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8861
New York

Signature City New York

Get an insider’s perspective on New York as you explore Ellis Island, the Met, Rockefeller Plaza and learn about the city’s transition from a Dutch outpost to an American icon.
Rating (4.88)
Program No. 8861RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,749
New York

Signature City New York

Get an insider’s perspective on New York as you explore Ellis Island, the Met, Rockefeller Plaza and learn about the city’s transition from a Dutch outpost to an American icon.
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,749
Program No. 8861 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
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Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Oct 10 - Oct 15, 2021
Starting at
2,099
Nov 14 - Nov 19, 2021
Starting at
2,099
Apr 17 - Apr 22, 2022
Starting at
1,999
May 1 - May 6, 2022
Starting at
1,999
May 15 - May 20, 2022
Starting at
1,749
Jun 5 - Jun 10, 2022
Starting at
1,749
Sep 11 - Sep 16, 2022
Starting at
2,099
Sep 25 - Sep 30, 2022
Starting at
1,899
Oct 9 - Oct 14, 2022
Starting at
1,899
Oct 23 - Oct 28, 2022
Starting at
1,899
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Oct 10 - Oct 15, 2021
Starting at
2,849
Nov 14 - Nov 19, 2021
Starting at
2,849
Apr 17 - Apr 22, 2022
Starting at
2,699
May 1 - May 6, 2022
Starting at
2,699
May 15 - May 20, 2022
Starting at
2,429
Jun 5 - Jun 10, 2022
Starting at
2,429
Sep 11 - Sep 16, 2022
Starting at
2,849
Sep 25 - Sep 30, 2022
Starting at
2,649
Oct 9 - Oct 14, 2022
Starting at
2,649
Oct 23 - Oct 28, 2022
Starting at
2,649

At a Glance

Bubbling with history, culture, diversity and energy, New York is whatever one makes of it. Wave after wave of people from the Colonial era to the present have flocked to the Big Apple to seek their fortunes. Whether you’re a first-timer or a former New Yorker reacquainting yourself with old haunts, trace the story of New York from its Dutch beginnings and into the future as you absorb the city’s architecture, economy, politics and more on expert-led field trips to great city icons.
Activity Level
Let's Go!
Walking 2-5 miles each day, lots of stairs. Public transportation used throughout program.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Discover the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a museum that is to New York what the Louvre is to Paris.
  • Recall the heady days of the world’s largest privately owned entertainment and business complex at Rockefeller Plaza, outside and inside incredible Radio City Music Hall.
  • Explore the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, gateway to America for millions of immigrants.

