Monday, March 2, 2015

Walks, Carriage Rides and Bus Tours - Fun Ways to See New York City

Taking a Carriage Ride through Central Park
New York, NY I always consider New York MY town as I have a lot of family living there and out on Long Island.  Spring is coming and you may want to make plans for springtime in New York. The best way to see and learn about New York City is to walk. The city is laid out on a grid and some of the numbered streets and avenues will change into names once you get into a certain neighborhood. An example is 8th Avenue turning into Central Park West once you get past Columbus Circle at 59th. It may seem like a different street due to the different name changes but it is in fact a continuous stretch of roadway. Eight Avenue starts in the West Village at Abingdon Square and goes all the way up to 155th street where it ends while merging with the Harlem River Drive. So in theory you could see much of the city by walking the length of 8th avenue!

Some of the sights along a 5th Avenue walk.

Walking Tours
My brother lived and worked in NYC and so would show me around to all the best shopping spots along 5th Avenue. One place I like to visit is Trump Tower. It is open to the public, has a Starbucks upstairs and a large open air atrium with tables and chairs where you can stop for lunch. Use a Google Street map and take someone with you for the day. I also like the views from Park Avenue which is a good route if you need to get uptown. There is a lot to explore in this section of Midtown up to Central Park South.

Pink Marble floors and walls of Trump Tower at 725 5th Avenue

Guided Foodie Themed Walking Tours - Sugartooth
Another way to see the city is via a guided walking "foodie" tour through various trendy neighborhoods in NYC. Sugartooth Tours offers a Cupcake Crawl and other such walking excursions that allow you to literally taste the city while absorbing local history. 

Co-Owner of Sugartooth Tours and musical theatre member, Allyson Tolbert.

I took a tour of Hell's Kitchen which included stops at Schmackary's between 47th and 9th Avenues, Poseidon Greek Bakery at 629, 9th Avenue, Little Pie Company at 424 East 43rd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues and Kee's Chocolates located at 315 West 39th Street.

Sugartooth Tours hits up some of the trendiest "sweet spots" in NYC.
Sugartooth Tours meet in NYC and the walks are about 1 1/2 hours long. Tour size limit is about 16 sight-seers as many of the shops are small. What's so amazing it you get to taste the best of the best or what each establishment is better known for. Schmackary's is known for their Maple Bacon Cookies with a Shot of Milk. Poseidon Greek Bakery has honey drenched Baklava to die for. The Little Pie Company makes a crazy good Sour Cream and Walnut Apple Pie and Kee's Chocolates is known for her adventurous chocolate truffles. Most of the stores on the tour offer mail order service and ship their delights across the country. More tours and booking information are included at

Kee's Earl Grey Chocolate Truffle

Carriage Rides
Once you are that far uptown, you can take a walk through Central Park or a horse drawn carriage ride. Ride fees were about $50 for 1/2 hour. You'll need cash as the carriage drivers do not take credit cards or checks. 

Our horse drawn carriage ride ended with feeding Phineas a carrot!

We took the 30 minute tour though Central Park with Phineas as our carriage horse. These horses are very well taken care of with many of them coming from the Pennsylvania Dutch where they have done farm work as well as pulled carriages.

Iconic building views from the carriage ride through Central Park
Our carriage ride through Central Park went past the Zoo and Carousel with water fountains along the way that Phineas would walk over to take a drink whenever he pleased!
Another view from the carriage ride through Central Park

Definitely plan to take one of these romantic carriage rides through Central Park this spring before Mayor de Blasio puts the kibosh on them. 

The RIDE NYC - Party Bus Tours
Another fun way to see NYC is to take a bus tour. Some are double deckers and are great for when the weather is warm and sunny. I would recommend taking an enclosed bus with large windows like The RIDE. It has windows from the floor to over the roof so you really get a full view of the street scenes and buildings. The high tech light show and D.J. music are all part of the "Party Ride" as they picked us up from Lincoln Center Plaza at New York Fashion Week for a ride to the VIP Cocktail party at Tender Lounge. Crazy fun!  Check out the tours, dates and fees at The RIDE NYC Bus Tours

Entertainment on The RIDE: CNN's Katlean and designer Anthony Ryan Auld of Project Runway

NY Fashion Week editors, bloggers and journalists on The RIDE Bus.

Special Thanks to The RIDE for providing transportation to and from the shows for New York Fashion Week 2015.

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