I may be one of the few people that have not seen Hamilton on Broadway yet. The tickets seem to be impossible to get unless you want to spend a lot of money. Until prices come down, I found another way to learn more about the man behind the Broadway sensation – the NYC Hamilton Happy Hour Tour.
It’s a walking tour around lower Manhattan where we would visit spots associated with Alexander Hamilton and then end at a pub. I learned so much on this historical tour, it can’t all fit in this post! Let me share my experience on this Hamilton NYC walking tour so you can decide if you want to do it too.
Note: This post contains affiliate links. Please see disclosure for more information.
- Hamilton Happy Hour Tour NYC
- Hamilton Happy Hour Tour Review
- Hamilton Happy Hour Tour FAQs
- Other NYC Alexander Hamilton Spots
- Learn More about Alexander Hamilton
- Expert Tips for the NYC Hamilton Happy Hour Tour
Hamilton Happy Hour Tour NYC
The tour starts at the entrance to Trinity Church, which is located at 75 Broadway. We did our tour on Good Friday so the church closed early, but if you have a few minutes before the tour starts, peek inside!
**Update as of August 2021: The tour now starts at the Charging Bull at 26 Broadway. While the route, may have changed a bit, I think the essence of the tour is the same.
Our tour group was nice and small, just me, Russell, and a family from Utah. The family had actually seen Hamilton on Broadway the night before. We met up with our tour guide, Evan, and then headed to the church yard to start the Hamilton walking tour.
Evan talked about the popularity of Hamilton on Broadway and asked if any of us had seen it. He said one of the reasons that the show is so popular is that people don’t know much about Alexander Hamilton and his story, yet he is arguably one of the most influential men in American history. You could write a whole book on Alexander Hamilton’s achievements.
I thought back to my American History days (in high school) and pretty much all I could think about was I knew he died in a dual and that he was the Secretary of the Treasury. Russell, who was a history major (although in England), didn’t even know those facts.
Alexander Hamilton Grave Site
After our introductions, we walked over to the spot where Alexander Hamilton is buried in the Trinity Church yard. Alexander Hamilton’s grave is on the south side of the yard right next to his wife, Eliza. There is also a marker for his son, although he is not buried there. Historians think his son, Phillip, is buried somewhere in the yard, but they are not sure where.
Here we got some background information about Alexander Hamilton. I had no idea he was born out of wedlock in the Caribbean and became an orphan as a teenager.
He worked hard on his writing (without any formal education) and was able to earn a place at Kings College, which has turned into Columbia University. He also excelled in his military role in the Revolutionary War and quickly became George Washington’s right-hand man. Hamilton is also one of the few founding fathers who never owned slaves.
Alexander Hamilton’s tomb. There is actually a debate about how old he was when he died. Some historians think we he came to New York to attend Kings College he lied about his age by two years. Either way, he was either 47 or 49 when he died. His wife outlived him by 50 years.
The Room Where it Happens
I wasn’t sure why we were stopping on Maiden Lane. Evan explained that if you saw Hamilton this is where the Room Where it Happens was located. Then he showed us the plaque on the wall and told us the story about how Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton were able to negotiate the deal known as the compromise of 1790 here. Hamilton got the national government to take over the states’ debts and Thomas Jefferson got the national capital moved to the south.
Across the street, Even pointed out the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Building. Evan told us about all the gold stored at the Federal Reserve and pointed out some of the security features of the building. While the Federal Reserve was not founded until early in the 20th century, the idea of a central bank came from Alexander Hamilton’s financial plan.
We also stopped outside Federal Hall which is located on Wall Street, caddy corner to the Stock Exchange. This is the site where George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the United States while Hamilton looked on. The Congress of the Confederation (before the Constitution established Congress) also met here. It was not in the same building as the current structure you see today, which opened as the Customs House in 1842.
Now, the National Park Service operates Federal Hall as a national memorial. The site is open free to the public from 9 am. to 5 pm. on weekdays. Inside you will find information about the New York Harbor area’s federal monuments and parks, and a New York City tourism information center. They also have a gift shop where you can find colonial and early American items.