General Notes

Select dates are designated for small groups and are limited to 24 participants or less. This program offers a full schedule of activities and may have a maximum of 38 participants. There are lots of different ways to explore New York City with us depending on your preference of group size, pace, program inclusions and time available for travel. Visit www.roadscholar.org/collections/nyc to explore them all!
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Richard Turnbull
Richard Turnbull is an assistant professor in the History of Art Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and lectures regularly at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. He has published numerous articles on topics from the challenges of being an adjunct professor to the photography of Luke Smalley, and has forthcoming articles on Islamic art and 70s pop music and culture. Richard earned his Ph.D. in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Richard Turnbull
Richard Turnbull View biography
Richard Turnbull is an assistant professor in the History of Art Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and lectures regularly at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. He has published numerous articles on topics from the challenges of being an adjunct professor to the photography of Luke Smalley, and has forthcoming articles on Islamic art and 70s pop music and culture. Richard earned his Ph.D. in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts.
Profile Image of John Kriskiewicz
John Kriskiewicz View biography
John Kriskiewicz is a native New Yorker with a degree in architecture from Pratt Institute. He has taught courses on architectural and city planning history at Parsons School of Design, The Cooper Union, Fashion Institute of Technology, Stern College for Women, and Manhattan College. John has designed travel programs and lectures for many of New York City’s institutions and corporations including Road Scholar/Explore New York. He has a special affinity for New York’s extensive infrastructure as well as its Mid-Century Modern heritage.
Profile Image of Andrew Weinstein
Andrew Weinstein View biography
Andrew Weinstein is an assistant professor in the department of art history at SUNY’s Fashion Institute of Technology, where he specializes in modern and contemporary art with a focus on art theory and Holocaust representation. In addition to his lectures at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford University and on Elderhostel programs, Dr. Weinstein has presented papers to and spoken before scholarly conferences and associations for the study of the Holocaust, Jewish studies, philosophy and language.
Profile Image of Tom Bernardin
Tom Bernardin View biography
As a National Park Service Guide at Ellis Island, Tom Bernardin became an avid collector of Statue of Liberty memorabilia — and his association with Ellis Island inspired him to write "The Ellis Island Immigrant Cookbook: The Story of Our Past Told Through the Recipes and Reminiscences of our Immigrant Ancestors." He has made guest appearances on National Public Radio, the TV Food Network, Arts and Entertainment and the History Channel.
Profile Image of Angela Christensen
Angela Christensen View biography
Angela Christensen is a licensed New York City excursion leader who has extensive experience in event planning and hospitality. She worked with the Wildlife Conservation Society managing events in the Bronx Zoo, Central Park, Prospect Park, the Queens Zoo and the New York Aquarium. Now, she loves showing off her city with lifelong learners from around the world!
Profile Image of Karl Baudendistel
Karl Baudendistel View biography
A New York City resident for more than 25 years, Karl Baudendistel loves sharing his knowledge of the city with visitors from around the world. Having spent 20 years overseeing ‘the business of show business’ for numerous Broadway and touring productions, chances are he’s been to a city near you. Karl is a member of The Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers, is a trained sommelier and was educated at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Here Is New York
by E. B. White
The Island at the Center of the World
by Russell Shorto
Time and Again
by Jack Finney
The Big Oyster
by Mark Kurlansky
Downtown: My Manhattan
by Peter Hamill
American Passage
by Vincent Cannato
722 Miles: The Building of the Subways and How They Transformed New York
by Clifton Hood
Let The Great World Spin
by Colum McCann
Razzle Dazzle: The Battle for Broadway
by Michael Reidel
Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center
by Daniel Okrent
Harlem
by Jonathan Gill
Mannahatta: A Natural History of NYC
by Sanderson & Boyer
New York
by Edward Rutherford
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6 days
5 nights
11 meals
5 B 2 L 4 D
DAY
1
Registration, Dinner, Orientation, Empire State Building
New York
D
New Yorker Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 4:00 p.m. The location of our Road Scholar meeting room will be posted in the hotel lobby on an LED board across from the Security Desk. Join us in the meeting room to register with the program staff, get any updated information, and confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your envelope when you check in and locate your Group Leader to let them know you have arrived.

Dinner: 5:00 p.m. In the Tick Tock Diner just off the lobby of our historic hotel. Dinner in the diner is included even if you arrive late. You may eat later but please attend Orientation first. Or, get takeout and bring your plate to the meeting room.

Evening: Orientation: 6:15-7:30 p.m. In a hotel meeting room, the Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. We will review COVID-19 protocols and will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and requirements throughout the program. Dinners are early in order to have plenty of time available for engaging in evening activities as a group and individually. We will be walking a lot and using the New York City subway system that involves going up and down flights of stairs, long corridors, and often crowded conditions. It’s what New Yorkers do every day! Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. After Orientation, we will walk over to the Empire State Building. From the 86th floor observation deck, we’ll have a bird’s eye view of the Manhattan street grid and all five boroughs with New Jersey in the distance (weather permitting). It’s a great way to orient yourself to New York’s geography and get your first “big picture” look at the city. The Empire State Building is just three blocks away. Our group leader will escort you there and you may return on your own when you please.

DAY
2
NYC History, Introduction to Ellis Island, Times Square
New York
B,L,D
New Yorker Hotel

Activity note: Taking the New York City subway; going up/down flights of stairs; crowded conditions. Walking 5 miles; city streets and sidewalks.

Breakfast: In the Tick Tock Diner.

Morning: We’ll be joined by a historian for a lecture on the history of New York City; a city with its own unique personality that is, in many ways, a perpetual motion machine. After a short break, we’ll meet a former National Park Ranger for an introduction to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, preparing us for tomorrow’s field trip.

