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Overview of Tours and Services

Tours by guides who not only know the history but talk about daily life in Harlem and other Black communities of the city.

From genteel townhouses to flamboyant skyscrapers, neo-classical temples to post-modern towers, New York boasts a dazzling array of architectural landmarks. A knowledgeable guide can take you to the most important structures, point out key details, and arrange visits to interiors. A tour might focus on Midtown Manhattan, Wall Street, one or more of the city's historic districts, or a specific building. For example, the Merchant's House Museum is a 19th-century house virtually unchanged for a century, inside and out. The first classical-style bank, designed by Stanford White, still stands. The Yacht Club, with its wave-shaped windows, is a marvelous example of mimetic design, even if the America's Cup no longer resides there.

A genuine adventure in visiting New York. Enjoy a ride along well-paved paths in Central Park or Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Follow the continuous 15-mile path along the Hudson River from the Battery to the George Washington Bridge. Cycle through quiet residential areas in the Bronx or Queens. Make an intimate visit to many of New York's ethnic neighborhoods where you'll find it easy to stop and sample international foods. Your tour guides may also help you rent bikes and helmets, give you safety tips and steer you through a creative itinerary.

After taking the colony of New Amsterdam from the Dutch in 1665 without firing a shot, the British remained in New York until November 25, 1783. Learn the significance of that date, as well as the origins of the name of Wall Street, the churchyard where Alexander Hamilton is buried, the tavern where General Washington said good-bye to his troops, and other pieces of New York’s colonial past when your GANYC guide takes you through British Colonial History through the streets of Lower Manhattan.

The only part of New York City that's not on an island, the Bronx also boasts the highest proportion of park land per inhabitant. Attractions include Riverdale, with sweeping views of the Hudson Valley and a vast estate whose gardens are open to the public; Belmont, whose shops and restaurants preserve traditional Italian-American culture; Woodlawn Cemetery, the permanent home of many celebrities; the picturesque campus of Fordham University; the New York Botanical Gardens, with its year-round attractions; and of course, the world-famous Bronx Zoo (a.k.a. New York Wildlife Conservancy).

Breukelen, Dutch for marshland and anglicized to Brooklyn, was once a separate city, the fourth largest in the country. It has the largest population of NYC’s five boroughs. From Brooklyn Heights, America’s first suburb to Coney Island, America’s first amusement park, and its many diverse neighborhoods in between, your GANYC guide can lead you on an adventure through Brooklyn.

From the earliest days of New York as a center of commerce, fashion, sports and entertainment, celebrities from every field of human endeavor have lived here, or at least owned property here. Your GANYC guide will point-out the houses and apartment buildings where celebrities, past and present, once called home or currently do.

A masterpiece of urban park design, Central Park covers 843 acres at the center of Manhattan Island. From the manicured spaces south of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, where you can watch Frisbee tosses or rowing on The Lake, to the “wilder” areas, where hiking is a common pastime, north of the reservoir, this greatest of urban oases offers something for everyone. Whatever your interest your GANYC guide can help you enjoy it.

Bound by 14th Street on the south and 23rd Street on the north, Seventh Avenue to the east and the Hudson River to the west, today Chelsea is largely a residential neighborhood, but with an industrial past. NYC’s elevated park, the High Line passes through the entire length of it. Marvel at the new development along the High Line; have lunch at Chelsea Market; learn how the area got its name as your GANYC guide leads you around this diverse neighborhood.

Only a city as large and diverse as New York could bring together cultures and people from different parts of the world and set them down next to each other. That is the case with Little Italy and Chinatown. Little Italy, centered around Mott and Mulberry Streets, saw its heyday in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Chinatown, focused around Canal Street and the streets between there and the courthouses, has been thriving since its beginnings in 1870. Your GANYC guide will lead you through these fascinating neighborhoods.

Before skyscrapers defined the New York skyline, church spires were the tallest structures in town. At 281-feet tall, the spire and cross of Trinity Church Wall Street were the highest point in New York until 1890 when the New York World Building was completed. Ecumenical spaces in New York range in style, from French Gothic to Moorish to Italian Romanesque to Neo-Classical and usage, from places of worship to concert halls to art galleries to theatrical venues the melting pot that is the five boroughs offer locals and visitors a variety of sights and sounds. Let a GANYC guide show you how fully blessed the city is with mosques, synagogues and churches.