We also learned more about Wall Street. I knew it had gotten its name from the city wall that used to be there but I didn’t realize there were markings in the street showing the location. Evan also told us about how Alexander Hamilton founded the Bank of New York and tried to stop Aaron Burr from opening the Manhattan Bank. The Manhattan Bank eventually merged with Chase to become Chase Manhattan and now JP Morgan Chase.
Our last stop on the Alexander Hamilton NYC tour was outside Fraunces Tavern. So much history took place inside that bar. Many key figures of the time including Hamilton visited the tavern as it was the place to go during Revolutionary New York. Evan shared a few stories about Fraunces Tavern, but the one I found most fascinating was about how George Washington was almost poisoned here!
I didn’t realize there is also a Fraunces Tavern Museum, but it was about to close by the time we arrived. I might have to check it out on my next trip. Admission to the museum is $7 or it is also included in some of the NYC sightseeing passes.
Evan told us about the dual that led to Alexander Hamilton’s death. Of course, I had learned about this during school, but I was curious to know more details. The tour had really been building up to this as we learned more about the rivalry between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton at each stop. It is hard to understand how two significant and intelligent men had to resort to a dual to resolve their differences. I also can’t believe that Aaron Burr was never punished for what really was a murder.
After saying farewell to Evan, Russell and I went inside Fraunces Tavern. We got seats at the back bar, had a drink, and talked about what we had learned on the tour. It was a nice way to end our afternoon.
Hamilton Happy Hour Tour Review
I enjoyed our tour and learned a lot about American History (more than I can fit in this post). I thought our tour guide, Evan, was a great storyteller and made the tour very interesting. It was also nice that we had a small group (5 of us). Unfortunately, it started raining during our Alexander Hamilton walking tour. My jacket had a hood so it wasn’t too bad. Evan did not let the rain affect the tour or his energy level even though he got wet.
The Hamilton Happy Hour tour is really about the history of Alexander Hamilton. Although the tour has “Happy Hour” in the title, drinks are not included in your tour price. We were the only ones from our tour that went into Fraunces Tavern (as the other guests were families).
Additionally, this Hamilton walking tour is child-friendly. The family that joined us for the tour had a boy around 13 years old who seemed to enjoy the tour, especially after seeing the Broadway show. (Theater fans will also enjoy the Inside Broadway Tour.)
After going on the NYC Hamilton tour, I want to read more about Alexander Hamilton and I would love to see the Broadway show (if only I could find discounted Broadway tickets!). The Hamilton tour was also very thought-provoking as some of the topics (immigration, the role of the federal government, political strategy, etc) are still hot today.
*If you can’t travel to New York, you can join the virtual tour here.
Hamilton Happy Hour Tour FAQs
What is the NYC Hamilton Tour Schedule?
The Hamilton Tour is available every day at 3 pm. It is scheduled to last 2 hours.
Should You See the Hamilton Broadway Show before the tour?
While you definitely can see the show before you go on the tour, you don’t have to. We have not seen the show and were still able to follow the story told on the tour.
How much are Hamilton Tour Tickets?
Tickets for the Hamilton Happy Hour Tour are $40 per adult and $30 for children 12 and under. You should purchase them online in advance.
The tour is also included if you purchase the NY Pass (click here to check the price and learn more about the NY Pass) or the New York Sightseeing Pass (click here to check the price and learn more about the New York Sightseeing Pass). If you are doing a lot of sightseeing during your time in New York City, it will be easy to get your money’s worth from these passes.
What is the Hamilton NYC Tour Route?
When we took the tour it stated at Trinity Church at 75 Broadway and ends at Fraunces Tavern at 54 Pearl Street, but now it starts at 26 Broadway by the Wall Street Bull. The closest subways stops are Bowling Green, Rector Street, or Wall Street. The tour ends at Fraunces Tavern which is about a 5 minute walk from the starting point.
I think we walked about a mile during our tour and most stops were only a few blocks apart. The tour does operate rain or shine. Unfortunately about half way through our tour, it started raining. In the event the weather is so severe that it would impact the tour, Urban Adventures would contact you in advance.
