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“Really worthwhile but has a few quirks”

Harlem Heritage Tours
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Harlem Sightseeing and Apollo Theater Multimedia Walking Tour
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Harlem Renaissance Multimedia Walking Tour
Ranked #88 of 619 Tours in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Harlem Heritage Tours was founded in 1998 to use the industry of tourism as a tool to preserve Harlem's history and to contribute to the development of our local economy. Tours are conducted by those who were born and raised in Harlem, providing visitors with and nsiders view of our culture. Harlem Heritage Tours strives to provide the most innovation experiences in tourism and with the tech advances of modern day, it's been fun to create new tours. We look forward to seeing you in Harlem.
Level 5 Contributor
96 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Really worthwhile but has a few quirks”
Reviewed 21 March 2013 via mobile

Such a hard tour to review. We loved Neal's enthusiasm, his knowledge of the Harlem community and found everything he showed us fascinating. So what are the quirks? We found the loud music sometimes detracted from his commentary, indeed it sometimes drowned out his commentary. We also felt that he sometimes overused the iPad again to the detriment of his commentary. That said we did enjoy the tour and would recommend it to other just be prepared for a few quirks.

1 Thank Pammelb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
loveharlem, Owner at Harlem Heritage Tours, responded to this review, 22 March 2013
My name is Neal Shoemaker and I own and operate Harlem Heritage Tours. Firstly, I want to thank the reviewer for attending our Harlem Multimedia Walking Tour. I always try to create a balance between human commentary and multimedia effects by turning down the volume on the media while I share information about the heritage of Harlem.

In the future I will work even harder to make sure that all in attendance on the Harlem Multimedia Walking Tours clearly understand what it is that I"m saying despite video/audio effects. Many of our guests from far and near have expressed appreciation of our innovative use of video/audio on the tour because it adds a visual element to sites and historic figures that are no longer with us. In the future I will work hard to make sure that the technology doesn't take away from the human element. Again, I thank the reviewer for taking the time to write the review.
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694 reviews from our community

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English first
Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
1 review
“Harlem Heritage the Best”
Reviewed 11 March 2013

Brought Youth Group from church in Maryland to NYC; Harlem Heritage Tours was the highlight of the weekend. Neal Shoemaker is a phenomenal guide, blending history, culture, mixed media (music and video!) and his own personal experience to bring the significance of this neighborhood to life. The energy was great: entertaining and informative for both children and adults. This tour is smart, fun, important. We will do this again!

Visited March 2013
Thank Lael S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
1 review
“Harlem Comes Alive on this Tour!”
Reviewed 11 March 2013

This tour was so wonderful, I didn't want it to end! Our guide, Neal Shoemaker, was so engaging and enthusiastic that he kept our group of middle-schoolers enthralled throughout the entire tour. Mr. Shoemaker's passion for Harlem coupled with his clever use of technology (he plays music and shows videos during the tour via an iPad) made for an extremely rich experience. Mr. Shoemaker was born and raised in Harlem and he shares insights about the community that only a hometown guy could. I love the way that he started the tour with a history of Harlem (from the 1600's to today!) that was succinct, clear, and kept the full attention of our group of tweens. The lessons kept coming--in a good way. We learned about gentrification and the Harlem Renaissance, the many heroes of the community (both unsung and famous), and the places where all of this history happened. It was fascinating and fun. And to top it all off, our tour ended with a spectacular soul food lunch at the United House of Prayer for All People. This tour exceeded my expectations. I would highly recommend it to others!

Visited March 2013
Thank Lanita W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
“See the real Harlem with Neale”
Reviewed 10 March 2013

My teenage daughter and I joined one of Neale's Sunday Gospel walking tours. We enjoyed it so much! It was fantastic to walk around Harlem accompanied by jazz music (coming from Neale's backpack!), learning about Harlem's history, visiting buildings and bumping in to people who were happy to talk on the way. Attending church was a real highlight, particularly hearing the choir sing. The tour finished at a Jazz Club, with Neale shouting us a drink.
We are so glad we joined this tour on the suggestion of a friend and would certainly recommend it to others. It gave us a real understanding of Harlem and its people, explained by someone who is totally passionate about his community. A "must do" if you would like get away from the average tourist experience in NYC.
Maria T
Sydney NSW

Visited September 2012
Thank MariaDT_812
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
“Hurray for Harlem Heritage”
Reviewed 9 March 2013

Just took 13 middle-schoolers from a Washington DC church group on a tour with tour-guide extraordinaire, Mr. Shoemaker. He kept the attention of all of our kids the entire time. Mixing videos, music, and a walking tour of the neighborhood. We were introduced to a side of the neighborhood that only a native born and raised could give. It was super fun and very informative. Got a lunch recommendation the was out of this world. Harlem Heritage rocks--our kids were b-bopping, marching with greats, and using their imagi-Nations (ask Neal)! Can't wait to visit again and follow the magic, musical backpack.

Visited March 2013
Thank Marnie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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