Because the U.S. Civil War is primarily linked with fighting in the South, few people associate the Big Apple with that period of American history. However, Abraham Lincoln tested his political ideas at Cooper Union in Greenwich Village; the Draft Riots were one of the bloodiest protests connected to the war; and important New York City abolitionists influenced government policy. Your GANYC guide can bring this lesser-known part of the city’s past out of the shadows for you.

Everyone loves to eat! With immigrants from around the globe, a GANYC guide can take you on a world tour within the five boroughs. Cuisines from China, Mexico, Thailand, India, Ethiopia, Italy, Germany, and many more will delight your taste buds. Save room for an ice cream, cupcake or chocolate tour with your GANYC guide.

A ride on double-decker bus will give you an overview of Manhattan. Be certain to choose a bus with a live guide who can point out the sights, give some neighborhood context, answer your questions, and offer help in an emergency. Many of the double-decker tour guides are GANYC members. With the knowledge you gain while riding you can return to an area to explore further.

Having nothing to do with flying elephants, DUMBO, an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, covers the land between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. Originally a ferry landing in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the area has undergone a revitalization in the past 20 years, serving as home to tech companies, theaters, restaurants and retail space. Excellent vistas of the Manhattan skyline can be seen from this point. Explore this exciting part of Brooklyn with your GANYC guide.

Few people appreciate that New York has Dutch roots. Founded as a trading outpost by the Dutch West India Company, New Amsterdam covers today’s Downtown/Wall Street area at the southern tip of Manhattan Island. From Dutch-related street names, such as Nassau, to what became the city’s first park, Bowling Green, to the wall that gave Wall Street its name, your GANYC guide will introduce you to Nieuw Amsterdam.

Stretching from Broadway to the East River, from East 14th Street to Houston Street, the East Village has been home to artists, musicians, poets, and immigrant communities such as Poles and Ukrainians. With a range of architecture and a rich cultural history hire a GANYC guide to get to know the East Village.

For many Americans and world visitors the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island are the reasons to visit New York City. The background of these two sights resonate with anyone who has a stake in self-determination. Located in New York Harbor these world-class destinations can be reached by ferry only. Your GANYC guide will help you get the most out of your visit to these important National Monuments.

In the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century 80% of the clothing worn by Americans was manufactured in New York City! Although the manufacturing has moved off-shore, the Garment District, which is along Seventh Avenue—known as Fashion Avenue—and its side streets between 34th Street and 42nd Street, still bustles with fashion-related activity. Strut the runway of this part of town with your GANYC guide.

Truly a jewel in New York City’s architectural crown, Grand Central Terminal is a wonder to experience. Built by the Vanderbilt family—owners and operators of the New York Central Railroad—this Beaux-Arts gem was how everyone entered the city from across the country in the early 20th century. “Meet me under the clock at Grand Central” was a common phrase used by travelers. With a GANYC guide travel there yourself, and know its history and secrets.

First a separate village, then incorporated into the growing city but still remote, Greenwich Village has been a place apart for most of its history. Primarily a residential neighborhood in the 21st century, its proximity to the Hudson River has shaped its character as well as its isolation. This quirky area has always welcomed the outsider, the marginalized, and the rebel. Navigate the confusing but charming streets of this part of the City with your GANYC guide.

With curb cuts, elevators and ramps more common throughout the City, handicapped tourists have an easier time maneuvering through the streets and at individual sights. Your GANYC guide will be sensitive to your needs and find ways to show off the Big Apple to guests in need of special attention.

More commonly known as carriage rides, and focused in Central Park, hansom cabs offer a romantic and old-fashion paced chance to take in the greatest urban oasis in the world. Engage one of these horse-drawn vehicles at Grand Army Plaza and along Central Park South. Couple this ride with your GANYC guide for a well-informed tour of the Park.

