Specialty Tours

Get a chance to see the real New York and much more than the average tourist would ever encounter. Following are a just few of the possibilities for specialty tours. Whether as a day trip or part of an itinerary, these will add a unique dimension to any New York visit. Cost will vary with the inclusions and length of the tour.

Arthur Avenue - Bronx's Little Italy

The most authentic Little Italy in New York today is a small enclave on Arthur Avenue in the Belmont section of the Bronx. On a walking tour of this vibrant Italian community visit a bakery where bread has been baked in coal-fired ovens for over 100 years, a family-run pasta shop where pasta is cut to order, fantastic butchers and salami makers, seafood shops, cheese mongers, and the famous Arthur Avenue Market. There will also be time for lunch at one of the many Italian eateries in the neighborhood. This could easily be combined with a trip to the nearby New York Botanical Garden or the Bronx Zoo.

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The Bronx

Begin with a tour of the venerable Yankee Stadium with includes a visit to the dugout, locker rooms, press box and monument field. Stop for lunch on Arthur Avenue in the Belmont section of the Bronx, New York's most authentic Little Italy and a fantastic place to shop for Italian specialties. After lunch, drive past the beautiful homes in the Riverdale neighborhood to the gardens of Wave Hill which offers fantastic views of the Hudson River.


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Brooklyn

After crossing the East River, take a short walk onto the Brooklyn Bridge to see the beauty of its construction and hear the history of New York's most famous bridge. Visit the quaint and historical neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights and take in the fantastic view of Manhattan from the beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park. Stop for lunch at Junior's. a classic New York deli famous for its cheesecake. After lunch, see Prospect Park and the magnificent Grand Army Plaza with its famous Soldiers and Sailors Arch. A visit to the Brooklyn Museum or the Botanic Garden can easily be included.

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Central Park

Perhaps the most famous park in the world, an 843 acre jewel in the middle of New York City. Hear the history of this magnificent public recreational space. Make stops along the perimeter to explore several areas of the park on foot and visit major sites including Belvedere Castle, the Shakespeare Garden, the Great Lawn, Turtle Pond, Strawberry Fields, the Lake, Bethesda Fountain and Terrace, and the Conservatory Gardens.

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Chinatown

One of the largest concentrations of Chinese in the Western Hemisphere can be found on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Virtually a Chinese city, you will be able to visit a Chinese traditional medicine shop, the site of a tong war, an authentic Buddhist temple, and open markets offering the same goods you might find in any Chinese city. Stop at the Museum of the Chinese in the Americas. A fantastic Chinese banquet can be arranged at one the many exceptional restaurants. A visit to Chinatown can easily be combined with adjacent Little Italy.

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Chocolate

Begin with a visit to an artisan factory where chocolate is crafted beginning with the actual beans to the finished product. Here you can hear the history of chocolate and see the actual manufacturing process from a retail store completely enveloped in glass. Afterwards visit some of New York's finest chocolate retailers which might include a family run business that has been turning out small batches of confections for over 80 years, a trendy SoHo spot known for its truffles made daily, a high end shop whose creations are flown in from Europe, or a place specializing in hot chocolate.

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City Island

Visit a part of the Bronx rarely seen even by New Yorkers. Begin with a visit to the Bartow-Pell Mansion located in Pelham Bay Park, New York's largest city park at 2700 acres. The beautiful Grecian-style stone mansion has a history dating back to 1654 and is complete with formal terraces, a fountain, gardens, and an extremely unique stone carriage house. Next, cross a bridge onto City Island, a small community which has a rich nautical history and still evokes the feeling of a small fishing village. The island is filled with yacht clubs, sailing schools, sail makers, marinas, and fishing boats. Enjoy lunch at one of the island's many restaurants, most specializing in seafood. Afterwards, visit the City Island Museum providing a history of the island as a major ship building center including many of the yachts used to defend the America's Cup.

