Vehicle and custom tours in Brooklyn
Using a car, taxi, limo, or bus, we can cover more ground
Most of my tours are planned as walking tours, with occasional use of public transit. We can over more ground in a vehicle or bus you supply, or by taking occasional taxis. (I do not have my own vehicle nor do I drive while touring.)
Please note: it is often tough to find legal street parking in Brooklyn, nor is driving simple, so if you want one member of your group to drive, that driver should focus on the road and also be willing to stick with the vehicle while others leave for brief walks.
I've led small groups (3 in a taxi, 6 in a van) and large ones (50 in a bus), as a step-on guide. Such tours include two- to four-hour overviews of Brooklyn's highlights, two-hour slaloms through Williamsburg and Greenpoint, a tour of the Hasidic archipelago of Williamsburg, Crown Heights, & Borough Park, and a tour of the shore, including Coney Island and its neighbors.
For small groups, my fees are typically similar to my fees for walking tours, starting at $165/2.5 hours for two people.
I also lead seasonal tours of the Dyker Heights holiday lights.
Please note: these tours do not duplicate my listed walking tours (such as Brooklyn 101), since a vehicle generally means we cover more ground but walk less. A smaller vehicle like a car or van gives us more flexibility to park and exit.
Getting a vehicle
I cannot hire a bus, van, or limo but can provide suggestions. Please heck busrates.com for some ballpark prices on buses and also consider a new service, Buster.
Brooklyn-based car services like Eastern charge between $40-$50+/hour, depending on the vehicle, but check to see if there's a minimum time period (sometimes 2-3 hours) and a mandatory gratuity. Manhattan-based car services may charge more to go to Brooklyn.
An alternative: Rather than retain a vehicle for the entire tour, we can flag down yellow cabs or green outer-borough taxis (or use Lyft/Uber) and take a few rides to cut down distance.
I also can recommend a premium service: a driver with a luxury SUV, who charges about $65/hour (plus a surcharge).
Please note: yes, this process is more cumbersome than contracting with a tour company that will provide both guide and vehicle, but it can be considerably less costly. (One company charges $325/hour for up to 5 people, while another charges $275/hour.)
A basic introduction, by vehicle
For those new to Brooklyn, I recommend a tour that hits the highlights: Fulton Ferry/DUMBO (great view of Lower Manhattan), Brooklyn Heights/Downtown Brooklyn, Fort Greene & Clinton Hill, Park Slope and Grand Army Plaza.
The tour could be accomplished in the morning and, if we don't stop for lunch, take two to three hours, depending on logistics and where I meet the group (Manhattan? Brooklyn?). Please note: it can take a considerable amount of time to get to Brooklyn from Manhattan, and then to return to Manhattan.
Juniors, the famous Brooklyn deli/restaurant, is an excellent place for lunch or dinner, and they're used to large groups.
I also could leave you at either the Brooklyn Museum or Brooklyn Botanical Garden, both of which have cafes for lunch and offer private tours for groups. Alternatively, we could stop in the middle of the tour for lunch.
Variations are possible: to the north are Williamsburg and Greenpoint, also very interesting neighborhoods.
Many people want to see the famed Coney Island boardwalk and amusement area in the southern reaches of Brooklyn. It's well worth visiting, especially in warmer weather, but it can take a while to get there.
DUMBO/Brooklyn Bridge Park
Grand Army Plaza/Park Slope/Prospect Park/Brooklyn Museum
Borough Hall/Downtown Brooklyn