Harlem has changed from a rural, farming outpost of the Dutch Colonial era (it is named for the city of Haarlem, the Netherlands) to a largely Jewish, Irish, Italian area in the 19th century to what it has been known as a neighborhood of African-Americans since the 1920s. A major draw to Harlem is the gospel choirs at its Sunday services. Join the chorus during this unique experience with your GANYC guide.

Get a bird’s eye view of the Big Apple from your seat in a helicopter. You will thrill to this unique view high above the City, from the tip of Manhattan to Brooklyn’s Coney Island you will never forget this ride. Know what you are looking at with a GANYC guide to point out the sights.

Bound by Eighth Avenue to the east and the Hudson River at its west, 34th Street to the south and 59th Street at its north, Hell’s Kitchen, less colorfully known as Clinton, is a residential neighborhood with a wide range of restaurants. It is a perfect place for lunch, close to Times Square but away from common chain eateries. How did this area get its unusual name? A GANYC guide can answer your question and many others.

From New Amsterdam to the present day, New York City has been shaped and defined by the people who settled here from all over the world—immigrants! They have given the City its unique atmosphere and vibration, its drive and energy, its cuisine and culture. Between 1852 and the early 1950s NYC processed 20 million immigrants as a port-of-entry, first at Castle Clinton and at Ellis Island. Trace the City’s roots, and maybe yours too, with your GANYC member guiding you through the immigrant experience.

Making up the first large-scale wave immigrants, the Irish were driven across the Atlantic to New York during the Famine Years of 1845 to 1851. Settling on the Lower East Side, by 1870 25% of the City population was Irish; they occupied the lowest rung on the social ladder, and struggled daily for survival. Visit the places and learn the stories of these immigrants with your GANYC guide.

Constituting the largest immigrant population, Italians emigrated to NYC mostly in the third quarter of the 19th century and the first quarter of the 20th century. Their numbers were so great that an area of Manhattan still is known as Little Italy. Mulberry and Mott Streets remain the heart of this once-densely populated neighborhood. You will find cannoli, cathedrals, calzones and more are waiting for your exploration with a GANYC guide.

From its history to the clubs where it is performed jazz has been an integral part of the Big Apple’s music scene for decades. Some assert that New York City is the jazz capital of the world. Venues include legendary landmarks, contemporary lounges, and no-frills jazz joints; they offer a variety of live jazz throughout the five boroughs. Jazz at Lincoln Center, located at Columbus Circle, is the top jazz site in the city. Your GANYC guide can help you find exactly the type of live jazz experience you want for your night out in NYC!

Since 1654 when Jacob Barsimson, the first known Jewish settler, came to New Amsterdam, Jews have played a vital role in the development of New York. From 1880 to 1924, 2.5 million Ashkenazi Jews from Eastern Europe came to the United States; New York’s Lower East Side was where the majority of these immigrants found shelter. New York’s Jewish population swelled from 80,000 in 1880 to 1.5 million in 1920. Allow your GANYC guide to lead you on a tour of discovery of their stories.

Tour guides are known for their broad knowledge, and their eagerness to share what they know with others. Hire a GANYC guide to speak at your organization’s next meeting.

Because it is the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ rights movement, New York City is the place to come to learn about the start of and the continuing struggles of the LGBTQ community. Do not think it is all heartache and sadness though. On the last Sunday of every June the Gay Pride March is held in the City; this exuberant celebration is open to one and all. Let your GANYC guide tell you about and show you the historic bars, homes, and businesses that the members of LGBTQ community have made their own for 130 years.

This neighborhood, located on the southeastern part of Manhattan and close to the East River, developed into a home for new immigrants early in its history. Overlapping ethnic groups have given this neighborhood its richly textured quality. One supplanting another, and each contributing to the character and face of the city, the story of prejudice and obstacles overcome by hope and aspirations can be revealed by your GANYC guide.

Believed to have come from 125th Street’s original name, Manhattan Street, Manhattanville was organized as a village in 1806. Resting between West 122nd and West 135th Streets, to the south and north; and the Hudson River and St. Nicholas Avenue to the west and east, the neighborhood is notable for its steep, hilly terrain and the site of Grant’s Tomb. Who is buried there? Let your GANYC guide answer that question and others you will have about this part of town.

