Combine your love of food + famous NYC landmarks! Visit Chelsea Market, the Meatpacking District, the High Line, and the new Hudson Yards (including the Vessel) on this popular foodie tour!
- Adult (11 years & up)
- Child (4-10)
- Children under 3 years
Experience iconic Fifth Avenue with a local and learn about the neighborhood’s incredible history through storytelling! We take you inside famous landmarks as well as some hidden gems!
Duration: 2 Hours
Tour Capacity: 10 people. Post COVID-19, we are keeping our tours small. In addition to safety, this also greatly enhances the quality of the tour.
Tour Includes: Experienced, local guide and special access.
Walking Distance: 1.5 miles (2.4 km). Please wear comfortable clothing/shoes. Guests must be able to move at a reasonable pace. We have a lot of sights to see!
Meeting location: New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue & 42nd Street
Think you know everything there is to know about this world famous avenue? Think again! This tour is great for locals!
Experience the world’s most iconic retail avenue with a local on this exclusive tour. We have partnered with the Fifth Avenue Association to bring you inside some of NYC’s most famous hotels, shops, churches and landmarks.
This walking tour features many of NYC’s most majestic sights, from Central Park to Rockefeller Center. Learn the incredible history of this area through engaging storytelling. We will enter several beautiful, iconic institutions and a few hidden gems that are definitely worth knowing.
Since 1907, the Fifth Avenue Association has been working to ensure that Fifth Avenue is the most iconic street in the world.
“Fifth Avenue, the heart of New York City, is home to the finest shopping, dining and cultural destinations in town. For more than a century, it has been the definition of glamour in NYC for both visitors and locals, and continues to be a place to experience the best of the best. From flagship boutiques such as Tiffany’s, Gucci, Saks, and Bergdorf’s, and cultural spots such as MoMA and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, to staying a few steps away from Central Park at luxury hotels, Fifth Avenue has something for everyone to enjoy.” – NYC & Company.
What we will see and do:
- New York Public Library (those famous lions!) and Bryant Park
- Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Harry Winston, Cartier and more
- The Plaza Hotel, The Pierre Hotel, The University Club and more
- Rockefeller Center
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church
- A bit of Central Park
*Tour runs rain, snow or shine.
Photos courtesy of the Fifth Avenue Association.
Be sure to visit fifthavenue.nyc for special events in the neighborhood!
While Fifth Avenue did not start out as “the greatest retail strip in the world,” its origins are far from humble: expensive private residences lined the avenue north from 34th Street during the Gilded Age, owned by people with last names such as “Vanderbilt” and “Astor” and “Carnegie.” These well-heeled families all chose Fifth Avenue as the venue for their private homes, and went about one-upping each other in terms of size, amenities, and overall splendor.
These same families were instrumental in preventing Fifth Avenue from having a subway line, elevated line, or even a streetcar service along its length. Instead, horse-drawn omnibuses courtesy of the Fifth Avenue Transportation Company, and later the Fifth Avenue Coach Company, carried passengers from the Upper East Side and Central Park to lower Fifth Avenue and Greenwich Village. Motorized buses were introduced by 1907, right after Benjamin Altman opened the first major department store on the corner of 34th Street and Fifth Avenue in 1906.
Around this same time, the first round of luxury hotels were being constructed along the avenue, financed by some of the very same families who had previously built mansions just a few blocks away. But as with the subway and the streetcar, other residents fought against the construction of the hotels, complaining about blasting, fireproofing, and the liquor that they would make available for sale. Nonetheless, the hotels were victorious, and the great age of the “Fifth Avenue Hotel” was born: the St. Regis in 1904, the Gotham (now the Peninsula) in 1905, and the Plaza in 1907.
In addition to the hotels and retail shops that began to make inroads into upper Fifth Avenue at the turn of the 20th century, another tradition was being cemented into NYC lore: the parade tradition, many of which have used Fifth Avenue for at least a century. One of the most famous is the annual Easter Parade, a fixture on Easter Sunday since at least the 1880s (since both St. Patrick’s Cathedral and St. Thomas Church had thousands of congregants attend Easter Sunday services by this era). Another classic every March is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, while four others also draw tens of thousands of attendees each year: the Puerto Rican Day Parade in June, the German-American Steuben Parade in September, the Columbus Day Parade in October, and the Veterans Day Parade in November.
But of course, it’s the retail attractions of Fifth Avenue that have dominated the public’s imagination for the last 100 years. Saks Fifth Avenue opened in 1924, in what turned out to be a fabulous location: directly across from Rockefeller Center, which itself was built between 1931 and 1939, providing even more retail, as well as office space, restaurants, television studios, the world’s most famous ice skating rink, and a giant Christmas tree every holiday season. Bergdorf Goodman opened at its current location in 1928, while Tiffany & Co, originally on 34th and Fifth Avenue, moved up to its current location on the corner of 57th Street in 1940. The last piece of the puzzle was then in place: Fifth Avenue had become the world’s greatest retail destination. And so it remains.