The Best Fall Walks and Tours in NYC

By Alison Durkee

Fall has arrived, and along with the cooler weather and changing leaves, it’s a great time to get out and explore the city before winter sets in. Discover NYC secrets and hidden histories on these upcoming walks and tours.

Artistic Adventures: New York City has one of the best arts scenes in the world, and there are numerous artistic delights to be found outside of the hallowed halls of MoMA or the Met. Take a look at some of the city’s smaller art galleries with a tour of Chelsea’s galleries on September 9, or appreciate the art of the city’s buildings themselves on Untapped Cities’ upcoming art deco tour that goes from Beekman Place to Rockefeller Center (September 28). Fashion mavens can discover the secrets of the Garment District on a tour with the 92nd Street Y (October 11), which will include stops at five designer showrooms and the chance to learn about the process of fashion design – as well as to do some wholesale shopping. Fans of the performing arts, meanwhile, can trace the career of legendary Broadway producer and director Hal Prince on a September 11 tour of Times Square centered on Prince’s storied career, followed by a book signing with the man himself.

By PAT M IN NYC (Wikis Take Manhattan 2009 participant) – Uploaded from Wikis Take Manhattan 2009, CC BY-SA 3.0

Iconic Explorations: NYC’s iconic landmarks may be immediately recognizable – but few know how many secrets these legendary spots have in store. Discover the “8th wonder of the world” on a tour of the Brooklyn Bridge on September 30, or head further into Brooklyn to discover the history of Coney Island’s historic amusement zone during a tour on September 23. The fall foliage will also make this the perfect time to explore Central Park, which New Yorkers can do on upcoming tours of the Turtle Pond and Great Lawn (November 10); the Ramble (November 3); and the North Woods (October 27) with the 92nd Street Y. Those who’d rather get a rare look inside NYC’s landmarks, meanwhile, can do so on upcoming tours of the Woolworth Building (October 21) and the New York State Pavilion (September 24), a relic from the 1964-65 World’s Fair usually closed to the public.

Outer Borough Outings: New York City has much to see beyond the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. Head out to Queens this fall for tours of Astoria Village (September 10) and Elmhurst and Jackson Heights (September 30), or take a trip to the Bronx to discover the authentic Italian treats found on Arthur Avenue (October 7). Though many associate Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood with its trendy hipster reputation, there’s also a  significant Jewish population; glimpse Chasidic life on a tour on September 10. Learn more about the borough on upcoming tours of Crown Heights (September 9) and Gowanus (October 28).

Historic Happenings: Go back to the colonial era in NYC with a special tour of the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden on September 9, which will feature special tastings of 18th century drinks. Further west in midtown, learn about the clandestine affairs and hidden naval intelligence activities hidden in the heart of the city during the World Wars on a walking tour on October 15. Over on the Upper East Side, travel back to the Gilded Age with the Municipal Art Society’s tours on September 23 and October 21, which delve into the history, architecture, and scandals that came out of the hood. Even further uptown, head to Harlem to learn about the area’s vibrant past as one of the most exciting spots in 1920s American culture (tours ongoing in September and October).

Spooky Strolls: With Halloween on the horizon, there’s no better time to explore some of the city’s more haunted histories. Join Haunted Manhattan for their tour of the East Village’s macabre secrets, or go west for Boroughs of the Dead’s popular Greenwich Village Ghost Tour and Weird Tales of the West Village. Brooklyn ghost seekers can also join Boroughs of the Dead for a tour of Brooklyn Heights’s hidden haunts, including horror writer H.P. Lovecraft’s former home and the “Sea Captain Ghost of Montague Street.” Those brave enough to stay indoors can journey to the Merchant’s House Museum on East 4th Street, which will offer candlelight ghost tours of the haunted abode throughout late October.

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