“I Love New York!”
Thanks to its history, charm and undeniable charisma, the bustling metropolis of New York City is one of the most frequented locations in the entire world. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the trickiest cities for new tourists to navigate – especially if you’ve got excited students in tow. With so many “must-see” landmarks and “can’t be missed” attractions, figuring out how to get yourself from one place to the next is hard enough, but adding a group of students to the mix complicates the planning process even more. What attractions should you see? How are you going to get your students there? Can you do all the activities you want and stay within your budget?
Where to Start?
Take a deep breath and put your trip in the capable hands of Gray Line CitySightseeing New York. Gray Line CitySightseeing New York has stood the test of time and spent almost a century giving tourists the best trip of their lives. Their combination of knowledgeable tour guides, flexible modes of transportation and reasonable rates makes them perfect company to work with when planning a trip for your students. Put your worries to rest, and let Gray Line CitySightseeing New York make touring New York City as easy as one, two, three.
What should we see?
The New York City Classics
Whether the trip is your group’s first time in the Big Apple or a triumphant return visit, all students in New York City should:
- Stop by Rockefeller Center to see where Saturday Night Live is filmed and take in the skyline from the very top of the Comcast (formerly GE) Building
- Encounter the pounding pulse of New York at the Empire State Building
- Pause for a moment at the National September 11 Memorial, which humbly rests beside One World Trade Center
- Stroll through Battery Park and watch the Statue of Liberty glisten in New York Harbor
- Drive or walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, the lifeline between the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn
- Discover Central Park, an oasis in the center of Manhattan where you can enjoy gardens, fountains and a relaxing break from the bustling downtown area
- Get an inside look at famous landmarks like Madison Square Garden, Times Square, Museum Mile and United Nations Headquarters
If your students want a bird’s-eye view of the city, try out one or more of the following locations:
- Empire State Observatory: Take a quarter-mile ride up to the building’s 102nd floor. Here, nestled in the clouds, you and your students will find an observation deck that allows visitors to take in sweeping panoramic views of Manhattan.
- NY SKYRIDE: See the New York City skyline without ever leaving the second floor of the Empire State Building. With the aid of an 18-foot projector screen and narration provided by Kevin Bacon, embark on a virtual tour that whisks you over some of New York’s most breathtaking attractions and allows your students to appreciate the city’s majesty like never before.
- Top of the Rock Observation Deck: Take in New York City’s most famous sights with your head in the sky. Located in Rockefeller Center and open daily until midnight, Top of the Rock offers unparalleled views of landmarks like the Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty and Central Park.
How Should We See the Sights?
Once you’ve decided which attractions your students can’t miss, it’s time to choose how you want to get from place to place. Gray Line CitySightseeing New York believes there’s no wrong answer when it comes to types of transportation and offers guided tours using all of the following:
- Double-Decker Bus: If your group wants to stop at all of New York City’s famous attractions but is operating on a tight schedule, touring the city by bus is the best way to go. Bus touring has always been a fast and easy option when it comes to seeing the sights, but with Gray Line CitySightseeing New York’s “Hop on, Hop off” program your group can leave the bus to visit any of the attractions on the itinerary. Once you’ve had your fill, take your seats once more and relax as you head onwards to your next stop.
- Cruises: Stick to the seas with a narrated cruise around New York Harbor. Be amazed by views of the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty and the skyline as you soak up the sunshine and drink in the salty air, or embark on a nighttime cruise and watch the city lights twinkle cheerfully in the twilight.
- On Foot: Guided walking tours give your group the chance to get up close and personal with New York City. While it may take a little longer to get where you’re going, your group will feel unencumbered as they take in the sights and smells of the Big Apple at their own pace. If on the way to an attraction something unexpectedly piques your group’s interest, walking tours naturally allow for brief, unplanned stops. This makes exploring the city on foot perfect for curious groups that aren’t in a rush.
- Ferry: Combine the best of both worlds and tour the Big Apple via a Gray Line CitySightseeing New York ferry. Your group can still take advantage of the same “Hop on, Hop off” program as the double-decker bus tour, but also enjoy the experience of discovering New York from both the land and the sea. Complete with professional guided narration and four different stops in Manhattan and Brooklyn, ferry tours of New York City are perfect for groups of all ages.
Find Your Perfect Tour
You’ll have to talk to a Gray Line CitySightseeing New York representative to find out which tour is the best fit for your group, but in the meantime, here are the company’s top three tours:
Twilight Cruise: Spend 90 minutes drifting along the New York City skyline as the “city that never sleeps” awakens to the night. Watch as the buildings are transformed from imperious places of work into a romantic and vibrant visual display that your group will never forget.
The Big Three Combo: CitySightseeing has combined three of their top experiences to give your group a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity without breaking the bank. Spend an afternoon cruising around the harbor on a ferry tour, then see panoramic views of the city from the Empire State Observatory. Wake up the next day and conquer the bustling city center on a Downtown Double Decker Bus Tour that stops at New York’s most famous attractions.
Freestyle New York – Pick Five: Choose five stops from a seemingly endless list of New York attractions to create your own designer tour of the Big Apple. Spread out over the three days, this option allows you to take control of your sightseeing and handpick the landmarks, museums, tours and restaurants that you think are best suited to your group. The list of attractions can be found here.
What Other Amenities Does Gray Line CitySightseeing New York Provide?
- Convenient departures from Midtown Manhattan, right outside Times Square
- Affordable prices and great group deals
- Licensed, knowledgeable tour guides
- Wide choice of tour times
- Private tours available
Once you’ve gotten your itinerary squared away, all that’s left to do is look forward to your group’s upcoming adventure. Let Gray Line CitySightseeing New York handle the stressful parts of planning your trip so that you can spend more time enjoying your visit to New York City.