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7 Unconventional Tours of New York City to Check Out This Summer

Category General

|by Mark Robinson |

The city is your playground with pizza, Broadway and other tours

There are many excellent tours of New York City that take you to the iconic sites of the Big Apple in a conventional way. However, for those who have already explored the city in this fashion, there are an abundance of tours you can take that bring you through the streets of New York that will offer entirely new and exciting perspectives in an unconventional way. Here are seven tours guaranteed to offer you a whole new way of looking at NYC.

See the New York City in a whole new light with these tours (Photo: iStock)

See the New York City in a whole new light with these tours (Photo: iStock)

Holdouts: a NYC Architecture Walking Tour
This two-and-a-half hour walking tour of Manhattan takes guests on a journey that explores midtown Manhattan and the history of its architecture, with special attention to the holdouts who refused to sell their property to real estate developers. Groups are kept small, adding a personal touch to the experience and opening up opportunities to ask your guide questions. Holdouts: a NYC Architecture Walking Tour is a great way to see the architectural New York City that has avoided change over the years.

Inside Broadway Walking Tour
For fans of Broadway plays and musicals, the Inside Broadway Walking Tour will give you an exciting understanding of the ins and outs of the Great White Way. Your tour will include a guide who works in show business, someone who can tell you the stories of how things work in professional theater. They will also provide an exciting history of the Theater District and the theatres themselves, and explain how the area evolved from being a center for horse trading to being the epicenter of phenomenal theater. The Inside Broadway Walking Tour is a great way to continue the Broadway fun between a matinee of Frozen and an evening performance of Beetlejuice.

East Village Haunted Manhattan Tour
For those who enjoy a spooky night on the town, New York City offers a host of spine-tingling ghost tours. One of the best is the East Village Haunted Manhattan Tour, offering 13 stops that include a haunted subway platform and the stories of the ghost trains that stop by, haunted bars and historic landmarks that enjoy spectral activity. The tour is also just plain fun, as it is delivered with a touch of humor to keep things from getting too hair-raising.

Scott’s Pizza Tours
The self-proclaimed “cheesiest guided tour in NYC,” Scott’s Pizza Tours is certainly a mouthwatering way to eat your way through the Big Apple. The Pizza Bus departs from Little Italy (Sundays only) and takes guests for slices of pizza at four of NYC’s best pizza-making establishments. As part of your tour, you will enjoy a 4.5-hour course in pizza history, slices at four of the best pizzerias on the planet and a goodie bag. A certified Pizza Enthusiast and licensed tour guide will lead the adventure.

New York City Original Rock ‘n Roll Walking Tour
Fans of Rock ‘n Roll music are not going to want to miss this one. The New York City Original Rock ‘n Roll Walking Tour takes tourists on a walk through the history of the city’s music culture, exploring its history with rock, punk and glam music. Guests visit sites and hear the stories of some of music’s greatest legends such as The Ramones, New York Dolls, The Velvet Underground, Fillmore East, Madonna, Led Zeppelin, Iggy Pop and many more. The New York City Original Rock ‘n Roll Walking Tour has been featured on VH1, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and in Rolling Stone magazine.

New York Underground Subway Tour
Have you ever thought about the fascinating world beneath NYC, a twisting labyrinth of tunnels created for its mammoth subway system? The New York Underground Subway Tour takes guests on a subterranean exploration of the world’s largest rapid transit system. Learn about the history of the subway, from its groundbreaking in 1901 to how it has evolved into the multi-line system it is today. Of particular interest will be the three abandoned stations that you will ride through and other secret spots of the underground. The New York Underground Subway Tour offers a glimpse of New York City from a perspective we may not have considered: under our feet.

Private New York City Night Tour with Driver-Guide
New York City by night is a nonpareil magical experience, as the metropolis becomes the canvas for one of the world’s best light shows: the Manhattan skyline. There are many tours that specialize in showing off the city’s jaw-dropping splendor, but for a more personalized and private experience, try the Private New York City Night Tour, which includes a driver who acts as your guide. In the comfort of a chauffeured minivan, the three-hour tour zig-zags over bridges taking guests through Manhattan to both Brooklyn and New Jersey, providing glorious vantage points to witness the Big Apple by night.

Mark Robinson is the author of the two-volume encyclopedia The World of Musicals, The Disney Song Encyclopedia and The Encyclopedia of Television Theme Songs. His forthcoming book, Sitcommentary: The Television Comedies That Changed America, will hit the shelves in October 2019. He maintains a theater and entertainment blog at

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