Big Apple Greeters: make this the first item in your trip-planning! Friendly New Yorkers volunteer to show tourists around their favorite town. A terrific introduction to NYC -- and free.
"Greets" vary with each visitor: visitors are asked about their interests when they sign up (usually online.) One common denominator is that all Greets teach visitors how to use the New York subway system: call it empowerment! Now you can get around town cheaply and conveniently.
Above: the Greet I sampled with my 13-year-old included a free way to sightsee the State of Liberty, by taking a ride on the Staten Island Ferry with our Greeter.
Note: be sure to make arrangements for your Big Apple Greeter several weeks in advance.
Read more about a Big Apple Greet.
--check prices for New York City hotels, at About.com's affiliate, Kayak.com
--continue to New York harbor tour - The Beast
*photos (c) Teresa Plowright