new york

FAQ: How do you see all of NYC in one day?

esb; nyc

View from the top of the Empire State Building

How to take advantage of one full day in NYC

One of my favorite questions I get almost every day comes from the traveler who loves to spread themselves thin: I’m only going to be in New York for 24 hours, how do I see all of NYC in one day? There’s actually a pretty easy answer to this question.

You don’t.

If you think you can see all of New York City in one day, you’re out of your mind. Most people who have lived here for years on end are still trying to see the whole city. New York is just too big and there’s too much to do to see everything in one day. But that leads to the next question: How do I take advantage of my one day in NYC to see as much as possible?

Now we’re talking realistically. Allow me to lay out a play to see as much of NYC as possible in one day.

Early Wake Up Call

nyc bagels

You have to wake up early to truly take advantage of the day. Hit a bagel shop near your hotel that’s not named Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. For less than $5 you can get yourself the best bagel you’ve ever had and a coffee. You probably want to enjoy this breakfast as your stroll through Central Park. This is a true New York City start to the morning.

9 am: Manhattan Experience Tour

top of the rock

Top of the Rock, NYC

You’re going to start out your exploration with the 8-Hour Manhattan Experience tour. Don’t worry, this isn’t 8 hours of sitting on a bus or listening to some guys talk, this is an all-inclusive tour that begins at 9 a.m. and includes a trip to the Statue of Liberty, the Top of the Rock, Lunch in Little Italy, and exploration of some of Manhattan’s coolest places. You will be touring the city on a comfortable motorcoach and a tour guide will take you on walking tours of Wall Street, South Street Seaport, Grant’s Tomb, Rockefeller Center, Little Italy, and the World Trade Center memorial.

5 pm: Grab a Slice

pizza

The Manhattan Experience tour has knocked out a lot of the sightseeing, as well as giving you a sit-down meal in an authentic restaurant in Little Italy. Now it’s 5 p.m. so it’s time to grab a slice of pizza to hold you over, because you’re only getting one sit-down meal today.

5:30 pm: Catch a train to The Met

the met museum

You can’t go to NYC and not visit one of the world class museums we have to offer. If it’s a Friday or Saturday, you need to jump on the Subway and head up to either the 77th Street or 86th Street stop on the 4-5-6 line. The Metropolitain Museum of Art is open until 9 p.m. on these days, so that gives you plenty of time to see some of the museum.  If it’s not Friday or Saturday, check out the schedule of other NYC museums and stop by one that is open late on the day you’re in town. Again, you can’t truly see New York until you take in the art it has to offer.

7:30ish pm: Miscellaneous time

mr. met at citi field

Mr. Met at Citi Field

This one is one you, and time dependent. You need to do something that appeals to you specifically, not just take in the sights, so from this point forward, we’re on you time. Sports fan? Catch a game at Madison Square Garden or Barclays Center in the winter, Yankee Stadium or Citi Field if it’s summer. The early comedy shows typically start around 8 in the city, the same time most of the evening Broadway performances begin. This time is for you to do something catered to your personality.

10:30ish pm: Grab a drink, you’ve earned it

beer nyc

photo: flickr / aslakr

You have been up for a while now, trekking across the whole city. You must be tired, ready to call it a night, huh? Well, New York City has an exceptional night life, so if you’re truly trying to see the whole city in all of its elements, you’re not even close to done with your night. Find a good bar, probably a hole in the wall on the Lower East Side or in Brooklyn. The hole in the wall crowd is one that you haven’t experienced yet in your NYC travels.

1:00 am: Time for some street meat

street meat

Photo: Flickr / Oran Viriyincy

After a few drinks and maybe some karaoke, you just realized that you are starving. It’s time to leave the bar and find some food. NYC is home to some of the best street meat in the world, so keep your eye out for some food trucks. It’s shouldn’t be too hard to find one on the Lower East Side or Brooklyn this time of night, so hopefully you listened to me.

1:30 am: Let’s go Clubbing!