Lunch: At a neighborhood restaurant.

Afternoon: We’ll set out on an expert-led exploration of the Theater District and Times Square. This week is expected to be the much-heralded return of live performance in Broadway Theaters. There are 40 theaters in and around the area known worldwide as Broadway. There is also a TKTS discount ticket booth in Times Square, operated by the Theatre Development Fund, a not-for-profit organization supporting theatre and dance productions that enables diverse audiences to attend live performances. Most of us know Times Square from televised events on New Year’s Eve. The name comes from the old location of the New York Times. The Times Tower, built in 1905, was then the second-tallest building in the city. The first New Year’s Eve event was staged to celebrate its opening. Like the newspaper, times changed and Times Square went through ups and downs. Today, the not-for-profit Times Square Alliance works to cultivate the creativity and energy that have made this iconic public space a symbol of New York.

Dinner: At a neighborhood Chinese restaurant.

Evening: We’ll head downtown to the World Trade Center for a look at the 9/11 Memorial and the rebuilt World Trade Center site. This week marks the 20th anniversary and while it honors those who lost their life that day, the Memorial asks us to look to the future with hope and optimism.

DAY
3
Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island, Little Italy
New York
B,D
New Yorker Hotel

Activity note: Taking the subway to the ferry for traveling to/from the islands. Walking approximately 5 miles; city streets and sidewalks.

Breakfast: In the Tick Tock Diner.

Morning: We’ll head straight out this morning to take best advantage of our time on Liberty and Ellis Islands where you may explore both iconic islands at your own pace to see and do what interests you most. We’ll begin by boarding the ferry to Liberty Island. Liberty Island features a brand new state of the art museum dedicated to the statue. It is not to be missed. Additionally, you may choose to stroll around the island while listening to the included audio guide or join up with a NPS Ranger. The Statue of Liberty was an amazing gift to the people of America from the people of France — our oldest ally — celebrating freedom and democracy. We’ve seen this national monument in countless movies and TV shows and may even take it for granted, but on the Fourth of July 1884, it was the biggest event in the country. Years later, these words of poet Emma Lazarus were added: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” With the opening of the new museum, our tickets do not include entry into the pedestal or the statue. If this is something you would like to do, these tickets may be arranged separately, in advance of the program and at your own cost via the NPS exclusive ticket seller: www.statuecruises.com. NOTE: Choosing to arrange this for yourself will require a great deal more time on Liberty Island and will necessarily reduce your time on Ellis Island.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to have what you like. Both Liberty and Ellis Islands have cafeterias, with larger facilities and selections available on Liberty Island.

Afternoon: Then, it’s on to Ellis Island. From 1892 when the immigration station opened until it closed in 1954, more than 12 million people coming to America passed through Ellis Island. This was their “golden door” to new lives. Today, the descendants of these immigrants make up almost half of all Americans. The Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration tells the story of where people came from and what their experience was like. Many went first from Ellis Island to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, at one time the most densely populated neighborhood on earth. The museum includes numerous exhibits, an included audio guide, NPS Ranger-led walks, a documentary film and the family research center where you may choose to look up the historical documents that pertain to your family’s history through Ellis Island. We’ll meet on the front steps of The Ellis Island Museum to take the ferry back to Manhattan as a group, followed by a short stroll through the Financial District, the oldest inhabited part of the island. A subway ride will take us to Little Italy for dinner.

Dinner: In historic Little Italy.

Evening: Before we return to the hotel, we’ll have some independent time to explore this iconic neighborhood. For those with a sweet tooth, authentic Italian pastries and gelato are available steps away from the restaurant. We’ll return to the hotel as a group around 7:30 p.m., with the remainder of the evening at leisure.

DAY
4
Midtown, Harlem, Free Time
New York
B,L
New Yorker Hotel

Activity note: Taking the subway; walking approximately 2-3 miles.

Breakfast: In the meeting room.