Is the NYC Hamilton Happy Hour Tour Worth It?
While you can visit this area on your own, we did learn a lot from our tour guide and had a fun time too. The tour is not cheap (especially for families) so if you want to save money on your sightseeing, consider getting one of the NY city passes.
Other NYC Alexander Hamilton Spots
Since the Hamilton Happy Hour Tour is a walking tour, it is focused on the historical places in downtown Manhattan. There are a few other spots that I wanted to mention for those of you that are interested in visiting more Hamilton locations.
Alexander Hamilton Statue
Inside Central Park, on the East Drive at 83rd street, you will find the larger than life statue of Alexander Hamilton. It is made entirely of granite and was donated to the city of New York by his grandson in 1880.
Alexander Hamilton House
In 1800, Hamilton began construction of his country home in Harlem. Unfortunately, the house was not completed until shortly after his death. The estate, known as the Grange, was located in the neighborhood that later became known as Hamilton Heights. In 2008 the home was moved to 414 West 141st Street in St. Nicholas Park in Manhattan.
Admission to the site is free, and they are open Wednesday through Sunday. You can tour the home’s three restored period rooms and there is also 15-minute introductory film if you are interested. Additionally, they have galleries with historical information about Alexander Hamilton.“There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.” - Alexander Hamilton
Learn More about Alexander Hamilton
If you are interested in learning more about Alexander Hamilton and visiting some of the historical sites in NYC, I think the NYC Hamilton Happy Hour Tour from NY Urban Adventures is a great option. Whether or not you have seen Hamilton on Broadway, you will enjoy it and I guarantee you will learn a few things!
Are you a fan of Alexander Hamilton? Have you seen the Broadway show?
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Expert Tips for the NYC Hamilton Happy Hour Tour
- It is a walking tour and you will be outside for the duration so dress accordingly. If there is rain in the forecast, bring along rain gear.
- You don’t need to have seen Hamilton on Broadway or have previous knowledge about Hamilton to enjoy the tour.
- I think it’s worth it to go inside Fraunces Tavern and grab a drink after the tour.
- If you can’t be in New York, you can take the virtual tour here.
Disclosure: We were given complimentary tickets for the Hamilton Happy Hour Tour so that we could share our experience with our readers. As always, opinions expressed here are my own.
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Last Updated on August 3, 2021
It sounds like a very educational tour, I have to admit I didn’t know very much about Hamilton before reading this post. I hope you do get to see the real deal on Broadway soon! #TheWeeklyPostcard
Yes, same here I learned so much. I think they will start teaching more about Hamilton to kids now because of the show!
Sounds like a great tour. Believe it or not, I know more about Hamilton than about the whole rest of US History, just from listening to my 12-year-od daughter telling me stories from his life. The reason we ar going back to NY this fall is to take her to all of these places, so she can see where everything took place. I’ll bookmark this, so we don’t miss any of the historical places. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Wow so where did your daughter learn all this? You guys will have a great time in NYC!
From the musical, of course ;). And the books that accompany it. Living abroad I don’t think you got the whole phenomenon of Hamilton, the musical, of how popular it became, especially among school kids. Which is great, it gave them an incentive to learn about history. It started with Hamilton, but it keeps her being interested.
Oh I didnt realize she had seen it. Makes sense now.
Hamilton is also playing in London now! We just got tickets for September (they sell out *that* far in advance). It’s still pretty expensive, but nothing compared to Broadway prices. I’ve heard many of the songs on Youtube already and am really looking forward to it 🙂
Nice! I cant wait to hear what you think of it.
I have not seen Hamilton either although I would like to see it even though I am not the biggest fan of musicals. If nothing else I think the show has educated a lot of people about who Hamilton was and his contribution to the formation of the early government. I think Alexander Hamilton has lots of interesting ideas, and the balance of him and Jefferson lead to many good things I think. Although his conflict with Burr did not have such a happy outcome!!