Known by several names, the Mob, the Mafia, la Cosa Nostra, organized crime has at least 150-year history in New York City. Fueled by popular culture, such as HBO’s “The Sopranos” and Oscar-winning films, such as “The Godfather,” the Mob is mostly identified with Italians; but crime syndicates were a fact of life in other ethnic, immigrant groups as well. Your GANYC guide does not adhere to “omberta,” the Mafia’s code of silence, and can sort out the details for you.

New York City was home to America’s first motion picture studios as early the 1900s, long before Hollywood became synonymous with the movie industry. Thirty-nine years later the same was true for television. Star in your own tour of film and TV locations with your GANYC guide.

What sort of music pleases your ear: rock, punk, jazz, classical, Reggae, Motown, musical theater, Tin Pan Alley? Whatever it is, you will find it in the Big Apple. The City pulses with the sounds of live music every night. Some of the performance locations, such as Café Wha?, are historic venues; others sights are where well-known musicians, such as Patti Smith and Sid Vicious, have lived and worked, including the Chelsea Hotel. Let your GANYC guide sing the praises of music in the City the Never Sleeps.

Usually referring to New York of the 19th century, Olde New York is everywhere, if you know where to look! The New York experience is rich and varied—from the glitter of the Gilded Age to the immigrants’ struggles—the City’s past molds its present. Do not miss opportunities to experience an era before skyscrapers, smartphones and consumer culture with your GANYC guide.

Found mostly in Central Park and outside Broadway theatres after performances end, pedicabs can be a fun way to get around town. Please keep in mind that most, if not all, pedicab drivers are not licensed tour guides; the downside of taking a pedicab tour is that false information about NYC and its sights is often dispensed. GANYC advises tourists rely on licensed tour guides to get the best bang for their buck!

For tourists with mobility problems, large groups, and those concerned with an unfamiliar place a private bus tour can offer a comfortable, convenient way to see the Big Apple. An experienced, licensed GANYC guide can bring valuable service to your visit.

A personalized, tailored view of New York City can be yours by hiring a GANYC tour guide for a private tour. Saving time by matching your interests to city sights, such a tour is well worth the effort.

Considered by its creators, Frederick Law Olmstead (1822–1903) and Calvert Vaux (1824–1895), the same team who designed Central Park, as their greatest work, 1873’s Prospect Park is Brooklyn’s most popular recreational spot. Discover its many details with a GANYC guide.

Moving from watering hole to watering hole with some history and fascinating facts along the way, pub crawls offer a slice of New York City for the adult audience. These tours can have as their basis several themes, such as Prohibition, LGBT history, neighborhood history, etc. Your GANYC guide can lead you on a tipsy tour of the City That Never Sleeps. Bottoms up!

As the most culturally and ethnically diverse county in the United States, Queens is geographically largest of NYC’s five boroughs. Home to the New York Mets, the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, as well as two of the area’s major transportation hubs, JFK International Airport and La Guardia Airport, Queens awaits exploration with your GANYC guide.

Few Americans know that the first and largest battle between George Washington’s Continental Army and King George III’s ‘Red Coats’ was the Battle of Brooklyn, and that the British won the fight. The king’s army went on to occupy the city for the balance of the war. Downtown Manhattan—the Wall Street area—is where this important American history can be found with your GAYNC guide.

Pull on your running shoes to get a quick view of the sights in the Big Apple. With stops along the route to chat about the location a running tour combines sightseeing with good health. Keep pace with your GANYC guide!

Scattered throughout New York City small community and private gardens offer a respite from the clamor and clutter of the city. Allow a GANYC guide to lead you on a tour of discovery of these welcoming oases!

An acronym, SoHo stands for South of Houston; that is Houston Street. Today it is a thriving shopping district; but historically the area is rich, especially architecturally. Here you will find the largest collection of full and partial cast-iron building façades in the world! Learn about this former industrial part of town with your GANYC guide.

Combine your tour of SoHo with another real-estate created acronym, NoLita, meaning North of Little Italy. The neighborhood’s best-known attraction is the Feast of San Gennaro, held every September. It is a highlight of the Oscar-winning film The Godfather, Part II. Your GANYC guide can point out the special features of these neighboring areas of Manhattan.

