Playing Tourist: 10 Tours You Should Take In New York

cruiser bike Playing Tourist: 10 Tours You Should Take In New York

If there’s one city where it’s always fun to play tourist, it’s New York. Whether you call the Big Apple home or you’re just going to visit, tours offer a whole new way to explore the area. Our entire state is jam-packed with amazing tours, from the Manhattan city limits to the upper state countryside. And if you’re visiting this summer, you’ll want to check some of them out.

Despite Manhattan’s abundant Taxis, public transportation in some parts of New York is somewhat scarce. Your best bet is to look up Rent a Car New York options, decide what will be best for you and rent a vehicle that will take you wherever you need to go. If you’re traveling with your family or a large group, look up minivan rental New York specials. It’s much easier to have everyone in one spot than trying to chase children or friends down on the subway.

Once you’re in the city, you’ll have hundreds upon hundreds of options for tours. We recommend choosing a few from this list:

Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island Guided Tour

Whether you’re a New Yorker or a first time visitor, this tour is worth taking at least once. Lady Liberty has played a big role in our history, after all. Tickets are $59 and include a 4.5 hour guided visit to the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island, priority boarding on the ferry and viewing exhibits inside the Immigration Museum on Ellis Island.

Circle Line: Complete Manhattan Island Cruise

This guided 2.5 hour tour offers a cruise around Manhattan Island and the chance to learn about its history. You’ll enjoy the live commentary from a tour guide, breathtaking views, and food and beverages will be available for purchase. Tickets are normally $41.99, but you can often find them on sale.

Free Tours By Foot: A Pay-What-You-Wish Experience

“Free” and “New York City” often do not go hand in hand. But this amazing company offers several tours that are free, though donations and tips are certainly accepted and encouraged. The belief is that everyone should be able to enjoy what the city has to offer. For some tours, subway fare will be needed, and reservations are required to guarantee your spot. Still, this is one of the best and most affordable ways to see the city.

The New York State Capitol Tour in Albany

This tour will require a bit of a drive—Albany is between two and three hours from the city. But touring the beautiful capitol is something everyone should experience, especially history buffs or anyone who appreciates architecture. Tours are free of charge and are available Monday-Friday at 10 AM, noon, 2 PM and 3 PM.

Rolling Hills Asylum in East Bethany

If your travels take you to the Rochester or Buffalo areas, carve out some time to tour this creepy old asylum. Known as one of the most haunted places in the country, you just might experience some paranormal activity—but either way, you’re in for a spooky time. Tours cost $20 per person and last about two hours.

Joyce Gold History Tours of New York

A favorite recommendation of hotel concierges everywhere, history buff Joyce Gold’s walking tour is an incredible experience. You can schedule a private tour for a more customized experience, or sign up for a public scheduled tour for $20 per person ($15 for those over 62).

The Bannerman Island Walking Tour, Pollepel Island

Located just 56 miles north of Manhattan, the beautiful Bannerman’s Castle sits on an island about six acres in size. The castle was once used as a military surplus warehouse, and these days it’s available for exploring on your own.

The East End Bike Tours of Mattituck

Heading to the Hamptons this summer? This tour is close to Long Island, and it offers the chance to put your rental car in park and cruise along by bike. The best part? This tour will quench your thirst for wine as well as information, and you’ll see plenty of historic sights along the way.

The NY See it All Tour

This is exactly what it sounds like! This six hour tour has won numerous awards, and it’s easy to see why. You’ll be able to see Lower Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and so much more, all from the comforts of a cruise. Tickets start at $59.99 per person and depart twice a day.

The Lockport Cave and Underground Boat Ride in Lockport

Did you know the state of New York has some incredible caves? Skip the crowds at Howe Caverns and head to Lockport instead, which is a 382 drive from Manhattan that will allow you to see a good portion of the state. The 70 minute guided tour includes and underground boat ride, and you’ll be able to view ruins from the industrial revolution. Feeling brave? The company also offers ghost tours at night.

Explore New York this summer with a guided tour (or two or three). You won’t regret it!