYC.
The Dakota, New York is New York’s first Luxury apartment building. What did Mr. Isaac Singer have do to with this building? Residents include Yul Brenner, Judy Garl and, Leonard Bernstein, Lauren Bacall, John Lennon, Mark Twain, Truman Capote, Andy Warhol, Rex Reed and Isadora Duncan and countless others. Take a virtual tour of an apartment; got a spare $28 mill? This German Renaissance beauty is considered one of the “five best buildings” in New York City. Oh yes, one more thing. Why is it called The Dakota? You’ll find out.
Let’s take a short stroll into this 19th century masterpiece. At 100th Street, the most natural and bucolic part of the park, a place that matured to fulfill the vision of the park’s designers, Olmstead and Vaux. A short presentation provides park history, themes, design; crime rates (don’t believe what you see on CSI!) What is the size, cost and unique aspects that make Central Park truly exceptional. It’s a fascinating story littered with innovative firsts. It truly is America’s 19th Century Artistic Masterpiece.
Cathedral of St. John the Divine:
The world’s largest cathedral, site of Sir Elton John’s 60th birthday party, a short presentation of the history, architecture, role in the community, the fire in 2001 and tour of the interior highlights, the challenges of the construction, beauty of the stained glass windows, seven 55 foot columns, milled in Maine, standing on foundations that are as deep and they are high! “This is huge!” Why did they create such a large Cathedral? Whose idea was that? What four 20th century leaders were chosen as the most significant of that century and adorned on the high alter? What gifts did the cathedral receive from Japan, China and The New York Times? Don’t miss this! Whose idea was that? What four 20th century leaders were chosen a s the most significant of that century and adorned on the high alter? What gifts did the cathedral receive from Japan, China and The New York Times? Don’t miss this!
New York City’s largest neighborhood is so rich in history, cultural significance and epic changes. We’ll venture down Striver’s Row and Astor Row. Let’s view the Apollo Theater and catch a glimpse of the Harlem of the future. The history of this fascinating historic neighborhood will break down your misconceived notions. What does the future hold for Harlem? “It’s not at all what I had expected.” Consider a Gospel Church service; it’s more than enthralling and inspiring and “better than a Broadway show”! See where Khrushchev meet Castro?There’s more, lots!
On the Way to Ground Zero:
There’s much to see on the seven mile stretch of The Westside Highway on the way to ground zero; Riverside Park, Riverside Drive, The Hudson River, Trump City, The West Village, Hell’s Kitchen, The Highline, Chelsea Market, The Meatpacking District, The Viacom Building, Richard Meier’s triple beauties, Jean Novelle’s new beauty next to Frank Gehry’s “sailboat building”, Barry Diller’s IAC HQ and of course The Greenway at water’s edge and Battery Park City. Oh, and don’t forget Nicole Kidman’s new “en garage suite” car park outside her condo’s front door.
Viewed from inside The Winter Garden, or from within, with free reservation passes we’ll provide, 1st come, first served you’ll see the site and its perimeter sites of interest. We’ll stand before the memorial pools that sit on the footprints of the two fallen towers, hear a presentation as to the symbolism, design features of “Reflecting Absence”. It’s an obligation to pay homage to our fallen and “pay our respects.” A presentation of the past, who’s idea was it, what was there before, why were the Twin Towers built, the scale of the project that is ongoing at present, why it’s taking so long, artistic renderings of the completed rebuilt site, a virtual palette of New York City history through architectural change, St. Paul’s Cathedral (1766) unscratched, “The Little Cathedral That Stood”, several world’s tallest buildings in their time and more. See the “surviver tree” a symbol of hope and the human spirit.
The Statue of Liberty:
Viewed from the Manhattan shoreline (the ferry roundtrip with usual lines takes upwards of three hours.) Hear a presentation of the history, art, construction and folklore of “the lady”. This iconic symbol of freedom from despotism and tyranny is a lasting symbol of what this nation stands for and wishes for all peoples of the world. “Give me your tired your poor…” The Statue came with instructions, just like on Christmas morning; “Assembly Required”!
The Meatpacking District:
A spectacular example of neighborhood transformation from a butchers haven to the new trendy club life crowd featuring new hotels , restaurants, clubs, bars, Chelsea Market, boutiques and just the right playground for the young and beautiful and the rest of us! Perhaps the name should be changed to the “Pack Meeting District!” Let’s stroll on “The Highline” and experience an innovative new park concept!