Photo: studentrush.com

Grab a cab to the meatpacking district to end your night partying at one of New York City’s most extravagant clubs. This is one of the last environments you have yet to see on your NYC journey, so even if you’re not much of a dancer, it’s still something to experience. Here’s a quick tip for going to a NYC club: Be a pretty girl, be with a pretty girl, be rich, or be famous, and getting into the club will be exponentially easier.

4 am: You have to catch your flight!

Photo: panynj.gov

You flying out of JFK early in the morning remember? Grab a cab to your hotel, gather your things, then head out to the airport. You’ll get there just in time for your early morning flight to LAX, and you can sleep on the plane.

So, you want to do NYC in one day? Here’s your itinerary.

Note: There are still tons of things that you’re missing out on, but again you only have 24 hours. What would you change about this itinerary? What other things in NYC do you want to see? Tell us on twitter at @GrayLineNewYork.

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Did You Know We Offer Tours in 11 Different Languages?

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NYC Double Decker Bus Tours in 11 different languages!

How many languages do you know how to speak? Are you bilingual? Tri? Can you speak six? Seven? Eight languages? No matter how many languages you can speak, whether it be all 11, or just one, we have a tour for you!

Gray Line New York has audio tours on all of our double decker buses in each of the following languages:

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Mandarin
  • Russian
  • Hebrew

So which language are you taking your next tour in? Tweet us at @GrayLineNewYork and let us know!

What Does It Mean When Our Buses Take A ‘Loop’?

ZZZ bus tour

We get lots of questions from our customers about what services we provide. One of the more popular questions is about the famous “loops” that our double decker buses travel on. What is a loop? Let us help:

GrayLine_27The simple answer is that a “loop” is the path that each of our double decker bus tours travels, but there are some key details that you should also know about the loops.

  • All of the loops begin and end at the same point, hence the term loop
  • The loops are NOT continuous. This means that each loop has a starting point and an ending point. At the starting point, you are greeted by an empty bus. At the ending point, the bus may go out of service and all of the passengers will have to leave the bus.
  • The loops all have stops along the way. We covered this in the Hop on, Hop off post.
  • A new bus begins a loop every 15-20 minutes, meaning that if you just missed one bus, you may have a short wait for the next to come.

And that pretty much sums it up. Still confused about what a loop is? Tweet us at @GrayLineNewYork and we’ll be happy to help!

10 New Year’s Resolutions for New Yorkers

A worker begins sweeping Times Square after New Year's Eve celebrations ended in New York.

Photo Credit: Marcus Yam/The New York Times

Happy New Year, New York. 2013 is a thing of the past, and we resolve to make 2014 the best year yet! When you’re not out seeing the sights of New York City, here are 10 New Year’s Resolutions for New York City

Get in shape by running around the Reservoir

Central Park Reservoir
Cut back on the junk food and start ordering salads on Seamless


Spend more time in restaurants and bars and public parks to help kick that smoking habit


Visit one of the NYC museums you’ve never been to before


Finally wait in that long line to try some of the famous NYC style pizza at Grimaldi’s


Spend more time in the outer boroughs (even Staten Island!)


Go and see a new Broadway Show

broadway
Take the subway or buses instead of taxis to save money


Get off the subway a stop early and walk the rest of the way for some extra exercise


Do something touristy and take in the city you call home

bus tour

So, what are your New Year’s Resolutions? Tell us on Twitter at @GrayLineNewYork

See New York City in One Day

BrooklynBridge2

New York City can be pretty big sometimes. Big and intimidating. When you travel here, you probably ask yourself how can I see all of New York City in one day? Is there a tour that I can see the top NYC sights in a short time so I can save the rest of my week for other sightseeing activities? Well, now there is.

Statue of LibertyIntroducing the all new New York City in One Day Tour!

In this 6-hour personalized tour of 12 people or less, you will sightsee by foot, minibus and boat. See all of the top New York attractions like the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge with a knowledgeable, local tour guide. Experience the neighborhoods of Manhattan, the New York skyline from the Hudson River, and more when you sign on for the New York City in One Day Tour.

