New York City 8-Day RV Rally
Start spreading the news! Fantasy RV Tours arrives in early September for our grand tour of the Big Apple! Live and love every precious ‘New York minute’ in just 8 whirlwind days, all from the complete convenience of Fantasy’s chartered motor coaches. Just park your RV in your reserved site at the RV park with the easiest access and closest to New York City, then leave all the driving and details to us!
The show opens with a get acquainted party and dinner. Afterwards, we’re whisked away on our magic tour bus to see the city lights! Rockefeller Center in the heart of Midtown Manhattan is comprised of 19 high rise buildings — not to mention the ‘Top of the Rock’ – and is practically its own light show! Times Square, in the belly of the big city beast is known as ‘The Crossroads of the World’ or the ‘Center of the Universe’ depending on who you ask. Needless to say, it’s a must-see at night! Then there’s Lincoln Center, with its grand entry steps and glittering fountain. But there is nothing, absolutely nothing that compares to the twinkling skyline view of Manhattan on a clear autumn night.
We take our first big bite out of the Big Apple on Day 2. A guided bus tour takes us through Chinatown and to an authentic Chinese food lunch. No problem, we’re literally going to burn off those extra eggrolls as we walk the Brooklyn Bridge, all 5,989 feet of it. We’ve already seen it at night, but now’s our chance to take in the spectacular scope of the Manhattan skyline in the daytime. This evening, we’re formally introduced to beautiful Lady Liberty on a brilliant and cozy harbor cruise.
Our second big bite of the Big Apple is on our Day 3 bus tour of the Manhattan. Greenwich Village, aka ‘the Village’ — the west side of Lower Manhattan is our focus. As a result of gentrification and commercialization, the Village has largely shed its Bohemian roots to become an expensive residential area. One of New York’s most popular urban refuges, Washington Square Park is located here. Named after George Washington, the park is a popular gathering spot for the eclectic art crowd. We’ll visit NYU, one of the world’s premier research institutions. From here, we head for the SoHo-Cast Iron District to observe the buildings designed with this unique architecture. In the 1800s, the affordability and availability of cast-iron led developers to use this decorative feature on commercial buildings requiring elaborate facades. In lieu of expensive hand-carved wood, cast- iron was much more cost effective on very detailed projects.
And just because we can, we’ll take a subway ride to Grand Central Station. Still the busiest station in the country with countless shopping and eating options, it is also one of the most architecturally beautiful. Into Midtown Manhattan we go to explore the art deco architecture of the Chrysler Building, famous for its changing colors reflecting national events, and its 360-degree views of Manhattan and outlying areas. We continue past the United Nations building to Radio City Music Hall, known as ‘Showplace of the Nation’ and still the largest indoor theatre in the world. Everything is larger than life here! Our dinner stop is the newly renovated Sports Bar, Mustang Harry’s. Hold the applause – we take in our first Broadway show tonight!
Day 4 is DIY Day! Yes, that’s a Do-It-Yourself day! We provided roundtrip water taxi tickets to explore New York City on our own – by boat, train, bus, or subway. Whichever mode of transportation you choose (or combination thereof) promises you a unique and different perspective of the city. Plan on sharing your urban experience with the group when you get back to camp!
Day 5 means back on the bus for a guided tour of the East Side. First stop is Chelsea Highline Park, a visionary public park built on an old freight line elevated above city streets. On to Trinity Church, a progressive Episcopal community more than 300 years old. We explore the eight blocks that comprise Wall Street, home to the world’s two largest stock exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ. Time-out for a photo op with the charging bull, aka ‘The Bull of Wall Street.’ On to the urban oasis of Battery Park — 25 acres of tranquility at the confluence of the Hudson and East Rivers right ‘in the thick of it.’ Bowling Green Park, New York’s oldest park is another green island in the middle of the bustling financial district. At the tip of Manhattan, we stop at Alexander Hamilton’s U.S. customs house to marvel at this stunning example of Beaux Arts architecture, known for its lavish French-influenced ornamentation. Oddly enough for a customs house, this building was deliberately designed to face away from the harbor and toward Bowling Green Park. Tonight we dine in Manhattan before our second Broadway Show!
We revisit Lady Liberty and her emotional environs on Day 6. While much has been said and written about the Statue of Liberty — the universal symbol of freedom and democracy, nothing compares to seeing her stoic, strong presence in person. One of the real treasures here is the often overlooked, Immigrant Museum on Ellis Island. It is so humbling to read the painstakingly written letters from more than 12 million immigrants telling their heartbreaking stories of how and why they came to this country to explore and find ‘the American dream.’ It’s an important reminder that U.S. citizenship so often taken for granted has been hard-fought by many. St. Paul’s Chapel not only survived the great New York City fire of 1776, but also the September 11 attacks, acting as a recovery area for workers on the World Trade Center site after 9/11. The 9/11 Memorial is located on the actual grounds of the World Trade Center and graphically tells the story of that day in three anguished parts: the day of 9/11, before 9/11, and after 9/11. All in all, it’s a very moving day of reflection and remembrance. Tonight we lift the mood with a big dinner in Little Italy.
Up, up and away to the West Side on our final guided bus tour. Our first stop is St. John the Divine, the mother church of the Episcopal diocese, whose many community outreach programs include a soup kitchen that serves 25,000 annually. Next is Central Park Conservatory Gardens, a lovely six acres of formal gardens divided into three smaller gardens with English, French and Italian themes. We pass by Time Warner and plunge into the heavy traffic of Columbus Circle just to say we did it! Lincoln Center, home to NYC’s performing arts is a popular visit, along with ABC Television Studios. The Guggenheim art museum designed by none other than Frank Lloyd Wright is one of those rare museums that is equally fascinating inside and out. So much to see on these sidewalks of New York!
There’s Grant’s Tomb, the final resting place of President Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th president of the United States. Riverside Church, a Christian church known for its history of social activism, is an interesting tour stop. Past distinguished speakers here include Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela. The large neighborhood of Harlem, a major African-American business residential and cultural center welcomes all visitors. We close our grand day in Gotham with both a walk and carriage ride through the ultimate urban green space of Central Park. Our farewell dinner this evening promises to be a true New York experience. We’ll say our final reluctant goodbyes at our continental breakfast in the morning.
They call it ‘the city that never sleeps.’ You won’t get much of that on this tour either, but when you do, it will be with the knowledge that our Fantasy RV home is at the closest, most convenient RV park to New York City! It’s just a hop, skip and a jump away from Manhattan, close to Path and light rails – and right next door to ferry service into the City.
Be a part of it! Sink your teeth into the Big Apple on a Fantasy RV tour and you’ll discover, explore and really feel one of the world’s greatest cities in complete safety and comfort. This is the urban adventure of a lifetime and Fantasy makes it all so easy. You’ll leave New York loving it, feeling as if you’re leaving a very dear friend. You’ll come away completely recharged and rebooted with your spirits renewed, your faith restored and your energy revitalized!
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