Jerry’s Grand Tour
This tour had great reviews. Maybe it was great at one point, but I wouldn’t say it is now. Jerry, the guide, gave no true facts about New York. He would just randomly talk about things or tell stories that had nothing to do with the tour. The only positive was that he was able to navigat us through the city to see a lot of sites. I will say that this tour could have been 3 hours shorter. It goes at a slow pace.
The tour is $10. The tour begins at the hostel in Harlem. From there we took the subway to Brooklyn. This took a good 20 minutes. Once off the subway, he walked us to a local deli to grab lunch to have a picnic on Brooklyn Heights Promenade. Pretty sure he got a commission from that place, but I still enjoyed my sandwich.
The Brooklyn Promenade
The Brooklyn Promenade is a 1/3 mile walk along the East River. You will see the best panoramic view of the city from here. You can see the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
The Brooklyn Bridge
After lunch, we walked to the Brooklyn Bridge. We entered on the Brooklyn side at Tillary Street and Admas Street. It takes about 25-30 minutes to walk the 1.3 miles across the bridge.
National September 11 Memorial
There were only 3 Americans on this tour. Josh and I cried at the mere sight of this. All the feelings of that day came rushing over me. As shitty as our guide was, he actually had some good facts about 9/11. He pointed out a name and began talking about them. He said “Isn’t that a nice name. Think of the life they could have had.” That is just when couldn’t control myself and just started crying. One of the girls on the tour told me that seeing the emotion of Josh and myself made the memorial more real. I would say that this is a must see! It is free to see the memorial. The museum is $24 to go into. I did not go to the museum, but I have heard it’s moving. For more information, click here.
Wall Street and the Bull
Wall Street is the center of the financial center of the USA and home of the New York Stock Exchange. While you can’t go in and take a tour, (the floor has been closed to the public since 9/11) you can walk around the outside. The street is cut off from cars for security reasons. To the left of the stock exchange is the site where George Washington was inaugurated. The is a statue of him there to honor him.
The famous Wall Street Bull is not on Wall Street. It is located on Broadway & Morris.
Our tour guide, Jerry thought it’d be a good idea to see the city lite up at night from the water. The ferry is free. The ferry departs from Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan. While Jerry was off about a lot of things. He was right about how beautiful the city is at night. You can always see the Statue of Liberty 🗽 from the ferry, which was a highlight. If you have 20 minutes to spare, why not do this free activity.
A tour of New York wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Time Square. Most subway lines have a stop in Time Square, so it is easy to get too. I would walk all the way to the red stairs and then take a moment to to take in all of the lights. With the stairs behind you, you can see the nye ball. Also just walk past all the people in costumes. If you take a picture, they will charge you.
My hostel offered free tours of time square on Tuesdays and Saturdays. I think a tour is the best way to see Central Park. I tried to wander around the park myself the day before the tour and just felt lost. If you do try to explore on your own, start from the southern end of the park. Here are some highlights of my tour.
Located on the west side of 71st and 74th streets. You will find the famous imagine mosaic in honor of John Lennon.
Alice in Wonderland
Located on the east side of 75th street is a large bronze statue that was gifted to the children of New York in 1959. When I had seen pictures online I had no idea how big it was! You can climb up on it like I did and get a great picture.
Central Park Zoo
On the east side of between 63rd and 66th street is the Central ParZoooo. I did not go into the zoo, but I did walk through to see the clock. The Frederick G. R. Roth’s Honey Bear and Dancing Goat bronze sculptures dance on the hour and half hour from 0800 to 1700. For more information on the zoo, click here.
Even if you don’t like to ice skate, you need to come for the beautiful view. Located on the east side of 62nd and 63rd street is Wollman Rink. For prices and hours, click here.
This romantic bridge spans over the Lake, located midpark at 74th street west of Bethesda Terrace. The bridge is a great backdrop for pictures.
Coming into this trip I thought I’d probably become better friends with Josh and see some sights. I never thought I’d meet the amazing people that I did. I am so happy that I made the decision to stay at a hostel. If you ever get the chance, DO IT!
I just want to thank everyone I met on this trip. I feel like I have a better understanding of myself and the world around me due to each and every one of you. From hearing about life in South Africa.
To hearing about what life was like in a communist country.
To just having fun with people all around the world.
I want to gave a special thanks for spending your time with me. I hope that we will see each other again ❤