The Best Summer Walks and Tours in NYC

By Alison Durkee

As the dog days of summer turn into the first weeks of fall, there are plenty of ways to get out and discover the streets of New York City. Learn about the city’s history, arts scenes, and more on these upcoming walks and tours.


Street Stories: Every corner of New York is filled with historyand there are plenty of upcoming walks for learning neighborhoods’ rich pasts. Head to the East Village for a look at Tompkins Square Park’s immigrant history on a tour August 18, or discover 13th Street’s avant-garde and leftist legacy August 22. For a look at the city’s more capitalistic side, join the Museum of American Finance for a tour of Wall Street’s history August 11. That same afternoon, the Municipal Art Society will tour the “Ladies’ Mile” of the late 19th century, whose department stores revolutionized the retail industry and the middle class.

Photo by dasoaz/Flickr

Artistic Adventures: Discover the storiesand competitionsbehind New York’s famous “Museum Mile” at an Art Wars walking tour on September 15, or test out your own artistic skills on a guided photography tour August 11. To learn more about one of the city’s more prestigious performing arts institutions, head to Lincoln Center for a tour of the complex’s exciting evolution August 19. Those wanting to delve into the city’s more rebellious artistic history can join Big Onion Tours for their Art, Sex and Rock & Roll: New York on the Cultural Edge tour on August 14 and throughout the month of September.

Brooklyn Beat: Cross the East River to discover Brooklyn’s Revolutionary past this August, as the borough commemorates the 242nd anniversary of the Battle of Brooklyn. A walking tour exploring the borough’s military past will take place August 19, and Prospect Park will offer tours of the park’s military monuments on August 19 and 26. To get a different kind of look at the borough, head out on the water on a boat tour exploring Erie Basin and Brooklyn’s role in the maritime industry August 16 and 30. Those wanting to explore one of the borough’s more iconic spots, meanwhile, can discover the Brooklyn Bridge and the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood on tours offered throughout August.

New Yorker Narratives: See the city through the lens of some of the famed residents who have called the Big Apple home this August and September. For a first-hand look at the Founding Fathers’ New York histories, head out on tours exploring the New York of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton (August 18) and Gouverneur Morris (above, September 15), one of the authors of the U.S. Constitution and a forefather of the Bronx. To learn more about some of the 20th century women who have made their mark on the city, discover the Upper West Side haunts of writer and famed personality Dorothy Parker August 21, or explore Manhattan’s West Side through the lens of urban studies icon Jane Jacobs September 30.


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