“The Gilded Age” in New York
History, Money & Music
4 Days | Year Round
Starting At $Flexible Pricing
This sightseeing tour parallels a new TV Show. “The Gilded Age,” a new series by writer Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey), is set amongst the lives of New York’s Robber Barons in the 1880s, it premieres on HBO Jan 24, 2022 and tells the story of a new-money family trying to join the ranks of the Astors and Vanderbilts. This tour also includes the legendary The Birdland Jazz Club for dinner and a show.
U S Tours Flexible Pricing:
- Customizable Comps
- Net Rates
- Luxury or First Class Hotels & Meals
- Motorcoach Transportation & Professional Tour Managers are available
Whatever you want, U S Tours will be happy to structure tour prices to match your needs. Just let us know!
We recommend lodging in Manhattan for a better experience; however we can offer alternative lodging for a lower rate in New Jersey, Brooklyn or Long Island.
Day 1 – New York City
Once you have arrived in New York City, check into your hotel for a three-night stay. Once you have had time to freshen up, enjoy dinner this evening at a local restaurant. (D)
Day 2 – Building America Full Day Your – Homes & Stories of Gilded Age Royalty: J.P. Morgan House (as available), Grand Central Station (Vanderbilt), NY Public Library (Astor) – Birdland Jazz Club Dinner and Show
This morning after breakfast, meet your local guide for a Building America Full Day Tour. Explore the lives and dynamics of the titans of American business; John Jacob Astor, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan and more. Discover their inspiring rise to great fortune and power, the dynamics of the empires they built, and the power struggles between them.
On this tour, you will travel through millionaire’s row to see some of their lavish mansions, elite private social clubs and museums that house treasures of the self-made American royalty. Continue on to see how the wealthy worked at the original offices of J.P Morgan and Rockefeller.
The J.P. Morgan House (as available), a rare freestanding brownstone in Manhattan, is a New York City Landmark. The home was originally purchased by Pierpont Morgan in 1881.
Next is Grand Central Station where in the 1850s, Cornelius Vanderbilt recognized the inefficiency of the fledgling railroad industry, a hodgepodge of competing companies. Shifting his sights from ships to trains, he bought up stock in local railroads, ultimately combining them into a vast transportation network and a powerful family empire that transformed New York’s infrastructure and reshaped the region.
New Yorkers in the early 1900s saw their city as the new cultural and commercial capital, deserving a majestic landmark. The vibrant City Beautiful movement, meanwhile, promoted architectural excellence. Grand Central satisfied both desires, invigorating midtown Manhattan, transforming regional transportation, and shaping the city we know today.
Another significant building is the New York Public Library. John Bigelow, a New York attorney for the estate of Samuel Tilden, devised a bold plan whereby the resources of the John Jacob Astor Library, the James Lenox Library and the Tilden Trust would be combined to form a new entity, to be known as The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.
Over 100 years ago, one of the titans, John D. Rockefeller Jr. had a vision to create a “city within a city,” and the story of how Rockefeller Center came to be is a fascinating one.
Tonight, enjoy dinner and show at the Birdland Jazz Club. Dubbed the “The Jazz Corner of the World”, by its namesake, the late Charlie “Bird” Parker, Birdland is a modern nightclub in Midtown Manhattan in the tradition of classic New York elegance. It is one of the town’s most iconic venues. In recent years, Birdland has presented memorable sets by such music legends as Oscar Peterson, Pat Metheny and Diana Krall, as well as the big bands of Chico O’Farrill and Maria Schneider. Birdland remains New York’s premier destination for jazz aficionados the world over.” Performers are rarely scheduled more than 90 days in advance. (B,D)
Day 3 – Heyday of High Society Full Day Tour: The Carnegie Mansion (as available), The Plaza Hotel, Fifth Avenue History & Shopping, Metropolitan Museum of Art – Lunch at The Players Clubn w/ Gilded Age Character – Free Evening
After breakfast, meet your local guide for another day of touring featuring the Heyday of High Society. This tour will include the Carnegie Mansion (as available) and the Plaza Hotel. Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is housed in the former home of industrial magnate Andrew Carnegie. The 64-room mansion, built from 1899 to 1902, is an impressive testament to the desire of Carnegie and his wife, Louise Whitfield Carnegie, to build a spacious, comfortable, and light-filled home in which to raise their daughter, Margaret. The architectural firm of Babb, Cook & Willard designed the mansion in the solidly comfortable style of an English Georgian country house. When Carnegie purchased the land for the house in 1898, he purposely bought property far north of where his peers were living. The relatively open space allowed him to build a large garden—one of the few private enclosed green spaces in Manhattan—that is still a beautiful oasis today.
It was once said, “Nothing unimportant ever happens at The Plaza.” Located at Fifth Avenue and Central Park South, this luxury hotel was constructed in the most fashionable residential section of New York City. For over 100 years, The Plaza has been the New York hotel to see and be seen. Kings, presidents, and stars of stage and screen have all gathered and stayed at The Plaza. The most lavish social affairs, as well as classic Hollywood films have all used the legendary hotel as their setting.
Today also includes 5th Avenue history where you will see High Society’s private clubs, mansions and the Plaza, where many took up residence. There will also be time for shopping.
Tour the Metropolitan Museum of Art. With nearly two million works of art spanning more than 5,000 years, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the world’s largest and finest museums, presenting the best of human creativity from around the globe. A world of great art awaits you at the Met-NYC’s most-visited attraction. A large collection from the gilded age was donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Lunch today is included at The Players Club, an 1847 Gothic Revival-style mansion on Gramercy Park. A treasure of the Gilded Age, the clubhouse was named a National Historic Landmark in 1963. The Players is the oldest New York City membership club still in its original home. Included with lunch is a visit from a Gilded Age Character who will speak on the “Rules of High Society.”
The Players is a club of artists and arts lovers. Members are drawn from careers on the stage and screen, the visual arts, music and literature, as well as patrons of the arts from a wide range of professions. Together, they celebrate the richness of New York’s creative communities with exclusive events and relaxed socializing.”
Though more than an actors’ club, performers have been part of their DNA since it was opened by legendary actor Edwin Booth in 1888. Players were here before Broadway became Broadway, and they have been present since the start of radio, motion pictures, television, and new media.
The evening is own your own to explore and dine in one of the many restaurants in Times Square area. Groups have the option of adding dinner and Broadway show if they wish. (B)
Day 4 – Depart for Home
After breakfast, depart for home. (B)