On Location Tours
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Seeing NYC by Land, Sea, & Air

There’s no right way to see New York, but there certainly are a lot of options when you come to sightsee in the Big Apple. Not only can you walk around town, but you can ride a bus, a bike, a boat, or even a helicopter to see the city in all its glory. Luckily, New York looks great from every angle. Below are 10 options for sightseeing in New York, including dinner cruises, helicopter flights, bike rides, walking tours, and a ride to the top of a skyscraper. 
On Location Tours
Credit: On Location Tours
 
  • Big Onion Walking Tours

    The knowledgeable tour guides at Big Onion will help you learn about whatever interests you most in the big city. Their many tours cover areas of Brooklyn (they have popular brewery and distillery tours there), as well as Manhattan neighborhoods like the East Village, SoHo, and Times Square. You can also walk Brooklyn Bridge, learn about the LGBTQ movement in New York City, and take a Multi-Ethnic Eating Tour. Basically, if there’s a topic that interests you, Big Onion will teach you about it during their fun and informative walks. Various locations, 888-606-WALK, bigonion.com
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  • Get Up and Ride Bike Tours

    Get Up and Ride provides fun, fresh takes on NYC tours. First, everyone in the group is on a bicycle! Second, Get Up and Ride caps each tour group size at 10 participants. During these whimsical narrated tours (you’ll wear a headset so you can hear the guide), you’ll see and eat New York when the guides swing you by a local coffee shop or bakery for a re-fuel. Their local Priority Bikes bicycles are sleek, lightweight cruisers you’ll love riding. There are several tour locations including the Brooklyn Waterfront, downtown Manhattan, and Central Park. Manhattan: 645 W 44th St.; Brooklyn: 330 South 3rd St.; 646-801-2453, getupandride.com
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    the ride
    Credit: The Ride NYC
     
  • The RIDE

    THE RIDE is a New York City tour unlike any other. Their luxury buses take you through the streets of Manhattan with wide, wonderful views of the city streets from stadium seating. Better yet, the tour capitalizes on the theater of New York sidewalks with ensemble singers, dancers, musicians, and actors performing on sidewalks and serving as your guide from inside the bus. The 75 minutes will fly by as the surprises keep coming! But it doesn’t stop with THE RIDE’s signature tour. THE TOUR is a 90-minute bus tour that incorporates multimedia elements and continues the fun, informative narrative style of other THE RIDE tours. THE DOWNTOWN EXPERIENCE powered by THE RIDE shows you Downtown Manhattan with a virtual reality overlay. You’ll see New York as it once was, with illustrated scenes of city history, throughout the Financial District and the World Trade Center area. Various meeting locations, 212-221-0853, experiencetheride.com Learn more
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  • On Location Tours

    From King Kong to Rosemary’s Baby to Sex and the City, the camera loves New York. On Location Tours will show you where Ghostbusters and The Sopranos were filmed, as well as give you lots of great trivia along the way. Tours include the NYC TV & Movie Tour, Sex and the City Hotspots Tour, The Real Housewives of New York City tour, and the Super Tour of NYC, showing superhero movie sites. Some, like the Central Park TV & Movie Sites option, are walking tours, but most operate from a bus taking you throughout the city. The Central Park tour is also given in languages like Spanish, French, German, and Cantonese. 212-913-9780, onlocationtours.com Learn more
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    one world tower
    Credit: One World Observatory
     
  • One World Observatory

    See New York City from the sky in the Western Hemisphere’s tallest building. The One World Observatory at the top of One World Trade Center lifts you high above the city in a SkyPod elevator, which travels 102 stories in 47 seconds. On the way, you’ll experience the story of this beautiful tower and take pictures to your heart’s content. There are also one-of-a-kind features like the Sky Portal, a glass disc in the floor showing footage of the city below, and the restaurant ONE Dine. One World Observatory, also known as the Freedom Tower, is located in downtown Manhattan next door to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. 285 Fulton St., 212-602-4000, oneworldobservatory.com Learn more
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  • CitySightseeing New York

    CitySightseeing has two natural elements covered; their buses and boat tours can be easily combined for a day of sightseeing on land and water. You can hop on and off the double-decker buses throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, all while a guide narrates sights from the Chrysler Building to City Hall. CitySightseeing ferries also provide hop-on, hop-off access and narrated tours from the East River and New York Harbor. You can buy tickets just for the ferry tour, or a combination All Around Town tour, which includes a free boat ride. Tickets can also be combined with entry to the Empire State Building, One World Observatory, and the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. Various locations, 212-445-7599, citysightseeingnewyork.com Learn more
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  • Entertainment Cruises

    Entertainment Cruises provides elite cruising and dining experiences on their fleet of water vessels, which include luxury yachts. There are several cruise packages to choose from at a range of price points. The most affordable is the Spirit Cruise. Spirit of New York departs from Chelsea in Manhattan, and Spirit of New Jersey from Weehawken. These relaxed, family-friendly cruises offer buffet-style meals, full bar, dancing, and games. Take your cruise up a notch with Bateaux New York, taking passengers on a variety of cruises from its elegant glass ship. Take your gourmet dining on the water at one of their bottomless mimosa brunches, lunches, or dinner cruises. Entertainment’s large yacht is the Atlantica Elite, and its 80-person yacht is the Manhattan Elite. Both are available for private charter. Various locations, 866-433-9283, entertainmentcruises.com
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  • New York Water Taxi

    You can’t miss the yellow fleet of catamarans with New York Water Taxi. This boat service offers convenient hop-on, hop-off service at four points in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Experience the taxi for as long or short as you’d like, and along the way you’ll hear detailed history about the many landmarks visible from the boat. New York Water Taxi offers a range of day passes for travelers. The boats dock at Midtown at 42nd Street, Battery Park, South Street Seaport, and DUMBO in Brooklyn. 212-742-1969, nywatertaxi.com
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    Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
    Credit: Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises
     
  • Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises

    See Manhattan from every side and Lady Liberty lit-up at night on Circle Line’s award-winning fleet of boats. Their slate of tours offer something for every sightseer, from the Harbor Lights Cruise at night to the Best of NYC Cruise, which circumnavigates the island of Manhattan. There is also a two-hour Landmark Cruise, an express Liberty Cruise, and Statue by Night. Over 130 landmarks are covered throughout these cruises, all narrated by informative guides and serving drinks and food at the cafe and bar on the lower deck. Midtown West: Pier 83 at W 42nd St.; South Street Seaport: Pier 16; 212-563-3200, circleline.com Learn more
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  • Helicopter Flight Services

    See the skyline from above in a chartered luxury helicopter. Helicopter Flight Services offers a suite of options for anyone looking for a bird’s eye view of New York. The New Yorker Tour gives you a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty up close, as well as Ellis Island and New York Harbor. The Ultimate Tour with HFS glides up the Hudson River, offering views of Manhattan’s west side, the George Washington Bridge, and the New Jersey Palisades. The Deluxe Tour, including views of Brooklyn and Staten Island, and a combo tour with New York Water Taxi are also available. Better yet, see the twinkling skyline at night during the City Lights Experience. Downtown Manhattan Heliport on Pier 6, 212-355-0801, heliny.com Learn more
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