Morning: This morning, we’ll explore mid-town Manhattan. We’ll stroll south along 5th Avenue, perhaps recalling Fred Astaire & Judy Garland in the movie “Easter Parade” — an event that still happens each spring, closing down the street and inviting folks to promenade wearing their finest.. or most unique... hats. We'll pause to visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral before exploring Rockefeller Center and going behind the scenes at the world famous Radio City Music Hall. We will end our field trip in nearby Bryant Park.

Lunch: In Bryant Park, we’ll have box lunches.

Afternoon: Those who wish to return to the hotel or explore independently are welcome to do so. We’ll then ride the subway to uptown to one of New York’s richest cultural neighborhoods: Harlem. A local expert will lead those who want to get a deeper understanding of the neighborhood’s past and revitalized present. The remainder of the afternoon is free. Established in 1658, Harlem was a rural Dutch village for most of two centuries. The development of railroads fostered a growth spurt at the turn of the 20th Century and became home to a large community of Jewish immigrants. Entertainment professionals such as Milton Berle, Harry Houdini and composer Richard Rodgers were raised and got their start here. In the 1920s, having been displaced elsewhere in the city and through the effects of The Great Migration, Harlem quickly became the unofficial “capital” of Black America, followed by the Harlem Renaissance in the arts and humanities. After years of disinvestment, the world is finally realizing what New Yorkers have known all along: Harlem is vibrant, eclectic and diverse; an essential example of New York’s constantly evolving energy.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure. You might like to take in a show, explore on your own, or enjoy some R&R at the hotel.

DAY
5
Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York
B,D
New Yorker Hotel

Activity note: Taking the subway; walking approximately 3-5 miles.

Breakfast: In the Tick Tock Diner.

Morning: An art historian will join us to provide an overview of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We’ll get tips on navigating its galleries before heading up to the museum. On the way, we’ll traverse Central Park as our expert talks about its history and points out areas of interest. Some 42 million people visit Central Park each year. Its 843 acres are managed by the private, not-for-profit Central Park Conservancy, formed in 1980 to improve and restore the park to prime condition after a period of decline. Central Park today may be America’s most famous park, providing respite and inspiration for residents and visitors alike.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like. At the Metropolitan, there are choices from the cafeteria to the elegant Petrie Court Café. There are also numerous restaurants and other eateries in the vicinity of the museum. If you decide on a New York City hot dog from one of the vendors out on Fifth Avenue, your badge allow re-entry to the museum.

Afternoon: A variety of docent-led explorations are available to take you through the collections of your choosing. The Met, founded in 1870, is one of the world’s greatest museums with a collection spanning more than 5,000 years of creativity. Its artistic treasury from every corner of the world includes paintings, arms and armor, costume, decorative arts, musical instruments, photography, works on paper, and much more. There are 26,000 objects from ancient Egypt, the largest collection outside Cairo; 2,500 European paintings, one of the most extensive collections anywhere; and the most comprehensive collection of American decorative arts, paintings, and sculpture in the American Wing. The Beaux-Arts façade and Great Hall of the iconic flagship building — designed by architect and founding museum trustee Richard Morris Hunt — opened in 1902. Today, tens of thousands of objects are on view at any given time.

Dinner: At a neighborhood restaurant. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: One last time, we’ll hop on the subway and head downtown to storied Greenwich Village. One of the quaintest and best loved neighborhoods in the city, ‘The Village’ as locals refer to it, has changed little over the last two hundred years due to a strong landmark law protecting the entire neighborhood. The streets still run every which way and are not part of the grid. A short list of former residents begins to tell the story: Jane Jacobs, Willa Cather, e.e. cummings, Henry James, James Baldwin, Marlon Brando, Edward Hopper, Jack Kerouac, Jimmy Hendrix, Alex Haley, Larry Kramer, James Beard, Bob Dylan, and many more. Returning to the hotel, prepare for check-out and departure after our closing session in the morning.

DAY
6
What’s Happening Around the City, Program Concludes
New York
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: In the meeting room.

Morning: As a final highlight, we’ll be joined by a New Yorker who’s in touch with what’s happening around the city for a closing discussion. We expect the session to end by approximately 10:30 a.m. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
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