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1st time visitor - comprehensive tour a must?

Detroit, Michigan
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1st time visitor - comprehensive tour a must?

For first time visitors with only three days, should we look into a comprehensive tour of the city or can we do it ourselves? We know we probably won't see and do everything and will have to return.

New York City
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1. Re: 1st time visitor - comprehensive tour a must?

The only "musts" in any trip anywhere are the things that would interest you personally.

As for not seeing and doing "everything" there is to see and do in New York City when you only have three days to do it, that is not "prabable"; it is instead a dead certainty. I have lived in this city my entire life and I have not seen and done everything; three days can at best give you a bare minimum sampling of a couple of neighborhoods.

Detroit, Michigan
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2. Re: 1st time visitor - comprehensive tour a must?

GWB - I expect not to see and do everything, but am wondering if that will give us a good overview to start or a why bother, pick a couple of neighborhoods and go?

Newport Beach...
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3. Re: 1st time visitor - comprehensive tour a must?

I think it is a good idea to take a tour of the city. This way you have an over view of the city and that way you can tell which areas you want to explore more.We did this exact thing for this reason.Since you only have three days i think this is the best thing you can do. We took The Royal Tour of New YORK aka Marvelous Manhattan Tours.This was a five and a half hour tour on a mini bus many frequent stops and the tour guide Steve gets out with you and explains what you are looking at and its history.The tour groups are small.They stop for lunch at Katz's deli which had very good food.Steve takes you through areas other tour buses do not go to.The tour is give monday through saturday. There web site is www.marvelousmanhattantours.com good luck with your trip.

New York City
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4. Re: 1st time visitor - comprehensive tour a must?

Itryalot, your exact words were 'we know we probably won't see and do everything'; the whole idea of "probabiltiy" came from you, along with the suggestion that while it was not probable to see and do everything in New York in three days, it was still possible. My response was intended to disabuse you of that notion: not only is it improbable that you will see and do everything to be seen and done in New York in three days, it is downright impossible.

As for tours -- it really is a matter of taste. I would rather have bamboo slivers shoved under my fingernails than sit in a tour bus being told when to look left and when to look right -- but then, my tastes are hardly universal. For example, if I did not live here, but were coming as a visitor, I would rather spend a day on Broome Street examining the details of cast iron architecture than spend even five minutes in the tourist hell called Times Square -- but it is obvious from answering questions here that there are many visitors who would not consider staying anywhere else. Some people clearly think tours are delightful, and recommend them highly. What I am trying to tell you is that what first time visitors who only have three days should see is not something sent down on stone tablets from Mount Horeb; YOUR tastes matter. Do you love art more than anything else? Spend all three days in the Metropolitan, and forget the rest of the city. Do you have theater as an abiding passion? Spend all three days in the Times Square area going to plays, and forget you ever heard of Central Park or the Statue of Liberty. Is George Washington your obsession? You should spend your visit in Prospect Park, at St. Paul's Chapel, at Federal Hall, and maybe at the Jumel Mansion - but forget the rest of NYC. Only YOU know what YOU like best. This city is big enough to entertain you no matter what you like -- so why even give a thought to the tastes of other people? You have your own -- so go find something that fits them.

Now, if you tell us what those tastes are, why, whe can probably give you all sorts of suggestions...

Ipswich, United...
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5. Re: 1st time visitor - comprehensive tour a must?

I think a good, intelligent guide book can point you in the direction of the things you are likely to want to see. When I first went to New York I bought the Rough Guide and read it in the weeks before I arrived, and by the time I got there I already felt quite familiar with the city, and I not only knew what was there but why it was there. Planning ahead and working out the things you want to see (though I'm not one for rigid itineraries) can be part of the fun of visiting a new city.

Detroit, Michigan
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6. Re: 1st time visitor - comprehensive tour a must?

We are leaning more toward self guided with a good book in hand.

These are some of the must do's:

Central Park

St. Patrick's Cathedral

TOTR

Yankees Game and Broadway Show

Neighborhoods (staying in UWS, visit Chinatown/Little Italy, SOHO, Greenich Village and other areas)

1 museum and take in the Architecture

Not sure about the bus thing; the only reason I would is to hear info we would not normally get.

Mumbai
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7. Re: 1st time visitor - comprehensive tour a must?

Hi GWB... l loved what you wrote and taken a note of the same.... Shall go thru ur prev posts 4 some light on the hidden jewels...

Thanks you, it wud be my maiden visit to Manhattan this sept :):)

Columbus, Ohio
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8. Re: 1st time visitor - comprehensive tour a must?

itryalot, the things you have listed are things that I think you could do on your own. If you're on a tour bus, you only drive by everything, so save your money. Find a good book and/or map and explore! I found a couple books on Amazon that may help you: one is New York Walks, and the other is Frommer's 24 great walks in New York. They give you detailed routes to take, along with explaining some of the history that you may want to know. Get one of those, along with the Streetwise Manhattan map, and you're good to go.

Bedfordshire
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9. Re: 1st time visitor - comprehensive tour a must?

I went to NYC for the first time by myself last year, I sat down beforehand with my guidebooks and made a list of all the things I really wanted to do, for instance, I was very keen to go to Ellis Island, less interested in Liberty Island. I went for days (all I could afford) and planned several things in one place.

I found the observation platfrm from the Top of the Rock was a good way to get my bearings and evry bit as good I thought as the Empire State for views, and it was near my hotel. The bus tours were good value, I bought a 3 day hop on hop off ticket, did a couple of 'round trips' o get familiarised and then used this and the subway to get where I wanted to go.

I also decided not to 'wast time' on things I can do here e.g. theatre shows.

10. Re: 1st time visitor - comprehensive tour a must?

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