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Colonial New York

Explore the early years of New York on this walking tour filled with the history of the original Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, British New York, and the young American republic. Hidden among the skyscrapers of the financial district. you can still see the foundation of the Lovelace Tavern; the site of the original Dutch Stadt Huys or City Hall; Trinity Church, the oldest parish in the city and the resting place of Alexander Hamilton; Bowling Green; Fraunces Tavern, where George Washington bade farewell to his troops at the end of the Revolutionary War; St. Paul's Chapel, where the Washington family once worshipped; and Federal Hall, the site where the first American Congress met and Washington was inaugurated.

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Coney Island/Brighton Beach

Directly on the Atlantic Ocean on the Eastern end of Brooklyn are two very different communities connected by a beachfront boardwalk. Coney Island was once the “playground of the world” with its famed amusement parks. The community is undergoing a revival and you will still see many remnants of its glorious past. Snack on a Nathan's Famous hot dog, take a ride on the legendary Cyclone wooden roller coaster or the Wonder Wheel, or visit the New York Aquarium. One neighborhood away in Brighton Beach, a thriving Russian community, is filled with Russian restaurants, shops and cafes. A walk along the boardwalk of “Little Odessa” can easily be mistaken for a Russian seaside resort. The possibilities for an authentic Russian meal abound.

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Ellis Island

Many groups choose to visit Ellis Island on their own, but the experience can be much more valuable with a knowledgeable guide. Hear the history of immigration to New York, how Ellis Island came to be the principal entry point for immigrants to the United States, its total abandonment and eventual restoration. As you walk in the footsteps of those who passed through Ellis Island, relive the actual immigration process. Find out how medical and legal exams took place, what happened to those with health problems or those who had to be returned to their native countries. You will also have free time to visit some of the exhibits and the Wall of Honor with a list of over 600,000 names. A trip to Ellis Island can easily be combined with a visit to the Statue of Liberty. Subject to availability, Guide Service of New York could book monument access passes which will allow visitors to enter the statue's pedestal to visit the museum and look up into the actual statue itself from the top of the pedestal where a fantastic view of New York harbor is also provided.

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Ethnic Bakeries

Take a trip around the world to satisfy your sweet tooth. The tour might include a Greek bakery in Hell's Kitchen, a taste of New York's famous cheesecake, Jewish rugelach cookies, chocolate cherry bread at the Chelsea Market, pork buns in Chinatown, and Italian pastries at a shop that has been in business since 1892.

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Financial District

The financial district of Manhattan is not only the heart of the world's economy today, but it is also where the Dutch first founded New Amsterdam in 1624. Begin the tour with a visit to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where you can actually visit the largest gold reserve in the world in a special vault 5 stories below ground. Then walk though the narrow streets of the district to see sights related to both finance early colonial history including Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange, Federal Hall, Trinity Church, and Fraunces Tavern.

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Greenwich Village

Through its social diversity, architectural charm, and rich history, Greenwich Village has become one of the city's most attractive and interesting neighborhoods. Once a bohemian enclave, the Village has served as home to many famous playwrights, performers. artists, authors, musicians and radicals. Highlights include Washington Square, New York University, the beautiful tree-lined historical streets of the West Village, hidden courtyards, former speakeasies, and the exciting nightlife establishments lining Bleecker and MacDougal Streets.

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Harlem

Discover the many hidden treasures of this world-renowned community. Once the mecca for all of black America, the tour includes a visit to the famous Apollo Theater, the starting point for many African-American entertainers; a stop at the Harlem Market filled with African vendors; Strivers' Row; the Abyssinian Baptist Church; Harlem Heights with some of the most charming streets in Manhattan; and the Schomburg Center for Black Culture. On Sundays, an option is attendance at a service in a local Baptist church with fantastic gospel music.

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Holiday Lights Tour

New York is really at its best during the holiday season. The fantastic decorations throughout the city are breathtaking. Of course the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is the star of the show, but you will also see the huge 57th Street Snowflake made of Baccarat crystal, the light displays along Fifth Avenue, the 17-foot stars in the lobby of the Time Warner Center, the department store holiday windows, a shopping stop at the fantastic outdoor holiday market at Bryant Park, and much more.

