The Best Summer Walks and Tours in NYC

By Alison Durkee

Get out and explore the city and its history with these upcoming summer walks and tours. 


Historical Haunts: Discover the city’s history this summer with tours of Wall Street (August 11) and the remnants of the former Five Points (July 14), a 19th century slum in lower Manhattan home to both infamous debauchery and one of the first “melting pot” populations in America. On July 29, get a rare glimpse at the city’s immigrant history with a tour of the Art Deco Ferry House at Ellis Island, or learn about one of the 19th century’s most iconic immigrants, inventor Nikola Tesla, on a walking tour of his New York haunts July 7. To get a glimpse even further back in time, head back to the Revolutionary era with a look at the Battle of Brooklyn and tour of Prospect Park’s Revolutionary War monuments on August 19. 


Artistic Adventures: Those looking for art beyond the Met or MoMA this summer can discover the city’s smaller art galleries on walking tours of galleries in Bushwick (July 14) and the Lower East Side (July 7). New Yorkers wanting to capture their own art, meanwhile, can try their hand at photography on a special LomoWalk, a guided photography tour inspired by Jeremiah Moss’s Vanishing New York and using a Lomography single-use camera, taking place July 14. Film fans can also get out this summer and discover the New York City spots behind such flicks as Wall Street and Batman: The Dark Night Rises on a movie tour of Wall Street July 21. 

Image: Stuart Anthony/Flickr

Park Promenades: There’s no better place to enjoy the summer sun than in New York’s parks, and this year offers plenty of chances to see the city’s green spaces in a new way. Discover the hidden secrets of Central Park on a special scavenger hunt July 29, or head into the park after the sun goes down for evening bat walks with the American Museum of Natural History (July 13). Discover a different kind of habitat for the city’s animal population on July 7 and August 4, as horticulturist and wildlife expert Maryanne Stubbs gives walking tours of the High Line and how its gardens are used by the city’s wildlife. On July 8, head uptown to Fort Washington Park on the Hudson River for a special open house tour of the iconic “Little Red Lighthouse” that’s been on the water since 1921. 


Neighborhood Navigating: Get out to the East Side this summer with tours of the Art Deco architecture in the East 50s (July 10) and Rose Hill (July 11), which is the neighborhood wedged between Gramercy, Murray Hill and the Flatiron District. On July 14, bring your appetite and head downtown for a food tour of Chinatown with the Museum of Chinese in America, which will include 5-6 food samples of the neighborhood’s multiregional cuisine. Those hoping to look beyond Manhattan this summer can take the tramway to a tour of Roosevelt Island South on July 21. 

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