’Tis the season to give thanks, thanks to Thanksgiving! At USA Guided Tours NYC bus tours, we have lots to be grateful for this holiday season. Our amazing customers top our list, thanks to glowing reviews of our New York bus tours that have won us awards from TripAdvisor and Viator! We’re also thankful for our expert tour guides, without whom we couldn’t bring you the best of NYC. Finally, we’re eternally grateful to the City that Never Sleeps for all the wonderful sights and sounds that make our job so fun.
No one in the nation, in my opinion, does “Turkey Day” better than New York City — mostly because few events on any holiday are as iconic as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. If you’re lucky enough to be in town for the show, grab a spot on the parade route long before the 9AM starting time to get a good view; the 93rd annual parade starts at 77th Street and Central Park West and ends at Macy’s flagship store on Herald Square (34th St. and 6th Avenue). SpongeBob Squarepants, Charlie Brown, and Hello Kitty are featured balloons this year, and they’ll be serenaded as they float by with rousing marching music from high school and college bands, the NYPD’s Marching Band, and more.
Want an NYC insider secret? You can watch the giant balloons inflate the night before the parade on the grounds of the American Museum of Natural History. What better way to cap off a day seeing the best of NYC on our award-winning daytime “Discover NY” guided bus tour? Make sure you bundle up, though! You can grab a hot burger at nearby Shake Shack to stay warm.
If you make it to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, you’ll notice some of the landmarks we show you on our guided bus tours. The route passes the Dakota Building, just steps from Central Park’s Strawberry Fields memorial to John Lennon. It also passes Rockefeller Center, home to the iconic skating rink and — starting on 29 November — the gorgeously massive and brightly shining Christmas Tree.
New Yorkers love parades, and November also hosts the city’s world-famous Veteran’s Day Parade. On Saturday the 11th, over 500,000 people will watch 30,000 participants march down Fifth Avenue from 26th to 52nd Streets. This year’s parade commemorates the centenary of the U.S.’s entry into WWI, with legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin as Grand Marshal.
You can also experience your own parade route, if you will, by tracking the various installations of one of NYC’s most anticipated public art projects in recent memory: Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s city-wide Good Fences Make Good Neighbors exhibition. Scattered across the city — from underneath iconic landmarks like Washington Square to enveloping everyday city objects like bus shelters and lampposts — are cages and fences that you can walk through, sit in, or simply admire. They’re “not impenetrable barriers but powerful, immersive, and resonant additions to the fabric of the city.”
Even as the weather gets colder, New York City is still one of the best places around for outdoor sightseeing — just one of the reasons why we at USA Guided Tours ensure that you not only sit in our heated buses but get out and stretch your legs on our day, night, and custom tours. So grab a hot cocoa and a spot on the parade routes, and give thanks for the Big Apple!
Sara Murphy | USA Guided Tours NY Blog Contributor