Walking tours give adventure seekers one of the best ways to get to know a city. It's amazing how much history you can learn when you choose to tour a city via foot instead of in a vehicle. Walking tours are a great way to get up and personal with a city's landmarks and unique features. Instead of exploring a new place from a bus or car, consider the benefits of exclusive walking tours in these four cities.
1. New York City
New York City's boroughs have countless walking tours that give you an up-close view of their neighborhoods and histories. The Lower East Side Jewish Heritage tour starts at the Eldridge Street Synagogue and Museum and continues for two miles before ending at Yonah Schimmel's Knishes Bakery on East Houston. Noteworthy attractions include:
- The Forward Building, where the city's largest Yiddish newspaper printed between 1912 and the 1920s
- Shteibl Row, where many Hasidic Jews still gather to pray and study
- The Lower East Side Tenement Museum, which captures apartment life in the 1860s
- Katz's Delicatessen, one of the most famous delis in New York
Other walking tours you might consider include:
- Greenwich Village Literary Tour
- Chinatown Walking Tour
- Midtown Architecture Walking Tour
These tours prove that New York City is one of the best places to live for people who love history and culture.
Boston also has plenty of walking tours that include historic sites. The Freedom Trail offers a comprehensive introduction to the role Boston played in securing America's freedom from Great Britain. The trail packs 16 historic landmarks into 2.5 miles.
Though it might not sound like a long walk, 2.5 miles will likely take you several hours to complete, especially if you want to stop at some of the museums, churches, and cemeteries you pass.
Other walking tours of Boston include:
- The Public Garden Monument Tour
- Seaport District Harbor Walk
- The North End Tour
- Commonwealth Ave Mall Monument Tour
Set aside a few hours and get to know Boston in a personal way.
3. San Francisco
San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in Northern California. Residents and visitors should find it relatively easy to explore this city without cars. Public transportation works well and most of the neighborhoods are walkable as long as you don't mind steep hills.
Russian Hill rises 345 feet above San Francisco Bay, giving pedestrians a wonderful view of the city. A Russian Hill walking tour will include outdoor staircases, gardens, and homes that once belonged to the city's greatest writers and artists.
Other walking tours explore:
- Nob Hill
- Golden Gate Park
- Fisherman's Wharf
- The Castro
You're sure to get a valuable history lesson when you take any of these tours, and the mild climate in San Francisco means you can enjoy these tours any time of year.
4. Portland, Oregon
Portland has a unique culture built on sustainability and a do-it-yourself ethos. The Underground Portland tour introduces explorers to the city's subcultures. Expect to learn about the city's Shanghai Tunnels and earlier struggles with gambling, corruption, and other crimes.
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If you want a walking tour that's a little less seedy, consider:
- Best of Portland Tour
- Epicurean Excursion
- Roses Gone Wild
- Food Cart Tour
Portland has a lot of subcultures that you should explore before reaching any conclusions about what the city can offer you.
What features do you look for in city walking tours? Have you ever been on a tour that changed the way you see a city or neighborhood?