Harlem Gospel Tour: 4 hours
Harlem Gospel Tour with Brunch: 6 hours
English Tour: 9:30am
Multi-lingual Tour 9:00am
Please make your way to 690, Eighth Avenue (between 43rd and 44th Streets), New York, NY 10036 (located at Times Square).
Please report at the meeting point 30 minutes before the start time. This is mandatory to allow time for pre-departure briefing.
The tour ends at the starting point
Learn about its role as a crucible for Black culture and the extraordinary artistic and musical flowering of the 1920s. Step back to the jazz era and relive the days of the Cotton Club, the Apollo Theater and legendary performers like Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong.
Experience more of Harlem's rich musical tradition when you listen to the rapturous singing of a gospel choir. It is an experience you will surely never forget.
If you have the time, take the 'Harlem on Sunday with Brunch' option and end your tour with some comforting traditional African American 'soul food'.
The Harlem Gospel Tour starts from 690, Eighth Avenue (between 43rd and 44th Streets), New York, NY 10036. Tours are conducted in deluxe AC motor coaches and there are stops for photo-opportunities and short walks.
On the way you will discover the rich history of Harlem. First inhabited by the fierce Manhattan tribe of Native Americans, it was colonized by Dutch and later became an elegant retreat for rich New Yorkers. You will hear about its decline in the 19th century, and how in the early 20th century it became a center for black people moving north to escape the Southern 'Jim Crow' culture.
You'll learn about the remarkable flowering of black culture in the 1920s. Known as the 'Harlem Renaissance', it was spearheaded by notables such as writer Langston Hughes, painter Aaron Douglas, and sculptor Augusta Savage.
In the 20s and 30s Harlem was the center of the New York's nightlife. Musical titans such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Eubie Blake, and Bessie Smith lived in Harlem and performed at local nightspots.
You'll also hear of troubled times in the 1960s and 70s, and of today's community full of pride and self-confidence.
On your 4-hour tour you will see famous sights and landmarks such as:
Morris-Jumel Mansion: Manhattan's oldest house, which served as a headquarters for both sides in the American Revolution.
935 St. Nicholas Avenue: Where Duke Ellington, American composer and jazz musician, resided from 1939 through 1961.
125th Street: A celebrated thoroughfare, considered to be the Main Street of Harlem.
Cotton Club: A renowned night club that featured many of the greatest 20th century African American entertainers – such as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and Nat King Cole – but denied admission to blacks.
Apollo Theater: One of the most famous music halls in the United States, and the club most associated with African-American performers.
Finally, you will join a local church congregation and experience the energising and inspirational power of gospel music.
This is the end of the guided tour however you have the option to add a delicious African American-style Brunch at a local Harlem restaurant.
It is essential that you call the activity operator 48 hours prior to start of the tour for reconfirming your booking and departure details.
You will need to exchange your voucher 30 minutes before the scheduled departure. If you arrive in NYC a day prior it is advisable to collect the voucher in advance.
The Local Activity Operators office is located at Times Square at 690, 8th Avenue between 43 and 44th Streets, 2nd floor.
The opening hours are Monday to Saturday 8:00am to 7:00pm and Sunday 8:00am – 3:00pm.
Proper dress is required to attend the church service: no shorts or tank tops will be accepted
We walked away feeling inspired, and knew it was going to be a good day....Catherine Stone