In October 2012 we visited New York City as part of our honeymoon from Australia. We had arranged to spend 10 nights there and during our visit we wanted to take in as much as possible.
Using Trip Advisor, we found that Real New York Tours was rated number 1 of attractions in New York City, and I have to say that we could not have agreed more. In the lead up to our trip we did substantial research as to what would suit us best, and we spent a lot of time emailing the operators to make sure that it was right for us. I corresponded from Australia with Amber via email and she responded within 24 hours each time (taking into consideration the time difference). We wanted to undertake several tours (3 all up) in order to see as much of New York as we could - Amber's suggestion was that they have one of their guides customise these tours especially for us so that it would suit our needs and so that we would not double up on anything. At no time did I get a "standard" response from Amber - each was personalised and answered my question each and every time.
With our tours booked, when we arrived in New York we were very pleased to meet Shaun on the first day of our first tour. Shaun turned up on time in the hotel lobby as arranged and greeted us with a big smile. We decided to do our three tours over 5 days so that we had a day in between each to rest up and also go back and look at things that we had seen on the tour the day before.
What we both really liked about these tours is that we felt as though we had met a New York local on the street and then they had offered to show us around. Shaun was incredibly knowledgeable and was also keen to learn about us and our country. He obviously has a genuine love for New York City and at no time were we bored or feel that we were not getting anything out of the tour at all. In fact, it was way beyond our expectations in regards to what we saw and the history that was explained to us. We were taken to places not only that you would expect in New York but also to places that Shaun had fantastic stories about that we didn't know even existed. We were constantly stunned by what we were shown and what we learnt.
Shaun knew where we should stop for lunch, he showed us how to use the subway (something that we were confident doing ourselves after only just one day), and was happy to answer any questions that we had or customise the tour to be exactly what we wanted based on our interest levels.
By doing a walking tour, you obviously have to have a bit of fitness about you, but at no time did we feel like we were being rushed or had to keep up. In fact, we really felt part of New York but taking in the sights, sounds, smells and atmosphere and you can only get this by doing a walking tour such as this.
Each tour lasted for around 6-7 hours each day (with around an hour for lunch) each day and we got so much out of it. We covered Manhattan, Harlem, Central Park, Brooklyn, Queens as well as all of the cultural districts which were fascinating.
This organisation is a total credit to themselves. I cannot rate them highly enough.
We hope to return to New York City in the very near future as it was one of the best places we have ever been to, and while there I really hope that we can catch up with the Real New York Tours crew again because we they feel like friends to us now.