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Gray Line: Across the Harbor to Staten Island, Uptown to Harlem, and Dining Too!

September 29, 2008 - by Ellis Whitman

Fall brings with it plenty of things to do, including enjoying Gray Line New York Sightseeing Tours’ newest loop. This summer, Gray Line, the world leader in sightseeing, ground-transportation services and unique tours at over 150 destinations around the world, added the borough of Staten Island to its popular New York City “hop-on, hop-off” Loop Tour services. The establishment of the “Discover Staten Island Tour” is part of New York City’s Go Local campaign, and allows visitors to enjoy Staten Island’s diverse attractions, beautiful environment and unique history.

The one-hour “Discover Staten Island Tour” makes stops at The Staten Island September 11 Memorial; The Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden; the Forest Avenue Shopping Area; the Staten Island Zoological Society; Fort Wadsworth; The Alice Austen House Museum and Park; and the St. George Ferry Terminal. Buses run hourly, from 10am to 5pm (the price of the tour is $15), and tour guides accompany each tour, providing colorful narration and offering customer assistance. The route offers passengers stunning visual backdrops of New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, the Verrazano Bridge, the Brooklyn Waterfront, and the Manhattan skyline. Vehicles are climate-controlled and wheelchair accessible. Best of all, the Discover Staten Island Tour “hop-on, hop-off” bus loop allows passengers to spend time at each attraction.

Another great Gray Line tour is their Uptown Loop. If you’re interested in seeing the Harlem you’ve read so much about, Gray Line has added a connecting Harlem tour to its long-standing Uptown—hop-on and-off, double-decker bus sightseeing—Loop. The Uptown Loop includes stops at some of the most exciting New York sights, including Central Park, Lincoln Center, the Dakota Apartments, the American Museum of Natural History, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Grant’s Tomb and Museum Mile on a double-decker bus. Connecting at 125th Street via a picturesque trolley, the new “Intimate Harlem and Cloisters Tour” provides you with an additional opportunity to explore Harlem’s grandeur, history and architecture. Visitors may also hop off at Fort Tryon Park, and experience spectacular views of the Hudson River, George Washington Bridge, and Heather Gardens, as well as visit The Cloisters Renaissance Museum.

Gray Line has also recently launched a New York City dinner service on specially outfitted Gray Line double-decker buses called “Dining on the Town.” The “movable feast” accommodates 40 passengers, who are served a beef, chicken, or vegetable entrée, with a choice of rice or potato, and salad, followed by dessert; all served by a uniformed professional steward. This unique tour allows passengers to enjoy excellent food while getting an expert twilight tour of glimmering Manhattan and Brooklyn from a professional guide. 

The “Dining on the Town” tour carries dinner passengers on a two-hour guided tour through sparkling Times Square; south to Chelsea, Tribeca, and SoHo; past the World Trade Center site, Financial Center, and Battery Park—past a stunning sunset view of the Statue of Liberty—to the South Street Seaport; over the Manhattan Bridge to the Fulton Ferry Landing on the Brooklyn waterfront—for a spectacular view on Manhattan—across the East River, through the East Village and up Sixth Avenue/Avenue of the Americas, before returning to Times Square. It’s the perfect opportunity to relax and view the city sights while eating a delicious meal. Gray Line has outfitted two double-decker buses for “Dining on the Town” service, and the tours leave daily at 7pm from the West Side of Broadway between 47th and 48th Streets. 

Another improvement to Gray Line’s acclaimed New York City bus and coach tours, is that gift certificates can now be purchased, making the tours the perfect Thanksgiving treat, Christmas stocking stuffer or Hanukkah gift for New York City visitors. Gift certificates for any Gray Line New York product can be purchased on the Gray Line New York website below. Gift certificates can be printed from a customer’s home computer, making gift-buying a snap.

Gray Line provides premium tours, whether you want to go uptown, or across the harbor. Make sure to catch one of their buses while you’re in town—you won’t regret it.

777 Eighth Ave. btw. 47th & 48th Sts.; PABT, 42nd St. & 8th Ave.;
Times Square, Bdwy. btw. 46th & 47th Sts., 800-669-0051; www.newyorksightseeing.com

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