Let’s say you’re planning to take your fiance, wife, or girlfriend on a never-to-be-forgotten trip to The Big Apple. You want to get the absolute most out of the experience in only a few days’ time, and you want it to have that touch of romance befitting a couple’s exclusive “you two only” getaway.
Certainly, you’ll want to plan on a unique, upscale hotel, shopping time at iconic stores like Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, and dinner out at to-tier area restaurants. But, don’t overlook a hop on hop off bus tour.
What’s So Romantic About an NYC Bus Tour?
City tours on a bus are growing rapidly in popularity, and among every demographic, including couples out together exploring New York City. And while you might not have thought of a double decker bus tour as romantic before, here are five good reasons why you should:
1. NYC bus tours are iconic
Bus tours have become a veritable rite of passage for New York tourists, and have truly attained an iconic stature. And that only makes sense, since they take you on a quick city overview tour that hits all of the most iconic stops in a matter of hours.
2. You’ll feel like tourists
It may seem unusual to say feeling like a tourist is a good thing, but when you are one, it’s part of the experience. Audio tour guides explaining each site to you via headphones, a breeze-in-your-hair view of tall buildings from an open-air, upper deck seat, traveling with a troupe of other city visitors, and more will create the proper ambiance.
3. You start at Times Square
Times Square itself is full of romance, and many bus tours begin (and end) there. The flashing lights and hustle and bustle of Times Square is almost indescribable, and you can plan on extra excursions in the square before or after your bus route.
4. New York specific food stops
Many bus tours include stops at New York style restaurants, including New York style pizza parlors, famous New York coffee shops, and localized exotic cuisine in Chinatown or Little Italy. You can learn to fold your pizza the proper New York way and eat like a local.
5. You can create your own itinerary
Finally, if you buy an all day (or two day) pass, you can create your own route. Hop on and hop off as you please, and spend more time at the sites you want to explore most. That gives plenty of opportunity to have a memorable, eminently romantic time together.
Tips for NYC Travelers
Before venturing out to The City That Never Sleeps and embarking on your bus-tour experience, it’s a good idea to learn a few top tourist tips first. Here are five you may find helpful:
1. Book ahead online. You can get discounts on bus tour and other tickets by booking early online; and hotels and flights can be hard to find last-minute, so definitely plan and book ahead.
2. Don’t incur the wrath of locals. Learn what not to do in NYC before you go. Many residents complain about tourists blocking the sidewalk or subway escalators. Be the exception.
3. Go places off-hours. New York has a rhythm of its own, like all big cities. If you learn all the peak and rush hours for eating out, shopping, and visiting specific tourist sites, you can often enjoy a much smaller crowd.
4. Use all means of transportation. To get the full experience, include walking within several blocks of your hotel, bike and horse drawn carriage rides in Central Park, subway excursions, taxi rides, boat tours, even helicopter tours (and of course, the bus tour!) Mix it up to make it more interesting.
5. Take the Liberty Tour. Finally, one last tip. Don’t overlook the wonder of seeing Lady Liberty up close. A 20-minute ride out to Liberty Island and nearby Ellis Island is fun, educational, and gives you great photo-ops.
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