ESBHighlights:

  • 6-hour New York sightseeing tour, led by a friendly local guide
  • See top New York attractions by foot, minibus and sightseeing boat
  • Relax aboard a minibus and pass sights such as the Empire State Building and One World Trade Center
  • Stroll past New York City Hall and Brooklyn Bridge, and wander along the High Line, an elevated parkland walkway
  • Enjoy a 1.5-hour New York Harbor sightseeing cruise and view the Statue of Liberty alongside other sights
  • Small-group tour with a maximum of 13 people ensures personalized attention from a guide

You can book this brand new tour now online (New York City in One Day Tour) or by calling our visitors center 1-800-669-0051

Child Friendly Attractions in NYC

child Happy Central Park

As big cities go, New York is one of the most child-friendly in the world today, offering a wealth of things to keep your kids happy, from playgrounds and movie theaters to toy stores and more. As far as major attractions go, there are plenty to choose from too. Help your children understand the sheer scope of the city by taking a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge or a ride to the top of the Empire State Building, then plan days out to the most exciting attractions New York City has to offer children. Here are five of our favorites.

 American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West, at 79th St

Chances are, if your child has seen Night at the Museum, they’ve probably already nagged you for a visit to New York’s world-famous Natural History Museum. The most jaw-dropping and fascinating area of the educational institution remains the seemingly-endless dinosaur floor, which deserves a visit purely for the T-Rex that’s constructed from real dinosaur bones. Elsewhere, your little ones can explore the wild, the ocean and even space. Easily a full day of fun.

 Central Park

For parents in Manhattan, Central Park truly is the gift that keeps on giving. Cross Central Park and find 21 playgrounds to choose from, boat rides on the lake during the summer, the Trump ice rink in winter, the carousel, the magnificent zoo (complete with 130 species, petting area, sea-lion feedings, 4-D movie screenings and even classes) and the marionette theater at the Swedish Cottage. This 840-acre adventure has something for kids of all ages, no matter what time of year it is.

Sony Wonder Technology Lab
550 Madison Ave

If you live with a budding techie who can’t keep their hands off your smart phone, tablet and laptop, be sure to take them to Sony’s Wonder Technology Lab in Midtown. It’s extremely interactive, educational but entertaining and, best of all, it’s free. Your kids can create profiles of themselves, learn how the internet works, play with a multitude of touch-screens, turn themselves into avatars and, on Saturdays, they can even catch a movie. The SWTL is best for older children, but chances are, parents might learn a thing or two as well.

Statue of Liberty
Liberty Island

As one of the nation’s most enduring and famous landmarks, the Statue of Liberty remains a great day out for kids. Whether you are taking in the magnificent views from a dock in Staten Island or embarking on a fun ferry ride across New York Harbor over to the lovely Liberty Island, your young ones will certainly enjoy our beloved 127-year-old iron lady and her 305-foot-high torch, will marvel at the sheer size of her feet and learn a thing or ten about why she’s there and what she symbolizes, as well as the rich history of Ellis Island.

 The Children’s Museum of Manhattan
212 W. 83rd St.

Since opening in 1978, the Children’s Museum has proved so popular, it now stands at 38,000 square feet and five floors of exciting exhibits that intermingle entertainment and education—often with plenty of interactive elements. Here, your kids can dabble in everything from hands-on pottery workshops and guitar concerts, to arts and science experiments, and the Museum is mindful of mixing up its features to keep regular visitors intrigued and happy. Suitable for kids of all ages.

Rae Alexandra contributed to the Gray Line New York entertainment blog on behalf of The Accolade at Bay Street Landing

NYC Independent Film Festival This Weekend

film festival

Guess what’s coming to New York City this weekend… If you said a festival that caters to the inner independent film maker in all of us, you nailed it!

The Independent film festival comes to NYC to celebrate the true independent film maker; screening their film in the heart of New York City, Times Square. If you’re wondering what types of films will be played, you need not worry because the festival will be offering it all, from documentaries,  to short and long feature-length films, music videos, and animation. Packed with panels, parties and a gathering of young and coming filmmakers the festival is guaranteed to be an event to remember and the place to be from October 18- 20.

So check it out this weekend, it should be a fun time!

Photo Credit: Flickr / popturfdotcom