What the tour is like: On Location Tours New York City
On a recent trip to New York City I did something that I rarely ever do. You see, I visit NYC so often that I consider myself to be almost a local. I know 6 different ways to get anywhere, I know the best spots the locals eat, and I know some of the bus drivers by name. Like most New York tourists, I have been to the top of the Empire State Building (even all the way to the 102nd floor – the “secret” observatory), I have toured Ellis Island, and seen the Rockettes Christmas show at Radio City Music Hall. However, one thing I have never done is a bus tour of the city. After all, what can a bus tour show me that I haven’t already seen? Well, as it turns out, I recently took a bus tour with On Location Tours New York City, and I learned A LOT of things about New York City that I never knew.
On Location Tours New York City takes you to sites where some of the most famous scenes from movies and television were filmed or based. There are over ten tours to choose from – from the Sex and the City Hotspots Tour to the TCM Classic Film Tour to the The Superheroes Tour of NYC.
It was a recent Sunday morning when I boarded the bus (heated in the winter, air-conditioned in the summer) to join the NYC TV and Movie Tour. For the next three hours I was going to enjoy a narrated drive through Manhattan while our tour guide pointed out landmarks made famous by popular television shows and Hollywood movies. If three hours sounds long and boring to you, I assure you it wasn’t. There is a bathroom aboard the spacious bus and we have three stops that we get to actually leave the bus and explore.
The NYC TV and Movie Tour starts at the world famous Ellen’s Stardust Diner which was featured in the 2011 film New Year’s Eve. I certainly don’t want to spoil the tour for you (what’s the fun and surprise in that?) but I will show you some of the highlights.
Washington Square Park and Arch
Our first stop was at the Washington Square Park and Arch, one of the most popular filming locations in the city. The park has been featured in TV shows like Friends, Glee, and Suits; and movies including When Harry Met Sally, I Am Legend, and Sweet Home Alabama. We had many photo opportunities here for group photos and selfies.
While you are on the bus, you have the opportunity to watch many of the tour landmarks in action on small screens sprinkled throughout the bus. We would watch a scene and then viola, there was the live landmark right in front of us.
The second stop was at the Hook & Ladder Firehouse in Tribeca – home to the quirky Ghostbusters and featured in the movie Hitch.
Again, I don’t want to give away any secrets but we did watch a clip from Seinfeld and then we were treated to a special certain cookie. (Can you guess what kind of cookie it was?)
Perhaps the most popular stop on the tour was the third stop in Greenwich Village. We first passed a theatre made famous in a certain 1990’s TV sitcom, which happened to be just around the corner from a well known apartment building, also from the same sitcom. 20 Bedford Street is home to Monica, Rachel, Chandler, and Joey from Friends and the Lucille Lortel Theatre, where Joey performed his plays.
While the building looks the same, many people are disappointed to learn that Central Perk is not a real coffee shop, though there is a little delicious café on the first floor of the building called The Little Owl (<—try the Chocolate Soufflé Cake!).
And just across the street is the building that was used for the exterior shots of the Ugly Naked Guy, also from Friends.
There were so many sites to be seen in between the stops, too many to mention. However, the tour ends at McGee’s Pub, which was used as the site of MacLaren’s Pub in How I Met Your Mother. After the tour you swing into the pub for some HIMYM inspired fare and cocktails.
As stated above, there are a large number of tours to choose from ranging from an hour to four hours long, from classic movies to superhero films to TV shows like The Real Housewives of NY, Gossip Girl, and Sex and the City to name just a few. It’s a great way to see the city whether it is your first visit to the Big Apple or you’ve been living near Times Square all your life.
The tour guides are all working actors who have worked on anything and everything from HBO, Comedy Central, Netflix, and even New York stages!
Book your tour with On Location Tours New York City right here
Tours can be booked right here on the Beauty and the Beets website. Don’t worry, your booking is completely secure and your information is not accessible by anybody other than the On Location Tours operators. Feel free to contact me with any questions or if you need assistance with bookings. Book Now
*This post may contains affiliate which are of no additional cost to you, but go to supporting the upkeep of Beauty and the Beets. As always, thank you for your support. I was hosted by On Location Tours New York City for this story. However, all opinions are 100% my own.