The Best May-June Walks in NYC

By Alison Durkee

May and June are of course great times to be out and about in New York, and we’ve got a slate of insightful walks coming your way. From Jazz Age Harlem to the Brooklyn Navy Yard to the city’s medical heritage, read on for the best NYC walks coming up in May and June.

Artistic Adventures: Arts fans have plenty to see beyond the city’s big museums. Visual art lovers can discover some of the city’s smaller galleries in Chelsea through walking tours focused on LGBT galleries (May 13) and the neighborhood’s best spots (May 20). Those with an ear for music can explore Harlem’s Jazz Age history with a tour on May 18, or discover the Lower East Side’s punk rock history with John Joseph on May 20. Bookworms can look up from their reading and learn about the NYC haunts once frequented by 20th century horror master Howard Phillips Lovecraft (May 27 and June 10) and iconic scribe Edgar Allen Poe (May 20).

Historical Happenings: Get a presidential view of NYC with the 92nd Street Y’s Kennedys and Roosevelts tour to mark JFK’s 100th birthday (May 20), or discover more about the lives–and deaths–of Alexander Hamilton and those who knew him on Green-Wood Cemetery’s Hamilton-themed trolley tour (May 13). To learn about two of the country’s biggest wars and their mark on the city, embark on tours centered on George Washington’s Revolutionary War spies (May 14) and World War I’s NYC legacy (June 3). Those with a bit more of a specialized historical interest, meanwhile, might enjoy the New York Academy of Medicine’s tours of medical heritage sites in both uptown (May 13) and downtown (May 20) Manhattan.

Neighborhood Escapes: There’s so much packed into NYC that sometimes the best way to discover it is to just pick a neighborhood and enjoy it in-depth. That approach is easy to manage, thanks to upcoming tours focused on Lower Manhattan History (June 3), the Bowery (May 20), Hell’s Kitchen (June 10), and the Bronx’s Little Italy (June 17). Those looking for a perspective on the city’s local Jewish history can join NYC Jewish Tours for a look at the Upper West Side North (May 21), or spend Mother’s Day learning about the Jewish women who called the Lower East Side home (May 14). To discover how a historically European neighborhood has developed into one of the city’s best spots for Japanese cuisine, join Prospect Heights Brainery for a tasting tour of the East Village’s best Japanese spots (May 27). Those who’d rather just hop on a ferry and escape the hustle and bustle can also join the Brainery for a stroll through Governors Island on June 17.

Brooklyn Discoveries: Cross into the borough through its greatest icon with a tour of the Brooklyn Bridge on May 21, or discover just a few of Brooklyn’s varied neighborhoods with walking tours of the Brooklyn waterfront (June 15), Bay Ridge (May 21), Bushwick (May 20), and Downtown Brooklyn’s Art Deco gems (June 3). New Yorkers curious about the Brooklyn Navy Yard can embark on a tour focused on the area’s past, present, and future (various dates), or explore the Navy Yard’s present-day state in-depth with tours of Kings County Distillery (May 14) and the current tech companies based out of the historic spot (May 12). Visitors can also trade in their walking shoes and hop aboard a bicycle for a special bike tour on May 13, which will explore the Navy Yard’s sustainable architecture and green initiatives.

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