Finally, spring is in the air, and New York City’s warmer-weather sites are ready to be explored. Taking in the City’s attractions can be a daunting task for any visitor, but you can experience the excitement of the five boroughs—soaring skyscrapers, legendary eateries and landmark spots—in a number of ways. Take a helicopter ride to snap photos of the world’s most famous skyline from up above. Go on a jaunt by foot to see landmarks of Lower Manhattan’s Financial District. Board a ship for an audience with Lady Liberty. The 10 tours featured here, in our seasonal slideshow, offer views of New York City’s historical spots, exciting attractions and tours to places that are off the beaten path. Read on for more of our springtime picks.
Get a bird’s-eye view of Manhattan’s famous skyline with a helicopter ride high above the City. Manhattan Helicopters takes visitors to the sky on tours that depart from a downtown platform. These tours showcase iconic landmarks, like Times Square and Central Park. Along the way, you’ll glide by the nearly complete Freedom Tower, the Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building. Pick from a number of tour options, including one that offers views of Brooklyn and Staten Island. Tours run approximately 15 to 30 minutes long and are narrated. You’ll want to bring your camera along for the ride.
Spirit of New York
These three-deck ships accommodate up to 600 passengers for lunch and dinner cruises that pass the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Governors Island and travel under the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges before returning to Chelsea Piers. Take in the Manhattan skyline from the cruiser’s spacious deck, then indulge in a buffet packed with options like tilapia, lemon-basil chicken and pasta primavera. After that, you can dance until you dock, thanks to professional DJs and an ever-enthusiastic singing waitstaff.
Explore New York with Martha
One of the best ways to discover New York is by foot. Strap on some comfortable shoes and take a springtime stroll with Manhattan-based tour guide Martha Lanzillotti, who offers numerous itineraries tailored to the needs of both groups and individuals alike. Choose from tours of culture-heavy neighborhoods like Greenwich Village, Little Italy and Chinatown or site-specific options that explore areas such as the Garment Center. Lanzillotti will also show you some of the City’s culinary delights and spots where celebrities frequent, all from a local’s point of view.
A taste of Harlem Food Tours
Harlem is one of the most culturally rich neighborhoods in NYC. With historic music venues, lounges and eateries, plus an influx of new restaurants, there’s a lot to take in here. Harlem is home to restaurants serving tasty soul food, classic Southern fare, as well as cuisine from Africa, the Caribbean and France. A Taste of Harlem Food Tours allows visitors to sample the area’s dishes all while learning about its lengthy history; you’ll see beaux arts homes, theaters and parks in the area, too. Hungry spectators can choose from either the Soul Food Tour or the Harlem’s Tasting Tour, the latter of which makes stops at noteworthy architectural destinations.
Artigo Tours LLCC
New York City is full of galleries and studios that are unknown even to locals. Artigo Tours offers behind-the-scenes art walks through art-friendly neighborhoods including Chelsea, DUMBO, Bushwick and Long Island City. Covering both well-known and hidden spaces, Artigo offers guided tours that range from short trips to extended outings that can span a few days. Art lovers will relish the private time spent in galleries and artists’ studios, as well as visits to art museums, design stores and art-centric districts. The Fisher Landau Center for Art, The Museum of Modern Art and Lehmann Maupin Gallery in Chelsea are among the many spots that can be included on these visually stimulating expeditions.
MCNY Bronx historical Tours
These guided jaunts explore the culturally diverse neighborhoods of Woodlawn (also known as Little Ireland) and Arthur Avenue (the borough’s own Little Italy). In Woodlawn visitors will taste unique ales from a number of pubs, while a tour of Arthur Avenue offers wine and cheese samples. Other highlights include weekend trips that cover the Grand Concourse and its historic sites, as well as a tour of the Bronx’s finest pizza choices. Not only do these excursions present an opportunity to feast on authentic cuisine, they also supply a wealth of fascinating information about Yankee Stadium, The Bronx Museum of the Arts and the real-life neighborhood where the movie A Bronx Talewas filmed. These walking tours run for approximately three to four-and-a-half hours, so dress comfortably.
New York’s Finest Walking Tours
Tried and true (blue) New Yorker and former NYPD lieutenant Paul Murphy offers an exclusive perspective on New York City neighborhoods. Murphy takes visitors to spots such as Grand Central Terminal and Greenwich Village, providing historical information and details about infamous crimes and NYC folklore. Highlights of the Greenwich Village tour include a visit to Aaron Burr’s carriage house, the Hangman’s Elm in Washington Square Park and NYC’s smallest piece of private real estate.
Urban Oyster Tours
Based on your interests, an expert tour guide will take you to areas brimming with local microbreweries, restaurants, and mom-and-pop shops. If you have an appetite for something beyond the mainstream, artisanal markets and Italian and Middle Eastern eateries should take care of that, too. Along the way, you’ll be treated to stories about the City’s colorful history. Customized group tours and culinary classes are also available.
The Wall Street Experience
If finance and architecture appeal to you, then it’s worth checking out The Wall Street Experience. As its name denotes, the tour offers an all-out experience of the world’s most famous financial institutions. Notable landmarks—including the New York Stock Exchange, Federal Reserve Bank and Wall Street—are covered through a number of tours that range from two to five hours in length. Led by Andrew Luan, a former vice president of Deutsche Bank, and his colleagues, the tours supply a wealth of fascinating information about the inner workings of Wall Street and the financial market. There’s also an intensive educational tour geared toward finance students that covers all of Lower Manhattan’s prime financial spots.