Yes! Its terrible how things ended. I hope you get to see the show too.
I have not seen Hamilton either although I would like to see it even though I am not the biggest fan of musicals. If nothing else I think the show has educated a lot of people about who Hamilton was and his contribution to the formation of the early government. I think Alexander Hamilton had lots of interesting ideas, and the balance of him and Jefferson led to many good things. Although his conflict with Burr did not have such a happy outcome!!
this tour sounds fun! I have not yet seen Hamilton either, it is coming near me soon though and I will try to get tickets for sure
Alexandra – It was a fun tour. I hope you get to see the show too
Wow, for someone so important to the formation of the country, it’s odd that Hamilton is something of an enigma. Truth be told, I can’t remember much about him either. The tour sounds like a great way to spend an afternoon. We don’t have Broadway money in our budget either, so we may end up following your lead. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard!
Yes I agree. I think the Broadway show will change that. You guys would love this tour, it was so interesting and thought provoking
This is really interesting and something I would like to experience when I visit NYC. Good to know that the tour is included in the NY Pass.
Glad to hear you found it interesting. The NY Pass includes so many great attractions
This is really interesting! I haven’t seen Hamilton (I don’t think it’s been on over here in London for that long), but I’ve certainly heard how good it is. And as a history fan, I’d definitely be up for taking the tour! Thanks for sharing!
So glad you found it interesting. I hope you get to see the show and do the tour.
I’m not big on history, but it seems like an interesting tour – especially if it ends in a pub! I had no idea about how he died, that’s an interesting but sad story. I can’t believe Aaron Burr got away with that! I hope you’re able to see the broadway show sometime soon. Thanks for the great information! #TheWeeklyPostcard
Jessica – Thank you! We heard so many fascinating stories on the tour – no way I could include everything in the post.
Thank you for your review and sharing your experience and tips for this tour. I am trying to plan a vacation in NYC in the next few years and putting this on my wish list. Thanks for sharing with us.
Kathryn – Thank you! You are going to have a great time in NYC. I have a few more posts coming up that you might find interesting so stay tuned.
I have two confessions: #1 – I haven’t seen Hamilton on Broadway either. #2 – a historical walking tour ending in a pub sounds WAY better than trying to find tickets to Hamilton, or even actually seeing it! (I’ll take West Side Story any day, though!) We’re thinking of heading back to New York later this year, so we’ll have to add this tour to our list! #TheWeeklyPostcard
Haha! Yes, I do think you would enjoy the tour. It actually made me want to see Hamilton even more.
I would love to go experience this! Can’t believe I’ve never been to NYC!
Helene – You really must visit NYC!
Anisa, you provided great details about Hamilton like the fact that he was born in the Caribbean out of wedlock and that he didn’t own slaves. I also found it interesting that George Washington was almost poisoned in Fraunce’s Tavern. Did Evan relay any details about that?
Yes he did. The daughter of the Tavern owner got word of the plot and stopped it. He told us so much I couldn’t include it all in the post!
I would really love to learn more about our Founding Fathers! I learned a lot while visiting Boston when I was a teen, but haven’t visit much else! Definitely saved this! #TheWeeklyPostcard!
Lolo – Yes Boston is another great place to learn about the Founding Fathers!
Hahaha, you are not the only one who hasn’t seen Hamilton in Broadway, Anisa. I’d be happy to settle for the Hamilton Happy Hour tour in New York though. I’m not a great fan of Broadway shows. I do better walking around the city. #TheWeeklyPostcard
Glad to hear Im not the only one. There has been so much buzz about the show though
I join you as one of the few who haven’t seen the show. My excuse before was not being in the vicinity of NYC but since it came to San Diego recently, I didn’t want to spend that much money on it. This tour is a great alternative to the play and I actually learned a lot from your post about Alexander Hamilton. I don’t know that much about him and forgot a lot about my high school US history. We’ll have to keep this tour in mind when we make it back to NYC.
Thanks Mary. You know I don’t think they even taught much about Hamilton when I was in school. I hope you guys get to go on the tour, I am sure you will learn a lot.