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Little Italy

A walking tour of Mulberry Street focusing on the history of what used to be the largest Italian community in New York City. Now completely surrounded by Chinatown, Little Italy is still filled with remnants of its Italian past. Cafes and restaurants lining Mulberry Street still evoke memories of this once thriving immigrant community. Authentic local shops. some over 100 years old, still offer fresh mozzarella, salami, homemade pasta, gelato and pastry. See Five Points, once the most notorious crime-ridden neighborhood in New York ; a church built to honor San Gennaro, the patron saint of Naples, whose feast day is still celebrated here each year; a school built for immigrant children; and New York's first cathedral surrounded by a wall to help protect it from anti-Catholic mobs. On the northern end of Little Italy, see the latest change to the community as trendy shops and restaurants have gentrified the area now known NoLita for Northern Little Italy.

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Lower East Side

A neighborhood associated with the period of mass immigration and still able to evoke memories of the time when pushcarts lined these same sidewalks. Learn the history of this once large Jewish community while walking through its bustling streets. As we walk along, you will have the opportunity to sample pickles, rugelach, bialys, knishes, pastrami and other Jewish specialties. Shopping on Orchard Street will be a highlight for bargain hunters.

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Lower Manhattan Walk

Walk across the entire width of Manhattan, which at the southern tip is only one third of a mile. Begin at the Hudson River with a fantastic view of the harbor in Battery Park City. Visit the Irish Hunger Memorial and the Winter Garden. Next walk by the World Trade Center site and hear about the latest in its redevelopment. Continue on to Trinity Church, the oldest parish in New York. Walk down Wall Street to see the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall, the site of George Washington's inauguration. Continue through the narrow streets of the financial district, once the streets of New Amsterdam, to see the Federal Reserve Bank, the foundation of the first Dutch City Hall, and Frances Tavern, where George Washington held a dinner to bid Farwell to his officers at the end of the Revolutionary War. You will also have a chance to visit the little known, but moving, New York Vietnam Veterans Memorial before ending at the South Street Seaport.

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New York Nosh

"Noshing” is New Yorkese for eating a little bit of this and a little bit of that and it's exactly what you will do on this tour of some of New York's most famous immigrant neighborhoods - Little Italy, Chinatown and the Jewish Lower East Side. Along with learning about the immigrant experience in New York, sample some of the culinary delights from shops that have been serving these communities for decades. Try a bialy, pickles out of barrels, Chinese roast duck, pork buns, prosciutto bread, fresh mozzarella, cannoli and lots more.

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Pub Crawl

New York is filled with historical pubs and bars and a visit to several is a fun way to drink in some that history. The itinerary might include the oldest continuously operated ale house in New York since 1854, whose décor and offerings has not changed much since. You might also visit a former speakeasy hidden away in a residential area of Greenwich Village since its opening during Prohibition or a tavern where the famous Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas spent a lot of time and, according to legend, drank himself to death. A traditional pub meal might be included either before or after the tour.

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Staten Island

Staten Island is perhaps the least known of New York's five boroughs, but offers some real treasures. Tour the idyllic Alice Austen cottage directly on New York Bay, the 967-acre colonial restoration village at Richmondtown, and a Tibetan museum housed in stone building.

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World Trade Center

Visit the World Trade Center site and experience the history of one of the most significant events in modern history. See the 9/11 Memorial dedicated to the victims of the September 11 attacks. Surrounding the site is all the new construction marking the area's renewal including One World Trade Center, the tallest structure in New York. Nearby, St. Paul's Chapel dating back to 1766 is the little church that housed and fed workers during the recovery efforts. The Firefighters' Memorial and the moving American Express Memorial are also part of the tour. A visit to the 9/11 Museum should not be missed and may be included during or after the tour.

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