“The Gilded Age” Tour of the Upper East Side

There is a social drama roaring on the Upper East Side. Social climbers are jostling for status as old money clashes with new money. Railroad titans and the formidable Astors are soliciting partners for their dueling positions. All sides are digging in their heals as they set to square off for the title of New York’s elite.

It’s the Gilded Age on this side of town and the spectacle of it all unfolds Monday nights at 9pm on HBO Max. But Context Travel is offering an opportunity to experience it firsthand.

The Upper East Side: New York’s Gilded Age Tour starts at the Plaza Hotel and proceeds uptown along Fifth Avenue to the Ukrainian Institute of America. A tour guide, a.k.a. tour expert, will “retrace the steps of famous families such as the Vanderbilts, Buchanans, and Roosevelts as we view their gorgeous mansions from the street level.”

This is a walking tour, so prepare for the weather and the hike. Private tours for two start at $292 and seem to be offered twice a day at 10am and 2pm.

Check out the tour here.


The show itself was filmed in New York and Rhode Island. House Beautiful did us the favor of breaking down the filming locations. Those close to home include the Lyndhurst Mansion and the Belvedere Estate in Tarrytown, the Glenview Mansion in Yonkers, and multiple locations in Troy.

As for the series, only two episodes have aired to date, but the battle lines are already drawn. “The American Gilded Age was a period of immense economic change, of great conflict between the old ways and brand-new systems, and of huge fortunes made and lost. Against the backdrop of this transformation, HBO’s The Gilded Age begins in 1882 with young Marian Brook moving from rural Pennsylvania to New York City after the death of her father to live with her thoroughly old-money aunts, Agnes van Rhijn and Ada Brook.”

The drama stars Carrie Coon (Ghostbusters: Afterlife), Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City), Morgan Spector (Homeland), Jeanne Tripplehorn (Mrs. America), and Meryl Streep’s youngest daughter, Louisa Jacobson.

Broadway legends also play heavy in the series. Donna Murphy (Gossip Girl and The Nanny Diaries) stars as Mrs. Astor with Audra McDonald (The Good Fight), Denée Benton, Kelli O’Hara (The Accidental Wolf), and Nathan Lane (Only Murders in the Building), to name a few.
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