Whether you’re a native New Yorker or a visitor, the sights and sounds of this spectacular city never get old. We invite you to be a tourist this summer, but stray from the ordinary and opt to explore the city from new and unique perspectives.
Discover It with an Off-the-Wall Tour
Try Matt Levy’s esoteric tours. Not the same-old, same-old, “see the sites of the city tour,” the Levys’ handcrafted version will show you the Gangster highlights of the city, take you up-close and personal to see astonishing graffiti, and have you eat your way through the city and its sister borough Brooklyn. And there’s more: TV and movie buffs will love the “Starring New York” tour (hello Soup Nazi!) while beer lovers can explore Brooklyn during the four-hour “Bike Brooklyn Beer Blitz” tour, drinking in the history of the city’s brewing industry from the late 1800s to early 1900s. Tour information can be found at http://levysuniqueny.com.
Do-It-Yourself with a Pocket-sized Guidebook
Fodor’s Family: New York City with Kids (written by yours truly) is small enough for you to stash in your purse so you won’t look like a tourist, but it’s long on important information that goes beyond the usual sites including where to find a bathroom, where to grab a latte, or where to buy an ice cream so the kids won’t melt. Buy it online here.
Take It On By Water
A lovely tradition in the city, the Circle Line gives you an inexpensive and cooling circumnavigation of Manhattan Island with an onboard café and bar. For the daredevils among you, The Beast is the only way to see Manhattan when it’s hot. The new all-fiberglass boat skims the surface as you zip by the skyscrapers of the city towards the Statue of Liberty, all the while getting a bit wet from the surf kicked up by the speedboat. The guides and heavy-metal music keep this trip rockin’. If you’d like something a bit more refined, Classic Harbor Line’s evening sushi cruise or architecture cruise show off the city in a different way, leaving from Chelsea Piers.
See why New York is the foodie capital of the United States on the Chinatown and Little Italy Food Fest tour with Ahoy New York Food Tours. Visit family-owned shops and establishments that have been in business for over 100 years as you enjoy a range of tasting experiences from a homemade mozzarella pairing with prosciutto in the nation’s first dairy, to a Chinese steamed dumplings and cupcake immersion in settings no bigger than a countertop, to a full sit-down Thai lunch. And more. The tour runs three hours and is priced at $45 per adult ticket, including everything but beverages.
See It through a New Lens
New York City is a perfect subject for channeling your inner artiste. Take in the most visual sights of the city such as the cast-iron buildings of SoHo, the elevated urban parklands of The High Line, or beautiful Central Park with your digital camera in hand. Your “tour guides” and workshop leaders, instructors from the Digital Photo Academy, will help you “capture” the city in a whole new light with a splash of history on the side. “Composition in the Field”workshops, taught by photojournalism and advertising pros, are offered on weekends throughout the year and are priced at $99 for the three-hour class. Your finished slideshow will become your own personal city tour to share with others.