New York City, New York
Despite staying in New York City for five nights, you really have to decide what you want to see and what you can skip. I was happy that no one wanted to go see the Statue of Liberty but also a bit hesitant about their enthusiasm for the double-decker hop on hop off NYC tours bus. I have never taken one of these buses, or the kind that also go into the water. There is a very good reason for this.
I am a travel snob.
I really don’t want to admit it but I am. I try to believe that there is no one right way to travel yet I secretly believe I am better than the people on those buses. But they heard it was fantastic so I swallowed my ego and bought a 3-day pass that had options for uptown, downtown and Brooklyn.
Deciding that this vacation was for them and not me I realized I should look into other bus tours because if we were going to do this we were going all the way!
I will eat my words.
We spent the first afternoon in New York City on the Grayline hop on hop off doing downtown Manhattan and it was a perfect way to become familiar with the city. We saw lots of things that we wouldn’t have gone out of the way to see and the tour guide was really great. My mother loves to ask me lots of questions: historical, architectural, geographical – all assuming that for some reason I know the answer. The guide covered all of these things.
On other days when we needed a break we did the Brooklyn and Uptown tour. We didn’t have time to go see Apollo theatre or the Brooklyn Bridge on our own but the tours gave us a taste of the areas if we wanted to see more on another trip.
I have always viewed these buses scornfully but I think in a big city they make a lot of sense and I will definitely do one in the future.
But what about the movie and tv tour?
At first I was a bit disappointed when I saw the On Locations bus was covered, I was so accustomed to the double-decker and the blogger in me wanted to take photos.
But then I was pleasantly surprised that this tour shows you clips of all the movies that show the location before you get to the location. So if you couldn’t remember FAO Schwartz from Big – no worries they’ll remind you. Our tour guide was an actor, hair model, singer and worked the front of house at one of the theatres. She was a ton of fun and even gave us Seinfeld’s famous black and white cookie – two races of flavour living side by side in harmony!
My sister, models outside Dash, and I realize she kinda looks like a Kardashian.
We left the bus many times to get out and take photos, we visited the Friends’ apartment (above) and realized the cafe they have there was far better than Central Perk. I wished we had enough time left to do the Sex and the City tour, another time I guess.
And so yet again I am humbled. I thought bus tours were the worst of all tours. I have since come to realize that regular tours make a lot of sense and these bus tours do too.
Disclosure: On Locations gave us the tours for free but they did not request that we write a favourable review or each take another black and white cookie at the end of the tour.