I recently got the opportunity to go on a double decker city tour! It has always been something I wanted to do. I have done it in Boston and Washington, D.C. and always thought it would be interesting to do in my own city: New York! All my life I have been touring New York City like a tourist, even though I am a native of the area. This tour in particular shouldn’t be left just for tourists, it’s a great way to discover the city you live in as well.
I woke up early wanting to be the first in line with all of the other eager tourists. When I suggested we wear the foam Statue of Liberty hats my friend said I was taking it too far. What a party-pooper.
Throughout the day we went on four different buses; the nature of this tour is that you get to hop on and hop off at various bus stops around the city. The double decker buses circulate on a route all day long and you can get on and off as much as you like during the time your ticket is valid. We got off in Greenwich Village, SoHo, Ground Zero and Little Italy for food, shopping and sights.
I have to say that I am ashamed to admit I had never been to Ground Zero before taking the double decker tour. It was an emotional experience for me, especially the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site (the full memorial will open closer to the time of the 10 year anniversary later this year). Listening to 911 phone calls, the photos of the firemen and the plans for the rebuilding were so intriguing. I didn’t even know that museum existed until recently. On your next visit to New York City, I highly recommend that you include this stop on your itinerary. I am proud to tell you that New York Guest is a strong supporter of the 9/11 Memorial.
Most interesting fact of the day: Murray Hill (where I live) was named after Mary Murray, a former owner of an estate in the area. Her family were Quakers said to be responsible for delaying William Howe and his army during General Washington’s retreat from New York by extending an invitation for tea. Who knew? Our tour guide on the double decker bus knew!
Our last tour guide was a woman named Kathleen. She was the kind of person that loved life and loved her job even more. She has been giving tours for over 20 years and never gets sick of it. She gave me her card and told me she does private tours and is trying to start her own business. She was the kind of person that beams life; someone that makes you rethink your own. The crowd loved her. If you are coming to the city and need a private tour guide, I would love to put you in touch with her!
Overall, the double decker tour of New York was a great experience– you can book your double decker tour right on our website (tickets are on sale right now!) or contact my colleagues for booking assistance.
Other tours I highly recommend:
On Board New York Tours (all day tour with a professional guide)
The New York Pass (see over 55 NYC sites and attractions at an incredible rate)
Here are some shots I have taken while sightseeing in NYC over the years!