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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.

Proud Members of:

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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