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Harlem Heritage Tours

Arts & Entertainment, Tours, Hotels & Travel, Arts, Museums

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65 Reviews

65 Reviews


On holiday from Melbourne , Australia, I took the Jazz Nights Tour with Harlem Heritage Tours in July 2013.

The night was an amazing experience and Neal had so much local knowledge to share. We even had the privilege of meeting some Harlem locals, business / venue owners.

My favourite spots were the Paris Blues Bar and the former speakeasy at the conclusion of the tour, where we heard jazz performed by local musicians.

An added touch at the end of the night was to be chaperoned to the subway, which was a really nice gesture for an out-of-towner.

I highly recommend the Jazz Night Tour.....

Thanks Neal for an awesome experience


Absolutely amazing Tour. They adapted the tour to the story my students read and connected its theme with the history of Harlem. This is a treasure folks! Not only is the history rich, HHT's professionalism up to date has not been matched by none other.


As a Harlem resident and lover of Harlem, I whole-heartedly recommend Harlem Heritage tours. I took a group of young adults from outside the city on a tour with Neil and he was able to be engaging and educational. He was able to taylor the tour to our interests and was very flexible about our time- even after our initial tour was rained out! The information he gives is topical and important, he doesn't sugar coat the changes Harlem is undergoing, while he celebrates the amazing heritage of Harlem. Harlem is lucky to have such an institution educating members from within and outside of the community about its heritage.


Neal Shoemaker was an incredible guide! He brought the neighborhood and the experience alive with his humor, interactivity, his musical accompaniment (thanks to his iPad and some strategically-stored speakers), and moreover his palpable passion for Harlem. He even tailored the experience to our particular group (international students from the Columbia School of Social Work) by weaving-in anecdotes, landmarks, and examples that highlighted moments of local and national social change & revolution.

Thank you Neal!


What a WONDERFUL TOUR!!! I am a case manager for a youth group in NJ and was looking for something fun but educational for my students to attend. I could not have selected a better experience for them and ME! The tour guide Neal was very professional, informative, energetic and just engaging with our group. I think it made a difference that he is Made in Harlem, born in raised. I wasn't sure how my students were going to respond but as we walked thru Harlem and Neal began explaining all the history that we were never exposed to their faces just lit up with excitement. They began asking him questions and he had all the answers and more. I couldn't believe how he knew everything about Harlem and people in the community greeted him on the street. One of our ah! moments was being introduced to a ICON, a LEGEND who walked by us and we didn't even know until Neal pointed her out and introduced us to, Ms. Norma Jean Darden, know your history! First African American model to grace the European fashion runway for Versailles. We visited were Marcus Garvey delivered his great speech, visited the street where hip hop started, visited the home of the Powell family, strivers row, toured the Apollo. I must say I truly enjoyed the music that Neal coordinated with the sites, that was so creative and added such a nice touch to the moments in history. My students were so impressed and could not wait to share with their family, friends and even the Mayor of our town their Harlem tour experience. I would highly without any reservations recommend an suggest that anyone who wants to experience the real Harlem, please, please, please reserve your tour with Harlem Heritage Tours. You will never feel the authencity with anyone else. After I posted my day on facebook so many others responded that they also toured with Neal and enjoyed every second that they didn't want it to end. I can't wait to book another group! Every student that participates in my program will experience this tour. You can NEVER read this experience in any book, you have to reserve your feet to experience. I was truly satisfied.


The brother brought the Harlem Renaissance to life with his vibrant spirit and strong command of this particular history, and how it contextualizes the current state of today's Harlem. Timely choices of music, eminating out of his backpack, floated through the air, putting us back in time. The Savoy. Billie Holiday. Sugar Hill. Strivers' Row. Garvey. And much more.


Very good tours. Feels more local than most organized tours.


WOW...OMG...TOPS!!!! I had an awesome experience on Friday, July 22nd with the Harlem Heritage Walking Tour! The information, exposure to historical places, and the tour guide (Andy) were absolutely amazing. Being in the Apollo Theater and performing on stage was icing on the cake. Can you imagine seeing and being on the very stage that other celebrities performed? I couldn't either, but I did it. I learned so much. The tour is well organized and our guide is not only funny but a walking history book. I have to admit, I was ready for a nap afterwards because it is a lot of walking. HOWEVER, I will definitely come back and bring others with me. LOVED IT!


Had a brilliant experience on the general walking tour. Neal grew up in the area and is a real encyclopaedia of local knowledge (and a really engaging tour guide). There was some brilliant music and speeches mixed in and you see some beautiful buildings and learn a lot about what's happened to Harlem in the past few decades.


we had a date for today 1 pm ... went there, nobody, no answer with phone but our credit card was debited !


There was some miscommunication on over how/where our tour was supposed to start, leading to it beginning almost an hour late, but this was made up for by the quality of the tour itself. Our guide Andi had incredible knowledge of the area, its buildings, and past residents and visitors, he was also a very entertaining orator.


Enjoyed our tour today!! So happy we booked it during our NYC visit!! Because of tour guide Neal's relationships in Harlem we had the opportunity to view the inside of a historic brownstone as well as the APOLLO theatre!! What a treat 😊


Brilliant. He really knew what he was talking about and the whole experience blew me away.


We came all the way out to Harlem, New York to find out more about the rich history and cultural heritage of Harlem. We actually got more then we expected. The city has many legendary and famous figures that has accociate whith the city. Muhammad ali, Malcolm x, Franck Lucas, Martin Luther King and many many more. Harlem was a big part of their lives at that time.

This is ia not an original bustour. This is a tour that you walk through all of Harlem so that you can capture and feel the historical events. The lecture also conatins very good music that conect the history of harlem.