Centered on Fulton Street at the East River, the South Street Seaport is a Historic District in own right, distinct from its neighbor, the Financial District. Featuring some of the oldest architecture in the area, your GANYC guide will also show you renovated 19th-century mercantile buildings, period sailing ships, the former Fulton Fish Market, and a modern mall for dining, shopping, and nightlife.

Among the major-league sports teams calling New York City home are the Yankees, the Mets, the Rangers, the Knicks, and the Nets. One of the tennis world’s Grand Slam tournaments, the U.S. Open is played each year in Queens. Historic personalities related to these sports have strong connections to the city. Score a tour with your GANYC guide centered around your favorite sport.

Sometimes called the “Forgotten Borough,” Staten Island is the most suburban of the city’s five boroughs. Easily reached by the Staten Island ferry—its free fare is the best bargain in NYC—many surprising sights await your discovery with your GANYC guide.

When touring the city by motor coach, a step-on guide can provide valuable information about more than just the sights seen from the vehicle’s windows. Many GANYC guides serve as step-on guides. Hire one to enrich your group’s experience.

Each year thousands of students from across the United States and around the world visit New York City for spring break and exchange-student orientation. Having an experienced, licensed GANYC guide lead these young people through the greatest city in world is without a doubt the best way to maximize their time here.

New York City taxis and their drivers are familiar fixtures on the city’s streets. A tour of NYC could be quite an adventure, and quite pricey. Should you choose such a tour, be certain to hire a GANYC guide to point out the sights and give the tour that special quality.

Broadway’s role in the life of New York City is legendary. Nicknamed the Great White Way in the 1920s because of the theater signs’ white lights, it is now a multicolored extravaganza because stark white light bulbs have been replaced with colorful LED lighting.  Known worldwide as modern pop culture’s entertainment Mecca, the Theater District hums with excitement. Capture some of it on a tour with your GANYC guide.

At the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue, stretching from West 42nd to West 47th Streets, Times Square – called “The Crossroads of the World,” is the hustling-bustling hub of the Big Apple. Intersecting with the Theater District, Times Square is the world’s most visited tourist attraction, welcoming millions of visitors annually. Named for the New York Times after the newspaper moved its headquarters there in 1904, learn more about this district when you hire a GANYC guide.

Another acronym-named neighborhood, TriBeCa stands for Triangle Below Canal; that is Canal Street by the way. Once a thriving industrial area, with access to the busy docks on the Hudson River, today TriBeCa’s warehouses have been turned into residential loft apartments. While the ground floor spaces are occupied by restaurants and retail shops. Your GANYC guide can help you discover this revitalized area.

Stretching east between Fifth Avenue and the East River, and south to north between East 59th and East 96th Streets, this area was once known as the Silk Stocking District, and is still one of the most affluent neighborhoods in New York City. Home to many of the city’s major museums, you will marvel at the opulent architecture as your GANYC guide shows you about this well-to-do part of town.

Always having an intellectual and artsy vibe this section of the city runs west from Central Park to the Hudson River, and north from Columbus Circle to 110th Street. The housing stock is eclectic, built in the later part of the 19th century for up-and-coming middle-class families. Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, with its Midcentury Modern architecture, is a magnet for lovers of opera, ballet, and classical music to the area. While actors, musicians, and writers live and work in the neighborhood. Walk the streets of this thriving place with your GANYC guide.

Walking is the best exercise! On foot is also the best way to see the Big Apple. Many GANYC guides are expert walking tour guides. Allow one of them to take you on a memorable walk through any of NYC’s neighborhoods, be it Harlem, or Brooklyn Heights, or Flushing Queens, or the Bronx’s Arthur Avenue, or Staten Island’s Snug Harbor. See New York City at street level as the locals do!

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GANYC is an association of independent tour guides. Each member is licensed by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs. GANYC provides a listing of all member guides to the public.GANYC is not liable, or responsible, for contractual obligations made between clients and tour guides. GANYC stands for Guides Association Of New York City.
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