Walking Tours of NYC, New York

Walking Tours of NYC, New York
New York City is a legendary metropolis that constantly generates new characters and myths. The streets, avenues, alleys, coffee shops, shops and residents have histories and stories like few other cities. New York City tourism groups, conservancies, historical societies and New Yorkers offer tours of the famous (and infamous) city from the glitz and glam of uptown, to the rushing crowds of Chinatown, from infamous downtown gangs, to the beginning of Jewish society in Manhattan's Lower East Side. Walking tours take place daily at meeting points throughout the city.

Central Park Conservancy Tours

Discover Manhattan's leafy gem, Central Park, with a tour sponsored by the Central Park Conservancy, volunteers lead free historical and ecological tours through Central Park's maples and oaks. The walks are offered year-round and include more than 10 trails that crisscross the 843 acres (6 miles around the whole perimeter). Interested visitors can begin the tour from one of five spots: 85th Street and Central Park West; Belvedere Castle; 81st Street and Central Park West; 72nd Street and 5th Avenue or from Dairy near Wollman Rink. The tours are led by knowledgeable volunteers with the conservancy. The tours usually last between 60 and 90 minutes and take place rain or shine, except in extreme storms or temperatures of 25 degrees and below or 95 degrees and up.

Jewish Lower East Side Talk and Walk

Visitors to New York love to learn the history of the immigrants who built the city's commerce and industry. In public or private tours, visitors to Manhattan can tour, accompanied by Jewish historians and locals, the birthplace of Jewish society in the United States, including notable Jewish synagogues and Yiddish newspaper row. Walkers meet outside the Economy Candy Store at 108 Rivington St. between Essex and Ludlow streets across from the Rivington Hotel.

Heroes of the World Trade Center Tour

Before Sept. 11, 2001, the World Trade Center symbolized the wealth and power of New York City and the nation. The history of the building is a harrowing and humbling story. You can learn the origins of the WTC from the Rockefeller family's vision to the events of 9/11 and the heroes of the day. The tour starts at St. Paul's Chapel and includes Ground Zero, the 9/11 Preview Exhibit, the Winter Garden, the Reflecting Absence Memorial site, the Essex World Deli which became the impromptu medical station, and the American Express Eleven Tears Memorial. Tours run daily. Uncle Sam's New York tours donate a portion of the proceeds to the Pat Tillman Foundation and other charities paying tribute to the victims and their families. Walk-up customers are welcome but Uncle Sam's Tours encourages interested tourists to call to reserve a spot. Tours depart from St. Paul Chapel at 209 Broadway between Vesey and Fulton streets and lasts about two hours for the 1 mile walk.

Chinatown Tour

Every day in New York City, crowds flock to Chinatown. Along the shop windows glossy with smoking ducks, the Chinese bakeries, medicine shops and high profile banks, it is the largest Chinatown in the Western Hemisphere. This packed section of the Lower East Side hosts a diverse Asian community from China, as well as Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia. Walk through the streets and stalls of ornate dried mushrooms and coffee shops and learn about Chinese immigration from a knowledgeable local. The walking tour pauses at the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, the Church of the Transfiguration, the Lee Family Association, the outdoor markets and Lin Zeju and Confucius statues. Walkers meet at the southeast corner of Grand and Chrystie streets.

Times Square Tour

No one should visit New York City without seeing, and learning the wild history of, Times Square. This neon-lit center of the nation's consumer culture hosts the country's most beloved theaters and music halls. Tour guides stop to discuss the Palace Theater, Astor Hotel, the New York Public Library as well as the architecture and stages where the biggest names in show biz performed on historic New York nights. Tours meet at the southeast corner of 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue, at Bryant Park off the 42nd Street/Times Square subway station.

Article Written By Noelle Carver

Noelle Carver has been a freelance writer since 2009, with work published in "SSYK" and "The Wolf," two U.K. literary journals. Carver holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from American University and a Master of Fine Arts in writing from The New School. She lives in New York City.

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