NEW YORK—A trip around the city with Real New York Tours is not for the faint of heart.
There’s no sitting on a bus, looking through a window at the sights and sounds of the Big Apple.
Instead you’ll be traveling by foot and by subway, with an up close view of the history of Manhattan.
Luke Miller and his wife, Amber, are the founders of this unique experience.
They say it all started with their love of New York City.
"Born and raised here in Manhattan and you know we’re kind of a rare breed these days," Miller joked.
His wife, Amber, is originally from Seattle, Washington.
She came to New York after college to be a dancer and fell in love with the city and Luke.
As they say, the rest is history.
They got married and Amber worked for years as a Rockette.
She accomplished her dream and eleven years ago, she urged Luke to go after his and get his tour guide license.
"I think so much of my love for New York came from my exploration of it as a kid. I grew up with five boys in my family. We used to explore the abandoned subway stations // go running thru the tunnels," Miller reflected.
His first job was on a tour bus.
"It's kind of like going to an aquarium you know? You're seeing everything from a safe place behind glass. I wanted to do it the way New Yorkers do it everyday. I wanted people to feel like they were scuba diving rather than going to the aquarium," Miller said.
More than a decade later, Real New York Tours has taken tens of thousands off the beaten path, all over the Manhattan and the boroughs.
Most recently, they teamed up with the Wounded Warriors Project to do free tours for veterans.
And just a year ago, they offered free tours to Syrian refugees who had just come to this country.
"We thought we’d get a couple of families to sign up. 150 refugees signed up to to do our tours. It was one of the most amazing incredible experiences I ever had," Miller said.
Lots has changed over the years.
The company now has 15 tour guides and Luke and Amber have two year old twins.
"It almost gives me chills. I just think that's amazing, what a couple like us can do with just a love of the city," Amber added.
The couple's goal from day one has been to make people feel like they're seeing the city with a friend.
And it doesn't get more "New York" than that.
For more on how to book a tour with "Real New York Tours," click here.