Hit the Road: 8 Great Winter Walks Around New York City

By Troy Segal

Don’t let the cold weather keep you indoors. Whether it’s history, fine art or high finance, even lifelong New Yorkers will learn something new on these fascinating foot tours.

Herry Lawford -- Flickr

Herry Lawford — Flickr

Art Aficionados: Led by docents with doctoral degrees, New York Gallery Tours’ themed walks feed the need for a fine-art fix. They visit the venerable salons of the Upper East Side, many of them housed in townhouses or apartments, on Nov. 22. The following week, on Nov. 29, they hit the Lower East Side, New York’s newest gallery nerve center (and indeed, some of the art here will hit a nerve).

Martin Solli -- Flickr

Martin Solli — Flickr

Asian Influence: Even with gentrification, Manhattan’s Chinatown still seems an exotic city-within-a-city. Who better than the Museum of Chinese in America to guide you through its winding streets? Take a general “Walk Through History” on Nov. 22, or—food-lovers’ alert—a Nov. 29 tour “From Coffeehouses to Banquet Halls,” which explains how the evolution in eateries reflects the quarter’s metamorphosis from bachelors’ den to family neighborhood.

Steven Pisano -- Flickr

Steven Pisano — Flickr

Burrowing Into the Boroughs: C’mon, Manhattanites—there’re whole cities on the other side of the East River. Explore Queens’ two-mile-long Skillman Avenue, boasting everything from turn-of-the-20th-century factories to funky garden apartments, on Nov. 30. Or weave your way through historic but newly bopping Downtown Brooklyn, featuring buildings old, new, and repurposed, on Dec. 6. Both tours are offered by the Municipal Art Society of New York.

ThomasBtm -- Flickr

ThomasBtm — Flickr

Downtown Developments: The southern tip of Manhattan, where NYC began, affords many a glimpse into the city’s history—especially during the American Revolution. Learn about those tumultuous days with this recurring Museum of American Finance tour, which includes lunch at the museum afterwards. A quarter-century ago, the Charging Bull statue suddenly appeared in the Financial District. Learn about it, and the more figurative bulls and bears of Wall Street, in another museum-sponsored walk on Dec. 20.