Via the Brooklyn Bridge, ten minutes from Manhattan; it’s New York City’s first suburb, first landmark neighborhood with over 600 brownstones and town homes built before the Civil War. “The Heights” was home to Arthur Miller, Walt Whitman, and birthplace of Churchill’s mother and views of Manhattan that are breathtaking. Let’s check out nearby Williamsburg, Grand Army Plaza and DUMBO (Down under Manhattan Bridge Overpass). Love Bklyn! Please don’t pass this up; it’s our favorite and most beautiful neighborhood. Find out why it became America’s first suburb.
New York Stock Exchange:
A short walk to view The New York Stock Exchange, exterior only, since 9/11. Federal Hall, now a museum, with a number of most significant historical artifacts, George Washington wa s sworn in a s our first president and is the site of the signing of the Bill of Rights. Trinity Church and the famous sculpture, known as “The Bull”, The Alexander Hamilton Custom House and Bowling Green Park, all with historical facts of interest. Call it Wall Street? Hum?
The Brooklyn Bridge:
The icon of engineering and beauty in the 19th century! It was the tallest edifice on the continent connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan that forever changed our city. The fascinating history, the tragedy and glory, the technology and characters that made it possible is yours to experience. We’ll take a ride over the bridge and venture into beautiful Brooklyn Heights, New York’s first suburb and landmark neighborhood. Why did P.T. Barnum march twenty elephants across the bridge? Once you know you’ll always remember, just like an elephant.
The Village and Soho:
Don’t miss these transformed neighborhoods; each with a story, a history that’s fascinating, the real New York! Washington Square Park, the center of The Village; Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, the literary crowd and the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement truly is the “Village” state of mind. Let’s stop by and see Edna St. Vincent Millay’s house, the narrowest in Manhattan! We’ll stop by the Brown Building, the site of the most tragic building fire in New York City’s history, the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of March 25, 1911 that took the lives of 146 textile workers. Soho’s caste iron buildings, 250 in total, are land marked treasures, the catalysts that fostered the transformation of this iconic neighborhood.
Jane, a woman of DUMBO (Down under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) a Brooklyn neighborhood, spent over 20 years restoring an authentic American Carousel classic that she extracted from Youngstown, Ohio. It is magnificent and located at the water’s edge between The Brooklyn Bridge and The Manhattan Bridge ensconced in a class cube designed by Jean Nouvel, the French architect. Together with music provided by a Philadelphia calliope and the magnificent view of Manhattan you can’t resist “saddling up” for two bucks. Adults requested! 🙂
Economy Candy Store:
Established in 1937 and operated by the third generation family member this is the place for the candy of days gone by; the paper strips with the color peel off dots, Black Jack, Beeman’s and Clove chewing gum. Do you remember Choward’s Scented Gum. They’ve got naughty bottles of pills; silly tin cans for collecting your loose change and more candy and varieties that you ever knew existed. Not just for kids. Sweet!
The High Line:
Formally this mile long elevated freight railroad line transported goods from West 34th Street to Carlton Street in The West Village. It fell into disuse in the early ’80’s. It was abandoned and became a blight; a place for the homeless and other unsavory people to hang out. Mayor Giuliani wanted to disassemble it. Rather, two locals formed “Friends of The Highline” and after ten years of effort and over $100 million it has become a magnificent urban park. With some tracks intact, lush plantings lush plantings, most modern benches, art and more it has become a magnet for development and a wonderful place to stroll and relax amidst a building boom. You must do this!
Your Tour Wishes:
See the world’s largest Doric column, a Revolutionary War Memorial , Williamsburg , Brooklyn, Yankee Stadium, Museum Mile , George Washington’s HQ, Alexander Hamilton’s House, the Grange, Lincoln Center, The Lower Eastside and more. For us, it’s a joy, not a job! Targeting your interests, providing suggestions and enhancing your tour experience in ways that will provide the most memorable experience of your New York City visit is what our tours achieve. All suggestions and requests are welcomed! Whether it’s The Bronx, Soho, Chinatown, The Lower Eastside or Greenwich Village, whatever you want, not only will we take you there but, more importantly, you’ll take a piece of New York City back home in your heart as well! Join over 50,000,000 visitors who have experienced New York last year. Tour right! The focus is on you! Please email or call us with your questions, suggestions and wishes. For us, this is not a job, it’s a joy! You will not be disappointed.
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All deposits are 100% refundable* upon a minimum of 72 hours cancellation prior to your tour via email or telephone.
*Except tickets to excursions such as water taxi statue of liberty cruise, top of the rock, helicopter tours, etc.
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