Neil Shoemaker, the tour guide, is born and raised in Harlem so he knows almost everething about the history of this city and black history mixed with personal experience of being black in America in Harlem. The tour is long and very intresting.

If you ever choose to go to Harlem, this guide is a must!

//Daniel Habtu & Tomas Amanuel.


The tour was great. Neal explained the history of Harlem as well as the changes that are presently occurring. The tour was interactive with rich history shared at every corner


Informative and educational tour of Harlem.


Our experience was absolutely phenomenal. We were the only two on the tour and was able to see so much. Neil's a great tour guide, he explained everything in detail and even took our pictures of different places. Unfortunately, we haven't received those pictures after calling to inquire about.


Neal knows Harlem like nobody else, and everyone in Harlem knows Neal. Definitely come here if you want the best tour of the area.


What a wonderful tour. Neal is such a great guide. He has such a love and passion for Harlem. We learned so much about Harlem's past and present. I can't recommend this tour enough. Thanks for a great adventure.


Neil was really nice! Besides was raining, the tour was amazing. We enjoyed it so much.


Very informative place about Harlem heritage in the owner Neil is a very pleasant person and very knowledgeable


The Harlem Civil rights tour was absolutely fantastic.

A unique insight into both Harlems' past and present day; its people, the campaign for civil rights, the music of Harlem, and its development in more recent years.

Neal provided us with a relaxed, safe tour and it was a privilege to learn about Harlem from a man who grew up here and takes such pride in sharing Harlem with others! ! Thank you so much for having us!

Love from Ireland


Had a great time ! Our tour guide has a wealth of knowledge about Harlem. He welcomed us like family and gave us first rate tour. It was a pleasure see the city led by one of Harlem's own. Thanks for everything Neal!


My favourite civil rights tour. Neal is a charismatic, charming and knowledgable guide. He goes out of his way to help and to explain.


The gospel tour was such a highlight. Attended the Baptist Church, learned the history of Harlem, viewed the Apollo theatre and ended at Sylvias for an optional brunch on our own, which I highly recommend. Our guides were fantastic!


Didn't exprence anything yet.


Did the Sunday gospel tour today.....The gospel singers at church were as good as the official Harlem Gospel Singers which I saw years ago. Wow. Andy, our young 90 year old tour guide was very insightful and informative and fun!!. We all thoroughly enjoyed this tour!


If you're trinking about book something from Harlem Heritage Tours, just read the 1 stars reviews on Tripadvisor, they are true. I read that beforehand and yet I decided to give a chance to it. What a mistake!

I booked a Multimedia Civil Rights Tour for 02/05/2019, got the email confirmation and the guy simply didn't show up. The office was closed. I phonned them, got voice mail and then Neil called me and gave some excuse. I was in front of the building and he didn't even let me know in advance about the cancellation! We reschedule ir for today, 02/07.

Today I was there on time and again the office was closed! I had to call Neil. He arrived at 1:40pm for the 1:00pm scheduled tour and he didn't apoligize, in fact he didn't even mention he was very late.

Inside the office was a mess, everything thrown on the flour. Trash everywhere, openned bag of chips, used clothes on the chairs.

The tour starts inside the office by Neil pointing some buildings outside, no multimedia presentation at all.

We left the building and the guide called her "70 years old mom" to wave her hands in a high window of a building and kept telling us stuff about him, trying to proof he was raised in Harlem. Then we walked to some places where he basically pointing pictures saying "this is ____, that person is ______" while reading the sentences underneath the photos.

Besides being poorly prepared to provide a historical tour the guide kept receiving phone calls and using his cellphone all the time.

Summing up, find another agency or just do a quick online reserch by yourself and you'll learn a lot more than spending time and money with this tour.


Fantastic tour! Very informative, interesting and amazing. From the church service to all the amazing parts of Harlem. Incredible! And we were treated like family! Cannot recommend this tour enough!


Fantastic tour. Really internering and informatieve and we were treated like family!


Beautiful. So much great information!


Harlem Renaissance tour with Neil was awesome - one of the highlights of my trip.


~My sister and I are from Houston, and we did a tour today. It was awesome. We were able to meet LL Cool J. Our guide, Neal was very nice and personable. We will return again next year!


Great great great business and owner...NEAL


My apologies, I mistakenly gave 2 stars as I was reviewing a few things from my trip over there. We were standing outside and the owner of the place invited us inside and showed us a few interesting facts about the history on Harlem but we couldn't stay because we had to take the road back. But it was greatly appreciated.


Five stars is synonymous with Harlem Heritage Tours & Mr. Neal Shoemaker. Mr. Shoemaker is knowledgeable, personable, and kind. This was my mother's first time in Harlem (October 2019). She is still talking about this experience. 😀We did the Civil Rights Tour. It was nothing short of a grand day in Harlem remembering the ancestors(Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.). Thank you for everything Mr. Shoemaker.

- Tahja


Very nice tour, we enjoyed listening to the history. Glad my daughter could see Harlem for herself rather than just read about it in school. Glad to have had the opportunity to come.


Neil is an energetic and highly knowledgeable tour guide. I would highly recommend him for both small and large groups (I organized a tour with him for 20 coworkers). Thank you Neil!


I lived above this place for 2 years and never knew it was what it was. Everytime I walked by it, it was empty or there were africans out front braiding hair. Unfortunately, Gentrification has hit Harlem hard!


Straight up Harlem from a brother who was born and raised in Harlem, like myself! Check it out!


I loved the tour of Harlem offered here!


Neil did an excellent job! Very educational and his energy is great!!!

Laura D.



My parents, two year old daughter, and I had a very enjoyable tour of Harlem with our tour guide, Andy. Andy told us right off the bat that he is 88 ( this and 22 more

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