The Best Late Summer Walks and Tours in NYC

By Alison Durkee

Summer in NYC is winding down, and while many may be taking the final weeks of the season to get out of the city, those who stick around can enjoy all it has to offer. See out the summer—and usher in the fall—by getting out and enjoying the city on these upcoming walks and tours.

Vera Neumann, Bantry Bay (1967). Courtesy of Susan Seid.

Artistic Adventures: New York has one of the best art scenes in the world, and upcoming tours this August and September will help navigate it with unique insights. Get a new perspective on current museum exhibitions with special walk-through tours, as artist LJ Roberts offers a critical walk-through of the American Folk Art Museum’s WALL POWER! exhibition August 22 and performer Murray Hill leads a tour of the Museum of Art and Design’s Vera Paints a Scarf on August 16. On August 30, discover the Upper East Side’s art scene beyond Museum Mile on a special gallery tour, which will tour Madison Avenue and the many contemporary gallery exhibitions housed there. Of course, some of the best art in NYC can be found in its buildings itself. Architecture buffs can discover the unique ornamentation that artisans created on the Upper West Side’s classical buildings on an August 18 tour, while a September 22 tour will focus on the elegant Art Deco found up in Washington Heights.

Waterway Wanderings: With New York City surrounded by water, there’s no point in staying landlocked this August and September. Get out to the shore and enjoy the beach by attending a Seaside Stroll through Coney Island and Brighton Beach on August 18, or escape to one of the city’s lesser-known waterside spots, City Island, on a September 7 tour. The tour will include a stop at the City Island Nautical Museum, along with beautiful shoreline views of the Long Island Sound. Those who’d rather get out on the water rather than just look at it, meanwhile, can do so with upcoming waterway tours offered by AIANY. An industrial waterway tour taking place August 18 will take a luxury yacht down the Kill Van Kull and the Arthur Kill to Freshkills Park in Staten Island, and an August 22 Waterway Plan Boat Tour will let attendees cruise on a 1920s-style yacht around Manhattan while a series of guest speakers discuss the city’s waterfront planning efforts.

Historic Happenings: Those hoping to learn some more history about the city and its past denizens are also in luck. Go back to the city’s beginnings on an August 24 tour focused on the city’s past as Dutch New Amsterdam, before tracing Harlem’s history from the 1600s through today on a neighborhood tour September 14. On August 24, see how the other half used to live on a walking tour of the Vanderbilt mansions along Fifth Avenue, which will look at how the famous family lived during the Gilded Age and beyond. Music lovers, meanwhile, can get new insights on some of the greats of jazz and vaudeville on a special Victrola trolley tour. The tour, which takes place August 17, will include stops related to famed performers alongside music played on a 78rpm record from an antique Victrola.

Image: Antonin Rémond/Flickr

Outer Borough Observations: Upcoming tours also offer the chance to discover the city far beyond Manhattan. Get a new perspective on Brooklyn this September on a tour of historic Atlantic Avenue September 8, or discover the history behind key destinations in Prospect Park created by co-designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux on a tour August 25. See what’s new in Western Queens on August 31 by taking part in a walking tour of Long Island City, which will explore the “Cradle of Creativity” and how it’s evolved today. On August 24, meanwhile, visitors can get a unique view of the Bronx by hopping aboard the Beautiful Bronx trolley tour, which will include stops at City Island, Throggs Neck, and more.

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